STYLE

Artisan Interviews: Melissa Fleis

Artisan Interviews: Melissa Fleis


Tell us a little bit about how you started your career in fashion design.
I didn’t make the move to become a fashion designer until I was 27 – the same year I learned how to sew. I went back to school to get my MFA in fashion design so I could learn the entire process of designing, constructing, and producing garments from beginning to end.

Describe your workspace. A well designed, white walled, clean, inspirational space.

Melissa Fleis Melissa Fleis


What was your time like on Project Runway?
Crazy and unforgettable. The show not only challenged me creatively – it also challenged my skills, and my abilities to take and resolve criticism from professionals in the industry.

Can you give us a little insight into your creative process? My creative process differs for each collection. Sometimes it’s the individual garment that hits me first, and other times it’s the inspiration. The next step is always creating a cohesive mood board, and then sketching out my designs. Sometimes you can sketch more than 25 ideas before settling on the right design.

What does a typical day look like for you? No day is the same in this industry, especially when you are the owner and creative director. One thing that remains the same though – is every morning, I always make myself my coffee, and check my emails. From there it can vary from sketching, to sourcing fabrics – to running to factories or holding meetings.

Melissa Fleis Melissa Fleis


What are you currently working on?
I just finished my latest collection for 2016 called, Resurface.

Talk about one of your most treasured projects. One of my most treasured projects has to be my finale collection for Project Runway, and showing it at New York Fashion Week.

Where do you pull inspiration from? Modern architecture, and early 20th Century German Art Movements always work for me. Ultimately, the main theme, color story, and inspiration can hit me at anytime depending upon where I am, who I’m with, or a random image/artist I find online or in a book.

Artisan Interviews: Melissa Fleis


Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
I’d love to see my brand go global and have a few stores of my own. I’m also interested in other vessels for design, like interiors and collaborations with other artists.

Lastly, any life advice? Work with the fear.

Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio

Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting with one of my favorite photographers and friend of mine, Kirsty, for my brand re-launch. For those of you who are new around here, I decided it was time to get away from using my name for my business and thought it was time to come up with something that would allow me to grow my business beyond myself. It’s been about a year now since I slowly started build things behind the scenes, and a little update – the design for the website is 97% complete and has been sent to the web developer and print media is now slowly starting to take shape! The brand aesthetic behind Little Bison Studio will be different from what you are currently seeing here, opting more towards the simple, natural, and earthy. I know it’s taken me a long time to finally get to these final steps, believe me, I am SO ready, and I hope to share more of my process as it unfolds.

Sienna Moon: Summer Collection

Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs

A few weeks ago I shared a sneak peek into what I’ve been working on the past few months and I am so excited to finally share that the day is here! First let’s back track to March, the freelancing waters had settled a bit and I was itching for a new project, so I started contacting a few up + coming businesses and Etsy shops wondering if they’d be interested in collaborating in some way. It was at that time, that I stumbled upon the Jamie’s lovely, boho-inspired shop. Sienna Moon. It caught my eye right off the bat because it was right up my alley and a client I could only dream of working with some day.

After a exchanging a few emails, Jamie and I began the process of designing tee’s and tanks for her upcoming summer collection. Little did I know how huge of a project this was turning out to be, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride. Seriously. I’ve learned so much in these past three months about developing + designing a clothing line and has really opened my eyes even more to the realm of fashion. It has truly been an amazing experience and has given me a good sample of what it’s like to own and run a clothing company.

Currently we are in the process of promoting the new collection with social media, line sheets, and lookbooks. I promise I will share more as everything starts to unfold, but until then, feel free to check out the new summer collection for yourself! This collection was a wonderful team effort and I want to give a shout out to the other designers who had a hand in creating various parts of the collection and to all of the incredible photographers across the U.S. who made the garments come to life so beautifully!

Sienna Moon Sneak Peek

Sienna Moon / Following Our Breath, Following Our Heart tee Sienna Moon / Raised on Rock 'N Roll & Dreams tee Sienna Moon / Under Her Spell tee

I was too excited to wait a few more days, so I thought I would share a little bit of where I’ve been and why things have been a little more quiet around here than usual. As you may already know, I have been working on a huge project that has been hush hush for the past few months and in just a few short days, all will be revealed!

I’ve been working with the LA-based clothing company, Sienna Moon; designing tee’s for their upcoming summer collection and assisting the shop’s owner various day-to-day happenings. The shop inspired by bohemian vibes and the calm, cool, and collected California style. Jamie Michelle, Sienna Moon’s owner, strives to keep all things eco-friendly + ethically made, which I am excited to say that almost all of the tee’s in the new collection will be organic or hemp!

I am sure Jamie will be sharing more over on Sienna Moon’s instagram over the weekend, in case you’d like to follow along! And this post wouldn’t be complete without giving props to the wonderfully talented photographer behind a few of these images. Jessie Alexise has shot for Sienna Moon five previous times and she envelops the brand oh so well! It’s honestly been a true dream to be a part of this whole experience and just so happens to fit my niche perfectly!

