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A long-standing fixture on the Paris fashion scene and Vogue Paris veteran, Melanie Huynh Utzmann wears many hats; from fashion editor, to consultant, entrepreneur, mother and wellness devotee, she wears them all with flair. With a personal and interior style that perfectly embodies effortless Parisian elegance, it is no wonder that many designers count Melanie as a muse. We recently had the chance to sit down with her at the Paris home she shares with her family to discuss her love of white flowers, her childhood memories of roses and her greatest inspirations, from photography to Parisian architecture.
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White or coloured flowers?

My preference has always gone to white flowers, but I also love pastel colours depending on my mood.

Tell us about the first flowers you ever received and how they made you feel?

I received roses for the first time from my father for Valentine’s Day, which coincides with my birthday. It made me feel like a real grown up.

Is there a significant flower that has played an important role in any of lifeʼs milestone moments?

I would say roses, from this first Valentine’s Day celebrated by my father to the roses I had at my wedding to the man I love.

What do you love most about flowers?

I think flowers are like music; each kind of flower reminds me of different memories from my childhood and different moments of my life.

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What is your most powerful memory involving flowers and scent?

I will never forget the frangipani scents from Bangkok.

Which flowers do you like to give and why?

I love sending flowers; to celebrate, to comfort, and to remember.

Which flowers do you most like to receive?

Pale pink roses.

How do your flower choices reflect your personal style?

They often correspond to my own taste, except when I know exactly what someone’s taste is. You can never go wrong with white flowers.

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“Flowers are like music; each kind of flower reminds me of different memories from my childhood and different moments of my life.”
MELANIE HUYNH UTZMANN
HYDRANGEA
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What’s your favourite flower season?

I prefer spring, when nature wakes up and beautiful flowers blossom in the garden.

What are your top tips for hosting a dinner party or any special occasion? 

I love adding flowers to a plate or glass as decoration, with a cocktail drink and or to be eaten.

Who would you invite to your own dream dinner party?

I have the opportunity to meet, and to work with or for extraordinary people. So my dream dinner party is very simple: with all my friends and the people I care about!

Is there an area in your home where you always have flowers?

In my living room and on the table of my dining table. I also always have white flowers for my buddhas in my bedroom, to honour them.

Describe your interior style?

I like simplicity, and I need to live in a clear and pure space. I mix pure lines of furniture with works of art, especially photographic artwork.

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Who inspires you in art, design, fashion or music?

There are iconic references that come directly to my mind, such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Cristobal Balenciaga, Alaia, Martin Margiela or Helmut Lang. In their own unique way, each of them knew how to claim some bases, and to expose their vision and impose it only by the strength of their talent. In architecture, I like minimalism by the likes of Tado Ando and Oscar Niemeyer. I also love photographers like Newton, Bourdin and Teller. I love buying the work of younger photographers at auctions. As for music, although I admit to preferring rock, I continue to listen to all kinds of music, as music opens up new territories.

Do you have a favourite piece of art? If so, what?

Since we are speaking of flowers, what comes to mind are pictures of flowers by Araki and Mapplethorpe.

Which designers are you wearing right now?

Mostly my friends Altuzarra and Alexandre Vauthier, but also Isabel Marant, Céline and Balenciaga.

Tell us about a wardrobe heirloom you cannot live without?

I would say any piece that is leopard printed.

What’s your most given styling tip?

Stay true to yourself, adopt a personal style, never succumb to the caricature of fashion that disguises instead of embellishes.

What’s the best thing about Parisian style?

It always looks chic but effortless. Parisian women have this ability to know what suits them and to play with style codes instead of being ruled by them.

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“I love sending flowers; to celebrate, to comfort, and to remember.”
MELANIE HUYNH UTZMANN
HYDRANGEA
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Where is your favourite Parisian hotspot?

Galeries Lafayette in the Champs Elysées; I love the selection of fashion and beauty, as well as the food court with Maisie Café, Caviar Kaspia and Ducasse chocolate.

Where is your perfect escape?

In our family castle « Malromé » near Bordeaux with my family.

How do you begin your day?

I get up early and brush my teeth, use a tongue scratcher, do some stretching, drink warm lemon juice and finally go see my kids who are waking up from their dreams.

How do you end your day?

I check on my kids to ensure they are sleeping well. Then I listen to music and relax, read books and do some yoga stretches before going to bed.

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