MY LOOK: ModBox’s Melissa Reeves on how music and architecture influence her personal style

This story appears in the May edition of Ottawa Magazine. Click here to order the back issue or an online edition

By Elisabetta Bianchini

Dress by Park Lane, purchased at Roadtrip; Braided Belt: purchased at Roadtrip; Necklace: Purchased on a recent trip to Grand Cayman; Gold Cuff: Purchased in Paris; Shoes: BCBG; Lipstick: "Vegas Volt" MAC. Photography by Rémi Thériault.

You’re the director of marketing for ModBox, the company you and your husband [architect Andrew Reeves] became partners in when you moved to Ottawa a year and a half ago. What is ModBox?

It’s an urban property development company that specializes in high-end urban developments. It’s an alternative to moving out to the burbs — people can stay in the city where the energy is.

How do you distinguish between your workwear and your weekend wear?
When I started working at TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival], after working on Bay Street, I began to meld both closets. I no longer need two closets for my work suits and my day-to-day wear. I just have one wardrobe now.

What influences your style?
My primary influence is street-style — looking at how people dress in cool cities around the world. Being married to an architect also causes me to look at cut and detail differently. And the music I’m listening to somehow translates to what I wear. I’m listening to Serena Ryder, The Sheepdogs, Dragonette, and Brazilian bands. They make me feel different, and that translates to my clothing.

Neon Tee and camisole - "Wilfred", purchased at Aritzia; Belt: Purchased in Singapore; Skirt: BCBG; Shoes: BCBG; Necklace: Urban Outfitters; Lipstick: "Kinda Sexy" & Gloss: "Floating Lotus," both by MAC. Photography by Rémi Thériault.

How would you describe your personal style?
Like a city hippie. I like things that are on trend, but not too trendy, and I like the eclectic, hippie stuff. I also mix in elements from places I’ve travelled or lived.

How did living in Paris during your year-and-a-half exchange at the Université Paris-Sorbonne and your Brazilian heritage impact your style? When I lived in Paris, it imparted to me the value of day-to-day style. The importance of looking put together — you put on a little blush and lipstick, you brush your hair. It’s not that you’re trying hard or you have anyone to impress — it’s just what you do before leaving the house. Brazil has a huge impact on my style in terms of fun and musicality — movement in clothes and pops of colour.

What are some of your favourite places to shop?
Working the amount that I do and having two kids at home, I do a lot of online shopping from J. Crew, Anthropologie, and Simons. In Ottawa, I like Roadtrip, Magpie Jewellery, and Slaysh.