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.

Paper Fashion Show Pics

The Paper Fashion Show back in March was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I knew it would be hard, but not THAT hard. My design consisted of about a million paper roses glued onto a puff skirt. I had to change my design a bit last minute because I had already spent about 45 hours on the dress and to finish it completely how I designed it would take another 40 or so. Time basically just ran away from me. I had been gluing and constructing for about 3 weeks before the show, but with the Oscar party and just life in general, I could only spend a little on it at first. But people really liked the dress and seemed to enjoy the fact that it was one of the only pieces there that looked like something you would actually wear. My model Jessica looked lovely in it and did a great job showing it off throughout the night. Here are some before and after pictures, and some pictures of the runway show. To see pictures of the other designs, visit

This is the front of the dress before I did any decorating to it.

I put a separating zipper in the back so that I didn't have to worry about gluing her into it and so that it would hold up better with wear.

Front of the dress after the roses and rose petals were added.

Side of the dress.

Back of the dress.

Other side.

Runway picture

MCA Oscar Party Pics

It seems like forever ago, but it was only about a month and half ago that the Denver Film Society and Museum of Contemporary Art teamed up for a super swanky Oscar party. To create more interest in local fashion, several local designers, including myself, were asked to create an Oscar-worthy dress to put up for auction. I chose Carey Mulligan as my muse and created a mermaid-style black satin gown with hand sewn chain detailing on the bodice. This is one of the best sewn dresses I have ever made. I hand sewed just about everything on the dress and I love how it turned out. I do not have pictures of this dress on an actual person, but here are some images from that night.

Quick snapshot of the dress from the front in my backyard.

Front detail shot.

A shot of my dress on the mannequin. It looks a little off because I couldn't zip it up all the way. The mannequins they provided were 36/26 which is a totally unrealistic size.

A few of the dresses up for auction that night.

Me and my "date" Joann. Joann is wearing one of my current favorite dresses. My dress is vintage. I needed a haircut pretty bad at this point.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project Runway tryout

Woo, have I been busy! Besides my several fashion projects in the past month, I also decided to try out for Project Runway. I tried out for season 4, but have not tried out since because I wanted to be completely ready before I jumped in to such a big thing. I was so tempted to try out last year, but I thought long and hard about it and decided that my portfolio was not good enough and that my sewing skills were not strong enough yet. So I spent all of the last year working on becoming a better seamstress, designer, and doing as many photo shoots as I could. I had so much fun preparing all the different parts of the application, especially the video. Hopefully I will at least get a call back for this season, but if I don't end up getting on, I plan on trying out again next year.

In my next entry I will post pictures of the dress I made for the MCA Oscar party, pictures from the Paper Fashion Show, and pictures from the CREATE Denver Week show I did last Sunday. But for now, it is late, and I think it is sleepy time!