Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Simply Stylist LA: Fashion Panel, Shopping, Learning, Networking

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Brad Goreski, Louise Roe, Aimee Song, Whitney Port, and Catt Sadler giving their fashion sense at the Simply Stylist event in Los Angeles. (Photo credit: Vivien Killilea)

Simply Stylist LA was Hosted by E! News anchor, Catt Sadler, and the fashion panel speakers included stylists, bloggers, editors, and designers that were carefully hand-selected by founder Sarah Pollack Boyd.  Simply Stylist Los Angeles speakers included: fashion designer- Whitney Port, fashion blogger- Aimee Song, celebrity stylistBrad Goreski, style expert- Louise Roe, and fashion editor- Melissa Magsaysay.

The major theme that came to mind after listening to the fashion panel of celebrity stylists, bloggers, editors, designers, news anchors, and fashion hosts is that they all got where they are with hard work. Whether it meant keeping your day job and blogging as a passion, keeping up connections you’ve made in the industry, working for free, interning, and being willing to do the grunt work with a smile, all of these people who we did not know a few years ago became successful due to their drive and willingness to learn and take chances.

Some of the highlights and career suggestions from the stylish panelists included the following:

Fashion Editor Melissa Magsaysay shared how important it is when you write or blog to keep writing to practice shaping your voice and creating a point of view that is different than everyone else’s.  “When you are passionate about writing, you are doing it all the time.”  She suggests, “how are you going to be different or have a following? Do you want to have an indie take or a mass audience?” She said she developed strong opinions about trends in childhood and recommended internships as the best way to get your feet wet. “Start writing to show your communication skills and that you have something else to offer beyond just being passionate about style.  Accumulate clips and be proactive. Take the initiative to go to events.”

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Fashion Star host Louise Roe with writer Melissa Curtin. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Fashion Star Host Louise Roe is gorgeous in a model way that makes me think of Jennifer Connelly and my fashion mags spread around my room as a kid.  Her British accent makes her even more appealing, and listening to her talk about her strong work ethic and how she made it makes her even more likeable.  She shares how she started in London and always knew she wanted to write since her dad was a travel writer.  She said for her holidays, she was always doing work experience and that you need to single yourself out as early as possible.  “Even if you intern for a few days or weeks, keep in touch with every magazine or editor. They don’t spend that long looking for a junior assistant.  Follow up with a call and email. Be up to date with their magazine.” She recalls one of her first assignments working for Elle. They sent her to Fashion Week, and she got to interview Linda Evangelista.  She was just a low-level person working at the time. She said she was so nervous that she just had to “fake it til you make it”.  Later on, she expresses how, when she got the job with Fashion Star, she called her mum and cried.  She also mentions how, as a host, you need to do your research and also have empathy as well as know the people you are working with. Louise Roe has worked for Elle, In Style, Glamour, and ran Vogue.com.

Aimee Song, a major Fashion Blogger (Song of Style.com) is also an interior designer. She was so down to earth, real, and passionate about how she loves to blog and writes about four or five posts a week.  Even though she just signed with a manager and is really taking her site to a new level, she mentioned several times to keep your day job.  She started four and a half years ago and started by sharing an outfit she wore that landed her a job, since she didn’t look like everyone else. She had belted a Forever 21 shirt and wore it as a dress with a wrap belt and ankle boots.  Someone had reposted her picture of this outfit, and within a day she had 500 visitors. She said how important it is to tag where you can buy each item and think of twenty ways to wear something when you buy it.  She also discusses how good photos matter. Song explained how her first paying gig was with Fossil, who flew her to Texas.  She couldn’t get over the fact that they were paying for her airfare and hotel, and that the photo shoot and the collection did so well, they rehired her. Other advice she mentioned is don’t be a sellout, stay true to yourself.   “Just because I have straight hair, I didn’t sign with a hair straightening product because I don’t use it.”  Apparently, Miss Song has ridiculous amount of Instagram followers, too.

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Whitney Port and Brad Goreski (Photo credit: Vivien Killilea)

Whitney Port, the fashion designer, grew up in manufacturing and knew it was in her blood.  Her internship was filmed on TV, and she knew she wanted to do a clothing line, so she thought it was a good way to get it out there.  She worked with Diane van Furstenberg.

Brad Goreski, celebrity stylist, is someone we all know from working with Rachel Zoe.  I had a chance to meet him and his boyfriend at a Rachel Zoe red carpet event a year ago. He shares how he knew it was his calling when he was interning at Vogue and saw the editors pouring over art books.  He was just absorbing it all out of the side of his eyeball. He went to W magazine after, and knew he wanted to work with celebs. He talks about how lucky he is to do what he does. One time Jessica Biel greeted him at the door in her bikini (Ha! If he was only into girls).  He stated how much he loves what he does and even now still has to do the dirty work. He believes you should never give attitude to any client, and should always be there for them because they can replace you.  As a stylist, you need to always bring the best ideas possible. “It is a gift having the people I work with. I feel incredibly fortunate and lucky to be where I am. I have worked very hard for this – ten years. I am so far removed from where I am from…” Other things that stood out to me that he said were – “Don’t forget where you came from. My parents are so proud of me.”

FASHION TRENDS

The panel shared the latest fashion trends:

1. Black and white – Brad mentioned to do something neat, like button up that white shirt and add a necklace. Natalie Port said, “It’s simple and universal.”

2. Sheer – Louise Roe said she is not a fan of showing your bra under your blouse. Brad said, “Everything is coming to us sheer. Drop a lining in it, especially for a $5000 dress.”

3. Masculine suits – with shorts, short peg legged pants, or smoking shoes. Brad said, “Add a feminine twist with your look.  It is a play on menswear. Invest in tailoring.”

4. Mismatched prints – Brad states, “I’m obsessed with it. So fun! It is a fun way to be vibrant and stand out.”

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The Fashion Panel (Photo credit: Vivien Killilea)

I love the first  three trends and always have, but the fourth I have been working on ever since I moved to LA from the conservative East coast.  I see the mismatched look all the time in LA, but I am not sure I can pull off the mismatched prints without feeling like someone is looking at me and thinking, ‘what in the world happened?’

 

 

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