The ESSENCE Music Festival fashionista Melanie Fiona talks about her fave shopping fixes.
We all adore Melanie Fiona the singer, but when we found out she was a true fashionista at heart, we loved her even more. The Guyanese beauty and ESSENCE Music Festival performer stopped by the ESSENCE.com office for some girl talk — her recent shopping splurges and steals, her massive shoe collection and what's inside her Louis bag. Check out her responses to our fill-in-the-blanks below, plus a gallery of her most stylish moments.
My style is: Bohemian couture. I appreciate the form-fitted lines that tailor to a woman’s body, like Alexander McQueen and Gucci, but I’m a hippie at heart and I love pattern, and I love texture, and I love flow, so I generally like to mix those. And I love accessories!
I cannot live without my: Shoes. I’m a shoe girl. Let me be specific: I cannot live without my Christian Louboutin Daffodile wedge ankle booties in black. It’s the greatest investment I’ve ever made. I’ve worn them on red carpets, I’ve worn them to perform, I’ve worn them on tour, with dresses, skirts, shorts. I’m a very functional dresser; I feel that if you purchase something, you should not be spending your money stupidly on something you can only wear once and cannot wear with anything else. I’m very much about functionality and relaying that to women. You own it — you should be able to wear it. And it forces me to be creative. How can I make a new outfit out of everything I already have in my closet? It always forces me to reinvent.
Between here and my house back home I own easily about 250 pairs of shoes. I love shoes, I can’t lie. I feel like shoes are one of those things that no matter how conservative or how outrageous you get, a good pair of shoes is going to last you a lifetime.
My last purchase was: When I went to a Gilt Groupe sale — I was the first person in that store! — I bought a Marchesa gown. I don’t know where I’m going to wear it yet, but I’m going to wear it! It’s lace, fitted bodice — snug, cigarette all the way to the floor, covered in tulle — it’s lace and tulle in black. It’s beautiful and has beautiful beading. It’s phenomenal! It’s a $7,000 gown that I got for $500. I have no shame to this game!
I bought a pair of Emilio Pucci snakeskin pants — $6,000, I paid $499 with tax. Winning!
I got this Rick Owens ridiculous, huge leather collar neck, sleeveless long trench coat, something like Seal would wear, but on me. Another $5,000 purchase I got for 400 bucks.
I am all about investing in pieces, and when you can invest in pieces that you can wear that’s the functionality of it. It’s all about pieces; I think it’s important. You can’t live that way every time, but I work and I work hard. But I’m not going to go out and tell everybody you need to go out a buy a $600 pair of pants, I think that’s ridiculous, but I will buy those $6,000 pants on sale! And I’ll have them forever.
Those are my last three purchases, I love them and I’m proud.
The next item on my wish list: I’m not a big bag girl, but I went to the Louis Vuitton store store the other day, and they made a purple LV bag and it’s beautiful and huge. It’s suede and leather mixed. It’s a stunning bag!
I feel most sexy when I’m wearing: Red lipstick. And my mood for fashion changes, so I will wear a pair of Jordans and baggy jeans, a baseball cap with red lipstick and then wear a pair of high heels and a high-waisted skirt with red lipstick. With that red lipstick, it just makes me feel sexy.
What bag are you carrying now and what’s inside?: I’m carrying a Louis Vuitton bag called The Stellar. I love it because it’s not the monogram all over, it’s just embossed in the fabric so it’s not overly obnoxious. In the bag I’ve got a little makeup bag from Sephora with all of my favorite products from MAC to Bobbi Brown to L’Oreal. I’m a drugstore beauty girl, I love going to the drugstore and buying makeup. It’s functional — it works. Hand sanitizer, a Blackberry and an iPhone, an iPod, sunglasses — Grey Ant sunglasses, which are kind of my favorite right now. And a purple Sharpie, gotta have a purple Sharpie, never know who you're going to sign an autograph for.