Former L.A. Times’ Fashion Editor Dishes On Cali Style, Local Trends + Shopping Hotspots

Susie G

cityofstyle1 Former L.A. Times Fashion Editor Dishes On Cali Style, Local Trends + Shopping Hotspots

By now you probably are well-aware that StyleCaster is based out of New York City. So whenever we get the chance to chat about style from outside our great city of ours, we always make sure to take it.

Cue in Melissa Magsaysay–the former Los Angeles Times‘ fashion editor recently talked with us to discuss about the latest fashion trends coming out from this West Coast metropolis. Since she’s an obvious expert on all things about L.A. style, we were super stoked to also find out that Melissa has a book coming out this month called City of Style, which you can already assume that it’s a book about style in Los Angeles.

One part street style book, one part shopping guide, City of Style is a definitive textbook on modern-day style and fashion happenings around the coastal city of Los Angeles. With tips on how to score that Cali rocker style look hailing from West Hollywood or on how to get that Oscar-worthy glamazon style à la Rodeo Drive, this is a book that every Los Angeles fashion fan should read, whether or not you live in the Golden State.

Check out our fun chat with Melissa down below on all things L.A. style, and be sure you read all the way through because you’re going to be in for a little surprise!

How does L.A. style compare to other world-class metropolitan cities like New York or London?

L.A. style is certainly a little more laid back than other world-class metropolitan cities, but that’s not to say it’s boring or super casual. People here follow high-end trends and global street style, but translate them to suit the climate and culture of the city. The result is eclectic and free of restrictions.

What trends are currently big in L.A. for the spring/summer 2012 season?

Like everywhere else, there’s been a lot of color, pops of neon brights, color blocking and print-on-print dressing. The spring color palette is pretty perfect for L.A. and girls are incorporating the tangerine, teal and vivid pink hues into their wardrobes of white jeans, slouchy trousers, denim jackets and the perennial staple of kicky sundresses and sandals.

Who are some amazing L.A.-based designers that should be on everyone’s radar? 

There are so many great designers based in L.A. all of whom have really different perspectives and aesthetics. I love Rodarte, but they’re most likely on everyone’s radar already. Gregory Parkinson is a favorite for his use of pattern and print and his ability to make really pretty, floaty pieces you’ll keep forever. Jasmine Shokrian makes classic clothes as well, but in a much more pared down, minimal way.

Name your go-to shopping spots out in L.A. and why. 

I love the selection at Ten Over Six. Co-owner Kristen Lee has a great eye for accessories. The 3.1 Phillip Lim store on Robertson is a go-to, mainly because I love his line but the store itself is just so beautiful and easy to shop. The Rose Bowl Flea Market is of course a favorite, not just for the endless selection of clothing, furniture and tchotchkes, but it’s a fun experience and a great way to spend a Sunday–just don’t forget the sun block!

Which L.A. neighborhood has the best style?

I am really intrigued in how each enclave has its own look and way of dressing (not just in L.A. but everywhere). I’m partial to the look in Venice. I guess it’s easier to spot style because most people are walking or riding their bike, but I really love how people take high fashion trends and temper them to make sense for a coastal lifestyle. It really is the perfect balance of high-low while still looking really chic and elegant.

Describe your ultimate L.A.-inspired outfit/look, from head to toe.

My ultimate L.A. outfit would have to include a skater element like classic Vans as well as a piece of denim (fitted jacket or jeans). Those items feel uniquely California and can pretty much be incorporated into anything. For example, I’d wear a short, flouncy dress with a bold print, throw on a fitted dark (think Levi’s) denim jacket and flats (like Jenni Kayne’s D’Orsay flats) and a great pair of Oliver People’s sunglasses. Or, casually cuffed slouchy boyfriend jeans (via Current/Elliott), classic off-white oxfords from Vans, a thin long-sleeved sweater in camel or heather gray (from Vince) and some layered gold jewelry from Mannin.

Want to win a signed copy of City of Style? Be one of 5 lucky folks to win yourself the book (courtesy of Bookperk) just by leaving a comment below, and answering this question: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles? Good luck!

Disclaimer: Contest is open to residents (aged 18+) of the U.S. only, and will run from May 10th, 2012 to May 24th, 2012. Five (5) winners will be selected at random and contacted via email. Winner is responsible for any taxes associated with this prize.