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Local fashion stylist Melanie Todd. (Image: @imagebyzen)
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Artist of the Week: Melanie Todd

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: What do fashion and style mean to you in terms of art?
Melanie Todd: To me, style is individualized. It's the way we each express ourselves through fashion.

How long have you been designing? Do you work with other mediums?
I've been styling for three years.

Tell us about your business.
My mission is to empower individual style through an existing wardrobe with a touch of conscious refinement. We all have full closets and, on average, only truly wear 20% of the clothes we have collected. I help my clients declutter and refine using their existing wardrobe. I take key pieces and infuse my client's personal taste and lifestyle needs. A sustainable wardrobe is important and a personal decision that everyone should explore. I provide my clients with easy ways to start transitioning towards a more conscious closet, such as:

  • Personalized Style Packet of various outfit inspiration based on current wardrobe
  • Donation and fabric recycling options for old, worn clothes
  • Suggested Sustainable brands based on the client's style and budget

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
I became passionate about styling because I loved expressing my own vision. I've found that my artistic process starts with my vision and then transforms into a collaborative expression. Working with clients, photographers, makeup artists and models has become the part that I've found to love.

What fashion icons do you have/who inspired you when you were young?
My mom was my first fashion muse. She's an interior designer and I remember as a kid, she would always wear a blazer and skirt suit paired with a blouse; she always looked effortlessly classic. She made running around in heels all day a breeze. She inspired me as a working wife and mom. No matter how exhausted or long her day was, I could tell even as a young girl, how much she loved creating, working with clients and her team.

What experiences in your life have affected your design/business?
Ever since I can remember, I've always loved to create visually. As a little girl, I would spend hours organizing my Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shoppe figurines as displays on my bookshelf. In my teen years, I was obsessed with collaging multiple binders full of Hanson (yes, Mmmbop was my jam) and later NSYNC. I was merchandising and styling unbeknownst to how it would affect my future. After graduating from fashion school, I worked in retail, visual merchandising and corporate retail, all if which set the groundwork for my own business acumen. It wasn't until I interned for a Celebrity Stylist that I felt in my whole heart that styling was my life's purpose. The whole nitty-gritty process intoxicated me. Pulling hundreds of looks, running all throughout New York to then spending countless hours creating the perfect red carpet look, was the adrenaline of creativity that I became addicted to.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
My website!

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
For the holidays, I've expanded my styling services! I'm now booking style sessions for your holiday outfit-of-the-day and family holiday portraits. I'm also taking personal shopping to another level. Now booking personal shopping for all your Christmas shopping. Overwhelmed, not sure what to gift and don't have enough time to shop are no longer a problem. You can book all my styling services now online.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Straight, no cream or sugar.

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