Born, raised, and currently stationed in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Lara Melchior has deep French roots that translate directly to her classic style. It’s her sincere style, as well as her softness and subtle creativity, that have drawn us to her so many times, since she was first photographed for the site six years ago.
Since then, we’ve had the pleasure of watching Lara evolve in her style (in both Paris and New York), and as an artist. It’s been amazing to see the bright eyed, young designer become a vibrant and successful business owner and mother to a beautiful daughter of her own.
Lara welcomed us back into her elegant home for a peek into both her philosophy and timeless wardrobe, which is filled with pretty things both new and vintage. Her personal style, not far off from the jewelry she designs, is pure and simple with surges of of-the-moment pieces, like those covetable Vuitton jeans, to mix things up.
Describe your style in three words.
Function and beauty rather than excess.
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe right now?
My Gucci loafers – sober and comfortable.
And the item with the best story?
My bespoke Charvet shirts and dress. You get to choose the fabric, the collar, the cuffs, the embroidered initials… that’s my favorite story!
How does living in Paris influence your approach to fashion?
I don’t know… I’m faithful to my Paris neighborhood Saint-Germain-des-Près and home is where the heart is… it’s where I was born, where I live and where I have my atelier where I design and hand make my jewelry collections. So I guess there probably is something “germanopratin” in my style.
What jewelry brands do you admire that perhaps inspired you to create your own?
Boivin, Belperron, Marc Auclert, De Vera, Calder, Després, Braque…
I love artist’s jewels. There are less constraints, the pieces become free and spontaneous which gives them a whole new dimension. They become timeless.
How does your lifestyle influence your personal style? Has becoming a mother changed the way you get dressed every morning?
Now that I’m a mom I’m less and less into thinking about the way I get dressed in the morning… I’m more into super classic and standard. I’m looking for pieces that unite quality fabrics, elegant cuts, and essential basics in perfect feminine style.. Easy!
How has your style evolved over the years?
I am certainly starting to understand what suits me (well, almost). I’m so much more precise and selective in my taste!
Do you have a fashion muse?
Who is the women you envisioned wearing your jewelry when you created it? And how do you see her evolving?
I approach jewelry like objects or sculptures more than accessories. I aim to design timeless pieces that you’ll want to hold on to and eventually pass on to someone you care about.
I am very sensitive and attentive to each detail that defines and makes women’s elegance such as the way she holds her head, walks, her tone of voice, her look, her curiosity and culture…
It’s about personality in the way you dress or you wear jewelry and not just about succumbing to a brand’s assembly.
Does your interior decorating taste extend to your wardrobe? Do you have a go-to uniform?
I’ve been trying to clean out my apartment and closet as much as possible but it seems to me it’s never enough.
By not taking too much time to think about what I’m going to wear each morning I guess I do have a go to uniform! High waist jeans, sweater and boots.
Where do you find inspiration? Is there ever a shortage?
I like to quote Henri Matisse, “There are flowers everywhere for those who really want to see them.”
But I also look to Iranian artist and my art teacher as a child Farhad Ostovani, or Calder, Brancusi, Cy Twombly sculptures. Inspiration also comes from great encounters, such as Marc Auclert who designs modern jewelry using antiques. I also love places like De Vera in New York.
Obviously there are certain challenges where a design can’t follow the exact direction you want to follow. In jewelry designing, there are a lot of constraints that pull you away from pure creation.
When you travel for work, what do you always pack in your suitcase?
3 things i never leave behind – a large cashmere scarf, a Céline coat, and my jewelry.
What are the three things you’d save in a fire?
Photo albums, my grandfather’s paintings, and my personal jewels – each piece has its own story..