Full disclosure: I am a boy. So I was bemused by Booth Moore’s careful parsing of the Melrose Avenue shopping scene in Saturday’s LAT. You see, Melrose Heights (Melrose between Fairfax and La Cienega) has “emerged as L.A.’s hottest retail thoroughfare by flying under the radar.” And that’s a complete contrast from the Robertson or Rodeo shopping scenes, not to mention the Melrose east-of-Fairfax melange. For Melrose Heights is a unique syncretization of the “one-of-a-kind vintage look of the Eastside [and] the designer chic of Beverly Hills.”
Like so much of L.A., Melrose Heights has a behind-the-scenes aura that suggests the person behind that pair of oversized sunglasses could be famous. The appeal of shopping here is not the overt hustle and bustle but the possibility of discovery – that Kirsten Dunst could walk into Miss Sixty trailed by a phalanx of paparazzi, that Johnny Depp might drop into his office above the Kate Somerville salon or that a wardrobe stylist could pop into Marni exclaiming that she’s there to pull clothes for a shoot with Kate Hudson.
Well, it certainly sounds more enticing than the Ross Dress For Less on Hollywood and Western where, believe it or not, you can find cute tops (in both senses of the term: nice shirts and cruising hustlers). I’ll check it out.