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Full Figure Style Ask Paula B!
By Paula Bond
Published August 1, 2014


Readers, meet Mel Grayson, entertainment industry costume designer and professor at the renowned FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, here in Los Angeles. Whether fashion, beauty, or interior design, FIDM’s priority has been to employ working professionals as faculty.  That’s exactly how the design college discovered Mel.  “I ended up there lecturing for a couple classes, they really liked me and I stayed. 13 years later I’m teaching Apparel Production Management, how to create a successful business in the fashion industry. Your designs may get you in the store, but it is your business savvy that will keep you there.”   


In sharing his passion about designing clothes for the curvy sista’, Mel says, “full figures have fewer good clothing options and among those, often the fit isn’t best, fabrication can be is shoddy, manufacturing is even worse.” He’ll soon be creating a line that works for women sizes 12 to 24 and 1X to 5x. Mel is clear, “No cheap clothes, great fabrications, no synthetics, clothes that move and inspire you to be a better you. Price points will not be cheap because of the quality involved, but I will have secrets in my clothes that will help this woman’s body survive.”


Mel’s advice for the voluptuous woman are to, “Keep a vertical line up and down your body.  This means, V-necks, things that don’t cling to your body such as A-line silhouettes. You want to create an ‘A’, not that straight up and down look, because your body is not straight up and down.” Mel adds, “Assets on a full-figured body may include great shoulders, great cleavage and nice calves, so the skirt should hit below the knee. Anything that fits you in the waist and flatters from the waist down is the right silhouette to wear. Not skinny anything, a pencil skirt is not right for a curvy girl. Wear fabrics that float across your curves, draping not constricting.” And Mel’s palette of delicious Summer colors include the sherbets. . .subdued jewel tones like amethyst and emeralds, plus the metallics – bronze, copper as well as gold and silver.


There’s much more to learn from Mel Grayson like, how-to draw attention to your assets and away from those ‘less than perfect areas’, and find out the number one mistake made by all figure types.  That’s next time.  Until then, find me at


Categories: Fashion

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