Melissa Chataigne

Melissa Chataigne

The Stylist Whose Work Reflects The Authenticity and Confidence of Her Clients.

Masking a person’s true self (flaws and all) is not something that stylist Melissa Chataigne is interested in being involved with. Dressing them to reflect inner confidence and instill a sense of empowerment is and exactly what she brings to her work on the red carpet and as a speaker and style expert who regularly lends her skills to charitable and community organizations.

The Chicago native leads by example (seriously, you should see her always-pulled-together personal style) and adheres to the motto, “style with purpose” as a starting ground for getting her clients and herself dressed. The result is a transformation that truly starts from the inside out and sets her clients and those who hear her speak on a path to seeing fashion as a positive sartorial tool rather than something that gnaws away at inherent insecurities.

Here Chataigne explains her philosophy on fashion and how personal experience and tragedy further cemented her belief that clothing without confidence is simply just costume.

"Whether they're skinny or plus, women still tend to find something to criticize about themselves. This constant comparison to unattainable media and societal "norms" is so detrimental to the human spirit. I have a saying, "My body has imperfections that some people mispronounce as flaws."
Tyler McCall
Stylist Melissa Chataigne
Tyler McCall
 Chataigne styling her client Danika Brysha

Q & A With Melissa

Describe how your stance on fashion might be different than other style experts.

Sometimes style experts think linear and will promote a style not suitable for anyone besides themselves. True styling is taking into account a person's body type and lifestyle to then elevate their look.

I view style as a reflection of someone's personal brand. The way someone is dressing can be very telling about who they are and how they are feeling. Sometimes fashion can be a mask, a symbol of overcompensation or hiding. As a style expert my mission is to empower people to dress with confidence for themselves and their lifestyle and put away their masks.

Why do you think you have this perspective?

When I started in the industry, I would often find myself styling celebrities who portrayed a confident image on the outside, but inside they had the worst self-esteem. This issue was really driven home for me when I recognized this façade in my own home as my sister, suffering from depression and bipolar disorder, ended up taking her life in 2010. In addition, women in Hollywood (and most places) being something other than sample-sized can be very frustrating. When, due to an injury, I had stopped a lifetime of dancing ballet my own body became "plus size," otherwise known as regular size. Showroom options were very limited for both myself and my clients. All of these examples inspired me to focus on bringing authenticity and confidence to fashion and style. Fashion without confidence is just wearing a costume or using clothing as a mask.

How do you feel clothes can make a difference in a person's life?

How you present yourself matters. I believe in dressing for success as it affects all aspects of your life. I was taught as a young Haitian-American growing up in an affluent, mostly white suburb of Chicago, that you will be judged on your appearance. If you present the best version of yourself it will instantly elevate your confidence and how you come across.

You dress all body types, what is a common issue or insecurity across all bodies and women?

Whether they're skinny or plus, women still tend to find something to criticize about themselves. This constant comparison to unattainable media and societal "norms" is so detrimental to the human spirit. I have a saying, "My body has imperfections that some people mispronounce as flaws."

"Flaws" can be directly traced to media's misconception of authenticity. The focus should be on self-care, health and confidence.

Describe your personal style

I'm a self-described Francophile living in Cali (maybe) too long so my wardrobe is city meet beach. My day-to-day entails a flow-y dress with a leather jacket, ankle boots and silk scarf and a beret. I'm loving Tanya Taylor, Haney, Simone Aviv and Zero + Maria Cornejo, but I mostly purchase all of my shoes and accessories in Paris.

Do you have a style mantra? If so, what is it

Style with purpose!

Follow Melissa on Instagram @chataignestyle

Featured Products

Share This: