Friday, September 28, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large
On set at Meli Melo SS13
There are worse things to be doing than hanging out at Kensington Roof Gardens on a warm Friday morning in September so when Meli Melo asked me to just that, I was hardly going to refuse was I? But I was also interested to see what the handbag brand beloved of the likes of Olivia Palermo was up to after they arrived at an exciting new creative direction. Meli Melo bags are lovely- very simple and elegant and not covered in the blingtastic branding which can really de-chic the loveliest leather good. But until now they have mostly been about classic navy and tan. As you'll see from my behind-the-scenes images from the SS13 look book shoot (the reason for my being at Kensington Roof Gardens, by the way) there are still those staple shades but interspersed with popping neon and lovely matte snakeskin as well as some fun styles like the camera bag. The brand's creative director and founder is Melissa del Bono, she was hard at work alongside photographer Lisa Linder and stylist Tamara Rothstein on the day of the shoot making sure the new vibe came across just right among the excitable flamencos and jungle greenery. She was kind enough to do this little interview though which sheds some light on Meli Melo's new direction and her general approach to designing fabulous handbags, it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it...

FJAL: Your SS13 collection is quite bold compared to previous collections; can you tell me why you decided to experiment with more colours and prints?

Melissa: In the past I have concentrated on the beauty and grace of the Meli Melo girl but this season I really wanted to embrace their bold sides. I chose colours and prints that empower women, depict confidence and show control and combined these with classic and stylish shapes true to the Meli Melo look.

FJAL: How do you start thinking about a new collection? Do you travel to get inspired?

M: I am always thinking about the next step and what I can add to our collection, inspiration never ends. I have travelled a lot and draw upon my Italian heritage as inspiration too as well as looking at vintage fashion, art and other cultures.

FJAL: Do you look at what other designers are doing? Do you care about trends?

M: No not really.
FJAL: Do you always design with yourself in mind? Like "I need to want to carry this bag"?

M: Yessssss!!! I do that, it comes out of necessity and desire for beautiful things
FJAL: Your SS13 look book shoot was at Kensington Roof Gardens, why did you choose this location?

M: I had been there before for an event and remember thinking "Wow I feel like I am transported into another country"... It has that exotic and warm feel to it which married perfectly with Spring /Summer’s vibes that me and the stylist Tamara Rothstein wanted to achieve.

FJAL: What was the message you wanted to get across with the SS13 shoot?

M: The message I wanted to depict was that our girls can still maintain their strong and powerful personalities without losing their elegance and beauty.
FJAL: Meli Melo has lots famous fans already. Who's the ultimate Meli Melo
girl- whether a celebrity or just a kind of girl you imagine when
you're designing?

M: I epitomize Diane Kruger, she is ultimately so chic and understated, she has this timeless beauty about her which translates in all her dressed down or glam looks.

FJAL: What's next for Meli Melo? Do you think you will ever go beyond bags?

M: I am currently looking to expand my range to include men's bags and develop our children's range further. I think with the constant development of technology a range of various cases and covers for
gadgets and gizmos would be great!

We already have a fab Ipad case that belongs to the Thela family for our Spring/Summer collection next year that will add a touch of glamour to any 21st century girl.

FJAL: What's in your handbag? (see picture)
M: All the essentials really... my Butterfly shaped Celine Sunglasses are a must! I also have my diary with a Mont Blanc pen to keep my busy schedule in tact and my LancĂ´me Nutrix cream that repairs and instantly brightens my skin which is perfect when I'm rushing to meetings.
What's in Melissa's bag?
Melissa models one of the new bags for SS13

Breakfast on set
All the bags ready to be shot
Camera bag 

Stylist Tamara perfects the look
Model Shannon strikes a pose

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