Emanating from the massive pastel-coloured Pacific Design Center, the Design District—hemmed by Melrose Avenue and Robertson and Beverly boulevards—features dozens of shops, galleries and restaurants. This is a neighbourhood where new trends come to life.
Where to Go Shopping
A true trendsetter, Maxfield’s was one of the very first places in the United States to sell designer labels Armani and Chanel. Now, in addition to high-fashion, you can browse mid-century modern furniture in a French schoolhouse that was moved and reassembled piece-by-piece, right next to the main shop.
While buying at the Pacific Design Center is often restricted to certified dealers, passersby are welcome to wander its seemingly endless halls with offerings that span art, architecture fabrics and furniture. Afterwards, pop into its small, outpost of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which features a rotating roster of exhibits.
A spectacle museum and store, RetroSpecs features vintage bridges and frames from the 20th century. Try on a pair of original 12-karat-gold Ray-Ban Aviators, issued to Second World War pilots, and now held in a safe that survived the Great Chicago Fire. Those shades are on sale for $5,000, but you can also find more affordable frames from that era.
Housed in a space that feels like a little beach bungalow, The Elder Statesman designs and makes a diverse array of comfy cashmere creations. Its bestseller is a technicolour, tie-dyed palm tree sweater, but you can pick up everything from a cozy pair of socks to a more than US$4,000 blanket. (elder-statesman.com)
While the local Restoration Hardware (known formally as RH West Hollywood, The Gallery on Melrose Avenue) showcases homewares from renowned artisans, the main attraction is on the roof where you’ll find a shady city park, filled with olive trees, fountains and couches.
Spread across two floors (plus an outdoor terrace), Leica Store and Gallery is more than just a camera store. Browse the fine-art photography galleries and the library of photography books (including signed copies and first editions), then settle in at the store’s Miele coffee bar.
Where to Eat and Drink
1. Catch LA
The see-and-be-seen vibe is on par with the seafood here at this rooftop restaurant.
A well-established celebrity hotspot (on a recent night, they hosted both George Clooney and Deepak Chopra), so get dressed up for the paparazzi.
Serving the best cold brew in town, this small shop is a cool, laid-back place to start the day (you may be in line next to a Jonas or a Kardashian).
Housed in Bugsy Siegel’s former apartment, grab a martini and a spot by the fireplace at this swanky Old Hollywood spot.
[This story appears in the April 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]
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