Friday, December 31, 2010

Alexander McQueen Collection Spring 2011

The fashion world all mourned the death of one of fashion's great designers- Lee Alexander McQueen this year. His last collection, which was shown unfinished in March was one of his absolute best collections and made me wish there was more to come. It seemed appropriate that the headpieces in the collection reminded me of his Spring 2001 Collection which I can honestly say is THE reason I decided to pursue fashion as a career rather than just a childhood hobby. For him to go out the same way he came in seemed fitting.

Spring 2001 Collection (Photos from

Fall 2010 Collection (Photos from

Soon after his death, it was announced that his longtime first assistant Sarah Burton would take over as creative director in his death. She was an obvious choice as she had been at his side for quite some time and was the one responsible for turning his runway collections into more commercial pieces.

Spring 2011 was Sarah Burton's first collection as creative director and I think she definitely proved herself as the best choice for the job. The collection really evoked McQueen's sensibility but never pretended to BE him. The collection began in white- a fresh start perhaps? The group of models in the show were even different than the ones used in past shows, many of them new faces I have never seen before.

Burton kept many of the best parts of the brand, including the creative use of textiles, dramatic detailing, and use of feathers- all the while keeping the overall look slightly more wearable than the brand had been in the past years. But that is not to say that the show was without drama, it was just a more quiet version. Burton has said that she does not plan on using theatrics quite the same way McQueen has and it showed with the setting of the show. The set was simple, but still managed to be interesting to watch. It was more about the clothing than the set, which has not always been the case with McQueen shows. What has attracted me to McQueen is the sense of theatrics, but I was not off-put by Burton's new vision, not at all. I still found the vision refreshing and new, very unlike many other brands.

The show opened with white leather pieces that felt both like and unlike something McQueen would have designed himself. Many pieces from the show had a theme of ruffled vents on skirts and interesting cutouts on tops. The leather moved quite unlike you often see leather do, and at times almost had a party dress feel. There were animal references all around, between reptilian-like prints, butterflies, fur/hair, and leather. About halfway through, the collection got a little dark but then pulled back into white. I can't help but wonder if that ordering has meaning behind it.

One thing that I noticed, which was quite unlike past McQueen collections, was the lack of crazy shoes. The shoes in this collection were barely noticeable and very wearable. Footwear on the runway has become so crazy that I've almost become used to it.

Overall, I applaud Burton's new take on the brand. It will never be quite the same as the version I fell in love with originally, but it is still something I will keep an eye on every season. I have posted some of the highlights of the collection below.

2nd, 4th, and 5th outfits. Shows ruffled vents and original textile use.

10th, 14th, and 18th outfits. Shows use of animal themes and creative use of leather. The reptilian jacket is the piece that reminded me of McQueen the most. I expect to see the pieced leather dress in all the high end magazines.

25th, 28th, and 29th outfits. Shows use of original textiles and over-the-top detailing. I also expect to see the butterfly dress in editorials all over.

33rd and finale outfits. Shows the McQueen sense of over-the-top evening looks and use of ruffles/feathers.

Spring 2011 Collection (Pictures from

Watch the video!



To celebrate the new year I am making changes to my blog, including making it more fun to read. I will still, of course, use it to advertise future events or new collections, but will be adding new elements as well. Each week, on to-be-determined days I will do an entry on something different. For example:

Monday- Spotlight on one piece from my current collection
Tuesday- Spotlight on one fashion blogger
Wednesday- Focus on one person I would like to dress and what I would put them in
Thursday- Review of one upcoming collection (right now it would be for Spring 2011)
Friday- Discussing a current trend

It would pretty much always be on the same day so that if someone likes one feature they know to always check on that day. I'm hoping this will keep not only the reader more involved, but me as well. I enjoy writing, but have a hard time fitting it into my day. If I have promised something new that day, then it forces me to make time for writing.

Other things I would discuss are my future plans and inspiration pictures for possible future collections. This schedule will begin this Monday, January 3rd and will hopefully become a permanent thing.

Until then, check out my new music blog at I love music and wanted to write about relatively unknown artists, their best songs, and how they relate to the fashion industry. Enjoy!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Trunk Show

Melissa May is known throughout Denver for her feminine cocktail and party dresses that feature a mixture of high fashion detailing and rock 'n' roll touches. She is also known for her wearable hair accessories that can be found at some of Denver's top boutiques and hair salons.

Join Incroyables by Melissa May this holiday season for a trunk show. With items starting at $5 there is something to appeal for all ages and budgets.... Shop for presents, or just for yourself. The full Incroyables by Melissa May hair accessories line will be featured, including brand new items that have not been available for purchase before now! You will also be able to view select clothing items, including a new holiday mini collection that is available to buy off the rack or for custom orders for your holiday parties.

