I haven’t been to LA in forever, which is a drag for so many reasons, not least of which is that I really like the shopping in LA—and in some ways find it quite preferable to shopping in New York, where things can get so self-serious and cool-obsessed. Lately I’ve been wanting to visit Abbot-Kinney, the street in Venice where in recent years a tiny little retail revolution has been going on. I’ll get there eventually, I’d like to think. But for now, I’ll just pretend-shop with all of you.
I’ve been fixated for quite some time on Heist (see above), which carries just the kind of interestingly cut, classic-but-cooler pieces that I go nuts for. Like this part- v-neck, part cowl-neck top by MM6.
Heist has also introduced me to a few European lines I’d never heard of before, which doesn’t happen every day. This delicate Pas de Calais shell is the perfect vehicle for adding a soft little flash of femininity and light to the black-on-black-on black ensembles than tend to dominate my winters.
Jerome Dreyfuss bags are the best. They’re classic enough to be versatile and seasonless, but cool in the kind of low-key way that never screams Look at me! I’m an It Bag! This one is so excellently clean, with just the right amount of hardware and not a drop more.
I’m kind of even more in love with this somewhat more daring, multicolored-and-textured version, though.
Legendary shoe store Mona Moore thrills me even as it terrifies me, and even though I don’t have the nerve to wear the vast majority of what they stock, I’m glad it exists. In a time where even the most interesting indie boutiques seem compelled to carry the same old predictable (if not unappealing) bags and shoes as the next guy in order to balance out their edgier stuff—and bring in sure-fire sales—Mona Moore makes exactly zero safe bets.
The twenty five minutes that I would be able to bear wearing these booties before collapsing on the floor in abject pain would most likely be the most stylish twenty five minutes of my life.
I love a clutch that comes with a handle; to me they are so much more chic than the clutches with long, detachable straps, which always feel a little bit disco, and not in a good way. And this one is only the most excellently perfect shade of purple ever.
Mona Moore’s jewelry department, no surprise, definitely skews statement-y: there are a lot of big cuffs that I’d totally wear if I were a big cuff person, and two-finger rings that I wouldn’t wear under any circumstance, because I do not understand and will never understand two-finger rings. These Eddie Borgo stud earrings are more my speed.
There other great purveyors of clothing and accessories on Abbot Kinney; places like Guild and Minnie t’s that sound so very excellently tempting that I suppose I should ultimately be grateful that they don’t have e-commerce. Meanwhile, there’s also A + R, which—If I actually lived in LA—I’m pretty certain would be solving all of my gifting needs more or less all of the time.
A + R is a design store, and sometimes too much design can drive me right up a tree. But I find the sensibility here quite engaging, exceedingly unpretentious, and so much fun. Who couldn’t love this birdie smoke detector? It would make me happy every day just to see it there on the ceiling where my ugly old smoke detector used to be.
And how about an old- school rollerskate doorstop/bookend for the girl who has everything?
Somebody who knows a whole lot more than I do about this sort of thing recently told me that Jambox makes the best wireless speakers. And they sure do pop.
Like any post-millennial design store worth its salt, A+R has a thoughtfully edited selection of items for kids as well—so helpful for those of us who take our ongoing status as are Best Aunt Forever very seriously. How cute is this little bike?