There can be no doubt about this: Los Angeles is a fashionista’s delight. Or paradise if you want to use a popular cliché. I am quite confident when I say that the concentration of celebrities is directly proportional to the number of designer stores you can find in the area (and it’s pretty high).
Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills
Whether it’s the luxurious Rodeo Drive, the famous Melrose Avenue or the trendy Robertson Boulevard, you are sure to find any designer boutique your heart desires within the confines of the “Golden Triangle”. While you probably already know the signature style of most fashion houses and which designs suit your personal taste, some places deserve a visit not only to admire the season’s masterpieces but also for the architectural display and the pure art gallery vibe you get once you step inside.
Let’s start our journey on Rodeo Drive, those famous four blocks of high end luxury. After an eight-month renovation, one designer boutique who deserves a visit is definitely Dior in Beverly Hills. The exquisite décor in grey tones is adorned with custom made pieces, and not only of clothing but of decoration too. Glass sculptures by Jeff Zimmerman, a Claude Lalanne ginko-leaf bench, Pae White tapestries and a dollhouse modeled after their store in Avenue Montaigne. I can’t decide what sounds better: trying on one of their flowing flowery dresses from the Spring 2014 collection or letting someone else do it while I’m waiting in front of their fireplace.
A Melrose Avenue home
One of the gorgeous places you have to visit on Melrose Avenue is Alexander McQueen’s USA flagship. While the design of the store is less spectacular than some of their other locations, the vast space and natural light highlights the dramatic creations on show. Their dark and romantic designs really stand out and no matter what collection they are showing at the time of your visit you’re sure to get the feeling that you’re walking through an exquisite museum. And just like in a real museum, the staff presents you the exhibits without being overbearing.
Take a few steps further to Robertson Boulevard and there’s a striking concrete wall with pillow-shaped tiles. Get closer and you’ll notice the metallic panel next to the glass door saying 3.1 Phillip Lim. Step inside and a world of soft flowing fabrics and undulating shapes surrounds you. The architecture of the store is simply breathtaking.
While the classic elegant lines of most designer boutiques are simple and pleasant, this is a completely different experience. The space feels like a giant well-lit white maze, with soft puffy tiles all the way to the ceiling. The clothes are displayed in small strangely-shaped dents inside the walls, lined with wood or herringbone patterns. There are many products placed in an atypical way so it’s a good thing the salesmen are very helpful in finding you anything you want.
And if it’s accessories that you want, the glamorous Cartier store on Rodeo Drive is the perfect destination. Classic, timeless pieces of jewelry and refined watches for every style spread over a large elegant space. The service is very personal, they offer you more information and support that could ask for and are very prompt in answering any request. Glass cases, delicate lamps and a sparkling chandelier; it really is a place to feel like a princess (or prince).
If you want to get in line with all the celebrities you are going to spot walking around these streets, the Hermes store is just a few steps away. An ocean of blue shades covering three floors and a majestic staircase which helps you explore every personal service this store has to offer: from custom-made tailored suits to photography displays and home goods, everything comes in tones of turquoise. Still, the famed bags steal the show, each one perfectly showcased in its own cubical shelf with discrete lightning to underline their every detail.
These are just a few of the jewels on L.A’s crown; there are plenty of (more or less) hidden treasures you can explore. Take your time, your wallet and your best attire. Here, you don’t just see fashion; you experience it with all your senses.