Q&A: Woman Behind the Book

Chatting with Melissa Magsaysay of "City of Style"

city of style's melissa magsaysay!

When it comes to L.A. style, Melissa Magsaysay literally wrote the book. Published last spring, her tome, City of Style, chronicles local fashion, from chola to skater to romantic bohemian. Peppered throughout are exclusive interviews with designers and local tastemakers like Monique Lhuillier, Trina Turk, and Decades’s Cameron Silver.

These days you can catch Magsaysay (or more accurately, her byline) in the Los Angeles Times and Today.com or on Access Hollywood discussing the latest celebrity red carpet looks.

We caught up with the new mom to talk Oscar fashion, favorite L.A. spots, and the travesty that is short shorts.

Neighborhood: South Robertson. I believe it’s called “SoRo” or Beverlywood.

Occupation: Writing/talking about pretty things/people

What’s your definition of a breakfast of champions?
The New York breakfast sandwich at Joan’s on Third.

If your closet could talk, what would it ask for this season?
I’m digging this leopard-print jacket/blazer from 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Your best friend is in town. What’s on the agenda?
A New York breakfast sandwich at Joan’s, a hike in Malibu, The Getty, and drinks/dinner at The Tasting Kitchen.

What current trend is the sartorial equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for you?
Super short shorts of any kind always make me cringe. It just looks uncomfortable on anyone.

Your time machine has landed. What year/location do you program it to?
Post-Edwardian English countryside, a.k.a. Downton Abbey, for obvious reasons.

What was your favorite L.A. boutique opening of the past year?
That Isabel Marant store is pretty lovely. It’s light and airy and filled with covetable items.

Which actress is the front-runner for Best Dressed at the Oscars this Sunday?
I’m going to put my money on Anne Hathaway. I like her look much better with the short, pixie hair. I think the fashion choices she’s been making work so well with the hair and overall she looks fresh, pretty, and not overdone, which is so refreshing to see on the red carpet. I know Anne will look great, but I am actually most excited to see what Jennifer Lawrence wears. She seems to just be figuring out what her “look” is, and I am eager to see what she turns up in at the Oscars.

It’s no secret that your 5-month-old son, Miles, is the best dressed tot in town. What’s his style secret?
Oh, he is?! I’ll let him know; he’ll be so excited. I’ll let you in on his secret. It’s a little known place called Baby Gap. He wears a lot of navy stripes with pops of color from Giggle, Boden, Baby Gap, and Petit Bateau. I think the nautical thing always looks adorable on little boys.

Thirsty for more Q&A goodness? Find out what ForYourArt’s Bettina Korek keeps on her bedside table.

Photos: Courtesy of Melissa Magsaysay