Melanie is a fashion merchandiser for the Kensie/Kensiegirl/mac & jac brand, and an independent fashion blogger living in Brooklyn. Originally from Canada, she writes about style and posts daily outfit pictures at her blog, Idée Geniale (‘bright idea’ in French). Melanie is one of our favorite fashion bloggers and must-reading here at Dusty Rose Vintage. We were so excited to see her unique take on styling some of our clothes.
When did you start the blog?
In 2008, but I only started getting serious about it in June of this year.
Why did it get serious?
I think because of Chictopia [a social networking site where the fashion loving individuals post their style for commentary from their peers]. When I saw that people would actually read what I wrote about my outfits, and leave lots of comments, that’s when I decided. I was taking pictures of my outfits every day anyway. So why not see what other people had to say about them?
How did you find out about Chictopia?
Through Teen Vogue. I saw a blurb for it in the magazine, and got hooked. Once you start with that thing, it’s impossible to stop.
Have you always been so into fashion?
Definitely not. Actually I had no interest in shopping or clothes growing up. My mom and sister used to put outfits together for me as I had no sense of what matched. Then as I got older I fell into the jeans, sneakers, and hoodies routine. I was never particularly girly since I had nowhere to wear skirts or dresses. I was really into snowboarding so that lifestyle took over my sense of dressing. Then about 5 years ago I finally broke out of it and one summer decided I was only going to wear dresses that whole summer. I slowly started to build my wardrobe with girly dresses, and skirts, and then got into blouses and eventually dresses weren't only for summer. I was wearing them all year round. That leads me to the style I have now.
What makes you get up and take your outfit pictures and post everyday, it must be very time consuming?
It is, especially that I take all of my pictures myself and sometimes am running late! Then I started getting emails from readers asking sincere questions about not only my outfits but my life in the fashion industry and how to go about getting into fashion as a career, it made me realize that girls are looking up to me for advice and I want to help them out with as much information as possible. I'm so happy that girls feel comfortable asking me questions and want advice even though they've never met me. It's really exciting to get email from readers all around the world.
Do you wear vintage exclusively?
No. I feel like I have a split personality. Through my work at Kensie, I own a lot of contemporary clothes, and that leads to some very contemporary looks. But all the contemporary stuff I like is very vintage-inspired. I wear a lot of Kensie/Kensiegirl and Mac & Jac, but if I did not work in fashion, it’s possible I would wear only vintage.
Do you still go to a lot of thrift stores?
I’m a hardcore thrifter. But thrifting is too expensive in New York. Plus the racks are so picked over anyway. I go to Canada and stock up. I get the best scores at the Value Village in Vancouver. It’s called something else in the States.
That’s right. There are a couple in the city, so if there are any Vancouverites reading this, don’t go to the Value Village in Hastings. Too many hipsters got there before you. Go to the one in Burnaby.
What is your proudest moment in thrifting?
I have a true Canadian Eskimo parka, made in Manitoba. It’s white with a vivid purple lining and fox fur trim on the hood. I’m vegan, but I will make some fur exceptions for old garments. This is one of them. I got it for just a few bucks, but it fit me perfectly the second I put it on, and I’ve worn it every winter since. That was fifteen years ago. And I’m still in love with it.
Of all the Dusty Rose pieces you modeled, did you have a favorite?
My favorite item would have to be the Emporio Armani shorts. Too bad they're actually one size too small!! But they're so versatile that I could've paired them with anything. They're dressy enough to pull off a fancier look (like with the lace top) but can also be paired with something more casual (like the pendleton jacket). I think they'd definitely be a staple in any wardrobe...of someone who's smaller than me of course.