– Words and photography by Lia Crowe
Self-care and empowerment sit at the heart of Mel’s story.
With a longtime interest in fashion and a background in fashion merchandising, Mel explains why she opened a lingerie store, Mel Lingerie:
“I wound up losing myself for a few years after some major traumas, family illnesses, and breaking up with my fiancé weeks before our wedding, among other very difficult life lessons. After a period of feeling lost, I took some time off 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 get to know myself again and remember what I am good at, and what my strengths and passions are. All the setbacks I had along the way made me stronger and helped me realize what I am capable of. I finally put care into my life and myself again, remembering to hold my head up high and keep going.
“I feel lingerie helped me do that. Wearing lingerie is empowering, like having a little secret with yourself, reminding you to be confident, that you are beautiful and that you are worthy. I am a born-and-raised Victorian, so I knew Victoria was in need of a classy lingerie store with quality designers in the downtown core. But it wasn’t until a dear friend of mine said it out loud that I put it all together, and did it myself! I am excited to empower others with lingerie the way it has empowered me.”
Fashion & Beauty
Uniform: Neutral colours, leather leggings, heeled boots and comfortable top.
All-time favourite piece: Either my faux leather leggings from Commando or my body-shaping bamboo dress. I never get multiple colours of an item, but I have multiple colours in these. They’re good for all occasions and can dress up or be casual. Comfortable to wear and look great! Both are durable as well—something I need for my lifestyle.
Favourite day-bag: My simple black Coach bag. Not too flashy, it can fit everything I need; it goes with anything and you can take it anywhere.
Favourite jewellery piece or designer: My grandmother’s necklace. I am always wearing it. Simple, gold, goes with everything and any occasion. A timeless piece that has been through generations.
Fashion obsession: Scarves. I have such a weakness for scarves. You can wear the same outfit but wear a different scarf with it and it makes it a whole new outfit.
Accessory you spend the most money on: Scarves.
Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: Makeup and face creams.
Scent: Gabrielle Chanel Essence perfume.
Beauty secret: Hold yourself with confidence and act like you matter to the world and it won’t matter what you wear. As my mother would say: “Always present yourself as a gift because you are one” and “treat yourself how you want to be treated.”
Style Inspirations & Life
Piece of art: My Sid Dickens tiles.
Favourite fashion designer or brand: Coco Chanel and Giorgio Armani because of their journeys in life.
Era of time that inspires your style: 1930s to 1940s.
Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Self Made is my favourite series;
it’s an inspiration to me, and I love the fashion in it.
Favourite cocktail or wine: Red wine.
Favourite flower: Roses and lavender.
Favourite city to visit: Florence, Munich and Edinburgh.
Favourite place in the whole world: A secret little beach in Cordova Bay near where I grew up, sitting and listening to the waves.
One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: My animals and my friends.