chic, style file, styleandsubstance

style + substance // Dominique de merteuil: can style go "beyond my control"?


The idea of style + substance series was born to inspire women and support the process of blending femininity with leadership, style with career, motherhood with business. 

As well as we are all exceptional, being exposed to other exceptional women will further the purpose.

I want to use my voice to inspire and expand its reach by featuring other inspiring and powerful women. It's shaping up as a club, a mastermind clique: we don't follow trends, we don't owe prettiness to anyone (wait until you read the chapter on the book), there's no trendy or cute in our dialogue, we don't need to thrive to please, as our strength and confidence come from affirming who we are. 

What better than with what we wear?

Here's my contribution to inspire with a purpose: to be uplifiting with a great dose of bitch and fun, as in "don't take yourself too seriously". 

We are the product of the 5 people around us, let's make it real. 

I have stumbled upon women like Dominique De Merteuil of "It's Beyond My Control" on Instagram, with whom even the simple attraction of a few pictures and shorts exchange of comments has shown that together we can exponentially expand our point of view. 

Get inspired away!

Style is who we are inside and trends are what people want us to be?

DDM- I’ve never cared for trends because the only fashion that has ever caught my eye has been that worn on the screen in my favourite 30s, 40s and 50s films which starred such style icons as Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn. It’s the costumiers like Adrian and Edith Head who I’ve been learning from, observing closely the way they styled all those incredibly glamorous and always immaculate looking movie stars. I agree wholeheartedly with Edith Head who once said “Fashion is a language. Some know it, some learn it, some never will – like an instinct.”  I buy mainly vintage clothes from the 40s and 50s as well as authentic Victorian capes and skirts. I do however buy modern fashion, that which has been inspired by my favourite periods of time, and mix it with authentic vintage accessories. It’s important to find your own style, build your wardrobe around it and not around the trends.

Do you remember your first fashion moment?

DDM - Fondly! I was 10 or 11, visiting with my mom, a Dior shop in Montreal and saw a couture dress for the first time in my life. I remember that it was red and really over the top. The shop manager let me try it on because I told her that it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life and whoever will wear it, they will be the luckiest person in the world.

Don’t dream it. Be it.
— Dominique De Merteuil

When did you realize it was time to be fearless and badass to embrace your style ‘no matter what’? 

DDM - When I was about 8 or 9 years old and watched The Rocky Horror Picture show for the very first time. That’s when my obsession with corsets and very theatrical fashion started. My mum went out of her wits trying to find a corset for a child and sadly she didn’t succeed. Living in NYC taught me that you can be whoever you want to be and dress the way you like even if it means standing out from the crowd like an odd ball. After all it was Coco Chanel who said “I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all.” and who am I to argue with Miss Chanel. :)

Before leaving the house you … 

DDM - Make sure that I have my red lipstick and perfume in my bag. I feel completely naked without them. 

Do you have a muse? 

DDM - My biggest inspirations are Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn for their very unique beauty, strength, intelligence and incredible sense of style. Also my fabulous mum, a real style icon, who initiated my interest in fashion and art, she used to take me to see ballet and opera from when I was 5 years old.

The piece of advice that you wish you would have received yourself

DDM -  “Don’t dream it. Be it.”  Don’t be afraid of being ridiculous. 

Some thoughts:

"The way you dress is a reflection of your cultural background" 

"You can have a career and love clothes" 

DDM - I don’t think that the way I dress is exactly a reflection of my cultural background, as I’ve lived in four different countries and have been traveling extensively since my teens when I was working as a fashion model and due to my current work of being the founder and fashion editor of I’ve always been inspired by Old Hollywood Glamour and honestly believe that I was born in the wrong era.

You can find Dominique on her BLOG and on Instagram