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Touching down in la

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
In the last few weeks, I've been emailed a few times re. places to visit in LA on a weekend trip here. Here are some of shopping spots I'd recommend. I'll cover dining and night-out spots some other time. Designer gear: 1. Traffic, Beverly Center (corner of 3rd Street and La Cienaga) One of my favorite places. They carry lots of harder to find European designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith suits, John Richmond as well as good selections of Dolce & Gabbana and Costume National. Great indie labels and a reasonable jeans selection, including Frankie B Men. 2. Barney's New York, Wilshire Blvd. The best of the big department stores. You may as well visit all the shops in that area while you're there. Everyone knows this area, so I won't elaborate except. I would skip Prada and Gucci, though. Surprisingly, Barney's and Maxfield have better selections than do the same name stores. All the stores in the area have terrific sales twice annually and clear everything out. Which leads to the conclusion that no matter how rich you are, a bargain is a relative bargain. (Let's face it folks, buying Gucci boots or Armani suits is never, ever a sound financial proposition.) 3. Maxfield on Melrose - super-rarified atmosphere, more adventurous buyers than usual in a store it's size. Great editing of Gucci, Prada, Burberry, and large collections of Raf Simons, Margiela, Comme des Garcons, Yamamoto. Good selection of Dior and better than average selection of Giorgio Armani Black label. 4. Maxfield Bleu, S. Robertson - a much friendlier, cheaper (it's the sales outlet.) version of Maxfield. Even the color scheme and layout is in contrast to the main store (very bright and a little cramped full of finds). Since it's summer here until January, you probably want the summer lines anyway. (Who needs a shearling coat in August anyway.) 5. Fred Segal - Ron Herman, - super expensive casual wear. Good place for ideas even if you don't feel like dropping a grand or so for beachwear. Jeans and Casual wear: 6. Politix, Beverly Center. Lost of labels, including Pd&C, Adriano Goldschmidt, Energie, Diesel, Andrew Mackenzie, and Hippie. 7. KBOND - famous L.A. place 8. American Rag - also nice, but a little overexposed these days. 9. RagTime Denim Doctors, 3rd St. - super cool (but expensive - jeans run at about $160) reconstructed jeans. 10. Lisa Kline Men - the type of place most guys would be comfortable in. Jeans and vintage vibe casual gear. Sort of like a rather expensive, designery take on what you wore in college. Lots of variations on sweatshirts and plaid shirts. 11. Fred Segal - Jeans Bar - Great Jeans. But you're going to have to shell out designer plus prices for their denim. Accessories and Eyewear: 12. la Eyeworks: super hip, and you'll get the full selection not available elsewhere. You'll look like a movie star. Most people are attracted to the face, and eyeglasses do more for your look than a closetful of Versace, Helmut Lang, or Kiton, whichever may take your fancy. For the fogeys, young and old, out there: 13: Vestiti, Wilshire: Kiton, Borelli, etc... They are a "gentlemen's clothier". They even have the severe looking old dudes in suits, the oak everywhere, the cubbyholes, etc... 14. Scott Hill, S. Robertson - More of the same. 15. Scott and Co., Sunset. Extensive collection of suits and casual duds for "mature" costumers. They also carried "modern things for the young, hip, cutting edge" customer by Paul Smith, C.P. Company, John Varvatos, last time I went in. No Schonberger of Margiela though. Steve B., hope you covered all these places in your book.
post #2 of 36
Thanks for the tips, LA Guy.  Are the top 5 places in relatively close proximity so that one would be able to hit all of them in a day (or even an afternoon) if one was shopping extremely efficiently?
post #3 of 36
If you are, as you say, efficient, yes, you could hit them all in one swell foop. You could even work in side trips to Neiman-Marcus and Saks, not to mention some window-shopping along Rodeo Drive and adjacent streets.
post #4 of 36
Slightly off topic, but is there a "touristy" thing one should do while in L.A. (like seeing the Statute of Liberty when in New York and the Air and Space Museum when in D.C.)?  Or is shopping the quintessential L.A. experience?
