Kate Hogan
September 30, 2011 04:00 PM

Paul Buck/EPA/Landov

“Trying to find stuff that’s still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible,” Melissa McCarthy jokingly laments in the new issue of 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.”

Disgruntled by the lack of choices, the Bridesmaids star has decided to launch her own line for plus-size women, which she’ll co-design with couturier Daniela Kurrle.

Though a familiar tale, this isn’t a case of another celebrity gone fashion-crazy: McCarthy actually has a background in design. “I went to college for clothing and textiles and always thought that I would design women’s clothing,” she told reporters on Emmys night after nabbing her best comedic actress award for Mike & Molly. “Then [I] ended up in New York doing stand-up.”

Fast-forward a few years, and McCarthy is one of 2011’s breakout stars, with a hit movie and television series under her belt — but nary a chic dress to be found. With the Emmys looming, she decided to take matters into her own hands, designing a one-of-a-kind gown for the big night.

“I’m a crazy tear-sheet person and I really love vintage, so I went through my never-ending book of tear sheets and then I kind of drew [a dress] up and I designed it myself,” she told PEOPLE at an Emmys reception days before the show. “I couldn’t be happier with it.”

Tapping Pearl to sew the deep purple gown (above), which McCarthy called “wildly comfortable” (it had pockets, too!), she felt inspired. She even made a back-up gown, just in case. “The other one [was] dove-gray and much more flowing,” she told PEOPLE at the Audi and David Yurman Kick-Off to Emmy party. And though it didn’t make the cut for her big night out, she kept it in her closet. As she joked, “I’ll wear it to Trader Joe’s later.”

–Kate Hogan, with reporting by Vanessa Diaz, Mia McNiece and Michelle Ward


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