"She's really one of my new heroes." That's how Bridesmaids director Paul Feig describes Melissa McCarthy, and we definitely agree. In the past six months, McCarthy has helped prove to Hollywood that female-centric comedies can be hugely successful (and hilarious), won an her first Emmy for Mike And Molly, sold a sitcom pitch to CBS and a road-trip comedy pitch to Paramount, and done an awesome job hosting SNL. Now on top of all that, she's planning to design a plus-size clothing line.
Perhaps that's not such a surprise, since every other celebrity wants to slap their name on a clothing brand, but McCarthy has actually been interested in fashion for years. As a goth teen growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, she dreamed of being a fashion designer before she was sidetracked by stand-up comedy. From the Hollywood Reporter:
She and close friend and fellow goth Brian Atwood, now a well-known women's shoe designer, would tear out pages of Vogue and fantasize about their own lines. Her parents beat down the idea of her attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, so she settled on Southern Illinois University, where she briefly studied clothing and textiles before dropping out.
With boredom having seeped in again, McCarthy decided to follow her sister Margie to Boulder, Colo., where she found a gig making costumes for a dance company. But a visit from Atwood, who had already moved to New York, convinced a then 20-year-old McCarthy to pack her bags and join him in Manhattan. Once there, it was he who suggested she try her hand at stand-up, a genre with which she'd had no previous experience.
McCarthy was inspired to finally launch her own retail line after searching for a dress to wear to the Emmys. She says,
"Trying to find stuff that's still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible. It's either for like a 98-year-old woman or a 14-year-old hooker, and there is nothing in the middle."
After looking through "9 million dresses with taffeta or shiny bows," she decided to create her own with couture dressmaker Daniella Pearl. The result was the lovely deep purple gown she wore to the show, which she says was "wildly comfortable." She told People that they also designed a backup gown that was "dove-gray and much more flowing." It's still sitting in her closet and she joked, "I'll wear it to Trader Joe's later."
Actresses who deviate from Hollywood's uniformly thin mold often say they have a hard time finding clothing for awards shows, as most designers are unwilling (and perhaps unable) to make gorgeous gowns in plus-sizes. We love that rather than resorting to choosing the lesser of many evils, McCarthy plans to make clothing larger women will actually be excited about wearing. Now we just need someone to tell Christina Hendricks to work on making her swimsuits for bustier gals a reality.
Melissa McCarthy Is Having Her Moment [Hollywood Reporter]
‘Bridesmaids' Star Melissa McCarthy Planning A Plus-Size Clothing Line [People]