Trunk show will be presented during First Friday in Olde Town Arvada at D'Lola Bridal Boutique from 6-9 PM on December 3rd. D'Lola is a bridal boutique located at 7550 Grant Place specializing in custom wedding and bridal party dresses. Free champagne and goodies will be served. Have a girl's night out with Incroyables by Melissa May!

Melissa May
Incroyables by Melissa May

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spring 2011 Fashion Show


Incroyables by Melissa May Spring 2011 “Pattern Play” Fashion Show

Denver, CO- Melissa May, is known throughout Denver for her cocktail, evening, and party dresses with a rock and roll edge. As one of Denver's most established high-end fashion designers, Melissa is a force to be reckoned with and has not only been seen in several local fashion publications and competitions but was also a semi-finalist for Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for 2009. This year Melissa is at it again with her newest collection highly inspired by the Historical Elitch Carousel Pavillion where she is launching her new line. The line mixes a Parisian circus-esque theme with combining bold colors and creating her own patterns from existing textiles. This collection will include everything from day-wear to fun hair accessories and with her incredible eye for details this show should not be missed! The feel and look of the fashion show will have the presence of an old time circus theme, including a circus side-show before the fashion show. Melissa will unveil her newest line Saturday, September 4th at the Historic Elitch Carousel Pavilion at 38th and Tennyson. Doors open at 6pm and fashion show will start at 7pm. Complimentary circus themed treats will be served and live music provided by The Postman. The event is free and open to the public but donations will be accepted for the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation. No reservations required. Store buyers and press are strongly encouraged to attend.

Melissa May
Incroyables by Melissa May

Sponsors: The Fabric Lab, Disguises Costume, IZZE

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 22nd Model Casting

I am so excited about my fashion show on September 4th that I could not wait to set a date for model castings. Once you have the models for the show you really start to feel inspired because you can actually visualize it. Here is all the info for my model casting for anyone interested:

I am finally having a casting for my next fashion show! This casting is actually for several projects. It is a casting for my show, the catalog for this collection, possible editorial pictures for this collection, as well as a catalog for my hair accessories.

The show is Saturday, September 4th. The show itself is at 7, with hair and makeup starting a few hours earlier. Exact time will be determined later, but I do not expect it to be an all day thing (maybe 2?). I will be casting models for the runway, as well as for a few people to be part of a before show presentation.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to pay money for this show, but you will receive any pictures I get, to use in any way you'd like. I will be having at least one paid photographer and will be trying to get several others to show up as well. I'll also do a bit in trade with you for hair accessories. (

For any of you who have worked with me before, you will be shocked to find out that I want you to smile in this show. I am not a huge fan of smiling on the runway, but it just works with this collection. Here is a clip of a Sonia Rykiel show that shows what I want.

The first model does pretty much exactly what I want. She still has a professional high fashion walk, looks happy while she is walking, but does not open mouth smile. Then, when she poses at the end she gives a cute little open mouth smile. I don't want to see teeth in every picture of you down the runway, but I want it to look like you are having a good time. I suggest you practice doing this because I would like to see this type of walk at your audition so that I can have a better sense of how you would fit into the collection.

So here are all the details:

Model casting on Sunday, August 22nd from 4:30-6:30 at The Big Hairy Monster Salon located at 3105 E. Colfax. This is an open call so you can show up at anytime within those two hours. Please have a natural looking face- I want to see you, not your makeup. And, of course, bring some heels, and a portfolio if you have it.

Also, I thought I would mention this here- I am looking for a few people with some interesting talents or characteristics. If you know anyone who is a contortionist or identical twin girls (teens to mid 20s), then have them either email me or come to the audition. If anyone has an unusual talent, let me know at the audition, it may be just what I'm looking for!

Here is a peek at my Save the Date poster. The final one is going to be very similar but a lot cooler.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two Second Post

This is a two second post. I am so excited to announce that my next fashion show will take place on September 4th at the Historic Elitches Carousel Pavilion on 38th and Tennyson. Stay tuned for all the details plus some sneak peek pictures!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Funds Vs. Ambition

Sometimes the funds don't match the ambition. It's a sad but true story for many and is a constant struggle for me. You won't find anyone more dedicated than me, but you can not always tell this because I can't afford to do as much as I would like. I'd love to create 2-5 collections a year made of the exact fabric I have in mind (beautiful silks, satins, wools, high quality cottons, etc.), I'd love to be able to create my own textiles, I'd love to be able to be a real, serious designer who does trade shows and wholesale orders. But right now I do realize that I may not seem like a "serious" designer to many because I make NO money and therefore have a difficult time funding my various projects. What many do not realize is that whenever I do a collection or a show, it is 100% self funded, usually money saved from my day job. To save that money I rarely go out, almost never eat out, and rarely purchase new clothing for myself. I was raised in a poor family so I am used to having no money, but when you are trying to do projects, it gets rather difficult.

