By now everyone in LA (and the rest of the country for that matter) has heard about ‘Carmageddon’, this weekend’s closure of the 405 Freeway between the 101 Freeway in the Valley and the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. We don’t even know why it’s happening (something about drilling holes in a bridge or two?), but it is supposed to be bad, like hide your kids, hide your wives bad. It’s even become a bit of a pop culture parody, with sites like car-mageddon.com showing where to get deals in your local neighborhood, and fast-moving retailers creating a slew of novelty merchandise.
For the first time in a long time, we might actually keep the car in the garage this weekend (hoping to finish the shopping for our upcoming shoot by the end of the day), and that means we’ll either have to stay home or (gasp!) walk around our neighborhoods for a change. For those of you who will brave the outdoors on foot this weekend, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local LA shops in each neighborhood.
Hollywood – American Rag – 150 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
This is a mainstay of the LA shopping scene. American Rag features clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and even home decor items, all carefully selected by a team of buyers led by founder Mark Werts. From top global designers to niche lines, it’s hard to leave here empty-handed. Look for HABITUAL among the enormous selection of jeans in the World Denim Bar.
West Hollywood – OPENING CEREMONY – 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048
This is the queen royal of specialty stores in Los Angeles. The shop is a series of rooms, a department store in itself, some of them dedicated to specific designers like Nom de Guerre and Topshop, laid out to make the shopper feel like they are driving on LA’s freeway system. O.C. is also known for its eclectic but orginal take on merchandising and décor – just google their Tokyo outpost.
West LA – Hip’tique – 2727 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
We don’t know why you’d be shopping when you live close enough to walk to the beach (supposed to be nice this weekend), but if the sun becomes too much, walk down Main Street to an airy, hip boutique called… Hip’tique. Perfect for beach wear, day dresses from DVF and others, bath and body products, and even work from local artists. Maybe it’s better to stop before you set out your beach chair. You can find several HABITUAL styles here, as well.
Pasadena – Gold Bug - 22 E. Union St. Pasadena, CA 91103
This new store in Pasadena is one of the coolest we’ve ever been to. It’s a bit dark and witchy, but a must visit. Think diamonds hanging off of spider sculptures, pressed butterflies and bug specimens on framed canvases, bronze and pewter casted animal skull paperweights, iodized scarabs, Alice in Wonderland shadow boxes with gemstones, alchemy bottles made into chandeliers. It’s more of an experience than a store. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, there is a line just to get inside. It reminds us a little bit of EvolutionNYC in Soho, but it brings nature-as-décor to whole new level.
Silverlake – Vivier + Bentley – 1404 Micheltorena St. Los Angeles, CA 90026
This is a joint shopping and studio space in Silver Lake owned by LA hangbag maker Clare Vivier and jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley. Both lines favor a luxe, clean look (sound familiar?). The small shop also features pottery from local artists Heather Levine and Victoria Morris and leather shoes from LA designer Beatrice Valenzuela. If you are a fan of Vivier’s utilitarian, hip designs, this is the place to find her one-of-a-kind items that aren’t sold online or in other stores.
For more local shopping ideas, see Racked LA’s Racked 38, a roundup of their favorite stores in the area.