Autumn Vintage (Guest Post)

Incorporating Vintage into Your Fall Wardrobe / Mary of Millay Vintage for Holly Marie Designs

Hi there, I am Mary Spears — editorial, event, and interiors stylist, and the little lady behind Millay Vintage.

With the temperatures dropping and leaves a-turning outdoors, the time to transition our wardrobes towards cozier layers is upon us. That said, I’m here to share my top tips on incorporating vintage pieces into your fall wearings, no matter your style. Because the last thing you want to do is look gimmicky or costume — a common trap of wearing vintage. So fear not, these pieces will lead you in the right direction!

The easiest way to ease vintage pieces into your wardrobe is through accessories.

Hats: While you can find some cute ones at major retailers, vintage is the way to go guys — they are generally more solidly constructed. For these cooler months try wool fedoras, bucket hats, large brims, and berets – a neutral but moody color can be the perfect statement for outfits both casual and dressy.

Collars: A jeweled collar like the one above is  darling over cardigans and blouses. Fur collars (faux or real) are beautiful over jackets and coats (and also serve to keep you warm: bonus!).

Shoes and bags: Particularly leathers and suedes, which offer the greatest versatility. And good leather? We all know they just get better with age.

Sweaters: The best deals around are on vintage sweaters. I swear they are always cozier, softer, and less expensive than any retail store has to offer. Cashmere, especially, but also cable knits and cardigans. And a sweater ALWAYS looks good paired with jeans and skirts, so versatility is a given when you go neutral with these.

I always advocate pairing vintage with contemporary, modern pieces. Mixing it in with what you’ve already got going on will feel far more “you” than trying to replicate a moment in history from head to toe. And that is the whole point of style: to make you feel lovely head-to-toe as you are. These vintage pieces will just lend a certain je ne sais quoi to your look — I guarantee it.

 

Creative Q+A: Ashley Weiler

Q+A: Ashley Weiler / freelance stylist

Describe your style. What I love about fashion is that you have so much freedom to experiment with styles and trends. My closet consists of a lot of black and navy, patterns, sweaters, textures and vintage pieces. I like to have fun with fashion by wearing things that might not make complete sense, but work.

Share a little bit of insight into what or who inspires you when it comes to fashion styling. I’m in a constant state of inspiration, so I try to channel the things I experience into something creative, like fashion styling. I’m currently immersed in the beautiful, diverse culture that is Los Angeles, which has made such an impact on my creativity. The fashion, art galleries, coffee shops, people, and nature (it’s here, promise) have been so crucial to this! I often find myself drawing from these sources when it comes to styling.

Ashley Weiler

What was it like interning at Darling Magazine + what were some of your main responsibilities? Interning at Darling Magazine was just the most delightful experience! I was surrounded by women who had so much passion, value and purpose within their work and lives, which was such a beautiful thing to see in an industry that sometimes lacks those qualities. I was the Style Intern, which allowed me to work closely with Darling’s fashion editor, assisting on photoshoots and pulling/returning garments to showrooms. I learned so much about fashion styling, leadership and, of course, the art of being a woman.

Now, as a freelance stylist, what does a typical day look like for you? I’m fresh to the world of freelance, but it has been good to me thus far. I mostly have been working as a stylist’s assistant, which has been a wonderful learning experience. My day usually begins with an iced coffee and sending/responding to emails. I then jump right into driving to showrooms and shops to pull looks for upcoming events/shoots. Everyday is different, which I absolutely adore.

Ashley Weiler

Talk about one of your most treasured projects. I recently worked on a fashion film with a couple of friends for their fashion brand, VENIA. I was so grateful to be a part of moment that breathed such life into their amazing designs and mission.

Are there any tips or suggestions you may have for someone interested in entering the realm of fashion? It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative qualities that are associates with fashion: negative comparisons, rejection, hostility, etc. My suggestion is to avoid those avenues and try to be that rare, genuine, positive light in an industry that needs it so. Look for the beauty in those complex situations and be confident in who you are as a creative.

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? So, so many! I think I’ll stick with a classic on this one. I will forever admire Irving Penn. Regardless of what he was shooting, his intention was always to capture beauty and I so admire that.

Ashley Weiler

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? My only serious goal for the future is to travel the world with my guy. I really don’t care where I’m working, as long as it’s with great people and if it financially allows me drink a lot of six-dollar lattes.

Lastly, any life advice? Never, ever stop absorbing information. The more you learn, the more you grow and that’s a beautiful thing.

What I Wore: Dark Florals

What I Wore: Dark Florals What I Wore: Dark Florals What I Wore: Dark Florals What I Wore: Dark Florals

Fall is officially here in the midwest and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s just that cozy time of the year where you can sit by the fire, bring out the blankets, enjoy the changing colors, and stock up on pumpkins, apples, and cider. (Not to mention that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!) There’s just so much nostalgia wrapped up in these short few months that I just cannot seem to get enough! Transitioning my wardrobe from summer to autumn is usually pretty easy for me (especially when the temperatures have been mid 60’s to low 70’s) that all you need to do add a few light layers and you’re ready to go! My photographer friend and I switched up the scenery this time around and shot in front of this awesome cornfield + happened to get a few great shots right before the farmer came riding by on his tractor.

