“La Boudoir Dada” are the private rooms of the mesmerising Melwitz Folino. Like all interesting people, she cannot be easily categorised: she is an artist, illustrator, teacher and a muse in the truest sense of the word.
Her tiny studio/apartment’s physical location is a leafy part of inner city Melbourne and its temporal one is the beginning of the 21st century, but as soon as you open the door you are transported to another time and place. Each of the rooms of La Boudoir Dada (including the kitchen) is layered with Melwitz’s work: drawings, collage, model dresses, paintings, illustrations, as well as textiles, books and unique pieces of furniture such as the 19th century velvet covered card table originally owned by a brothel where the ladies of the night played cards between clients.
The Boudoir Dada is a feast for the eyes and pays tributes to the times and people who inspire Melwitz. Her own work references fashion designers, artists, writers and muses throughout the ages such as Giovanni Boldini, Kees van Dongen, Countess de Castiglioni, Dora Maar, Yves Saint Laurent, Madame Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Isabel Toledo, Jean Patou, Frida Kahlo and Anita Ekberg. Mel is the embodiment of what she passionately believes: that fashion is art and should not be relegated to mere function or be seen as frivolous. This is perhaps why she chose to call her apartment La Boudoir Dada, as the Dada movement was against the grand masculine pre-20th century tradition of art and celebrated the ephemera. Melwitz and her boudoir is a celebration of the senses, of beauty, of texture, of history and of ideas.
She is one of the most productive and engaging artists I know and the Boudoir Dada is so rich that I have divided the tour into two stunning posts: one the living/studio and kitchen area and the other the bedroom and bathroom.
So, Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen! Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome to La Boudoir Dada.
Styling Melwtiz Folino; Photography Kate Challis (me) and Emilie Smith