Melissa Magsaysay: Style Writer + Author
LA Times Fashion Editor Turned Author Deconstructs Her Cali-Cool Lifestyle
ELAINE SAYS: When word got out that former Los Angeles Times Style Editor, Melissa Magsaysay had written a book on L.A. Style ["City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock"...see below], I was intrigued and in great anticipation of the release. Her own breezy, "SoCal-Chic" style is the object of much admiration [my own included] and her fashion cred is simply off the charts. As expected, her take is insightful, interesting and for anyone who loves fashion or is intrigued by LA's unique and influential fashion-ography, kind of juicy. Not in the Kardashian way...no. In the smart girl who likes fashion kind of way. While trends reign supreme with some in LA, the style scene here is arguably more complex. In fact, Melissa makes the argument by deconstructing LA, style by style, using icons, influencers and interesting people to illustrate and elaborate. Plus...as if she did it just for me...she includes amazing shopping guides as well. An insiders handbook if ever there was one. All of that being said, it doesn't likely surprise any of us to find out that Melissa has been on a trajectory toward fashion editorial stardom since childhood. Inspired by her mom, who she describes [I paraphrase] as the original "Maxx-insta" [love that] and the "best dressed woman in the room," Melissa began early on to see fashion as an expression, a hunt, a sentimental notion. Not just the art of chasing labels. She became intrigued with fashion magazines, studying how all the pieces came together to create a story and knew that this would be the area in which she'd belong. Melissa was obviously correct...although I won't be surprised if there is a little of the unexpected in the future of this talented lady...and now new mom, too. Baby clothing line, perhaps? Melissa, you were one of the first people who's lifestyle I'd hoped to profile...So happy to finally have you!
A Note From Melissa
I moved to L.A from NY 8 years ago and am still constantly surprised by this L.A.’s unique landscape and eclectic characters. As a fashion editor and writer for WWD then the L.A Times, I was particularly intrigued by the city’s unique and influential style. I wrote “City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock” as a way to connect the dots between the city’s history and subcultures to the present day looks that continue to inform and influence fashion on a global scale today. When I first arrived in L.A I missed the towering buildings and city living of New York, but have since learned to embrace all it has to offer. I spend most of my time on the west side. I love the restaurants, boutiques and art galleries out that way and of course the view of the sun setting at the beach is never a bad thing either.
Melissa's Online Finds
- Groundwork Coffee
SHOP THE PICKI love the Angel City organic decaf blend at Groundworks coffee. It’s a Southern California based company, but thankfully the delicious beans can be ordered from anywhere via their website.
- City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock
SHOP THE PICKFull disclosure, I wrote this book. It came out last spring and for anyone interested in Southern California style or for passionate fashion fans in general, this is a great and informative read!
Learn more about Melissa and her book HERE
- Mannin Fine Jewelry
SHOP THE PICKI tend to wear the same gold accessories day to day and love the understated simplicity of Mannin jewelry designed by Santa Monica based designer Suzanne Donegan. She recently launched a lower priced line of equally gorgeous pieces called Insignia. More About Mannin Fine Jewelry Here
- Giggle Kids Clothing
SHOP THE PICKI’m sure many people who are parents know all about Giggle, but having just had my son only weeks ago, I’ve only recently discovered the useful, organic cotton onsies and blankets. They’ve fast become a staple in my little one’s wardrobe and daily routine. www.giggle.com
- A + R
SHOP THE PICKLocated in LA on Abbott Kinney [though they’ve recently opened a new location on La Brea Avenue], this store is stocked full of amazing design objects, home items and gifts, also available online! www.aplusrstore.com | 1121 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice & 171 S La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
Melissa's Local Faves: Los Angeles
Shop The PickA great place to get the designer staples you love, plus discover a few new lines you may have never heard of. Plus, it is located on a quiet corner of Abbott Kinney, a great street to stroll anytime of year.
www.shopheist.com | 1100 Abbot Kinney Boulevard Venice
- Arcona Spa
SHOP THE PICKI really don’t get facials nearly as much as I would like to, but when I get the chance, I love heading to Arcona spa in Santa Monica. The products are all natural yet super effective.
www.arcona.com | 425 Broadway Street, Santa Monica
- Escondido Canyon Park
SHOP THE PICKI probably hike Runyon Canyon more often because it’s much closer to my house, but I love the trail at Escondido Canyon Park in Malibu just off the PCH. The mountains are beautiful and there’s a 150 ft waterfall once you’ve reached the end, a nice place to rest before heading back down the trail.
SHOP THE PICKA friend recently brought this chocolate over and I’m absolutely hooked! Chocovivo makes stone ground chocolate, using interesting and all natural ingredients that make for the most amazing flavor.
www.chocovivo.com | 1617 Abbot Kinney Blvd...but moving to Culver City soon!
SHOP THE PICKWe’ve been getting these amazing baskets of fresh, organic and seasonal produce for a couple of years now. Everything is grown locally and you never know exactly what you’re going to get each week, which makes cooking dinner that much more fun and creative.