Photo above courtesy of Sportie LA.
There are plenty of reasons to do your shopping on Melrose Avenue. 1. It’s a cool and trendy place. If you want to find edgy, indie, and international fashion and art, you come here. 2. It’s also quite classic so if you’re into high quality vintage clothing and music, you’re in good shape. 3. Excellent options for food and drink to keep your energy up. 4. The celebs know 1-3 and also do their shopping on Melrose. Any day of week you’re likely to see a famous face, and the paparazzi parade that follows.
Since forever, Melrose has been the go-to street for rock and roll fashion. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, punk and metal bands flocked to the only alternative clothing shops in Los Angeles to find the latest in spandex and spikes.
Not much has changed. Some of those classic rockers still frequent the Avenue’s trendy rock shops for stage gear. Cody Varona is the grand mistress of the Congregation of Forgotten Saints (forgottensaintsla.com) at 7569 Melrose. Her Detroit garage punk meets L.A. glam aesthetic has been showcased by Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses, Marilyn Manson, Black Eyed Peas, Alice Cooper, Lzzy Hale, and Rhianna. The Forgotten Saints store allows a mere mortal to strap on some high end frockery and walk out a god.
Not all rockers require leather and grommets. Some take the new romantic approach, with ruffles and velvet, soft denim and hippie print buttons downs. That’s when they stop into Couture, The Clothing Company (couturecc.com) at 7375 Melrose. Axl Rose and Ricky Martin are fans. Designer Carlos Gholami uses his childhood impressions of Belfast for inspiration, and incorporates rich but comfortable fabics in his locally-made menswear pieces.
Melrose is not just for the rockers, though. Stylists from pop shows like The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, and celebs like The Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Hudson, and Tracy Morgan have shopped the cutting-edge international styles at 7609 Melrose, Flasher (flashermelrose.com). With both avant garde and funky street fashion from designers in NY, London, and Bali as well as one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists, Flasher sees its fair share of recognizable stage artists.
Models, DJs, artists, club kids, and musicians can be seen daily at Cosmo and Nathalia’s (cosmoandnathalia.com) two shops: Black (7563 Melrose) and Glamsquad (7367 Melrose). If you want to know where stylists, tastemakers, and IG stars find fabulous, start at either of these. While both are gender fluid and invite you to explore the outer reachs of your personality, Black is more chic and structured attire while Glamsquad is pure fun and fantasy. CeeLo, Diddy, Lexi, and Trapt shoot in Cosmo and Nathalia clothing. If you have a festival on your calendar this year, get in here.
On the flip side, celebs come to Melrose for the casual vintage tees. Yonada26 at 7653 Melrose is the go-to tee dealer for members of KISS and Metallica, One Direction, Kylie Jenner, Willow Smith, and Carmen Electra . It carries vintage, licensed, music, pop culture, and some nifty accessories like belt buckles, hat, and wallets for that, “I just threw this together (but not really)” SoCal look. Fashionista celebs also love the seven sexy custom cut options to personalize your shirt.
It’s not only the world-renowned fashion that pulls the rich and famous to Melrose. The incredible selection of funky and irreverent gift and gadgets at Spitfire Girl (spitfiregirl.com) has drawn big names like Emily Blunt, Minnie Driver, Shirley Manson, Michael C. Hall, and Keanu Reeves through the doors at 7401 Melrose. Was it the sassy teacups or designer bandages? Well, for Ms. Blunt we know she chose the Protection Potion perfume.
Being in the public must certainly be more pressure than the rest of us would understand, so naturally a visit to House of Intuition (houseofintutionla.com) at 7449 Melrose is a must for people like Will Smith, Antonia Banderas, Anne Hathaway, and at least one reality wife (Vanderpump). With a vast array of metaphysical tools to manifest money, love, health, and more, they probably know the secret.
All that money-spending can work up an appetite, so might as well eat where the celebs eat. The new hot spot on the Avenue is Spartina (spartina.la) at 7505 Melrose. Chef Stephen Kalt is developing a fan base with his regional Italian restaurant that also utilizes the local diversity of our exceptional farmer’s markets. It’s elevated dining in a typically SoCal laid-back atmosphere. And how A-list is the clientele? Short list: Trekkies Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto, Courtney Cox, ScarJo, Brad Pitt, and celeb de cuisine Bobby Flay.