Meet Mel!

Melbourne designer Melissa Petts’ latest collection wowed me last Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. I worked on make-up for her show on the emerging designer runway and fell in love with the clean lines, interesting shapes and use of white (the other black) in her designs.

“…stunning and architectural designs…” Image courtesy of Style Melbourne

Definitely one to watch out for, enjoy getting to know Melissa as she shares with me her inspiration, journey so far as a designer, approach to fashion and longtime crush on Ashton Kutcher.

One of the lucky ones, she knew her calling early in life. No wasted years at uni bar.

Since I was an early teen I was always making my own outfits for parties and always had a strong love for textiles and design. In my final year of high school I won a scholarship for a short course at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney. This is when I really fell in love with the fashion Industry and knew I wanted to create my own label ‘dorothy’.

It wasn’t until I became a student at Melbourne School of Fashion that I really found my creative style and gained the knowledge needed to kick start my label.

Inspired by…

My beautiful family inspire me each and every day and have always encouraged me to follow my dreams. My ‘Reminiscence’ collection was both inspired by and dedicated to my family. The collection is a reflection of that nostalgic feeling we have whilst looking back on our past. I sourced vintage photographs of my family’s history, and used props, such as a hand held brush and mirror, which was used in the MSFW runway.

Emerging Designers Runway 1 backstage

Emerging Designers Runway 1 Backstage. Make up by me on model Eliza. Image courtesy of Sarah Lay Photo.

In her job she loves…

I get excited through the whole process; from initial designing, to pattern making, selecting colours and fabrics, sewing and construction… but what I really love is the final photoshoot for a lookbook, where I can look back at the collection and feel proud of what I have created.

From Melissa’s lookbook. Photographer- Caitlin Lutton , Model- Siahn Beach.

Three words to capture a Dorothy design..

Heirloom. Embellishment. Delicate.

Image courtesy of Sarah Lay via Fashion Journal

What defines a Dorothy design?

Key embellishment features are what make my designs unique and one of a kind.

The ‘Reminiscence’ collection features hand-embroidered cross stitch in every single outfit; from a cameo shaped panel on a dress, cross-stitched hips on undergarments to an almost entire cross-stitched bustier jumpsuit. Each flower on the designs has been hand crafted, with every petal individually cut, pressed and hand stitched.

I also use the finest of fabrics, mostly consisting of textured silks and bridal tulle (as seen in my seven meter train) to really add that personal, whimsical and heirloom feel to the designs.

Fun facts:

Mel was born a redhead, she gets around in a bright yellow VW beetle, worked her first job at Just Jeans and has had a crush on Ashton Kutcher since she can remember (Kelso was a big part of all our lives Mel!).

So young and already so accomplished, keep up with her adventures and label Dorothy on Instagram here.

Melissa Petts



© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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