Project Runway: Melissa’s Collection

Posted on October 19, 2012

There was a moment last night when we could have sworn Melissa was getting the winner’s edit. After all, not just Project Runway, but pretty much all competitive reality shows just love a good Hail Mary pass at the last second, from an underdog. And while we generally like her aesthetic, and think she’s produced some good work on the show, we really didn’t buy the story they were trying to sell us last night. From what we can tell, she choked on the basic collection and even though the judges’ critique lit a fire under her ass, she would’ve had to start from scratch in order to have any shot at the prize.

This is actually a good look and a nice, strong piece to open the show. It’s not a coincidence that it’s tailored exactly to the judges’ critiques.


This is largely forgettable, really. Sure, there’s some seaming, blocking, and a ruffle, but it’s not adding up to much.


This is a nice, sharp look that can be bought in any of thousands of stores right now.


This is just plain odd. When you get a chance to do a full-blown show and send 40 looks down a runway, you can have fun with stuff like this, if you present it correctly. But now was not the time for a leather bathing suit and a pointless cover-up that looks barely finished.


Utterly forgettable and not really runway-worthy.




MAN, did Kors overpraise this one. We think Melissa needs to develop her sense of proportion. That was one of the main problems with this collection. The cutout, the weirdly shaped shoulder, and the way it makes her left boob collapse is just plain bad design.


The jacket and shorts are cute and well made. The top is all kinds of wrong for the look and brings it way down.


The only interest in this gown came from the back. That’s not awful, but again: you don’t have a lot of room in a ten-piece collection. Make a strong statement; and if you’re going to do minimalism, do it in some sort of dazzling way. From the front, this is a big ol’ nothing – and truth be told, the back wasn’t so interesting as to make up for it.

Why she didn’t just put a slit in the skirt or hem it to knee length to solve the whole “model can’t walk” thing escapes us.


Everyone treated it like a show-stopper but we think it was awkward as hell. A dramatic red dress was a very good idea but the neck treatment and the wildly asymmetrical skirt were just too clumsy for one look. And lemme tell you, that thing rode up high when looked at from the side. No wonder Heidi loved it.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Are the drop-down menus gone forever?  I tried searching for a previous PR post to compare this too, but the PR tag doesn’t go back very far and all I can do is slog through dozens of pages of things labeled “television.”

    • Hundzahn

       I’ve had trouble with this too. I’d recommend using the search bar function, though; it cuts down the time way quicker than what it sounds like you’re doing,

      • I did that too, but then you get all posts with any mention of the thing you’re looking for in it.  When you search for “Mondo” you get a LOT of non-PR posts.

        • MilaXX

           try being more specific. Mondo+Project Runway or Project runway Season 8

      • MilaXX

         I always use the search bar. Much more efficient.

    • I want them back too! They were so convenient. The search bar is fine, but the drop-down menus were better.

      • bringbackbeatles

        I agree. Searching is a pain compared to just clicking an item on the listed. I used to have the Project Runway section bookmarked on my toolbar and it was so easy.

  • siriuslover

    I agree with this entire assessment. Most of the collection was blah, and those neck treatments are getting old. Great, she can create a stiff collar, but show us something we haven’t seen before. And her attitude about the white dress was just baffling, like she was trying to lose. How hard would it have been to cut a slit in the back of the dress so the girl could move? She just kept blaming the shoes and refused to think that it might have been her design.

    • kimmeister

      Even my husband kept shouting, “Just put a slit in it!”  (Then he would say, “look at me, taking about garment construction.”)

      • FloTom

        My husband too – “just put a slit in it!!”  So funny coming from a 64 year old man whose favorite show is Pawn Stars.

        • kimmeister

          Ha, my husband is a 31-year old man who loves Pawn Stars too!  In fact, when we went to Vegas over the summer, he made sure to stop by the shop featured in that show, as well as the shop from American Restoration.

        • drdarke

          I’m a little younger than your husbands, @kimmeister:disqus  and @FloTom:disqus – but yeah, I was too. So was my wife, our niece – and my bi ex-Sailor kid brother.

  • Well, my home girl did okay for herself at the last. Adding the colored bits here and there brought everything up a good deal.  Over all, I think she stayed true to her POV and, any issues there are are things that are workable.  There is clearly talent there, and a strong eye.  What is needed is a more refined sense of proportion, and better fitting skills.  The one place where I did a face palm was the one shouldered white dress, which in profile gave out amazing amounts of side boobage.

    • mjude

      she did introduce her collection.  wierd it was edited out on line.  i liked her alot but not a runway worthy show but she is not the only one.

      •  I’m glad to know she wasn’t screwed out of her moment of glory. She’s a nice woman, and It bugged me to think that she was dissed that way.  Thanks!

        Whoever does the re-edit for online broadcast is crazy to the extreme.

        • MilaXX

          Maybe they edit it to fit into a 60 min formatt.

          • Possibly so, but they break at totally insane times for commercials, like right in the middle of someone’s sentence.  Mystifying. But then, its Lifetime.

          • hyperionic

            Eh. I watched it on and she definitely introduced it on there. I remember being baffled at her description of being inspired by life and death or some bollocks. 

          • I always watch online and the commercials are typically in the correct places. I watched the previous two episodes last night they were choppy and skippy with ads in weird places. I think there is/was a bug or something. I’ve never seen it behave like that before.

          • Kristin McNamara

            Watch on Hulu instead of The Lifetime player is TERRIBLE in comparison. (For that matter, most networks’ online players are terrible. I watch everything on Hulu now except for CBS shows. The only stupid network to hold-out…..)

        • formerlyAnon

          The number of things about the Lifetime Web site which are crazy (and crazy-making) is astonishing. I mean, it’s better than it was, but the world is simply CRAWLING with interns who have some Web skills. And many of them graduate, and want paying jobs. There ARE, it is rumored, even folks with knowledge of usability and visual design.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            But Lifetime might have to pay those folks something close to a living wage, hence the poor quality of their site.

    •  I think she’s a much better designer than seamstress or pattern-maker.  I think her POV is clear and she has more interesting ideas than she can really handle on her own, but that’s true of most designers — sewing and pattern-making are frequently not their best skills.

      • Qitkat

        I continue to be astonished that designers have trouble sewing and pattern-making. To me that is the same as a painter like Picasso not being able to draw a realistic face [he could]. Hone your skill sets people! Learn the basics FIRST. Your conceptual, artistic, bizarre ideas will be much more acceptable when they are properly executed. The late great Alexander McQueen became a tailor, and learned all about bespoke menswear before he ever created the designs he became famous for.

        • Glammie

          Van Gogh was a lousy draftsman–could barely manage a chair–but nonetheless a great painter.

          Yes, Alexander McQueen had amazing skills.  MIucca Prada doesn’t even draw.  Nonetheless, she’s a pretty innovative and successful designer.  Designing and sewing aren’t the same skills.  

          Melissa clearly wants to do complex things, but she’s only been sewing 3-4 years.   She does have skills, unlike Anja, but she’s not in the same league as the Season Four finalists.

          • In fairness, Van Gogh wasn’t trying to wrap his canvases around a female form. Also, his wasn’t a lack of skill but an abundance of vision.

          • Glammie

            No, it was a lack of skill.  Van Gogh had all sorts of issues with perspective.   Which doesn’t make him less of a genius.  

            There have been a number of designers who didn’t/don’t sew.  It’s useful, particularly when you’re starting out, but past a certain level, sewing and pattern-making are handled by experts in those skills.  

            what I’d like to see more of from the PR designers is a greater knowledge of fashion history–you see a bit of it now and then–Nick, Mila–but I wish there was more of it.

          • Qitkat

            I recognize that designing and sewing and pattern-making aren’t the same skills. It’s just something that baffles me, someone who has amazing design ideas but who has no earthly idea how to execute them. Some time ago on this blog I contributed similar thoughts about architects who had poor or no engineering understandings, thus drafting amazing buildings without any knowledge of how they might be constructed, or in some cases, cannot be constructed.
            Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it is, but I believe that if you are going to design objects, or dresses, or buildings, you would be a much more effective designer if you had the rudimentary knowledge of how your design would be constructed. Whether you have drawn it, or described it, or folded paper or fabric or metal to give someone else a window into your brain and your unique idea, your creativity will be more effective when you can recognize if someone else has the execution up to the standards you have in mind.

            Furthermore, if you are a fashion person, and decide to go on a show such as Project Runway, you already know up front that you and you alone will be required to do all the designing, all the patterning or draping, all the sewing, all by yourself. Why wouldn’t anyone worth their salt not want to up their skill sets to cover the BASICS, to learn how to properly sew a zipper (and more than one way), how to hem (also more than one way), how to set a sleeve, a collar, put in a lining, etc. I have no patience with someone in this situation who says they don’t know how to do something basic. That can be learned from books, or classes, and practice. And it doesn’t even take that long to learn. Of course, there are many more complex things that will take longer to learn. True tailoring, which there isn’t time to do on PR anyway.

            They can draw or drape, or bay at the moon and get inspired by a fabulous fabric, I don’t care how their design process works. Many people, and I’m one of them, work very intuitively. I understand this. What I don’t understand is when the situation is Project Runway, why in the hell wouldn’t you want to hone the craftsmanship elements that are needed to showcase your design elements at their best.

            I completely agree with you about knowledge of fashion history, to me this ought to also be considered among the basic building blocks.

            I don’t know if anyone ever asked McQueen, but I imagine that he would have given great credit to the foundation he received in craftsmanship of garments and how that knowledge contributed to his later ability to work with that knowledge while letting his design imagination have no boundaries. I don’t know anything about Miuccia Prada, but how does she communicate her creative designs to those who sew her clothes?

            To conclude, to me it is not only useful, but essential, for a newly starting out designer to know how to sew, to recognize precise craftsmanship for what it really is, a standard to strive for, to give your design the best possible presentation, to say sloppy is not acceptable. Time and again on here we show admiration for those who have these skills; even from our television sets, we can recognize the difference between someone who really does know how to sew and design from someone who designs but who struggles over and over again to put the concept in their head on the back of a model, and be able to say, yes, I’m proud of my design, and I’m proud of the way I have presented it, I have used my very best skills and have no apologies for poor workmanship. And I fully recognize that while established designers may no longer sew, I believe that the successful ones have along the way learned how to recognize when a garment has been skillfully made, and have an understanding of how this happened.

          • Glammie

            First of all, I agree with you that if you’re going to be on Project Runway then your sewing and other execution skills should be in order.  Anja was a travesty.

            That said, I think you *can* be aware of how something is done without being able to do it yourself.  You can design a building made of bricks without being a bricklayer as long as you understand what bricks can and cannot do.  I know, for example, what’s involved with a rolled silk hem and why it’s desirable and what it will look like, but I can’t sew one that looks good.  

            I think McQueen’s tailoring background was a definite plus–I have a McQueen jacket and the construction really is exquisite.  Is the Vivienne Westwood jacket I have next to it as beautifully constructed?  No, it really isn’t.  But, it is, if anything even more innovative–in materials–no one else was making jackets out of dyed ticking and cut–

            I think the ideal designer would be able to do it all, but the reality is that different designers have their strengths and weaknesses.

            As for Miucca Prada–Karl Lagerfeld said something once along the lines of her having kind of a flea-market approach.  She’s very, very good at picking up old ideas and reinventing them.  Her work is very idea-driven, very conceptual–part of the reason, I think, she’s so influential on other designers and on editors.  Because it’s about ideas and repurposing, she can use older garments, pix, fabrics and talk to her team.  Being born in the industry didn’t hurt.  

          • Qitkat

            Glammie, honest, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here 😉

            Lucky you, to own both McQueen and Westwood jackets. Obviously they each have their special qualities which must contribute to your pleasure to own and wear.

            I found your description of Miuccia Prada very interesting, enough so that I may take the time to learn more about her.

            As for being aware of how something is done without being able to do it yourself, I just have a very strong belief that no matter what a person is doing for a living, if it involves using other skilled people in areas in which one has no expertise, it pays off to learn more about those skills, and if at all possible to try them out firsthand. As an example, my dad was a water chemist with a college degree. He worked in a plant filled with blue collar workers doing many jobs that dad did not have to have done to be able to do his own job. Nevertheless, because he wanted to really understand the entire concept of the operation, he, on his own volition, studied the manuals and even took the tests the men were required to get certified, asked questions of the men, with great respect I might add, and went out with them into the field and got his hands dirty. He always believed this made him more effective in his laboratory.

            Perhaps my mindset comes from that of an artist, rather than a designer. [I recognize they are not mutually exclusive.] Although not necessarily, all the time, most of an artist’s output comes from imagining/designing the project, deciding on the materials to be used, acquiring them, and learning any new skills necessary, and then applying them personally to create what one hopes will be recognized as a valid work of art. All done by one person, not a team, such as Prada, or an architectural firm. So, pineapples vs pinecones?

            Anyway, aren’t we all fortunate here to have the opportunity to discuss and continue to learn more about fashion, sewing and design, whether we’ve done any of them or not ourselves? And occasionally get to appreciate amazing beauty, and eye-popping innovation and genius.

        • Sewing and pattern-making aren’t really part of a designers skill-set though.  My great-grandmother, for instance, was an amazing seamstress who could copy anything she saw.  But she never designed her own stuff.

          And most professional designers have gone to design school and worked for other design houses, where they have separate pattern-makers and sample makers.  So they really don’t need to hone those skills.

          That said, I can’t imagine designing anything without knowing how to do all of it.  There is no way I could ever convey to a pattern-maker what I wanted, and making the sample is when I do my tweaking.  But that’s because I can’t draw.

    • ” The one place where I did a face palm was the one shouldered white dress, which in profile gave out amazing amounts of side boobage.”

      -Indeed. In fact, Melissa was my husband’s pick for the win and even he commented that there were several pieces that were  giving us the side boob view. 

    • Qitkat

      The TV presentation also gave a nice good-bye to Christopher, and simply dismissed Melissa, with “you’re out.” It was very strange.

      • kimmeister

        Yes, I was very put off by that!

      • Nelliebelle1197

        I think Lifetime totally  misjudges the designers people actually LIKE. They think PR fans will like bitchy queen stereotypes like Christopher rather than talented people like Melissa. I even think Gunnar is probably a pretty nice guy who felt forced to play the bitchy queen stereotype for face time. I think these producers are really confused about genuine fan favorites like Austin and Christian and what made them favorites (talent, quality of character in the best sense of the word, unique perspective, etc.) and mixed them up with stereotypes. Hence, Josh. The  more I think about it, the more annoying it is …..

        • There was a Q+A session with Gunnar on Reddit (you can probably Google for it) and he came off as a little bit cocky, but actually also a nice, genuine guy. Like he might bitch, but he’d say it to your face.

    • Glammie

      Yep.  I completely get why this collection didn’t win, not enough variety, a bit too tight.  BUT I actually thought Melissa had one of the more distinctive and wearable aesthetics of this year’s designers.   She’s less inclined to overdesign than some of the others.  Her best clothes have a really nice line–you could look good in them without a lot of effort.   I appreciate the lack of fussiness.  

      She hasn’t been sewing that long and I think that hurt her–what she wants to do and what she’s able to do in a limited amount of time, created a lot of problems for her.  

  • Stubenville

    Nailed it, TLO – it’s mostly variations on stuff available at any mall. And the shorter white dress was just tortured.

    • MilaXX

       It’s like the stuff they sell in the Victoria Secret clothing catalog.

  • Agree with the majority of what you’re saying however I love Melissa and would wear most of what she put out (not the asymmetrical white cut-out dress). I crazy-love the “blood orange dress” (lol Christopher’s apt comment on that!) and I was annoying my bf a bit when slightly-manically repeating: “Why doesn’t she just cut a slit in it? Why doesn’t she just cut a slit in it? Lol! The shoes? Melissa, it’s not the shoes! Why doesn’t she just cut a slit in it?” re. the white tube dress.

    • kimmeister

      Where else besides the fashion industry (and I guess the paint industry) do you get to use pretentious names for colors?  And really, on my monitor the dress does not look red, it indeed looks blood orange.

  • MilaXX

    To be perfectly honest, until I read the spoiler on TWoP I thought we were being set up for a  Christopher fake out with Melissa as the winner. This to me fit the description of student work. A germ of a good  idea but some really clumsy execution. I must say the change in hair and makeup helped a lot, but in the end this really wasn’t a winning collection.  There was nothing she did that we hadn’t seen all season. I also wondered why she didn’t simply cut a slit in the white dress. I was worried we were going to have a model down situation on the runway.

  • piecesofconfetti

    I like her models’ hair and makeup. 

    I like a lot of the looks, too, but they don’t scream “winner” to me.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I think Melissa has interesting ideas, but they are nowhere near fully-developed. And she needs to understand fit better and to design for more than just herself (as MK said, “she IS the girl’; she’s like Anya in that regard, but with more experience and a more sophisticated concept). She has potential, for sure, and I hope she gets a job working for a good designer so she can learn to refine and develop her concept. 

  • sockandaphone

    This collection was so bland, what a disappointment. Also it really shows the lack of time these designers get now; I can tell there were some good ideas forming but not enough time to execute them

    • Nelliebelle1197

       Yes, a thousand times

  • Le_Sigh

    Hrm – I think her styling choices saved her – the clothes are meh.  

  • Bittybis

    When it looked like she was getting the winner’s edit my only thought was that they couldn’t give this to another hipster chick who designs for herself.

  • So boring.  And I am so sick of crazy collars=FASHION!

  • She made a collection for Leeloo.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    This reminds me of Leni’s collection on the Finnish version, but not as well done. Still, this was my pick for the win, even if it is far from perfect.

    The leather bathing suit, to me, was not a terrible idea. At least it was memorable to me, even if not executed perfectly. It could have even been editorial. Could have.

    Are there no photos of the back on that white dress? Why do we not get to see it?

  • Jasmaree

    This was probably the worst collection in my eyes. There was so little design on display here. The jackets were the only pieces even slightly runway worthy; every thing else just felt like filler. And does anyone else think that this collection has little to no cohesion? You need more than colors to tie your collection together. The first 4 looks seem to be from 4 different shows and that awkward and cumbersome red dress comes out of nowhere.

  • Susan Collier

    Meh. I was interested in seeing her finale show despite the fact that she hadn’t produced anything interesting (and should have been auffed) in the final challenges leading up to the final 4. Seems nice and has potential, but also seems like she needs to get a few years in working for someone else. A bunch of stiff collars in your trickbag isn’t going to get you that far.

  • nannypoo

    The red dress was laughably bad and totally unwearable, but the color was a welcome addition to her dreary collection. The bathing suit, the pants with the dropped crotch – good god what a mess. Her inability to think of the slit solution for the white dress is additional evidence that she lacks focus and flexibility.

  • miagain

    Model can’t walk….CUSTOMER CAN’T WALK EITHER…. sheeesh

  • Jennifer Fritz

    If Dmitri’s collection is criticized for being too “Neiman Marcus”, than Melissa’s collection is too what?  These clothes would never be sold even in Dillards!  Clearly, she has a look and it can be marketed, but at least Dmitri will earn some $$$ as a result.

    • Jasmaree

      H&M. Forever 21 in some places.

  • I like the first jacket the best, especially since she hacked off those oversize cuffs. What did they call that leather, gessoed leather? 

    • l_c_ann

      Gesso is a treatment often used under water colors in the fine art world.  I still long for some water colors I saw out in Taos, over a decade ago.

      Gesso used to be a mix of plaster of paris and glue that made a really smooth surface that took water colors differently than paper did.  A current dictionary suggests that chalk and glue are now also gesso.

      • Qitkat

        Completely off topic, but I loved your mention about Taos. My kind of place.

        • l_c_ann

          Continuing OT, I’d like to see some of the colorless designers sit in Taos through a year.  They’d come out of the experience and probably never sew a black dress again.

          • formerlyAnon

            Maybe. But only if you mean they spend a lot of time in Taos sitting, without anything to distract them, with their eyes open. 

            The world around us is a many-splendored thing, IF you’re paying attention, almost anywhere. I think the insistence on black is not so much fascination with black or lack of other sources of inspiration as the combination of black’s perceived popularity with the customer and the way it reduces the variables in play.

  • l_c_ann

    On the runway she described her collection as “Dark to Light” (I wrote it down as sort of an excuse for black and white” ) then to the judges later she used the “absurd and surreal”  description.   ?????

    I really disliked the amateur blanket hand stitch she used on the 2nd look vest and on a lot of the purses she showed with the three piece collection.

    After she told the judges (3 day collection when asked about if there was any color) “I have a red dress”, that was before she had the blood orange fabric.  Then on the chat after the show she admitted that she had made the blood orange dress the previous day.  Surely the judges would have discussed among themselves, where did the red dress go, or did the three square feet of red fabric on the bottom of a jacket count as her red dress?

    Melissa needs to get way away from her black to white funk.

    • susan6

       I think her description on the runway was actually “death to life” which was why it was “perfect for Spring”.  She changed that up to some babble about “the intersection of the absurd and surreal” in front of the judges.  And I swear I saw Nina roll her eyes at that point.  Overly vague emo “themes” (Chris should have used the “pretentious” description here instead) and a black and white color palette are not enough to make a collection cohesive.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I am very confused by how they do so much in 2 days. It seems like the final collections can end up very different from the 3-piece minis, fabric wise and otherwise. I just don’t get it. I forgot she said she had a red dress. Did we ever see it? (Maybe Tim’s visit?) Maybe post-mini-critique she decided it wasn’t good enough, and went and bought the “blood orange” leather. I didn’t see the post-show chat.

      I’m glad there was more clothing drama this season, but I’d really like to get a better idea of how the designers turn things around in 2 days.

    • Lisa_Cop

      I think she said red “vest” not “dress”. And I remember seeing something red on her clothes rack when Tim visited.

  • Loved the style of this collection — it all looked very “me” (and yes, that’s a terrible criteria for judging, which is why I would have given the win to Fabio or Dmitry — I’m still torn on that one).  But it was just that: style.  And this is a DESIGN competition.  It all looked like the wardrobe of a slightly edgy young woman, who doesn’t have a lot of cash to spend on top of the line designers.  A lot of basics that could fill a wardrobe nicely, but not a lot of show stoppers taken on their individual merits.

    And the white dress Kors loved?  Looked like it was made of crepe paper.  I don’t get the fabric choice at all, and I certainly don’t get why it’s gaping so oddly on the one side.  The one blue belt was very unpleasant material as well — it was like a plastic bag tied around her waist, albeit tied very neatly.

    First look was fabulous though.  And I still think she’s adorable and I want to see more of her because I like her.

  • Isn’t that model in the awkward, boob-collapse dress the same model who walked for Wendy Pepper in the finale?  I think her name was/is Melissa…if so, it’s nice to see she’s working 🙂

  • SapphoPoet

    I like Melissa; she seems like a nice, balanced person. However, this collection doesn’t really speak to me. The shapes seem like an odd blend of awkward, aggressive, and very basic. A bizarre mix. There isn’t anything in here I’d want to wear, and I feel I’ve seen this all before. Having said all that, I hope that Melissa does well and succeeds. 

  • I liked the styling, but everything else was kind of boring. The red dress at the end was a good idea, and it looked great coming out, but it’s almost exactly like dresses she already made on the show. 

  • I started reading emails during her show… Enough said.

  • SewingSiren

    She styled her models to look like Elena! The whole collection is nice enough. No surprises. I can’t believe she closed her show with a one day dress. That looks like a one day dress. My favorite piece was the hobble dress. Very weird and conceptual. But unfortunately completely unintentional.

    • BrooklynBomber

      “The hobble dress” !!!

      • SewingSiren

        I call ’em like I see ’em.

        • BrooklynBomber

          I know you do! That’s one of the reasons I like your comments.

  • Trisha26

    Everything Melissa did all season, and in this collection, was just on the cusp of being great. But she did so many of those high collar dresses/tops, and so many jackets, that nothing came as a surprise in the finale. And if it wasn’t one of those styles it was a tank top! That is not cutting edge. I hated both white dresses with the intensity of 10,000 suns.

  • Wellworn

    It felt last night like Christopher was getting the winner’s edit, but it turned out he was getting the whiner’s edit, luckily.  I guess the same with Melissa.  Some of these looks were so basic and not runway worthy.  There were at least 3 designers who should have been in the finale instead of her.  I never understood why she went so far, except that cool girls would wear her always too basic pieces.

  • I don’t get the hair.

  • I love the styling, the first look reminds me of La Roux and that’s a good thing.

  • crash1212

    I love Melissa’s aesthetic and would buy any number of those looks. I loved the minimal white dress…with a slit up the back! I don’t think she should’ve won PR, but I liked her show a lot.

  • Imasewsure

    I think Helmut Lang should hire her… most of it looked like their stuff to me already…. better runway show than I expected though but nothing special.

  • This collection exemplifies Melissa’ limited technical abilities. She did state during Tim’s visit that she’s been sewing for only four years (at least it’s not *four months*), and her clothes reflect that. The drop-crotch pants in look #5 are highly embarrassing as is the plain white dress (sending a look down a fashion week runway in which the model cannot move is unforgivable). Her clothes are either awkward and poorly constructed (such as the two above-mentioned pieces: that white dress has major side cleavage among other things) or utterly bland or both (the black dress with the white racer back is embarrassingly elementary in design and half-ass in execution: there’s side cleavage if you take a look at the side pictures at the PR site and said side looks as if it’s been gnawed). Another example of awkward clothing would be look #8 (I appreciate the jacket and the perforated shorts with the scrawl-like belting, but I’ve no idea what that look as a whole IS: a midriff-baring ruched top underneath a fall/winter-oriented jacket? The juxtaposition is neither plausible nor flattering. What the hell is up with those red panels? The entire layering is way off. Perhaps her best piece is the opening look (the crinkled leather jacket with the exaggerated collar is competently made and kind of striking, but what’s up with the half-skirt over pants? To hide the abysmal crotch? I’ve no doubt about that as she doesn’t know how to properly cut pants. The bathing suit’s out of place, but I’ll give her credit for the piping (and for the two vests of this collection: they’re as basic as basic can be, but at least there’s some sewing on display). MK liked the one-shoulder cutout white leather dress; I happen to think it’s unresolved. The blood-orange high-collared ruched dress generates some drama but also serves as a reminder of her lack of inventiveness: how many times have we seen ruched dresses with clunky asymmetrical hems from her? Perhaps the only successfully rendered look is look # 3. There’s nothing distinctive about it, but the shiny vs. matte surfaces, the blue belt, and the petaled slit have merit.

    • Qitkat

      Several years ago I took a sewing class on how to modify an existing pattern for pants so they fit your own body properly. Believe me when I say that this was eye-opening. Everyone of us in the class had different fit issues, and there were different solutions, not always obvious, for each body challenge. Over the years, one of the consistent things we have seen on PR, are badly fitting pants, more than almost any other garment. I think designers really underestimate what seems like a simple product is actually one of the more challenging garments to fit correctly. Given the short time with the models, and last-minute fittings, it’s amazing that some pants actually do fit well.

      • Anathema_Device

         Oooh, there is a very good sewing and fabric place near me that offers such a class. I have been wanting to take it. Thanks for the prompt!  (I am VERY hard to fit for pants…small waist, long torso, womanly hips.)

        • Hey, if you have no butt as well, we could be twins!

          • kimmeister

            Or, if she has a butt and thunder thighs, she and I could be twins!

          • Anathema_Device

            Oh, I have plenty of butt. Probably enough for both of us, seeing as you don’t have much of one!

  • flamingjune

    Kors’ critique was telling.  He said good job for fixing the jacket (cutting off the cuffs), hair and makeup looked great, and I like the leather.  He didn’t mention anything about the style or design of the clothes.

  • Kate4queen

    She just needs to believe in herself and stop second-guessing every decision because she has interesting ideas.

  • NCDFan

    The fifth look made the model look emaciated in the extreme. 

    • kimmeister

      I found that she seemed to have picked extremely thin models.

  • QuincyTKatz

    I gasped whrn the 5th model came out. Not because of the clothes, but because she was so emaciated I wasn’t sure she make down the runway and back.

  • Anathema_Device

    I cracked up during the fittings when Melissa kept insisting that the shoes were responsible for the model’s limited walking ability in the white dress. It was obviously too tight below the knees…was she in denial? That was weird.

    I liked Melissa’s collection better than Christopher’s, but it didn’t deserve to be in the top two. Her jackets and vests were quite nice. I hope her aesthetic extends beyond the sculptured-neck thing, though. Ven and Christopher got called out during the season on returning to their bag of tricks one too many time, but I never saw her get called out for being a one-way monkey with that neck treatment.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I liked Melissa too, but felt that the judges were overlooking her tendency to go back to the same ideas, such as her high necklines.

  • With the exception of a couple cool jackets and pops of the fab blood orange color, I don’t see much in the way of design or skill here. I think Mila said she could see Melissa’s clothes in hip boutiques – that about sums it up for me. As a collection, it’s not impressive, but there are a few pieces I think would sell well — especially when she learns to edit those crazy necklines! 

  • Zippypie

    This was incredibly unimpressive.  I loved the color choice she made on the last dress.  That’s about it.  Otherwise, Calvin Klein did it better in the 90s.

