My skirt, my statement.
A portrait of Melanie Frei
The term “girl power” could have been invented for Melanie. The office and event manager for a media company in eastern Switzerland is a single mother to a seven-year-old boy. Despite her full days which involve racing back and forth between the office and the kindergarten, she still manages to stand out from the crowd in her fashionable attire. While her outfits are always well considered, her appearance always seems so effortless. It’s plain to see that she simply enjoys fashion. Only when it comes to her shoes does she refuse to compromise. Sneakers are a must – after all she needs to keep up with her lively seven-year-old.
The striking pixie cut is your trademark. Did cutting your hair short also affect your choice of clothes?
Yes, completely. I became much braver and tried things out more. The pixie is mine, it’s just part of me. So far, every attempt I’ve made to grow my hair again has failed. With my pixie cut, my choice of clothes has come in to land somewhere between tomboy and French chic.
Is there a woman whose style you admire, and if so, why?
I admire Sofia Coppola’s style. Unaffected, natural and cool. I like women who look as if they don’t spend hours in front of the mirror in the morning. Less is more. And then of course there are Clémence Poésy and Jeanne Damas from France, for example. Feminine, but in a subtle way.
You’re wearing the Iris skirt in sage green. Why did you decide for this one in particular?
The cut is classic, but still the skirt is pure rock ’n’ roll. It is easy to upgrade or downgrade, and creates a guaranteed good mood. OK, so you have to come to terms with standing out a little. But with this work of art, it shouldn’t be a problem. And the colour is fantastic.
The photos of you were taken in Munich. What was your personal highlight in the city?
The English Garden. The best thing I’ve ever done in Munich was to go for a run through the English Garden on a freezing cold January morning. Not a soul in sight, everything covered in frost, the lake was frozen, the sun came up – just spectacular. And then there’s Bar Centrale on Ledererstrasse. No visit to Munich is complete for me without a visit to Bar Centrale. This time we were in Munich to visit the Peter Lindbergh exhibition at the Kunsthalle Munich. I can highly recommend it!
What does your hometown of St. Gallen have to be especially proud of?
For me, St. Gallen is a perfect place to live. The lake, the mountains, everything is really close. If you like the outdoors, it doesn’t get any better than this. It may be a bit small and sometimes a little cramped, but this is in fact what I really love. There is a diverse cultural scene, and some great restaurants and shops. And then of course there’s the St. Gallen textile industry, which we are extremely proud of.
What makes you happy?
My son’s happy laughter. A day in the sun with no appointments or deadlines. Time with family and friends. It really is the little things that make us happy. But yes, a new pair of shoes or a nice dress also helps.