Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vintage fashion...Millinery...Shopping...Vinyl= A weekend in LA

Earlier this month Carl and I spent a fun-filled weekend with another couple in LA .  During dinner on Friday night at Toi , a fun Thai restaurant in Hollywood, we were invited by Louise Green and her husband, Lawrence, to tour their production facility in Santa Monica.   We excitedly accepted the invitation.

On Saturday, I had a show at the Helm's Building in Culver City. Lots of vintage goodness there!

 Sari and Lauren worked the door

 Beautiful dresses from Tresor de Vintage

The sweet gals from Vintage Blue Moon

Frippery and baubles from Little Treasures

After the show, dinner at Lukshon was a pleasant surprise...other than the fact that Mark couldn't get a martini and I couldn't get a Manhattan. But that aside, the southeast Asian menu was unique and delightful.

The next morning we had breakfast at Urth Cafe in Santa Monica, and headed to the hat factory. Louise graciously received us in the showroom and gave us a tour of the 9,000 square foot creative space. Imagine that- 9,000 square feet!

British born and raised, Louise studied fine arts in her university education.  Less formally, the streets and people of London instilled a fascination for the richness of the past and a passion for ornamentation and color.  By the time Louise came to the United States in 1984 she was able to combine these passions with an intuitive sense of design.  Within three years she had begun her journey as a milliner.  Immediately the hats were selling at the most exclusive boutiques in Los Angeles.  The press praised her as a masterful designer and a prominent drive in the resurgence of hats.

Since its inception, her business has grown from serving an elite West Los Angeles clientele to include many of the finer boutiques and department stores across the United States and around the world.  Louise Green hats are also consistently featured in top fashion magazines and on the heads of some of music and movies brightest stars.  In the heart of West Los Angeles, California, Louise Green currently operates one of the most successful high-end millinery companies in the United States.

 Louise explains her manufacturing processes

 An amazing collection of vintage hat blocks

 The patented silk-covered elastic bands

Vintage millinery sewing machine

 Vintage cloche...from Louise's private collection

After the tour we meandered through Abbott-Kinney, an eclectic shopping area in Venice.  My favorite space was Double Vision Gallery.   A review in Citysearch describes it well:

"This tiny shop, tucked into Venice's thriving antiques scene on Abbot Kinney, specializes in         colorful collectibles and art, past and present. The stock on hand is always changing, but specific items of interest include jewelry from the '40s and stunning art deco-era costume jewels. The shop manager also seeks out local artists who transform everyday objects into decorative and functional items. Brightly painted yardsticks become a colorful room divider, and antique rice boxes become one-of-a-kind side tables."

We finished the day with a visit to Amoeba Records where, it seemed, all other residents of Los Angeles had the same idea. 


  1. oh swoon on those hat blocks and the cloche....... i want!

  2. And that was just a part of the collection of blocks! It was fun seeing her favorite vintage hats, too.

  3. Sheesh, I live here and I NEVER have so much fun on a weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hi Kelly! Well, I think that's usually the case with our own backyard. There are things in Redlands that people drive a long ways to visit and I've never been.

  5. Thanks for sharing your weekend, Lori! What fun! I really enjoyed the L.G. factory. Your photos tell a great story.

  6. Thanks, Terry. What a privilege to go behind the scenes and see her process. Glad you enjoyed it!


09 10