An unfortunate thing about any business, specifically fashion is that the successful people usually come from a rich background, so they have the funds to go bigger, faster. This was not true, "back in the day" when it seemed to be mostly about talent and dedication, but in today's market, there are SOOOOOOOOOO many people trying to get into the fashion world that it has become much more difficult to move forward without already having a name or a lot of money. Hence, the celebrity designer. Even locally, I have found that usually the more "successful" designers are not necessarily more talented, but have more money to play around with.

So of course, the question is "Why not just take out a loan?" I absolutely plan on doing this, but not until I think I can get enough business to be able to start paying it back. If I was to take out a loan in this economy and current state of mind about fashion, I would just get behind in payments and really screw things up for myself. So right now I am just working on getting my name out, building up a better portfolio, and hopefully getting custom orders. I also want to get some small wholesale orders. I hate starting small because i have such big dreams, but I'm trying to be realistic rather than living in an optomistic delusion.

So what is the reason for this blog? I am asking any reader who may be interested in my work to help me raise funds for my next collection by purchasing some clothing or hair accessories from me. I have INSANELY low priced dresses at YesPleaseMore PopUp Boutique and the Mod Livin PopUp Boutique. I also have custom orders available on or through me. More interested in accessories? I also have hair accessories available at, the two pop up boutiques, as well as several stores/salons around town. All purchases will go towards my next collection. Help me share my vision with Denver and get some great pieces while you are at it!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fashion Blogs

It is no secret that I absolutely adore fashion blogs. I love local ones, ones about street style, personal fashion diaries, high fashion recaps, lookbooks, foreign language ones, all of them. Well, maybe not ALL of them, but lets just say a lot of them. I thought I would share a list of all the blogs I read for anyone interested in fashion blogs as well. If you have any amazing ones that I missed let me know so I can check it out!

-The Intersection
-Style Bubble
-Style Rookie
-Fashion Folio
-Bobbin Talk
-Buffalo Exchange Colorado
-Jak and Jil
-Hanneli Mustaparta
-New Dress A Day
-The Sartorialist
-Garance Dore
-Models off Duty
-Teen Vogue
-Stil in Berlin
-Copenhagen Street Style
-Mattresses and Metal
-Easy Fashion

Here's some pictures from some of my favorite fashion blogs:

Style Bubble

Style Rookie

Jak and Jil

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Collection

My last full collection was released almost a year ago so naturally I have been feeling like I really need to get some new work out into the world. I have had many possible collections in mind, but it's all a matter of when to release what. I finally decided what the inspiration of my next collection for Spring 2011 will be. I'm going to keep the exact details under wraps for now, but it will consist of extremely cute, very wearable summer clothing. Nothing too high end, just really really fun. This collection will be more basic than what I am moving my company towards but I really just wanted to do a collection that I could have a lot of fun with and save the more high fashion pieces for the next collection, which will probably be for fall.

More details on the collection to follow, but here are some inspiration pictures for now.

Summer Boutiques and Other Fun Things

This summer is full of fun events and things to check out. I really love summer because it means outdoor music festivals and cute summer dresses. In a week is the Westword Music Festival which I looooooove because it is a whole day full of amazing local bands.

Also this summer is the opening of two pop-up boutiques featuring amazing local goods. One boutique called YesPleaseMore opened last Friday and is located on the second floor of the Denver Pavilions right next to Barnes and Noble. The 16th St. Mall is a fantastic location so I'm really excited to see how it does. I have Birds Nest Accessories pieces there, including a brand new product which is not even on my Etsy account yet. I also am selling some dresses from past collections there as part of summer clearance. The prices are insanely low, so I encourage you to check it out before they pack the store up and move to a new location in the beginning of September.

The other boutique is a also a pop-up store, but there is not a specific date that it will close down. The store will be open for as long as it is successful. This store was started by Tran Wills from The Fabric Lab and is in the upper floor of Mod Livin on Colfax. This store also features select goods from local artists/designers. I am also featured in this store. I have Birds Nest Accessories items there and then clothing from my Mad Men inspired fashion show that occurred at Mod Livin.

