My Blog__ Montreal Style – Melissa Matos
Twenty Five year old Melissa Matos is one of those women who inspire other women. Having graduated from Fibres at Concordia in 2007, this Montreal native is already a published stylist, designer and is getting ready to launch an agency for Art Directors and the like. With a fan base already developed from the jewelry collection she’s created with Lenny Pier Ramos, Powerhaus; we can’t wait to see the crowd’s approval of the work she has in store for the new year.
Describe your wardrobe in three words.
Moody, sexy, Beyonce
Do you feel more comfortable dressing up or dressing down?
It depends on the occasion but I’m not afraid to do either.
What’s your “Best find ever”?
I have great finds from village de valleur (thrift stores) but it’s never stuff that actually fits me. I did just get back from Miami though and found three Escada blazers for five dollars each at an Escada clearance sale.
Yeah, that qualifies.
Is your closet colorful or monotone?
Monotone but I love color so I’m working on it, it’s just taking me a while.
Do you prefer dressing for summer or winter?
For fall and spring because you have layering. (Melissa is sitting across from me with at least six layers on which looks so good that I go home to throw on an additional two before heading to my next appointment. She continues...) In winter I like outerwear because I like the silhouettes that outerwear creates.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I just got a Kris Van Assche dress, its navy blue silk and lazer cut wool vest over it, its so beautiful, I feel like a woman.
What about something that you can't let go of?
A pair of pants from Zara, but not because I can’t let go of them for sentimental reasons, just because I have a hard time finding pants.
(I go on to tell her about those people that make custom pants and she says she could probably commission her aunts.)
How long does it take you to get dressed in the morning?
I’m so busy most of the time and I work with clothes so I’m never envisioning looks for myself, its always for somebody else. I will literally just throw on anything. I’m actually considering Uggs boots, that’s how much I’m beginning to just not care. (Despite her response and busy schedule she looks fabulous).
Do you have a style icon?
No I don’t, because I assimilate, I like different aspects of different people. I think style is a question of personality.
Right, this is true. But who’s wardrobe would you like to take over?
Do you have a favorite Fashion designer?
Anything coming out of Antwerp. I like Walter van beirendonck, I love Dries Van Noten, basically the Antwerp Six.
What about a favorite Jewelry designer, or do you fill your own niche with PowerHaus?
My favorites are the bigger designers I love Dries Van Noten accessories collections. And I like Borba margo, really interesting.
What inspires you the most?
I don’t really draw from a specific style, designer or a specific theme, its just mostly whatever is floating around in my head so in that way I think I work a lot more with symbols and metaphors.
Can you think of a film that inspires you?
Chris Marker's La Jete. It's from the sixties, black and white, and its absolutely stunning. I'm a fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky's work aswell and all the films coming out of this film collective called FLY 16 x 9. They’re a contemporary film collective right now that work with different designers, a lot of the designers that I really love, and their just making really beautiful, simple, captivating, low budget fashion films that are absolutely compelling and really good.
You are inspired by a lot of people based in other countries, is there any other city you’d like to live?
I just moved back from London, I really really like London, I’ll go back eventually.
What were you doing there?
Originally I went there to do production and then I became a stylist assistant. The production agency had an office in Paris as well so I was always liaison back and forth. That experience enabled me to visit other European cities. I really liked Berlin, I’d consider going there for a while, I might try New York at some point but for now I really really like Montreal.
Did you seek out the option in London? Or how did that come about?
All of my opportunities abroad just came from me trying to face massive fears of just putting myself in an environment that intimidated me. When I finally got to the shows and the shoots, working with bigger names, I just realized first hand that everyone is actually the same: simultaneously scared and hungry for success. I also realized it doesn't matter what shape, size or color you are. I appropriated the kind of attitude that I could really be whoever I wanted to be and I feel it was with that kind of self-manifesting confidence that so many unique opportunities followed.
Do you think Montreal is a city with good style?
I think Montreal has the potential to be, its really too bad because most of our vintage shops, which were stocked with amazing stuff, most of it, over the past few years is being exported to Europe. Shipments and shipments and going over with all this kids from Canada.
People make do with what they have here and I think they are really creative and unique in the way that they style themselves.
Do you have a “go to” shop? For not only your wardrobe but for the stylist work that you do?
I mostly just go to vintage stores, but of course I love Reborn. Les treasures is another one, they carry brands like Vivienne Westwood.
What projects do you currently have in the works?
Right now I’m working on a one off publication. Well I’m actually opening an art director agency with my collaborators. It will have people here in Montreal, in New York and in London.
Do you have any advice for young people trying to get into the fashion industry?
There's no bad or good, right or wrong; just different.
Whats your favorite part of the work you do?
The randomness and the process of working with new people and new ideas all of the time.