DIARY OF A CHIC SEEKER: SHOPPING IN LA
There is no shortage of great shopping and excellent service in LA. Save your pennies for a big splurge, you won’t be disappointed.
Rodeo Drive – Beverley Hills
As I wondered down Rodeo Drive I felt like Julia Roberts from Pretty Women, and the words, ‘What’s your dream?’ were ringing in my ears. I’m thinking, this road IS A DREAM!
Palm trees kiss the sides of the magnificent stores of Chanel, Saint Laurant, Bvalgari, Hermes, Dior. If you have to bribe someone to come with you to this billionaires playground, tell them it’s an architectural dream, because it is. These shops are stunning to look at even if your bank account can’t stomach the prices.
The Grove – West Hollywood
This is an outdoor shopping mall, which feels like walking into adult Disney Land. The architecture of the buildings are imaginative and the size of the place is manageable and easy to navigate. You can find a Barneys and Nordstrom and stand alone stores of JCrew and Anthropolgie amoungst many more. There is also a farmers market, cinema and many restaurants to choose from. If you make the journey here, you can always stop and have lunch or dinner as part of your day trip.
The Beverley Centre – West Hollywood, on the edge of Beverly Hills
This is not far from The Grove so you could easily do both these places in one day. Inside the Beverley Centre you will find Bloomingdales and Macys alongside big luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci, Prada and Fendi.
Rose Bowl Flea Market – this happens one Sunday every month. So check to see if it is on during your stay. This huge market has a bit of everything and the Passadena hills in the back ground are stunning.
If you like Dim Sum you have to go to Din Tai Fung which is a short drive from Rose Bowl. This inexpensive Michelin starred restaurant serves the most amazing dumplings you will ever taste. I was so excited to eat here as I used to go in Shanghai and sadly they don’t have branches in London or New York.
American Vintage, 7575 Melrose Avenue – well laid out vintage store with a good range of sizes and low prices.
Decades, 8214 Melrose Avenue – high end vintage and haute consignment, an incredible store!
Abbott Kinney – Venice Beach
This intimate palm lined street close to Venice beach has transformed in the last 6 years from sleepy beach town to chi chi shopville. The adorable wooden structures are homes to an array of shops from homeware, jewellery, high end designer boutiques and chic LA surf wear. Every time I walked down this street I would discover something new.
There are also several artisan coffee shops with serious hipsters supping on their Macchiato’s. Great people watching!
Favourite shops for me were:
Heist which stocks Jerome Dreyfuss, Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant, Derek Lam and many more. New discovery for me was Il Bisonte, which is understated, but beautiful leather bags designed and made in Italy.
Alexis Bittar Jewellery designer from Brooklyn, New York has a stand alone store in an adorable stand alone beach hut.
Mona Moore Shoes and accessories from the likes of Balenciaga, Linda Farrow, Chloe, The Row, Tom Binns and many moore..!
Kendall Conrad Luxury leather bags designed and made in California. Understated chic, perfect for the woman who has every designer under the sun and is looking for something fresh and new.
The Mystic Bookstore Find your self development books here and have your tarot cards read!
A friend in LA compared the experience of shopping in Santa Monica to Guildford! This might be a bit harsh, but I can see what she means with the pedestrianized ‘Third Street Promenade’ and multi story car parks. Warning – take note of where you park your car, I was having a panic attack thinking the car had been stolen, but realized I had walked into identical looking but wrong car park! Blonde moment.
Santa Monica Place (http://www.santamonicaplace.com) is a newly built shopping complex featuring high-end retailers such as Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Burberry, Juicy Couture and Barneys CO-OP.
I fell in love with the Bloomingdales (http://www.bloomingdales.com), the shop fit is beautiful, it made me want to spend, spend, spend!! Apparently future Bloomie’s will be updated to reflect the look of this one.
Find Kitson (http://www.shopkitson.com) which is full of kitch and cute stuff. Excellent for gifts, LA memorabilia and cool accessories. Kitson is said to be a favourite destination for the Kardashians, Heidi Klum and Alicia Keys.
Montana Avenue, Santa Monica
On my final morning I decided I couldn’t leave LA without a Clarisonic exfoliator (!), so I Googled the nearest stockist to where I was staying and it happened to be on Montana Avenue. I was so pleased to have found this adorable tree lined street with many shops and restaurants. Finding myself here, shopping like a local I felt very at home.
But sadly I had to leave. I boarded the plane with suitcases bursting at the seams and sternly told myself I won’t shop again until Christmas….we’ll see…
Lots of love, Tara xx
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