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Mélanie Huynh

Tell me about how you came to become a stylist.
It all started when I was little, at the age when you have dolls. I would sew clothes for them, they were my little supermodels. When I got older, I would spend my pocket money – and later all my babysitting money – on fashion magazines. I remember I had this wallpaper with girls holding bells which I covered entirely with pages cut out from Vogue and Max. I would also spend hours in the darkroom with my photographer stepfather, who instilled in me a love for developing photos, for images captured and then revealed. I did several internships after graduating with my fashion degree, the last of which at Vogue, which turned out to be a revelation and the chance of a lifetime. I was hired and worked alongside talented people like Tom Pécheux and my mentor, Carine Roitfeld.

Where do you look for style cues? What inspires how you dress in your everyday life?
One can’t spend one’s life surrounded by fashion and trends without being quite naturally influenced by them. I take inspiration from what is around, but I make it my own by adding personal touches like leopard print, which I have a soft spot for! Inspiration is everywhere. You always have to keep your eyes open – I spend a lot of time at exhibitions, looking at architectural designs in cities, and listening to music that expands my mind. The street is also an endless source of ideas – women are incredibly ingenious in the way they put things together. Being French also means you have a reputation to uphold; you have to be chic while also adding that slightly offbeat touch that so characterises French style. Ultimately, it all boils down to being yourself: having a free-spirited approach and never falling prey to fashion trends that distort your personality rather than enhancing it.

Who are the people you view as beacons of the industry?
I don’t think I would be alone in mentioning Yves Saint-Laurent, Christobal Balenciaga, Alaia, Martin Margiela or Helmut Lang, all towering giants of fashion who each upheld their own set of values, expressed their own vision and established themselves purely on the basis of their talent. There are also photographers who I look up to, such as Newton, Bourdin and Teller. Once again, Carine Roitfeld comes to my mind. For me, she truly embodies the essence of fashion, her passion is contagious and she never lets her status as an industry leader get in the way of her kindness for those who worked with her. She taught me everything about fashion and even more importantly on how to live life, more generally speaking.

What compliment would you like to hear (or hear again) in your job?
A very simple one: “I’d like to work with you again.” There’s strength in numbers – I never do things alone and great series are produced through the teamwork of several people who put their minds together and work in unison. I’m very sensitive to different energies; I like the idea of taking part in a project and bringing my own while also mingling with others’.

Is there a city or destination that inspires or reflects your personality?
It’s really hard to choose. I love so many places and have soul of a globetrotter, the travel bug, one could even say! I adore Hong-Kong and Tokyo and obviously have a strong affinity for Asia, with its sense of aesthetics, cuisine and the approach to life people take there. Honestly, I could feel at home anywhere I set down my bags, as long as it’s not too cold!

How would you describe your personality and approach to life?
I live passionately. I constantly want to try new things, never miss out, see everything. I’m insatiable. It can be a bit tiring – more so for others than for myself. I pack too much into each day. Life is a treat and I will never get enough. At the same time, I try to keep myself grounded despite my hyperactive side by spending quality time with my family and children, which is when I finally recharge my batteries.

Do you have daily rituals that you follow?
The first thing that comes to mind is exercise, because it structures my day and is the key to my well-being. I mentioned that I always have a thousand activities every day, which means that I need to be very organised. I like things to be where they belong, which makes me more efficient, so tidying up could be called one of my rituals. In the most literal sense, the word “ritual” makes me think of my Buddhas. I try to spend a few quiet minutes with them each day. When I think of LE GRAMME, I would say that I can’t leave the house without my jewellery. I’ve already gone back home to get it today because I had run out the door in too much haste, as often happens!

Is there a style that annoys you?
There really isn’t any style that annoys me. I don’t judge – everyone is free to dress as they wish. But more than style, there’s the way you carry yourself – you may dress like a queen, but if you don’t have respect for others and good manners then you lose what matters most: elegance.

Where’s your favourite spot, the place where you can usually be found?
I’m unabashedly Right Bank! Most of the time I’m at my office in the 8th arrondissement, or somewhere in the vicinity. I often go out for lunch at l’Avenue or Hanawa.

What’s your most cherished object? How much does it weigh?
My most cherished object doesn’t weigh anything because it’s a fragrance. It’s my only addiction: orange blossom perfume, which I buy in every form and from every brand!

What matters in life?
Family, of course. You’re nothing without your family, they bring meaning to your life. My husband has been my guardian angel and my sister has been my partner in life from the very start.

What LE GRAMME pieces do you own? How do you wear them? What about LE GRAMME jewellery appeals to you?
I have a gold cable bracelet. I wear it stacked with other bracelets from Cartier. I’m also a fan of LE GRAMME bands, the rings that are so thin that they look like gold or diamond wire.

If LE GRAMME were a piece of clothing, what would it be?
A pair of slim jeans, a unisex second skin – one you couldn’t live without!


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