When I first wanted to do these series for the Lady Project blog, I had my criteria pegged down for who the woman of style needed to be: someone that is owning her personal style, understands and is committed to her brand and the impact she is making on her world; she has defined her signature style and is not afraid to re-define it and mold it as she evolves. Most importantly, I was looking for different and refreshing perspectives on what it means to have style, with the intention to celebrate the variety of fashion trends and influences. Since the first post, I have been inspired by the women featured and their insights!
So...buckle up! Time to meet and get to know the stylish and talented Melanie Patterson!
What does style mean to you, in both your personal and professional life?
"I'm in a world where I don't believe in a separation of personal and professional style. [Tweet "When I can't dress how I want, I don't feel like me. Style is how I put my spin on what the fashion industry creates.""]
What defines your signature style? And, how did you come to realize it?
"I think my signature style has everything to do with my hometown of Miami. I don't second guess something weird, daring, or sexy. I like clean silhouettes, limited color, and well-designed prints. Most importantly, I like to take current styles and put a subtle 90s undertone to it. I've always loved going against the grain and wearing what others would probably define as, "Oh, I like this but it's not for me." (Which should NEVER be anyone's motto! If you like it, wear it!)."
As a young professional working in the creative field and a fashion blogger, people might say that your personal style may have obviously come easily, did you ever have any fashion mishaps as your style evolved?
"Oh my gosh, yes. I cringe when I look at my high school style feature in the yearbook or even going back into my blog's archives. No regrets though...all stepping stones in the ongoing process of refining my style."
Where do you like to shop?
"I mostly shop online: my favorite brands are For Love & Lemons, Reformation, and American Apparel and my favorite retailer is Nasty Gal. I strive to cut out most fast fashion to be ecologically conscious and to promote jobs in the United States, as lots of clothing factories continually get financially stimulated to encourage poor work conditions and environmentally damaging chemical processes. A lot of these companies also design clothing specifically intended to fall apart so that you come back for more. I shop with quality over quantity in mind. It's something I'm not perfect with but I try my best!"
What is your go-to job interview outfit?
"I love something kind of off-beat. I dress according to the opportunity, but there's often some freedom in the creative world. Once I wore a basic white button-down/pencil skirt combo but threw on an awesome fluorescent pink blazer. Another time I wore this great floral kaleidoscope-printed pencil skirt with black pumps that had a lucite heel. I'm all about the fun deets."
If you could describe your professional brand in three words, what would they be?
"My professional brand is driven by authenticity, aesthetics, and confidence."
What are you splurging on this Fall season?
"This Fall I'm going back to be refining my style--something that's been on hold this past year. Being in Miami, layers are kind of out of the picture but maybe more along the lines of effortless, gauzy-textured basic Ts and edgy, printed bottoms. Also good denim. Good denim is a must."
Melanie is a graphic designer, fashion illustrator, photographer, and style influencer born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a recent graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design and her passion lies in creating compelling imagery which can be found on her blog, Radical Darling, and on her Instagram, @MelaniePatterson_.
Photography: Brittanny Taylor Photography
If you know someone with style chops, and who is doing pretty awesome things, and ought to be featured on the Lady Project blog, I want to hear from you! Please email me at Olivia@olivia-rodrigues.com.
Outfit Details (Below)
: Free People Top, SKIVVIES by For Love & Lemons 'Love You Knot' Bralette, Forever 21 Shorts, Jeffrey Campbell 'Boone' Booties, H&M bag, Forever 21 necklace
: Lovecat Dress via CALICO, Forever 21 Collar Necklace, H&M Cocktail Ring, Charles by Charles David 'Pact' Pumps
For Love & Lemons 'Orchid' Crop Top, SKIVVES by For Love & Lemons 'Orchid' Bondage Bralette, Vintage Liz Claiborne jeans, Aldo pumps, ASOS chained ear cuff