Melissa MagsaysayFashion and Beauty Expert
Melissa Magsaysay is a gorgeous Lucy-Liu-look-alike who, one could say, also fights bad guys with the girl power of one of Charlie’s Angels: ‘bad guys’ in this case being the poorly-dressed victims of style. Her other super power is writing: Melissa was a fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily and style and beauty editor at the LA Times. Now she’s releasing her debut book, City of Style, which chronicles the style evolution and influence of West Coast fashion hub Los Angeles. The book features interviews with designers from Trina Turk to Phillip Lim to Cynthia Rowley (and even Tony Hawk and Slash, both of whom have clothing lines) and outlines the seven distinct LA styles: Romantic Bohemian, Hollywood Glamour, Skater/Surfer, Rocker, Chola-Style, Indie-Eclectic, and Casual Chic. Melissa tells us which style file she fits into in this week’s Spotlight; and next week, you can ask her in person! We’re celebrating Melissa’s book with the author herself at eDrop-Off on June 26. RSVP to RSVP@shopedropoff.com.
BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: LE LABO MUSC 25 // moisturizer: BURT’S BEES APRICOT OIL (& mixed into a non-sceneted lotion for more hydration and dewey glow) // concealer: LAURA MERCIER SECRET CONCEALER // mascara: COVERGIRL LASH BLAST FUSION // lips: NARS JUNGLE RED // nails: RGB CORAL // eyebrows: DARAC BROW TRIO // skincare: RODIN OLIO LUSSO FACE OIL
Q: Congrats on your first book! What was the toughest part in writing it?
A: The hardest part is just like the hardest part of doing anything for the first time: not knowing exactly how the process goes and learning a lot as you move along. The research was tough, but also totally interesting and rewarding once I began to connect the dots between history and modern-day style.
Q: We have to ask: which of the style’s you outline in the book best describes you?
A: My personal style is classic, traditional, and a little preppy. I would say I am ‘Casual Chic.’ I follow trends but translate them to suit my life and personal taste. I like to mix in a little ‘Skater/Surfer’ now and then; I grew up near San Francisco where there was a thriving skate scene and have always been influenced by the look.
Q: LA may be the City of Style, but few would describe our Windy City as such—what’s the beef?
A: The major difference between LA and Chicago is weather. LA doesn’t really have any seasons and Chicago has well, all four. But that does not mean that the styles don’t translate to Chicago.
Q: What can we do to adopt a little bit of LA style?
A: Chicagoans could easily adopt any of these looks, depending on the time of year. In any season, one could integrate a Romantic Bohemian accessory (like a floppy hat or tangle of string and metal bracelets) into their look. The Hollywood Glamour look is also really versatile and can translate into a polished hairstyle or a dramatic cat eye or lipstick. Fur (faux or real) always works with the glam look and would certainly make sense in the cooler fall and winter months.
Q: What fashion or beauty item are you always searching for?
A: The perfect striped shirt. I have an entire section of my closet that is nothing but striped shirts; I think I must buy a new one every couple of months. My current favorite is one I picked up
at the Army Navy store: it’s a vintage Russian Navy shirt.