– Words and photographs by Lia Crowe
Self-care and empowerment are at the heart of Mel’s story.
With a long-standing interest in fashion and a background in fashion merchandising, Mel explains why she opened a lingerie store, Mel Lingerie:
“I ended up losing myself for a few years after major traumas, family illnesses and a breakup with my fiance weeks before our wedding, among other very difficult life lessons. After a period of feeling lost, I took time to rebuild myself and listen to what my dreams were, and think about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. During this period, I took the time to listen to myself. I started to know myself again and to remember what I’m good at, my strengths and my passions. All the setbacks I’ve had along the way have made me stronger and helped me realize what I’m capable of. I finally took care of my life and myself, reminding myself to hold my head up high and keep going.
“I think lingerie helped me do that. Wearing lingerie is empowering, like having a little secret with yourself, reminding you to be confident, beautiful, and worthy. I am a Victorian born and raised so I knew Victoria needed a chic lingerie store with quality designers in the city center. But it wasn’t until one of my dear friends said it out loud that I put everything together and did it myself! I am delighted to empower others with lingerie as it has enabled me.
Uniform: Neutral colors, leather leggings, heeled ankle boots and a comfortable top.
Favorite piece of all time: Either my faux leather leggings from Commando or my sculpting bamboo dress. I never get multiple colors from an item, but I have multiple colors in them. They are suitable for all occasions and can be dressed up or down. Pleasant to wear and superb! Both are also durable – something I need for my lifestyle.
Favorite day bag: My simple black Coach bag. Not too flashy, it can adapt to anything I need; it goes with anything and you can take it anywhere.
Favorite jewel or designer: My grandmother’s necklace. I still wear it. Simple, golden, goes with everything and on any occasion. A timeless piece that has passed through the generations.
Fashion obsession: Scarves. I have such a soft spot for scarves. You can wear the same outfit but wear a different scarf and that makes it a whole new outfit.
Accessory you spend the most money on: Scarves.
Indulgence needed for fashion or beauty: Make-up and face creams.
Sniff: Gabrielle Chanel Essence Perfume.
Beauty secret: Hold on with confidence and act like you matter to the world and no matter what you wear. As my mother would say: “Always present yourself as a gift because you are one” and “treat yourself as you want to be treated”.
Style and life inspirations
Work of art: My Sid Dickens tiles.
Favorite fashion designer or brand: Coco Chanel and Giorgio Armani because of their travels in life.
Age of time that inspires your style: from the 1930s to the 1940s.
Movie or TV show that inspires your style or whose style you love: Self Made is my favorite series;
it’s an inspiration to me, and I love the fashion in it.
Favorite cocktail or wine: Red wine.
Favorite flower: Roses and lavender.
Preferred city to visit: Florence, Munich and Edinburgh.
Favorite place around the world: A small, secret beach in Cordova Bay near where I grew up, sitting and listening to the waves.
Story courtesy of Boulevard review, a Black Press Media publication
One thing that cheers you up during these difficult times: My animals and my friends.