Monthly Archives: January 2010

On The Fashion Pulse, American Rag

 

 

Getting Her Fill of Retail Therapy, 90210'a Shenae Grimes was Spotted Leaving the American Rag on La Brea

 

American Rag on La Brea is the epitome of a too-cool-for-school, one-stop-shop destination. The merchandise seems to be so cutting edge that it is hard to tell if the buyers have their fingers firmly on the pulse of Los Angeles, or if they are creating the pulse themselves. An entire rainy afternoon can be spent blissfully getting lost amongst the racks of sequined vintage, designer denim, and delightfully obscure high-end retail—we know from experience, as we stayed dry in this shopper’s haven when the rain came a-knocking this past week. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

The scope and breadth of the store’s merchandise is simultaneously stimulating and intimidating. Upon entry you are greeted with blasts of color and funky art, displayed against warm wood, all situated within a cool urban loft expose. The u-shaped shoe display is the central focus of the main store, with the women and men’s retail flanking the display, and their vintage collection bringing up the rear. If that was not enough to make one’s heart skip-a-beat, to the right is their “World Famous Denim Bar,” although no Irish coffee was found, the denim selection was a sight to behold in and of itself.

Mark Werts, the owner and founder of American Rag, claims the buyers are what separate his stores from the masses, and the denim bar clearly showcases their talent. Ranging from classic 501 Levi’s to J-Brand’s newest invention, “jeggings” (they look a lot better than they sound), your desire for all things denim can be fulfilled here, and then some. We were thrilled to see that our favorite skinny jeans from EVER made an appearance amongst other up and coming contemporary brands such as CORPUS, Kill City, and PRPS, all perfectly mixed in with the big hitters, such as Helmut Lang, Diesel, and Citizens of Humanity.

The price tag on American Rag’s selection of vintage ranges dramatically from thirty-dollar funk-a-dellic flannels to two hundred dollar army coats, steeped in history. Although you wont find those vintage Chanel ballet flats you’ve been searching for, as there is little label vintage, you will find reasonably priced thermals, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and some awesome neon-plaid bell-bottoms, if those happen to light your fire. If the neon-plaid bell-bottoms intimidate you, and perhaps rightfully so, American Rag’s retail is paces away and offers you classic options, updated to today’s urban cool-vibe that simply exudes from the store. The men’s selection is a must, as it proves there should be so much more to a man’s wardrobe than just sneakers and jeans.

The menswear buyer, James Hammonds, sums up the success of store with, “You come in to accentuate your own look, not buy into ours.” It seems like American Rag simply wants to makes the masses look cool, the coolest part being, they don’t want to dictate your wardrobe, but just re-vamp your already existing look.

We surprisingly worked up a sweat scouring the racks, but didn’t even need to open our umbrella to find some lemonade. Café Midi is tucked away in the back of American Rag’s home décor store, Maison-Midi, which is easily accessible from the main retail section.  We happily obliged when we saw banana bread on the menu— as we all know, it is our quintessential comfort food that tastes so much better when the weather is damp and dreary. Alas, they keep their recipe under lock and key.

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Filed under Accessories, Boutiques, Celebrity Shopping, Clothing, Clothing: Men, Clothing: Women, Handbags, Interior Design, Jewelry, LA: Hollywood, LA: West Hollywood, Vintage

LA City Guide by Nicole Pollard

Check out the latest article in JustLuxe.com by LalaLuxe’s Nicole Pollard. Click on the photo for more:

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Halston, Meet Carrie Bradshaw

Sarah Jessica Parker and Halston, some might say it is the perfect marriage…

Sarah Jessica Parker Wears Halston Heritage on the Set of Sex In The City 2

Last week, the recently revived brand Halston announced that the Sex and the City star has been named president and chief creative officer of the brand. What is the allure of a celebrity running a fashion house?  Yes, they pose in front of photographers looking flawless but behind every Hollywood glamazon is a team of experts.  One might expect Patricia Field to take the position instead.

When asked about her qualifications for the new role, Parker said, “You could make many arguments to why I am not qualified. I would say that I am very aware of the enormity of the titles, and how important they are, and my response is that they [the board] felt confident in their decisions.”

She went on to add, “There is a huge amount I don’t know and I am very candid about that, and I am excited to learn. There are going to be things that come up that I am equipped to deal with and answer and respond to, and there are things that I will be happily mentored on by Bonnie. I have no allergy to learning.”

With a large equity position in the company, hopefully she’ll put her money where her mouth is and revive Halston back to fashion gold!

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Filed under Celebrity Shopping, Clothing, Clothing: Women

Have You EVER Wanted Anything More?

