Having been raised in both China and Toronto, Designer Mel @internetmel now lives in Berlin for the sense of "curiosity and nudge from life" it brings her.
"I feel like we are influenced by the place we are born, and retain the memories of that place to a great degree."
Where are you from, what’s it like?
I grew up between cities in China and Toronto. I was born in Xi'an, which was the ancient imperial capital and departure point of the Silk Road. I feel like we are influenced by the place we are born, and retain the memories of that place to a great degree. Toronto is an energetic and vibrant city. It has a lot of drive, but also a bit of adolescent insecurity that comes with it still being a relatively young city. Not in a bad way, just the ability to shapeshift. Food is incredible, music is dope, the people are hot. Keeps the winters warm.
Where do you live and why?
I now live in Berlin. A curiosity, a nudge from life, and a bit of romance at the time being the culprits.
I love working at the intersection of various topics. Research and storytelling. Creativity and tech. I have a couple projects happening in this arena at the moment that I am excited about. Exposing human truths and be the conduit for the human condition.
Staying connected with myself, whilst growing at the same time is important. This helps me show up in the best way when I'm out in the world. Anything that helps me get to know who that is, whether it's reading philosophy, meditating, or being connected through nature.
"Staying connected with myself, whilst growing at the same time is important. This helps me show up in the best way when I'm out in the world."
Describe your personal style.
(for work, for home comfort, for dressing up/going out)
I think the older I’ve gotten the more I pay close attention to material, tailoring, fabric, quality. The few pieces I love have those attributes, or I fell in love with some little detail like a cool pleat or some elaborate embroidery. Comfort is also very key. Oh god, I have almost no memory of what it was like to really dress up to go out, I miss it!
I gravitate towards cleaner lines, and I do love a little color in my wardrobe, perhaps has to do with my design background. Everyone in Berlin loves to go head to toe black. But actually, since the pandemic, I've been seeing a lot more color in the streets, I think people want to be noticed a little more after a year of not going out and staying home!
"I love looking at the jewelry other people choose to wear."
What sort of jewelry do you wear/or are you drawn to?
I appreciate the precision of the craft or I am drawn to pieces that reflect the inner world of the maker. Or a good tension from both is always interesting. I love looking at the jewelry other people choose to wear too. I always compliment people on their jewelry, if I like it.
Tell us the story behind your jewellery. (Any sentimental pieces you own? Where they come from)
My mother had a ring made for herself when she was in her early twenties in Shanghai, it has a gold band and a light blue stone. I wear this almost every day. I guess being far away from home you always want a little reminder of where you came from. I also like to buy pieces when I'm traveling here and there, they serve as nice memories. A couple months ago when I was in Cairo, I met this goldsmith and ended up buying a couple pieces from him.
"I guess being far away from home you always want a little reminder of where you came from."
How does jewelry work in your day to day look? (Or is it only for dressing up?)
I’m normally not so fussy when it comes to jewelry. When I decide to wear something, it's when I want to reveal a more playful side of myself. Eclectic or minimal, really depends on my mood.
I have the Broken Pared ring, I love the big crack on one side of it. Reminds me of this Leonard cohen line from the song Anthem “There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.”
How do you wear it?
(every day, on occasion, styled with what)
It fits on my middle finger perfectly. I wear it anytime I want to be hugged really close on my middle finger. I get countless compliments on it.
Good pens, good hugs from friends, smiles from strangers, seasons, being curious no matter what age you are, that fresh out of the shower feeling with your favorite scent and you're going somewhere fabulous.
Egos, too much screen time not enough face time, too much of anything, too little of anything, the portion makes the poison.