los angeles

house of love and luck

I'm well aware that I'm late to the game on House of Love and Luck, the vintage costume jewelry shop that opened a little while ago on La Cienega near the new Largo theater. But I stopped in on Saturday and wanted to move in. The store is full of primarily 60s-80s era pieces, and most of it is oversized and dramatic, as I believe all jewelry should be. The store is cute and quirky, and you can tell the owners wouldn't mind if you lounged around all day opening drawers, trying on rings, and generally fawning over their collection.

While every item is clearly carefully selected and the prices are very reasonable, there was on particular necklace I fell in love with: the vintage Lanvin cross choker in silver (pictured on he far right.) It is so Madonna-meets-Diana-Vreeland. I couldn't quite bring myself to make the splurge, but if it's still there next time, I might have a harder time controlling myself.

crystal rock

I don't like most anything that feels hippy-ish, but I do like this crystal image and tee, designed by Leslie David for Surface to Air. It's much more outer space than nature, which comforts me.

In general, though, crystals are kind of growing on me right now. (Ha.) This weekend I went to the opening of Iko Iko in Angelino Heights with my friend Erin, a writer at Racked LA. The store is one of those high-concept "pop-up shops" that are so ubiquitous in Los Angeles right now. Iko Iko sells things like drop-crotch floral bike shorts and felted human hair. (I meant to ask the store owner what one does with a patch of felted human hair, but forgot. I maybe should have also asked what one does with drop-crotch floral bike shorts.)

Among the handmade wares for sale were some pretty, but rickety, wooden boxes. The lids were mirrored and dotted with glittery, split-open rocks and geodes, and the boxes were an actually affordable version of a similar item that interior designer Kelly Wearstler once made and attempted to sell for something like $8,000. Bonus: these were one-of-a-kind and remarkably less expensive. I also spotted some very cute handcrafted leather satchels, which, to my dismay, were meant to hold healing crystals in. I'm about as far from mystical as is possible, but I was still a little enchanted. But I would only wear such a thing if it was empty because I am too afraid of becoming a crystal-healing fanatic. (Everyone knows crystals are a gateway substance to incense.) Usually, these pretty little pouches would be an item I would despise for reminding me of things I do not like, like Devendra Banhart and people who purposely avoid hair-washing. But they were so soft and in such anti-earthtone pastel shades.

Still, if I'm ever tempted to sling a rock in one of those precious pouches, I will just re-read this quote I found on a Web site about the endless powers of crystals. (Which, let's remind ourselves, are basically pretty rocks): "For me, gemstone therapies have energized me, healed illness, helped me break bad habits, healed dog bites, and changed my life."

azature: dynasty

There are distinct advantages to being b.f.f. with a jewelry designer--especially when you share a love of excess and hot pink. Witness my favorite piece from my dear and talented friend Azature's newly launched his new Spring/Summer A.Z. line.

He's calling the collection Dynasty. It's is the perfect name in my mind, because everything is equal parts Joan Collins and Jem. It's all big and heavy and somewhere beyond statement-making, with a focus on hot pink, matte black and silver mesh-covered glass gems and oxidized chain.

I had a coronary when he showed me this necklace and got my very own last night. It is a love letter to myself circa 1989, when I wanted to join The Holograms and wore a pair of glittery, pink cowboy boots with everything.

catherine malandrino cafe

It's a gloriously warm and bright day in Los Angeles. After picking out strawberries, salmon, arugula, tomatoes and basil at the Melrose Place farmer's market, we decided to continue our outdoorsy theme by eating somewhere in the sun.

We walked to the tiny cafe attached to the new Catherine Malandrino boutique on La Cienega, in between a string of furniture and interior design shops. The patio has a handful of marble-topped tables, anchored by acid green chairs and barred in by a row of topiary trees to give it a little privacy from the sidewalk. (Today some orange-vested community service workers were sweeping out the gutters while we ate. They were wearing white T-shirts over their faces, presumably to hide their identities.)

I was at the store earlier this week for a party hosted by Gen Art and fell in love with the current Malandrino collection. Before that night, I was guilty of thinking crocheted tops, espadrilles and other various things I would never wear when I heard the name "Catherine Malandrino." I was clearly wrong to do so. The store is a trove of silk pantsuits, impeccable and smart jackets, appliqued leather accessories, and one nude, feathered and be-crystaled dress that was simply made for Las Vegas:

The food at the cafe was lovely, probably because the chef there is from Little Next Door. I had a gooey, flakey leek and gruyere tart and my boyfriend had smoked salmon on brioche with tzaziki, which was almost too beautifully assembled to actually eat. The nicest surprise was that the service was worlds apart from the 3rd Street location. (Zero attitude, dishes brought out at the exact same time, hot food still hot, no prolonged wait for the bill--really none of the hallmarks of sub-par service that Little Next Door is notorious for.) Best of all, it's still undiscovered, quiet and just blocks from my place. Coupled with the fact that it's attached to a fantastic clothing store, this makes it an automatic new favorite for me.

On the walk home, a bird shit on us. I mean really let loose. We have since remained indoors.

House of Sprouse

image and tip via Hint Mag

Artist-cum-designer Stephen Sprouse has been almost as prolific dead as he was alive. Since the New York City icon's early passing in 2004--he was only 50 at the time--his legacy has enjoyed a mega-reappropriation helmed mostly by his former friend Marc Jacobs.

Sprouse's latest post-mortem project is the product of a stay at the Chateau Marmont back in the '90s. After an extended visit at the Hollywood hideaway, Sprouse discovered he couldn't exactly afford the bill. So hotel magnate Andres Balazs asked him to design a few items of apparel specifically for the hotel to settle the balance. Balazs then forgot all about the little deal until recently, when he discovered six of Sprouse's sketches in the hotel's attic. (What a thing to stumble upon.)

Most of the designs, like the one above, are slated to go into production soon. In the meantime, you can score a Stephen Sprouse long-sleeved T or a baseball cap on the Chateau's online shop. Or you can make like Kanye and pop into the Louis Vuitton store for some of the spanking new, neon, logo-scrawled high tops from the spring collection, designed by Jacobs and anointed with the Sprouse name.