  • pippitypup

    That white hobble dress…

    Hobble skirts went out 100 years ago. No one is clamoring for them to make a comeback.

  • Susan Crawford

    While I truly like Melissa, and think she has an interesting point of view, I was unimpressed by her final collection. Most of the design elements were her standbys: The big collars; the assymetrical skirts; the crushed-leather look; the funnel neck. SHE, on the other hand looked fabulous! And when Jennifer Hudson said she thought Melissa could have been one of the models, I was nodding energetically.

    I was so sorry she picked that blood orange leather. I loved the color, but she tortured the dress into a somewhat lumpy, off-kilter garment with a side slit that was completely out of proportion. And that is her downfall: proportion. But she’s young, inventive and talented, and I think time and experience will elevate her sense of cut and shape.

    I really wish her the best!

  • Lilithcat

    I loved the first jacket.   The rest, meh.  I do think the way she treated the leather was interesting, but it was barely visible, and there wasn’t that much of it.

  • Megan Patterson

    I like the hair. I didn’t really think this was a spring collection at ALL (though none of them were, except for Fabio’s). I wish they kept Sonjia instead. 

  • VivianAdvanced

    I liked some of her things, but absolutely hated the shoes that looked like they were borrowed from Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein wardrobe. I’ve never cared for perforated stuff either. Reminds me too much of Bandaids.

  • Rebecca Jay

    That “blood orange” dress was hideous, the white dress almost as much.

    Everything else, though, my 20 y/o daughter wants it all.

  • Anna_Hilda

    The white gessoed leather dress looks like some sort of weird full body cast.

  • Spencer Cunningham

    I think her aesthetic would have worked best if they had given them more time. She likes the high impacts, but those take more time, and I honestly think she would have had a really good chance with a couple more weeks.

  • dougldallas

    This is a totally crap collection.  Noting here of note.  Sure if these things showed up at Target they’d sell out, but this is not fashion at all.  I actally think the most inspiring thing in the entire show was Elena’s rounded and shape camoflaging use of color block.  Great futuristic and somewhat fresh version of a uniform military, but soft, line.  If I had an airline or an upscale hotel chain I would pick her up to dress the staff.  Very identifalbe styling almost like Dyson or Michael Graves meet clothes. 

    • Geschmarnge

      Except this has been done before with the Tron for OC collection and that was done better and less reptitive.

  • Lisa_Cop

    This collection was so predictable. Nothing we hadn’t seen already a million times from her.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Left boob collapse, for sure! It was so distracting when she turned and you could see directly into the dress. With her seaming and folding she could have easily solved the problem. So many problems with fit on most garments.
    She has a POV but it s one that myself and every other rocker chick has worn since the eighties. She needs to look at Rick Owens.

    • Geschmarnge

      I think she spent her entire life since the existence of Rick Owens, looking looking at Rick Owens.  That’s why this collection can barely be considered a collection of her own work.  It’s a sad imitation of RW.

  • Tamara Hogan

    I like her aesthetic, but as TLo rightly pointed out, you can already buy most of this stuff in stores today.

    That swimsuit was…quite awkward. Not flattering in the slightest.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I didn’t get the death into life theme, but I don’t take the themes seriously.  Melissa sent some decent looks down the runway.

  • libraangel

    Leather – Spring? Almost all her looks I have already forgotten about – so dull, so boring. And her theme: ‘Death to Life’? more ‘Death to Death!

  • libraangel

    MK liked the white dress because his stuff looks the same – boring!!!

  • libraangel

    What was with the fit of the pants:not camel-toe, but total camel!

  • Derek_anny

     I got the intruduction, but not (most of) the roundup walk from Christopher.  And whatever might have been in between.

  • bluefish

    Total meh collection.  Boring as hell.

  • guest2visits

    I thought the RW brought out more imperfections in Melissa’s collection than the stills showed. Alot of fit issues, and the super-
    simpleness of most of the pieces. I can appreciate simple, clean looks; but this was unimaginative.
    I’m sure the short time-line for creating a line was a big factor in her’s and everyone’s RW.
    I did like the first look, and possibly the red dress.  HATE THE LEATHER BATHING SUIT, and the weird black top with a wedgy
    under the jacket with red flaps.

  • Yolantta

    How can I get Melissa’s red and white dress from ethnic night…absolutely SUPURB!!!