post #5 of 36
We have culture"”it's just in our yogurt. But, seriously, folks, contrary to popular belief, there's a lot to see and do here besides shop. LA has some fine museums, architectural landmarks, natural vistas, and so forth. That said, the only single LA landmark that comes close to the iconic stature of the Statue of Liberty is the Hollywood sign, which can be seen from much of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards; you don't exactly have to make a special trip. (Indeed, if you try to get close enough to touch the sign, not only will you have a lousy view, but you also run the risk of getting arrested.) It's just a bunch of big letters, anyway. A better place to start might with your specific interests. If you can tell us what they are, we could perhaps direct you to the places that you would find most enjoyable.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
IMO, the best touristy thing in L.A. is the strip of beach in Santa Monica that includes both Venice and Santa Monica beach. Maybe you could even ride the ferris wheel. And yes, you can hit most of the spots I mentioned. Barney's, Traffic, Vestiti, Maxfield Bleu, Politix, Scott Hill, and Lisa Kline Men are practically within walking distance. Maxfield, Fred Segal likewise (they are down the street from one another, and also from Miu Miu and Costume National). You could actually hit all the stores on the list if you are very efficient, don't get stuck at one place too long, and breeze through the places that aren't really your style.
post #7 of 36
LAG: But of course they will be in the book, although I haven't hit all of them yet. For some strange reason I've saved CA for last. I'm feverishly writing web site text and working on yet another round of text editing as we speak. This will put my mind at ease enough to finish the traveling and research. BTW, I think I should give you an acknowledgment as Special Correspondent- LA Area. PS and LAG: What about recommending the Getty museum to AC? I haven't been there yet, but it's gotten rave reviews as a destination up here in SF.
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Ambulance, The Getty is really impressive architecturally. The collections, are, to my mind, not as much so. However, the Getty is a full day trip all on its own. Moreover, you need to phone ahead to get a parking pass, and this is a bit of a chore, especially on weekends. If you really want to see something more culturally enlightening than the latest Yamamoto collection, the La Brea tar pits and the MOCA West are pretty nearby, in the mid-Wilshire district, about 10 minutes drive from Barneys.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Steve B., I really appreciate your compliment. Always enjoy writing to you re. shopping in LA (and seeing my name in print besides.) LA Guy.
post #10 of 36
LAG: Compliment is well deserved....I enjoy your opinions and fashion sense. SB
post #11 of 36
Much to my chagrin, my law firm is shipping me out to L.A. for two weeks.  (Nothing against the city, I just don't particularly like to travel on business and disturb my daily routine.)  I will be staying in a downtown hotel with no car during the week, with a car possibly on the weekend.  If I don't have a car on the weekend, are there any good shopping spots in downtown?  More importantly, are there any good (and relatively inexpensive) dining spots downtown or will I be subject to an endless diet of room service and burger joints?
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
There is really not that much to do downtown, except maybe to go to the Standard, which is the so-called hotspot right now. Good luck getting in. But Beverly Hills and the Westside are just a short cab ride away, and there are terrific restaurants and shopping (from vintage Levi's to Kiton) there. There are alternatives to the cab ride, of course. I ran from from Downtown to the edge of Beverly Hills and back in an extended loop one year in the LA marathon, and another time ran from downtown into Beverly Hills, in jeans, on a bet. Would recommend the former, just to do it, and the latter only if you have money on the line.
post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add - relatively cheap eats can be had on the westside. Doughboys bakery and cafe on 3rd st., just east of the Beverly Center, is an L.A. institution. You can also sample trendy Nobu's less price-prohibitive sister restaurants. The Udon house at the Beverly Center is the most democratically priced. Matsuhisa, a little south of the Bev on La Cienaga, is a little pricier, but still nowhere near the stratospheric regions Nobu inhabits (of course, if you can't afford it, or can't pretend to afford it, what the hell are you doing at Nobu's anyway?) The LA branch of the garlic lover's delight, the Stinking Rose, is on the same stretch. Just don't go there before a client meeting. Be annoyingly unhip. Have a good time. Take the piss out of your MAW (model, actress, whatever) waitress, and give the thumbs up to the annoying industry type wannabe sitting at the next table.
post #14 of 36
Thanks, LA Guy.  Are all the shopping places you mentioned in your first post in Beverly Hills or the Westside?  And how much would a cab ride from downtown LA to Pasadena cost?  Not sure I want to be driving from Pasadena back to my hotel at 2 AM after an evening wedding reception.
post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
All of the places I mentioned in my first post are Beverly Hills/Westside places. And a cab ride from Pasadena downtown will run you about $50 +/- $10, depending on your location (I took a cab back to Pasadena after a U2 concert at the Staples Center once.) It's sort of pricey, but not worth risking your life over. Have a good time at the wedding.
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