Many might snicker at the thought of putting "LA" and "style" in the same sentence. "LA style is often dismissed as jeans, T-shirts and Uggs, but there's so much more to it than that," says Melissa Magsaysay, author of the new book, "City of Style." "Throughout history, there have been several styles that started in Los Angeles, which have gone on to influence and affect the entire world," Melissa says. "Think about skaters, surfers and Old Hollywood, the city really harbors its own canon of looks and it's something to be celebrated and enjoyed by everybody."
Here, Melissa breaks down some of the styles covered in the book, the celebs who have made them famous today, and how to get a quintessential LA look:
Nicole Richie defines the eclectic modern day hippie. She loves a light and airy silhouette and doesn't shy away from hair accessories, piled on jewelry and print on print dressing. A few essentials when trying to channel Richie's luxe Lady of the Canyon vibe are: a wide brimmed, floppy hat in a warm brown or light tan, a long floral print chiffon dress (preferably with a high 70s style waist line and wispy sleeves) and great, vintage inspired jewelry that incorporates earthy stones like amber and turquoise.
Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth are your poster girls for the Casual Chic look. They love fashion and high-end designers, but don't give in to every single trend out there. They translate the trends they do love to fit the more casual vibe of L.A, pairing an Isabel Marant sweater with Goldsign jeans or a Helmut Lang blazer with a Current/Elliott chambray shirt. Get this look with a few key pieces including: A pair of wide leg jeans (worn with chic ballet flats) or cropped skinny jeans (worn with little ankle booties), a flirty mini dress that's short but tasteful (this could be a classic LBD or something with flounce. Temper it by throwing on a faded denim jacket over the dress) and a classic long sleeve striped shirt that can be worn preppy or playful if paired with bright colored jeans and layered necklaces.
CHOLA STYLE: Who can forget Gwen Stefani during her Chola style phase? Or the way people like Fergie and Kat von D have channeled the Chola look for their performances (or in Von D's case, her everyday look). The history behind the style is rich and extremely interesting and it's certainly more than just black eyeliner and baggy pants. There's an attitude and strong sense of pride that comes along with the it. Once you've got that part nailed down, here are some suitable sartorial staples: Black gel or liquid eyeliner (the line does not have to be extreme or exaggerated. The precise black line is a hallmark of the style and can be tweaked to suit your personal taste.) Work wear inspired pants a la Dickies have that tough tom boy quality and when worn with a simple white, black or gray tank top, you've got the foundation for the look.
No one captures this style like the "adorkable" actress Zooey Deschanel. Anyone who loves '50s and '60s style vintage pieces has a little of this look in them. Try wasp waist short dresses that come in a retro pattern, pair them with flat, lace up oxfords or stack heel shoes and an orange-poppy red lipstick to punctuate the quirky style.
"City of Style" is available May 22.
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