Here is a link to the article featured in the Denver Post about the boutique:

Another fun thing coming up is Style Wars 2 on June 25th which is part of Denver Art Museum's Untitled event. The theme of the night is Sloth. Style Wars relates to sloth because we are not allowed sewing machines, just things we can do by hand. For anyone not familiar with Style Wars, it is a fashion competition where the contestants have twenty minutes to create fashion from a rack of supplies that we do not see ahead of time with little more than safety pins and tape. Here is a link to the article Denver Post wrote about the event last time.

At the end of July is a fashion competition called FashionFest. I will post details about this event once I get them.

Tricia Hoke Fashion Show

One of my absolute favorite local designers is Tricia Hoke. I can honestly say that that was not always the case because until her last collection I just didn't get her, but she won me over big time a little more than a year ago. Her collection of a few dresses and pantsuits that morphed into several different pieces had me absolutely floored. I loved one piece so much that I bought it right away. I still wear it constantly. I can't even imagine designing pieces that turn into several more pieces so her design aesthetic has me fascinated.

Tonight was the release of her new collection Cher Ami, which was inspired by pigeons and sweatpants. When you hear her background story about her inspiration it really makes you want to love the collection. As usual, most pieces transformed, which is always so fun to watch. It's a little difficult to wear many of her transformations if you are not model skinny, but each piece usually has at least one way to wear it that does not require you to be a size 2. Please visit her website at

Project Runway Update

I realized I have not updated this since I sent my Project Runway application in. For anyone who reads this, but perhaps has not had a chat with me in a while, I did get a call back, which was really awesome. They called me on a Tuesday night and the audition was on Sunday morning, so I had to get all of my clothing together and all of my plans together in just a few days. It was stressful, but in a good sort of way. It felt great to have just been asked to show up. The call back was in Seattle, which is a beautiful city. I did not make any tourist plans ahead of time because ideally I wanted to be sitting in a waiting room the entire time. The nights before I left, I decided what items to bring and went over them with a fine tooth comb making sure every teeny tiny little seam was sewn right and that there were no stains. I knew from watching the show that they will look up close at items at times so it better look perfect from close up as well as afar. Another thing I spent considerable time planning was my wardrobe. They specifically said no black, white, or stripes, and guess what my ENTIRE wardrobe consists of? I was really not a big fan of the outfits I had to put together with no black or white, but perhaps in the future I will just rebel.

I made sure to bring my designs with me in a carry-on suitcase because if I had to wear the same outfit over and over, whatever, but if I didn't have my clothing, I was there for no reason. So basically, to cut to the chase, I arrived, I got to my hotel, which was right across the street from the hotel the auditions were in, and settled in. The next day I went across the street with my clothing, prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best. I waited in a waiting room with several other designers, including one from Denver. To be honest, I absolutely hated most of the other designer's clothing. There were a few good ones, but some of them were really mediocre. I hope they didn't get on. A lot of the people before me made comments that the judges were harsh and ripped them out, so I prepared myself for that, but was pretty confident that would not be the case. I can't explain why, but I just felt like I would be okay. I wasn't even nervous. I felt really anxious to get it over with though. What was supposed to happen would happen I figured, just so long as the judges did not hate me.

It turns out that they did not hate me. The judges actually liked my designs quite a bit. There were comments about how well made they were and positive comments on the design of them as well. They even gave me some great tips and asked some difficult questions that I am very glad they made me verbalize. One of the hardest questions I was asked was why I wanted to be on the show. I probably botched this answer horribly because my mind went blank. I never really scripted an answer for this question ahead of time even though I knew they would ask something similar to it. At the end of the interview I left feeling really good about how I did though. I knew that there was definitely a good chance they would not ask me to come back based on physical appearance, etc., but I knew that the people who really mattered to me had felt positively about me, and that was enough for me. I would rather be a professional fashion designer than a t.v. star, which I think anyone who knows me already knows.

As it turned out, I did not get a second call back, but they did ask me to try out again next year, so I think I will. If I do not get any further in the process that time though, I will probably not try again. Not because I don't want to do it, but because I suspect a huge part of them not picking me is physical appearance and general personality, and I'm kind of stuck with those. If it's not right three times, why would it be right the fourth? But hey, I'm thinking positively for next time. I know I have what it takes, it is just a matter of showing them the same thing. And I already know what my video audition will be too!

On the day that I had open I did a lot of fun tourist things. I went on an underground tour, went to the aquarium, visited Pikes Place Market, and went on a bus tour of the city. It was all a ton of fun, I just hope that next time I can bring someone with me because it will be much more fun with company.

