Marina Cortbawi has been a long time friend of the site so we are delighted to have her back to catch up and see how far her brand Merlette has grown!
How would you describe your style?
I am always dressing and designing with juxtapositions and here are three that I would say define my own personal style
Timeless, yet current. I’m drawn to pieces that feel as though they are from another era but are very much for right now.
Boyish, yet feminine. I love feminine details such as ruffles and layers, not necessarily figure hugging, but worn in an unrestricted way.
Simple, yet intricate – it’s all in the feel of soft and natural fabrics for me, with and subtle details that speak quietly and softly.
Who is the Merlette woman in your mind?
The Merlette woman is limitless, refined, thoughtful and conscious. Her style reflects a lifestyle that is global and also local. Her aesthetic world is shaped by objects and items that are meaningful, long lasting, well designed and socially responsible.
Where do you look to for inspiration when evolving Merlette?
Art and cinema mainly. Lately I’ve loved browsing through digital archives of museums for collection research since travel
hasn’t been an option. I love the collections at the V&A and the Rijks museum.
Do you have a prized piece in your wardrobe? Either for sentimental or utilitarian (workhorse) reasons?
My Merlette Kir dress, a long eyelet shirt dress we made in our 3rd collection, it’s almost like my uniform as i’ve worn it on repeat either in black or white for years. I love wearing it to work layered or as an open caftan in the summer months. The Blanche dress from the latest collection serves a similar function – special, but also easy and versatile.
I love the way Marina describes fashion. I agree with her when she says that she likes modern things to have an old era charm. I personally like the idea. It makes you feel connected to it even though it you might have come across it recently.