so, i've lived in los angeles for just over two months now. and i've intentionally resisted writing any posts about la vs nyc style, in order to try to get a more local perspective....
one of the things that i'm happy to report is that living in la doesn't feel the same as visiting la.
when i'd come to visit, previously, i'd usually be tagging along on a business trip of my husband's. we'd stay in hollywood, and do all the "typical" hip la visitor things- eat at animal, shop at maxfield, and drive down to venice to stroll and brunch at gjelina.
we were never really exposed to the "east side", which is where we now live. i've spent the last weeks exploring the neighborhoods of silver lake, los feliz, atwater village, echo park and koreatown as much as my schedule allows.
and i can tell you that style looks quite different over here. this is not the beach-y vibe of venice, with short short cut off denim, scrubby sneakers and streaky ombre blonde hair. venice kind of looks like a free people catalogue.....
nor is it the conspicuous consumption of hollywood. even the "hipsters" in hollywood wear heels at every occasion, the hair is perfectly done, ironic glasses are from oliver peoples.... it's a very studied look- all the elements in place, all logos subtly revealed.... not much experimenting, not much mystery.
the east side seems more comfortable to me.... it reminds me a bit of brooklyn. maybe a little too much, from time to time? silver lake is still fully entrenched in ironic dressing. yesterday, a "cool dude" in front of me in the coffee line was wearing dickies. dickies!! i haven't seen those in years....
as much as these folks take from the williamsburg aesthetic, a lot of the look also comes from the portland & seattle / pacific northwest vibe.... there's an outdoorsiness to a lot of the looks that is just not found in brooklyn.
the areas surrounding our neighborhood seem to be a good balance of many subcultures. you definitely do see the skinny "fashion" girl crossing the street, teetering in her jeffery campbell litas, the dirty-haired rocker dude, as well as the frances-mcdormand-in-laurel-canyon industry bitches. but you also see a fair number of your typical city-version of middle-manager dudes, soccer moms and young families.
it's a nice mix.
which was all a super-long prelude to the point that i came here to type about.
the one thing that all of the areas and neighborhoods that i've mentioned above (and many that i haven't) all seem to have in common is an abiding obsession with leggings, in all their forms.
leggings, jeggings, drop crotch, high waisted, cropped short....
i honestly can't imagine what los angeles would be without them.
preferably black. and worn as clothing, not exercise attire.
and i think i've figured out the reason why...
it definitely has to do with that exercise element..... which angelenos love.
somehow, the prevailing trends in exercise all seem to lead to the same path, here in so cal. and at the end of that path is a pair of seriously muscular legs.
this girl's legs (and what she's wearing on them) literally epitomize the look of la at the moment.
i must admit that i don't love it. it's a little too athletic, and little too masculine for me. look at her quadriceps! too much, too much.....
i'm as against cellulite as the next girl, but this is too far in the other direction. i'd rather see a little jiggle, than be reminded of the incredible hulk, about to bust out of his pants all together!
i'm more a fan of a longer, leaner leg... something that i realize is not within every girl's genetic make up. but most of these girls could really benefit from a little more softness, a little more, well.... femininity.
a pair of thighs like these, peeking out of a soft & flow-y shorter skirt just do not do it for me. it's sort of scary!
it could be worse, certainly. in fact, i'd steeled myself for some pretty questionable sartorial choices in this town, and so far, i've been happily surprised by the place....
and of course, this is only the first of many observations. spring is coming!
stay tuned for more....