The fash­ion em­press in­vites Sim­ply You over for a di­vine din­ner where we learn the story of her three an­tique-filled homes and glimpse a life lived in colour.


The fash­ion em­press in­vites us in­side her sump­tu­ous home to talk fam­ily, fash­ion and her se­crets to host­ing the ul­ti­mate din­ner party

The ta­ble is set. Ul­tra­vi­o­let anemones, ruby red an­thuri­ums and win­ter white or­chids spill down a hang­ing can­de­labra and out of the gold vases be­low. Be­side them are stacks of pink Ver­sace plates, or­nate glass bowls full of dragon fruit and an eclec­tic mix of can­dle­sticks. At her Auck­land home, re­clin­ing on a vin­tage, leop­ard print-up­hol­stered chair, is Dame Trelise Cooper. She’s wear­ing a col­lared jacket and fig­ure-hug­ging dress by her epony­mous brand – a bril­liant shock of green with its own em­broi­dered anemones and gar­den roses. This, and the daf­fodil yel­low fab­ric fash­ioned into a table­cloth, are next-sea­son de­signs. She may fill her homes with an­tiques, but the dame is al­ways ahead of the times.

To­day, she’s wel­comed Sim­ply You into her Orakei abode to spill some se­crets of the en­ter­tain­ing type. “There’s no bet­ter way to come together than around a ta­ble,” she says. “It’s a coming together of friend­ship and love, and I like to cel­e­brate that.”

Flow­ers and am­bi­ent light­ing are al­ways on the ta­ble, a Spo­tify playlist in her guests’ favourite genre play­ing in the back­ground. “I like to hon­our my guests with a lit­tle bit of the­atre and a lit­tle bit of sump­tu­ous glam­our if it’s a full-on din­ner party. When­ever I set a ta­ble, it’s al­ways thought out, but that’s the plea­sure of it for me.”

Trelise’s cook­ing style is, like her cloth­ing de­signs, lay­ered with plenty of flavour. From her favoured French-style duck con­fit with cherry jam to an Ot­tolenghi-in­spired chicken with

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