Melissa McCarthy ‘disappointed’ by shopping, talks clothing line

"Bridesmaids" and "The Heat" star Melissa McCarthy will design her own clothing line. She designed this dress for the 2011 Emmy Awards with Daniella Pear.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Melissa McCarthy isn’t accepting the fashion status quo, so she started her own clothing line with dressmaker and collaborator Daniella Pearl in 2011.

The Oscar-nominated “Bridesmaids” star, who has been vocal about her inability to find gowns for her shape, shed more light on her decision to start her own line: She was sick of being passed up at award shows by designers who refused to dress her plus-size figure, she said in the July issue of Redbook.

“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed,” McCarthy said. “Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no.”

Ultimately, McCarthy wore a custom-made Marina Rinaldi gown, but she got proactive to make the next award shows a bit easier. That’s why the “Mike & Molly” star and the couturier teamed up on the line called Pearl.

“Trying to find stuff that’s still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible,” the actress previously lamented to the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s either for like a 98-year-old woman or a 14-year-old hooker, and there is nothing in the middle.”

She and the dressmaker already had a history too: In 2011, she collaborated with Pearl to glam up for the Emmy Awards, and they created a “wildy comfortable” indigo gown for the award winner to wear.


“I designed [my dress] and I worked with Daniella Pearl, who is an amazing couture dressmaker,” McCarthy told Us Weekly at the time. “I just didn’t see anything that I liked out there.”

The Groundlings alum said she has “always sewn” and studied clothing and textiles in college.

"[I] always thought I would design women’s clothing,” she said. “Then [I] ended up in New York thinking I was going to go to FIT [the Fashion Institute of Technology], and I started doing standup. So how A went to B, I don’t know!”