( Dress: PacSun, Jacket: WalMart, Leggings: Forever 21, Boots: Breckelle’s, Scarf: gift )

Creative Q+A: Ashley Ording / Anthropologie

Q+A: Ashley Ording / web stylist for Anthropologie

Talk about your style. In short my style is feminine with a sense of humor. I’m drawn to vintage pieces but I love mixing them with modern ones, and there always has to be some kind of weird twist. Oh, and I hardly ever wear pants but on those rare occasions you can bet that they are covered in sequins or metallic polka dots.

How did you come about working for Anthropologie + what are some of your main responsibilities? Anthropologie reached out to me almost three years ago and I almost couldn’t believe it. Although it meant moving across the country from San Francisco to Philadelphia, I couldn’t resist such a wonderful opportunity to work for a brand that I adore. My position is Web Stylist for apparel, and I’m one of only three ladies that styles all of the on-model looks on the web site. I’m also the stylist for all on-model social media shoots at Anthropologie. It’s absolutely my dream job and I have learned so much in the two years I’ve been with the company.

Ashely Ording Ashely Ording

What does your typical day consist of? On any given day I am either creating outfits with the newest product yet to be shot, on set styling that day’s model, or assisting my fellow stylists while they are on set. A normal day involves going through a lot of product, making sure our prop room is organized, keeping track of which items are a priority to shoot, and researching outfitting inspiration. I am also responsible for making sure that our retouching team is aware of any particular tweaks that need to be made to a certain look, such as brightening a dark shadow or removing a stain. There are many details to keep on top of and the pace is always fast, but I love every bit of it!

Is there a designer/artist/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? Currently I am quite enamored with Josep Font, the designer who recently took over designing at Delpozo. I’m obsessed with nearly every single look he creates, it’s crazy how talented and imaginative he is.

Ashely Ording / styling

Name five items in your closet that you cannot live without. In no particular order: one – a 1970’s beige soutache lace vest, two – 1980’s burgundy crocodile Ferragamo flats that I should probably throw away at this point, three – my crazy floor length lace trimmed 1960’s robe that I wear nearly every single day around my apartment, four – a beautiful but delicate 1950’s sleeveless silk cropped top that is the prettiest shade of pale brown, five – is it fair to say all of my vintage dresses as one thing?

What inspires you? Women with innate personal style who dress to please themselves and no one else. I love it when you can tell that someone doesn’t give a damn about what others think about their taste. Those people are the most stylish.

Ashely Ording Ashely Ording

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? It’s funny, my boyfriend and I have been discussing this very topic quite a bit lately. I’m good at planning in the short term but when it comes to 5 or 10 years from now things get a bit hazy in my mind. I can say that I would like to be creatively fulfilled, still styling but in an even more involved way, and living somewhere new and inspiring. I know that I won’t be in Philadelphia forever, so it’s fun to dream about where I might end up.

Lastly, any life advice? Ah, I doubt I’m terribly qualified for this one but I can sincerely say that listening to my own instincts and no one else’s has served me well. Do what you love to do, wear what you love to wear, and follow your passions always. You may get a few funny looks along the way, but you won’t have time to care if you are fully engaged with making your own life a fantastic one.

What I Wore: Crocheted Lace

What I Wore: Crocheted Lace What I Wore: Crocheted Lace What I Wore: Crocheted Lace What I Wore: Crocheted Lace

This past week I have been working on a closet cleanse, getting rid of items that no longer reflect my style, are old and outdated, or simply do not fit. It’s a bit hard being completely honest with myself because I tend to keep things thinking I may wear or use them sometime down the road. After starting my closet purge I did a little shopping with my husband and we each found a few things that we really love. An item I received just a few days ago, that is the spotlight of this post, is this lovely crocheted lace cardi that really reflects that vibe that I am aiming for with my new closet. Next weekend I will be attending a local music festival where I hope to showcase a few other recently purchased goods – can’t wait! Happy weekend!

( Lace Crochet Cardi c/o: Romwe, Dress: American Eagle, Bangles: Forever 21,
Necklace & Bracelet: PacSun, Sandals: Target )

What I Wore: The Everyday Dress

What I Wore: The Everyday Dress What I Wore: The Everyday Dress What I Wore: The Everyday Dress

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an outfit post with you all, but my closet has me feeling a little uninspired. I’ve been hitting up the re-sale shops a bit more than usual – you never know what kind of gems you’ll find! On one of my latest endeavors, I did pick out a few dresses, but am still looking for a few more items to pair with them to make them feel a little more “complete”. So, reaching for a few trusty favorites of mine, I thought I’d go for something a little easygoing + perfect for the everyday.

( Dress: American Eagle, Chambray and Sandals: Target, Purse: Francesca’s,
Necklace: Forever 21 )