If you believe everything you see in the movies, you are well aware that Los Angeles and its nearby municipals are cities tailor-made for shoppers. But from Melrose Avenue to the plethora of shopping malls to the Malibu Lumber Yard, how do we know who has the best—and most unique—stuff?
Luckily for fashion-forward guests of The Hollywood Roosevelt, journalist Booth Moore has already done the heavy lifting by asking the experts who do retail for a living. Her new handbook, Where the Stylists Shop: The Fashion Insider’s Ultimate Guide, ($24.95; Regan Arts) is a thoroughly researched and vetted list of the best boutiques, thrift shops, department stores, and flea markets all around the world.
“At its best, shopping is about discovery, and there’s no better way to get to know a city than by hitting the stores,” Moore writes in her book’s introduction. “You can find out so much about a place through its local designers, its markets, and its favorite chains. The things you come home with create a scrapbook of your trip, which you can relive every time you wear them. Done over a lifetime, shopping is a collection of experiences that informs your fashion sense.”
And while Los Angeles is a city that prides itself on the cultural diversity (and, as a result, the differing shopping options) found in its myriad of neighborhoods, it cannot be discounted that some of these denizens need options for red-carpet premieres and events. As one can infer from the book’s title, much ink in Where the Stylists Shop is devoted to scouring looks appropriate for the A-list scene.
There are obvious suggestions, but the guide offers them with a twist. For example, the Neiman Marcus behemoth on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills is a mecca for both locals in oversized black sunglasses and travelers with selfie sticks who know the neighborhood for movies like Pretty Woman. But Where the Stylists Shop teaches us all about the department store’s gifted personal shopper, Catherine Bloom, and her clientele, who are as much a “who’s who” as the labels she pulls for them. And Cameron Silver’s legendary Decades on Melrose Avenue is still a marvel of upscale vintage finds that’s particularly popping during its shoe sale. Moore also goes into the history of some of these establishments, such as her recount of the trend-setting masterminds that led to the Ron Herman shop at Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue–a locale that has helped define laidback Southern California cool for generations.
The book also delves into some names that may not always be as instantly synonymous with Los Angeles’ fashion scene. Erin Tavin’s eponymous Echo Park vintage shop may not have been around as long as say, Wasteland on Melrose Avenue, but it has built a loyal following of those seeking a heavily curated collection that is more old Victrola and folksy song circles than the latter’s rock and roll. And the Slauson Super Mall in South Los Angeles and Pasadena’s monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market can both be paradise for bargain hunters—particularly those who want items unlike anything their friends might also nab.
Since it’s not enough just to look perfectly polished, Where the Stylists Shop also details where you can go to ensure you smell good. In Los Angeles, those places include Strange Invisible Perfumes, a natural fragrance shop in Venice with scents inspired by zodiac signs, and the self-explanatory Scent Bar in central Los Angeles’ Beverly Grove neighborhood.
But the best part about Where the Stylists Shop isn’t just that it’s a detailed guide to the best places to hit during your stay at The Roosevelt; it’s that it offers these services for just about every major city in the world. Because one shouldn’t leave Madrid, Moscow, or Milan without seeing how the most stylish locals spend their paychecks.
- Story by Whitney Friedlander