Style Guru Bio: Melanie Weddell

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One only needs to look to high-end designers like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs — who still weave nostalgia into their work — to understand why I blame childhood for my clothing infatuation. At three, I was co-ordinating my own outfits, comprising mainly of frilly socks, patterned leggings, shades (only ever worn propped up on the head of course), my go-to Barbie sandals and every hairclip under the sun. I still laugh at my first encounter with the term “fashion faux pas” where I combined swim goggles, my worn-out pink fairy nightie and a pair of neon yellow wellingtons. Oh yes, I was very much the style icon of 1997.

Mum’s wardrobe was my treasure trove and to this day I am still trying on her '80s gear, from fairy floss pink, shoulder padded pantsuits to her Teena Varigos going-away dress at her wedding (I am yet to get into the wedding dress itself).

As I grew, so too did my wardrobe. It got to the point where separating hangers was a sweat-breaking affair and I remember asking dad if it were at all possible to build an upstairs room, parallel to mine, on top of the family room. However, I think my clothing addiction was realised and accepted when I found myself suggesting that my grandparents stop coming down from Sydney each year and instead, the family go there. This was all so I could use their guest room as my walk-in wardrobe. It was at this point that Mum shipped me off the local car-boot sale in a desperate attempt to free space in my wardrobe. Much to her dismay, I returned with a new trench coat. It was inevitable, really.

My style has evolved since my Barbie-shoe days (as you would hope). Nevertheless, my interests have always seemed to linger towards all things girly. Bows, lace, embroidery, a hint of sparkle — anything associated with Alannah Hill or Elie Saab and declare me frenzied. Working for Forever New did no favours for my savings, I can assure you. I envy the women of France, their effortless grace and inherent (but mostly annoyingly good) taste in fashion. My return from France as an exchange student has thus left me in pursuit of the lady-like flair. I guess I’ll never be over my frilly socks.

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