As Hollywood’s awards season continues, Fashion Police alum Melissa Rivers can’t help but look at the red carpet with a critic’s eye. “We had the elegant, and we had the sexier, sheer vibe,” Melissa notes to Closer of the outfits worn to the recent Golden Globe Awards. “There were boobs flying left, right and center!”

From 2002 to 2014, Melissa, 56, covered Hollywood’s red carpet events with her mom, comedian Joan Rivers, on TV’s Fashion Police. “We had fun. My mom used to always say it’s like the world’s best cocktail party — you get to talk to everybody for two minutes and then move on,” says Melissa, who will mark the 10th anniversary of her mother’s passing this September.

Today, Melissa has arrived at a peaceful place in her life. She’s the host of “Group Text,” an entertainment and lifestyle podcast available to stream on Apple. Her son, Cooper, is grown up. And most surprising of all, Melissa, who once swore she’d never remarry, is engaged to attorney Steve Mitchel. “We always say, he grounds me and I make him fun,” says Melissa, who has been divorced from Cooper’s father since 2003. “There’s an ease to this relationship. It’s very worry-free.”

Before the couple moved in together in January, Melissa had a talk with her son. “I’ve only had two other big relationships his entire life,” she explains. “It’s always been just me and Coop.”

Cooper approved of Steve and liked his two adult sons, but he cautioned his stepfather-to-be not to move too fast. “Let’s not rush to the altar, we don’t want to freak her out,” Melissa says her son advised. “I’ve got to admit, my boy knows me!”

The wedding is likely to occur in 2025 — and it will be a simple affair. “We’re adults. We’ve already both done the big weddings,” says Melissa, who confides she might wear a navy-colored dress. “This will be about celebrating and having fun.”

Melissa Rivers and Joan Rivers on red carpet
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Love & Laughter

Undoubtedly, Joan would be delighted to see Melissa so happy. “The one thing that was specifically ingrained in me by my mother, especially after my father passed, was to always remember: This too shall pass,” says Melissa. “That’s twofold. One, you will get through everything. And two, when things are good, stop and take a look around and realize how good things are because that too will pass.”

In addition to her “Group Text” podcast, Melissa also has a new book project. “I’m working on one about Vegas in the ’50s through the early ’80s,” she says. “My mom and my dad collected interviews from times in Vegas. I’m reading through them and trying to curate it.”

Melissa believes Joan would be horrified by how little laughter there is in the world today. “We’re living in this culture of fear, and everyone takes themselves so seriously,” she says, adding that it’s hard to be funny these days. “You can’t live in a world where everyone takes everything that you say to be offensive.”

She’s grateful for the sense of humor her parents instilled in her from a very young age. “We live in such brutal times that you have to take a deep breath every now and again or you’ll go insane. I think humor does that,” says Melissa. “My mom always used to say if you could make someone laugh, you’re giving them a mini vacation. We all need that now.”