Here's a picture of Seattle:

Here are some pictures from the Seattle Underground Tour:

This is the aquarium, which was fun. I got to see them feed a gigantic octopus.

And here is the ever so famous Pikes Place Market.

I didn't take any of these pictures because I tend to prefer to blend in with the locals rather than stick out as a tourist.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Etsy News

Incroyables by Melissa May 2010 Signature Collection is now available on Visit my shop at All pieces are available in your custom size and color/fabric choice. I have some great cocktail pieces, as well as a few evening dresses. In the coming weeks I will also be posting some one-of-a-kind clearance items, as well as some great vintage finds on there.

My Etsy hair accessories page, Birds Nest Accessories, will also have new styles available soon and I will be having a special sale on existing inventory too. Check that out at

Here are a few of the styles available online:

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's Next

So now that I have sent in my Project Runway application and finished all my latest fashion events, what next? I have decided to give the local fashion show circuit a bit of a break, unless it is an event I simply can't turn down, or if it is a show that I get to plan. I always love producing my own shows, because the vision ends up being my own, but sometimes I leave local shows feeling like I just got taken advantage of. Unfortunately, in Denver doing a fashion show does not equal boosting sales. I have had more sales online than locally, which is so unfortunate because I love working with the client personally and deciding what would look great on them rather than just mailing a package. With wonderful summer weather coming up, hopefully I get commisioned to make some more custom items. I'm itching to make some magic happen.

Until then, I will be posting new items from my 2010 Signature Collection on in the next two days. I will be offering all designs in multiple colors so that I can customize each piece to fit the client's needs. In the next few days, I will also be designing some new headband designs for my hair accessories line Birds Nest Accessories.

Check out my two Etsy pages:

After updating both of my Etsy pages, I want to work more on my future collections. Money issues has slowed down the original pace, but I'm still very committed to making it happen!

Denver Post Article

Suzanne Brown, the lifestyle editor of the Denver Post came to talk to me at the Mod Livin Fashion Show, and my first thought was "Ooooh, I wonder if she'll post pictures of the show in the paper?" Turns out, she did. I have been in the Denver Post about 4 times now, but every time is still so exciting. We chatted a bit about the line, the show, what I had planned next, and me trying out for Project Runway. Here is the article that was in the paper the Thursday after the show, along with the pictures that accompanied the article.

Sixties Redux

Denver designer Melissa May loves shopping for vintage finds at thrift stores, so it wasn't a stretch for her to devise 10 outfits in a "Mad Men" theme for a Create Denver week show.

A crowd of over a hundred people showed up at Mod Livin' Sunday evening to enjoy appetizers and sangria while perusing the midcentury furniture and accessories.

When it was time for the fashion show, 10 models walked to the front of the store and assembled in a tableau of a circa-1960s office, complete with a Selectric typewriter, funky phones and a gooseneck lamp. Looking like they could have been plucked from the steno pool on AMC's popular drama "Mad Men," models paraded in wearing such looks as a black-and-white gingham check dress, a slinky satin sheath for the Joan Holloway office manager character, and a full-skirted floral sundress for the Betty Draper role. Some models shed vintage coats before getting out their pencils and pads to "answer" the phone. Sporting French twists and red lipstick applied by sytlists at Rebelle, the models gave off a chic 1960s vibe.

"I would totally wear some of the looks right now — if they fit me," said the designer. "I wanted them to be true to the period, but still reflect my style."

-Suzanne S. Brown

CREATE Denver Week Fashion Show

As part of Create Denver Week's events, Mod Livin and Tran Wills planned a fabulous shindig right in the middle of Mod Livin's showroom. I was asked to provide the fashion, but it was no regular fashion show! We went back to a special time when you were allowed to smoke at work, girdles were commonplace, and men used more hair products than the women- 1960. I was asked to explore the world of Mad Men with my collection and decided to go with a theatrical view of the show's everyday office life with some new (or is it old) fashion. I watched the show and took notes religiously, trying to get every little detail right for the show. All of the clothing was inspired by actual clothing from that time period, but I made sure to give it a modern twist with definite pieces of me in it.

The ladies at Rebelle Salon (who are not only super talented, but also have the coolest names ever) did the hair and makeup. They were very patient when I explained that I wanted the girls to look as CLOSE to the show as possible. The show was set up as more of a silent play than a typical fashion show. The girls came onto the set one by one and performed different office duties. By the end of the scene, all the ladies were interacting with each other and it was pure chaos (just like a real office). All the pieces were created specifically for this event, but I am definitely open to doing custom orders for any of these items.

Here are some pictures from the show and a few of the pictures from backstage after the show.