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Catt Sadler And Simply Stylist Panelists' Top Advice For Fashionistas

Rachel Scott |
March 24, 2013 | 6:19 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The Simply Stylist Panel (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
The Simply Stylist Panel (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
Have you always wondered what the secrets are to breaking into the fashion industry? Do you want to know what the most influential trendsetters in the industry think about the latest trends? Well, look no further: Neon Tommy is bringing you all of the latest secrets and takeaways from your favorite fashion icons at the Simply Stylist event in Los Angeles.

Simply Stylist kicked off its second annual fashion soiree on Saturday, bringing together some of the most influential and powerful faces in the fashion industry. The event, founded by Sarah Pollack Boyd, featured an exclusive panel of celebrity fashion designers, top bloggers, stylists and television personalities who spilled their fashion secrets and dished on their favorite spring trends.

So which one of your favorite fashion icons was featured at Simply Stylist Los Angeles? 

Catt Sadler – The host of 'E! News' returned as the host of this year’s Simply Stylist event and led the discussion on all things fashion.

Whitney Port – You may remember Ms. Port on the reality show 'The Hills', which featured the early beginnings of her career in the fashion industry. This USC alum now has her own line, Whitney Eve, which is in its fourth season.

Aimee Song – Aimee is the blogger of Song of Style has accumulated a fan base of 750,000 monthly followers.

Brad Goreski – A celebrity fashion stylist for Jessica Alba and Demi Moore, Brad now stars in his own Bravo drama, 'It’s a Brad, Brad World'.

Louise Roe – Roe is a style expert, host of NBC’s 'Fashion Star', and a former writer for Vogue, Glamour and Elle magazines.

Melissa Magsaysay – Former Style Editor of the Los Angeles Times and author of 'City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock'.

Catt Sadler (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
Catt Sadler (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
We couldn’t leave this event without interviewing the moderator and host of 'Simply Stylist', Catt Sadler. Find out her favorite trends, juicy details about her style and her advice for college students!

NT: You’ve hosted the Simply Stylist event three times, two in Los Angeles and one in New York. What has been your favorite event and what makes each event different?

Catt Sadler: I will say that this one is my favorite, not that I haven’t enjoyed the others, but I have really enjoyed the panelists today. I think that’s key—getting a good mix of people up there today. We had a strong group of people. With each of their expertise they were all forthcoming and real. That’s what I love about Simply Stylist; it is not formal or uptight, and everyone is just very giving. It was emotional at some points; I said we were up at church here today because Brad was talking about how grateful he is and how appreciative he is of his life. I think that it trickles down to the audience and they walk away feeling legitimately inspired.

NT: As the host of 'E! News' you have spent a great deal of time with celebrities. If you had to switch closets with any celebrity, who would it be and why?

Catt Sadler: That’s a good question. Wow, that’s a good question. I’m going to answer carefully. Let me think. There are so many that are popping into my head but if it were one person—Zoe Saldana.

NT: Being a mother of two, how do you balance being fashionable but still motherly? Do you feel as though you have to be conservative with your style? 

Catt Sadler: Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to be conservative. You can’t let it all hang out, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be conservative. I don’t think that I am ever a conservative mom, but I think that I am a tasteful mom. I think for me it is more about being effortless and keeping a certain ease about myself. Truth is I keep my little flats in my car because I leave from E! in my stilettos rushing out the door to get my kids from school. So when I get to school, I kick off the heels and put on my flats and then I run in and get my sons. It’s all about being functional and I have to strategize about that in advance. To pull everything off, I just have to plan a little bit. I don’t want to be at my kids’ basketball games with bold lips and a deep plunging dress that I wore at the Oscars. It is all about making thoughtful choices.

Port, Saddler, Boyd (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
Port, Saddler, Boyd (Neon Tommy/Rachel Scott)
NT: Neon Tommy is student-run publication from graduate and undergraduate students at USC. Give us one trend, color or style that you would consider applicable for college students.

Catt Sadler: I would say no to the sheer trend. I know you girls are really young and hot, you can get away with all the sheer stuff but I would pick something more suitable. You know what I love? You all have probably already been doing it. I love keeping it uniformed. I like keeping whites and nudes all together as one. But I also love the opposite of that—I like mixing prints. I love wearing my plaid flannel shirt with my leopard smoking shoes. I love just throwing it all together, but there is a fine line between making that look fashionable and making that look like you just threw up all over yourself, so be careful. I think that’s great for college students because you guys are on the run and trying to make it to class and still trying to look good. I do like the flat-bill ball caps. I think I am a little too old for that, but I love it when you girls wear that.

NT: What is your biggest advice for students wanting to break into the fashion industry and broadcast journalism?

Catt Sadler: The advice is the same all across the board and that is just persistence, persistence, and persistence. One of the themes that you heard from the panel today was fake it until you make it. At the end of the day you do have to have experience and something to show for it and you do want to get that experience because that is invaluable. But I remember being on television in San Francisco when I was twenty two, reading from a teleprompter for the very first time on live television because I said, ‘oh yeah, I could read from the teleprompter’. Had I not done that, they may have not given me the chance. But I believed in myself enough to know that if that opportunity arises then I will show up, I will show up for the game. So as long as you show up, fake it until you make it.

With this array of fashion trendsetters, it’s no surprise that hopefuls left with industry advice straight from the pros. Here are the top five takeaways from the 2013 Simply Stylist Event!

#1 ‘Fake It Until You Make It’ – You’ve heard the saying before, but how much do you put it into practice in your career? Surprisingly, this was one the panelists’ biggest advice for breaking into the fashion industry. Brad Goreski and Catt Sadler both recalled times in their career where their confidence and ‘fake it until you make it’ attitude helped them progress in their respective industries.

#2 Know Your Audience – Style Editor Melissa Magsaysay made this tip crystal clear to all the seminar attendees, saying, “Different audiences want to listen to different people”. For aspiring hopefuls, knowing your audience will help you stand out as a blogger, writer or journalist.

#3 Spring Fashion Trends: Sheer, Mismatch Prints, The Masculine Look and Black & White  – These four trends topped the list of style predictions for 2013. Whitney Port said that "the masculine look" is featured in her 'Whitney Eve' spring collection, and added that her favorite variation of this trend was a classic button-up shirt. As for the sheer trend, the panelists, especially Brad Goreski, agreed that the trend was on its way out of the fashion realm. While he wasn’t a fan of sheer, Goreski said lately he has been obsessed with mismatched prints, because, “it’s a fun way to look vibrant and stand out”, and he even showed off his colorful mistmatched socks. All the panelists agreed that the black & white trend is here to stay and is a must-have for any season.

#4 Intern, Intern, Intern – Style editor Melissa Magsaysay suggested that “internships are the best way to get in and get your feet wet”. According to the panelist, the biggest mistake that applicants make lies within the resume, not the interview. Port and Magsaysay told attendees to keep their resumes organized and without a photo! 

#5 Follow Your Style Passion and Get Inspired  – This tip is almost as simple as the Simply Stylist event! The main message behind the event was to follow your passions and get inspired from the people and events in your life. Whitney Port drew her inspiration for the colors in her spring line from gems while on a trip in London. On the other hand, Aimee Song drew inspiration for her blog from architecture. Their recipe for success? Use every tool around you, get inspired from every event and chase after your dreams.

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