If a leather jacket is able to elicit drool from ones mouth, there is a good chance the brand behind aforementioned salivation is worth researching. These were our sentiments when we were browsing Barney’s CO-OP last fall and accidentally crossed paths with a perfectly distressed, hooded, grey leather jacket from Los Angeles based clothing brand, EVER. Since then our love for this brand has exponentially grown when we found they have a store on Melrose Avenue, with oh-so-many-more-to-die-for leather jackets, complimented by rich cashmere sweaters, easy-to-wear raw silk blouses, buttercup soft hoodies and tees, and the most comfortable skinny jeans this side of the Mississippi—all done in a beautifully muted color palate that reminds you of an overcast beach morning.

            The creative philosophy behind EVER stems from its creative director’s love of traveling with grace and comfort. The modern cuts of the pieces are paired with luxurious fabrics to create an urban street elegance that can take you anywhere. Our favorite thing about the collection is its ease and thoroughness; an entire travel wardrobe could be created from effortlessly mixing and matching the clothes at hand.

            As if it couldn’t get any better, upon entering the store on Melrose, the most pleasant sales staff greeted us. Not a drop of pretentious attitude was found in the two brunettes who happily explained the promotional sale on the hoodies and tees and begged us to try on their favorite pair of skinny jeans—and for good reason, as the lived-in-soft, distressed black, booty hugging jeans walked out with us from the store in one of EVER’s eco-friendly cotton bags, along with a perfectly draped raw silk blouse. We were relieved to find the extreme-low cut that is only flattering on pre-teens and models is absent in EVER’S denim as the higher cut of jeans allowed them to pass the “bend over and no crack is showing” rule. Paired together, the perfect outfit was created for a low-key weekend spent meeting the boyfriend’s family in Northern California. Yes, we really were able test drive the brand’s motto, and it passed with flying colors. With our newly acquired items neatly packed, it was relief to not stress about our wardrobe, instead directing our attention on gaining the family’s approval (the home-baked banana bread might have helped in that department). Did we mention both items were on sale?

The Melrose store features items from both the women’s and the men’s line, with an emphasis on their denim, leather, and trademark hoodies. We were definitely caught eyeing some of the men’s flannels to wear over our new favorite skinny jeans. A limited amount of accessories are scattered throughout the store, most enviably, men’s classic work boots in a delicious pebble cream. Alas, no women’s shoes as of yet, but we think EVER could produce a killer pair of everyday boots. Jack Spade (of Kate Spade fame) has also recently combined forces with EVER to produce a tote and duffle bag to perfectly accent the brand’s spirit of traveling.  The sale at their Melrose location is continuing for the next few weeks, until their spring line comes in. The spring line is supposedly accented with cute rompers for the women and done in an over-all lighter color palate.

On all of EVER’s items you find a small pin with the brand’s icon, a graphic tree which symbolizes the Asian proverb, “Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root.EVER’s clothes may spur us to travel onward and upward, but we will be repeatedly coming back for more.

If all else fails when embarking on “meeting the parents” try this: It’s a proven success!

Grandma Jea’s Banana Bread Recipe
¾ cup margarine
1 ½ cup of sugar
1 ½ cup of ripe mashed bananas
2 well beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of buttermilk
Mix all ingredients, creaming margarine and sugar first. Bake for 60 minuets at 350º. 

EVER Los Angeles
8251 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 951-9701
www.ever-us.com
 
Mon- Sat: 11-7
Sun: 12-6
 
Leather Jackets: $700-900
Outerwear: $200-400
Denim: $200-300
Tee/blouses: $100-200
Sweaters: $200-300
written by  Veronica McCarthy

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Filed under Boutiques, Celebrity Shopping, Clothing, Clothing: Men, Clothing: Women, LA: West Hollywood, Sales, Shoes

OM(f-ing)G – The Perfect Shopping Shoe!

Our hearts jumped out of their chests today while browsing the shoe salon at Barneys New York on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Amongst the mix of budding Spring shoes on the shelves was a pair of the prettiest, most comfortable, day-of-shopping wedges in a shocking, “look at me, I’m gorgeous, rich and famous” python silver. Christian Loubouton ~ perhaps your most gorgeous Matatales yet!  These will sell out, they’re just too fab!

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Filed under LA: Beverly Hills, Seasonal: Resort/Cruise, Seasonal: Spring, Shoes, Shoes: Women

Look Who We’ve Spotted

Which red-headed mama is getting into her car after a morning of shopping at the Brentwood Country Mart

It’s our favorite redhead, Debra Messing … duh!  Wonder what’s in the bag???

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Filed under Boutiques, Celebrity Shopping, Clothing, LA: Westside, Seasonal: Resort/Cruise, Seasonal: Spring, Seasonal: Winter

Even The Government Has Style

Hands down, Michelle Obama is the best dressed First Lady since the days of Jackie O. Now smaller forms of government are catching on that there is something behind looking good.  LalaLuxe’s founder and President, Nicole Pollard was featured in a government publication printed through the Small Business Administration.  Here’s the interview –>

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