For a while, it seemed everything was gonna go cyber — newspapers, magazines, even your favorite stores. No more browsing cute little streets for knick-knacks and precious finds. All browsing was being done in front of monitor, alone and in bad fluorescent lighting.
But recession be damned. A whole slew of cute little boutiques are popping up all over, many by names familiar to Audrey. It gives this editor hope that we won’t all meld into a faceless world of tweeters and status updaters. Check out the newest additions to the brick and mortar crowd.
Leanna Lin’s Wonderland
Billed as a “playful jewelry studio/shop/art gallery,” hand-beaded jewelry designer Leanna Lin‘s new boutique in Los Angeles is just that — a Wonderland.
With cheerful pops of color and a candy shoppe feel of beads and baubles galore, Leanna Lin’s Wonderland is a place where you can peruse, drool or just get plain crafty.
For a little jewelry making inspiration, the boutique also features art exhibits, like “The Lucky Show” presented by Spicy Brown, featuring the works of Kazuko Shinoka and Sachiho Hino. Check it out this weekend, Saturday, September 11, from 6 to 10 pm. The event is in conjunction with NELAart walk, and Spicy Brown will be handing out “Lucky” goody bags! (Not that you need another incentive, but food trucks will be converging on the spot as well — Don Chow Tacos (where “Chino meets Latino”) and Lake Street Creamery.
If you can’t make it this weekend, go the next for their official grand opening. Goody bags, drinks, treats and White Rabbit Filipino fusion truck will be there from 12 to 3 pm on Saturday, September 18.
Leanna Lin’s Wonderland, 5024 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
TeeTee Bar and Fighting Eel
If you’re going to be designing clothes in “the land of perpetual sunshine” (Hawaii), it’s likely your pieces are going to be infused with a lot of that laid back aloha spirit. In fact, Asian American designers Rona Bennett and Lan Chung specifically created their line Fighting Eel to express their love of not just fashion but vacation.
“On vacation” is exactly how one feels in one of Fighting Eel’s jersey dresses — a feeling of carefree ease and seductive languor profuse in any sun-soaked holiday. Specializing in a substantial, extra drapey jersey, Fighting Eel’s dresses are simple and easy to wear, yet constructed just enough for some serious sex appeal.
Now Barrett and Chung have opened a store in “paradise” called TeeTee Bar, which prominently features Fighting Eel designs as well. With an array of kids, women and men’s tees (really, if you live in Hawaii, do you want to wear anything more than tees and slinky jersey dresses?), the boutique brings a little bit of chic to an island locale where uncomplicated and unfussy style rules.
Now, Carol Young’s Los Feliz boutique is not new, but it’s still going strong after four years.
Young has stayed true to her aesthetic of wearability, durability, and environmental and global consciousness. She may not be roaming the world anymore (her travels to India and Japan inspired her line of “undesigned” clothing for the urban nomad), but with two toddlers now in tow, she is likely in even more need of her functional yet beautiful pieces.
Ever the champion of cutting edge accessory lines that wonderfully complement her aesthetic, like Cydwoq shoes and (Audrey favorite) Prismera Designs jewelry, Young is also partaking in Fashion’s Night Out on September 10 with a special trunk show of Nikki Montoya Jewelry.