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"It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...STYLE time!"

This year we celebrate the 10th year of STYLE! The show is quickly approaching, but we wanted to do things a little different this year, we want to give you a backstage pass to the life of one of our STYLE Models, Melissa McNallan. Melissa McNallan is a writer, marketer, and actor based in Rochester, Minnesota. Her big obsessions are fashion, fitness, and delicious (healthy) food. She is the publisher, editor, and creator of and today is our guest blog writer for STYLE. Below is her story and why she models every year for this fashion forward event. 

Each time I do STYLE, it’s like a reunion. Unlike a class reunion there’s no anxiety about my accomplishments, my weight, or my relationship status. Instead, it’s about great clothes, accessories, and the best mirrors around - those involved with STYLE.

When I first did STYLE I was surprised that there were no mirrors backstage. None. Whatsoever. As we prepared to walk the runway, I realized why.

“You have a stray string,” said one model picking it off the other’s shirt.

“Thank you!” the other model said. “Do I look okay?”


And that’s what it was like all night backstage. If something needed to be fixed, lipstick on teeth or a smudge, someone backstage would always let the model know before he or she went out on the runway. When anyone voiced insecurities about their look, they were reassured. Women admired one another’s clothes and jewelry throughout the night.

When I look in the mirror my eyes and my mind are never so kind.

This past week I’ve had two fittings. The first was at Hers. I walked in the door, Lauren, STYLE's Fashion Coordinator, greeted me, and we hugged.

“Oh my gosh you look amazing! You’re look’s a little different than last time. You looked great before too.” I have lost 15 pounds since the last time I was in the show.

Lauren handed me an outfit she’d selected for me. It’s this gorgeous, dress that has a black and white print contrasted with a multi-colored autumnal jewel tone one. She paired it with a jacket that makes me think both of ‘50s mod and ‘20s art deco. It’s hard to describe. You’ll just have to see it and then it’ll make sense. It fit perfect. I asked her to take a quick picture of me in the outfit. She obliged. I changed and was out the door. The entire process took ten minutes.

My next fitting was with one of the designers, whose original collection will be featured during the show with materials sourced from Ginny's Fine Fabrics. I’m happy to report that all three of the outfits I tried on fit and that I love the look of all of them! One was slightly big, but will totally work. I’ll only be wearing one and which one it’ll be, I’m not quite sure. The anticipation is like waiting to open up presents on Christmas morning.

That’s how I feel about fashion at August’s end. I always wish it were September already and that I had all of my fashion magazines in hand. I love the September issues of fashion magazines best. Once I start flipping through my September issues, I start dreaming about what this year’s STYLE will be like. I can’t wait to see what clothes the downtown retailers have curated and what the designers have created for the season.

Some things have changed. STYLE will be inside at the Kahler Grand Hotel this year, making it more like the shows at New York Fashion Week. Some things have stayed the same, the retailers participating in the show will be offering specials in their stores after the show (yes!).

When I met Nood Reynolds, the force behind STYLE starting in Rochester a decade ago, I remember her saying that everyone involved becomes like family. She’s right. It does. On the fitting schedule spreadsheet, I can see the names of those modeling this year. Some I remember, some I don’t. It’s like the family reunion that includes the distant relatives. There’s always someone I can’t remember the name of and a new face or two among the group.

Want to connect with Melissa? Below are her social links!