unexpected guests: melissa fleis.
by victoria comment



perhaps you may have guessed from the dress forms above that we’re visiting a fashion designer on unexpected guests today. well, you would have guessed correctly — but not just any designer. we’re visiting melissa fleis — last season’s project runaway finalist, and my personal favorite. probably yours, too. melissa lives in san francisco’s mission district in a sunny victorian she shares with her boyfriend nick and she’s invited us in for a tour around the space she lives and designs her amazing clothing line. melissa’s home is as eclectic and stylish as the clothing she designs and her dark aesthetic is heavily inspired by early Twentieth Century German art movements, such as Bauhaus and Dada. i think you’re going to like this peek into her world. melissa is currently designing under her own label and creating a line of custom made leather pieces. so to follow along on what she’s up to next (including an upcoming and unconventional fashion show) visit her website.



What’s your idea of a perfect day in San Francisco?
When I think of my perfect day in San Francisco, Sundays come to mind. I love leisurely waking up and enjoying my coffee, then meeting up with my close friends for brunch. Throw in some hiking or an adventure of some sort, dinner, and a movie and I’m completely content.



Where do you like to shop for unique finds?
Paxton’s Gate in the Mission, and Loved to Death on Haight Street.


some of melissa’s vintage collections, pillows, and photos of her mom and dad.


Do you have a favorite bargain find or product?
Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel from Walgreen’s — it’s a miracle worker for the skin!


What’s your favorite feature in your home?
Definitely the tall bay windows in front of my desk. It provides the best light to work in, and an incredible view.



Where do you find inspiration for your fashions?
I find that I’m constantly inspired by early 20th century German art movements such as Bauhaus, and Dada. I also like to keep a journal and scrapbook where I try to collect everything that interests, or intrigues me. I later use these photos and ideas I’ve collected as the foundation for my collection’s mood, and color palette. My latest inspiration came from a book I found called A Cabinet of Rarities – Antiquarian Obsessions and the Spells of Death from City Lights Bookstore, in North Beach.


Is there a specific person you would like to design for?
I’d love to dress Agyness Deyn.


Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Australian Black Licorice.



What is your most treasured belonging?
My 1971 AMC Javelin, Bardot. My dad actually bought her off the lot in 1971.


What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
A black and white postcard from Maxfield in Los Angeles. Postcards are actually some of my favorite scrapbooking mediums.


What is your idea of living hell?
Being buried alive. A slow moving, overcrowded MUNI.


What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
I’m pretty active online, but off the top of my head: Dirty Flaws, Some/Things Magazine, Le 21eme, Handful of Salt, Design Milk, StyleZeitgeist, Learnist – and of course sfgirlbybay!


17 responses to “unexpected guests: melissa fleis.”

  1. Great tour! I love her style – a perfect combo of offbeat and elegant. I think I may ‘borrow’ the light/ceiling medallion idea.

  2. i love melissa’s home! and being a fellow Mission dweller…i can appreciate it’s simplistic quirkiness. well done…thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. My favorite part of this tour is, strangely enough, the television. It’s so rare that TVs are shown in photos like these and even rarer that they look so elegant! It’s the perfect TV storage solution.

  4. Melissa was one of my favorite Project Runway designers and am thrilled to see her live/work space. It is so interesting to sneak a peak at her lovely home – i imagined that it would have been filled with fabric and loose threads everywhere! Instead, it is a beautiful, little goth retreat – I guess great style in clothing an home decor is just part of who she is.

  5. Melissa was my favorite from the last season of PR, and it is a treat to see the inside of her sweet apartment! It really is a reflection of her style. The photos of her are gorgeous too!

  6. I loved Melissa’s personal style on PR, and it’s so cool to see that her sense of design extends beyond clothing and into her home. I love this tour! That little window in the bathroom and the gray painted floors make me happy.

    Thanks for sharing your home, Melissa! (And thank you for the great photos, Victoria, as usual.)

  7. Loved getting to see more ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak! Melissa was my favourite on PR, so it’s awesome to get a little extra dose of her awesome style. :)

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