Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Shop Til You Drop

One thing LA does have a lot of is great boutiques. Here is our list of hot and not so hot stores to hit up while you’re there…

All Hype:

1. Kitson – The acclaimed celebrity boutique that calls Paris Hilton, Halle Berry and Kate Beckinsale customers is a glorified Olive and Bettes. I mean the average shopper there is 11 years old, the average product is a t-shirt advertising which celbutante team you identify with and the average price point is under $100. Great for teeny-boppers, bad for adults with taste.

2. Tracey Ross – Supposedly the hottest store in LA, this place is a merchandiser’s nightmare. Vanessa Bruno and Stella McCartney frocks are stuffed together on racks and look like something out of the Salvation Army rather than an upscale retail emporium. It’s not that this place is bad, I mean I found a pair of awesome Chloe wedges for spring, but for all the press this lady gets, it couldn’t hurt to invest in a vacuum.

3. Fred Segal – Worse than Kitson, they might as well call this place the Juicy Couture flagship, cause that’s all they have. Oh and other brands that you could find anywhere from Bloomingdale’s to Scoop. And the shoe department could double as a Payless outlet, except the shoes are over $400 and from last season.

The Real Deal:

1. Satine – An adorable hole in the wall on 3rd street, this unique boutique offers indie brands like Tsumori Chisato, Rogan and Harald in a closet-like space where you can find the inner French girl in you. Check out their website if you can’t book a flight. www.satineboutique.com

2. Diavolina – Don’t let the cheesy plastic façade fool you, this is a destination you must not miss. Offering off the cuff brands like Anna Sui, Imitation of Christ and Marni, cool stars (think: Sarah Foster) find their “going out” tops here and are drawn to the lounge-like space of modern interior décor.

3. Maxfield – An artie/fashionista’s dream come true this mega retailer mixes high design with high fashion. With dark, cerebral brands like Libertine, Lucienne Pellat-Finet, Commes des Garcons and Junya Wantanabe, this boutique doesn’t just offer clothes, it offers a lifestyle. It’s hard to believe the bubble gum Kitson lies just around the corner. Even if you can’t afford anything, just go to check out the $1500 oversized plastic shades (perhaps Warhol’s?) Sidenote: Tommy Hilfger comes here for his blazers and designer jeans.

Final Word: There’s something for everything in the City of Angels, at least anything with a price tag.

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