What do old bike tires, forks, and records have in common?? Many may have no clue, but to the young design queen Melissa Squire, they provide materials for endless design projects! Who is this Melissa you ask? Well, she's a young fashion designer born and raised in North Battleford, SK now living and designing in Saskatoon.  She's always had a passion for sewing and creating, so it was a natural fit to become a designer.

in 2007, Melissa made the decision to take sewing to the next level and create her own line of clothing. Her line consists of beautiful dresses, jackets, skirts, tops and accessories for both ladies and children. Melissa's line doesn't just stop there, she also designs custom pieces, with funky wedding and graduation dresses among her favourite to create. The designs are sweet and have a flair for the dramatic with the use of colour, mixing of prints and pattern, all while being feminine and distinctive. 

Melissa's edgy, rockabilly inspired style is often described as "badass pretty". She excels at accenting the natural beauty of a lady, highlighting curves while allowing them to be flirty and fun. Melissa likes to take chances with her designs and incorporates, crinolines, polka dots, stripes, prints, bows, and bright colours to make a bold statement.  It's adventurous, quirky, exciting and 'uber girly'. 

Melissa has been featured in fashion shows locally and internationally, including; Vancouver Fashion week Fall/Winter 2011, Western Canada Fashion Week Spring 2012, and  Brooklyn Fashion Weekend Spring/Summer 2013. Melissa also received international appeal and coverage for her contribution to the swag bags for the 2013 Oscars! 

The Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival is proud and excited to share Melissa's fashions this year! Continue reading below to learn more about this creative young designer.

Why did you become a designer?

 I guess what really sparked it was I could never find what I was looking for, and I love doing things myself.  I had a certain style that apparently didn't exist!  Haha! 

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?

I love creating, anything really.  I also love to learn and teach myself new things.  Fashion is ever changing and evolving.  New styles, ideas and materials make life interesting, create new challenges and keep my creative juices flowing! 

What was the first item you ever sewed? 

 Hmmm, I think it was a pair of pants for my mom for mothers day...I sewed them by hand.  I was very young and they were a huge fail!  Stretch pants don't work that well in non stretch fabrics, learned a lesson that day!

Who is your favorite fashion designer, why?

Alexander McQueen really pushed the envelope when it comes to performance on the runway.  The inspirations, the details, the layers all had this amazing cohesion.  Coco Chanel is an inspiration in herself.  How far she came, the struggles she endured getting there, the longevity and iconic grandeur of her brand.  Through it all her bold attitude never faded 

"You live but once; you might as well be amusing". Coco Chanel

Those are words to live by!  Never take yourself too seriously! 

What are your inspirations around your designs?

I love to use vintage silhouettes circa 1950's, but with a more edgy rockabilly style.  Pencil skirts, circle skirts and crinolines are common, kids dresses in cute prints were inspired by my nieces Madisyn and Hailey.  I love to upcycle, so that has inspired my jewelry collection made from recycled tires and records.   But the newest thing in the line is my new men's collection "Vacation Joel", so cleverly named after my husband, the inspiration!  And the collection is just as fun as he is!  Vacation Joel consists of mens and unisex shorts, button up shirts, suit vests, ties and bowties.   

Photo: B Jonathan Michaels Model: Toni Konecsni

Photo: B Jonathan Michaels
Model: Toni Konecsni

Where do you source your materials and fabrics?

I source some locally and some through my distributors or online when desperate!  Many hours of serious hunting to find the crazy stuff I love the most! 

What are you most excited about during the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival?

I love the Riverlanding Show.  Its so beautiful with the river in the background.  I love that it's outside in the heart of Saskatoon! 

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to be happy, the rest will figure itself out!  

What are 3 words you would use to describe your designs?

bad ass pretty.

  • Models: Melissa Squire and Joel Clark
  • Photos: Hamilton Photographics
  • Makeup: Vamp Makeup
  • Hair: Sara Whyte of Alchemy

Melissa's designs can be found at Alchemy located at 615 2nd Ave N, in Saskatoon. Melissa Squire will also be showing her designs at the Deconstructed Runway on Friday June 5th and at River Landing on Sunday June 7th.