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The Way We Wore

These days, Doris Raymond dresses lots of stars in exquisite antique gowns for big, red-carpet events—a far cry from the '70s, when she was selling encyclopedias door-to-door across the Pacific Northwest. Back then, vintage was just known as used clothing, so she capitalized on her travels to snap up garments in the small towns on her route. Now she has a two-story empire, where a lifetime of fashion history from all eras and from all the marquee names is for sale.
From Los Angeles' Beverly Boulevard neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.

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Blends/Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store

L.A.'s downtown might be gentrifying, but it's still the city's grittiest neighborhood, which makes it the perfect backdrop for the only Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store in the States. It's housed behind Blends—the sun-drenched rare-sneaker emporium that hogs a slice of the block—tucked in the back, down the alley, behind a dingy door. The hand-cracked, tile-lined, windowless room—intentionally threadbare and lit with long fluorescent bulbs—showcases Rei Kawakubo's deconstructed pieces, jewelry from locals, and the full range of Comme des Garçons wallets and fragrances, all carefully arranged on stacked-to-the-ceiling shopping carts.
From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.

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Fremont

Named for the strip in Las Vegas frequented by icons like Frank Sinatra and Katharine Hepburn, this line intends to recall an era before sweatpants and flip-flops were the weekend uniform. The slick store, a 2008 addition to L.A.'s slightly dodgy downtown, is known for well-tailored, slightly mod pieces, like Peter Pan-collared blouses in menswear fabrics, and cute pinafore dresses.
From Los Angeles' Downtown and Chinatown neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.

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New High (M)art

Adopting a curatorial attitude to retail isn't new, but this Chinatown arrival does it in a pleasingly amusing, unpretentious way. In its current incarnation, New High (M)art resembles a South American bodega and is all about goods from local designers that evoke a tribal theme. There's a happy jumble of Grey Ant tops trimmed in vibrantly hued ribbon, necklaces crafted out of jump ropes, and sweaters woven from a hundred colors of thread.
From Los Angeles' Downtown and Chinatown neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.

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Ooga Booga

A pioneer in Chinatown's burgeoning retail scene, this much-heralded space—on the second floor of an industrial '60s office building—is something of a mecca for those in search of forward-thinking clothing from Mociun, Anntian, and Slow and Steady Wins the Race, along with one-off art publications and mix tapes compiled by musicians.

As featured in Lucky's City Summer Shopping Guide!

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Shareen Vintage

A chalkboard in the front explains that this sprawling warehouse is girls-only (there are no dressing rooms), which adds to the fun, free-for-all nature of a visit here. Plus, a seating area in the middle of the fray is well supplied with Twizzlers and Balance bars, since those who make the pilgrimage tend to stay for hours. Stylist Shareen Mitchell has thousands of '70s and '80s dresses to choose from (she replenishes the array every Saturday), at insanely reasonable prices (most are less than $50).
From Los Angeles' Downtown and Chinatown neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.

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Welcome Hunters

Designers from far-flung corners of the world are represented at this Chinatown newcomer: Shop for shirtdresses from Copenhagen's Best Behavior, appliquéd asymmetrical tunics from London's Marjan Pejoski, and Munich's Fummel + Kram's hand-embroidered scarves.
From Los Angeles' Downtown and Chinatown neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.

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Feature

Just two doors down in Brentwood from where owner Navin Megji went to preschool, Feature is her interpretation of what a good neighborhood shop should be. Though she did a stint in New York at Dolce & Gabbana, she always wanted to come home to offer a slate of labels—Mischen, Marlova, Karen Walker—that locals used to have to drive too far to find.
From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.

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Jigsaw-London

This British High Street chain made its introduction to the U.S. by way of the thoroughly chill Brentwood Country Mart—which is a nice backdrop for its perfectly bohemian floral-print dresses and slouchy boots.

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Post 26

Named after its original incarnation—a 1950s post office—Post 26 has the feel of a barn, crowned with a hay-loft-like exposed-beam attic. The pieces are thoroughly citified, though, with choices from Rick Owens and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Backed by two retail veterans (stylist Jeannine Braden, who also owns Fred Segal Flair, and Kay Sides, a Chanel and Maxfield's alum), this Brentwood duplex is arguably the most comprehensive destination west of the 405 for difficult-to-come-by collections.
From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.

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