I had shopped in Los Angeles before, but the enormous city has enough shopping to satisfy any fashionista in any budget. I went to LA with one purpose: to find a new handbag. For the past year, I had been using a gorgeous deep purple suede Coach bag that I loved. Yet, as every girl who lives for fashion knows, eventually you start to itch for a change.
Although there was so much of Los Angeles to explore, I started my handbag search on Rodeo Drive, the mother street of all Los Angeles haute couture shopping. My criteria for a handbag were fairly simple. I didn’t want a white handbag because I know myself all too well. Five minutes after purchasing it, I am sure to have spilled coffee on one side or dropped in a puddle. No matter how trendy white is right now, I wanted something more resilient. I was counting on Christian Dior to pull me through. I have been falling in love with everything Dior makes right now and so I started there. Sadly, I couldn’t find a single Dior handbag that I liked. Don’t worry, I assured myself, there is a handbag out there calling your name somewhere. I wandered up and down Rodeo Drive in search of the perfect handbag. I found a gorgeous black embroidered clutch in Gucci but it was too small. And I found a fabulous perfect-for-summer white and gold canvas bag in Roberto Cavalli, but, as I just mentioned, it was white. I left Rodeo Drive without a handbag, but I did discover a pair of glitzy gold Stuart Weitzman heels that were too fun to walk away from. These shoes are festive enough to glam up jeans and a tank top for a girls night on the town and glam enough to wear dancing the night away in a ballroom.
After my unsuccessful handbag shopping trip on Rodeo, I headed to Fred Segal. I had never been, but always wanted to go since they mentioned in on Clueless. I drove there and I think people thought I was a celebrity. I didn’t realize there was a huge back parking lot and so I pulled into one of like three spots in the front. I was driving a brand new Corvette convertible and was wearing a huge sunhat and huge trendy tortoise shell sunglasses (except mine are from Target which isn’t very celeb-like). Anyway, I think everyone thought I was a celebrity because I pulled up in the front like a person with a big sense of entitlement (except I was really just a person that didn’t realize there was a big back parking lot) with my big glasses and big hat and new Corvette. Everyone was really staring and smiling at me until my sunglasses came off and then everyone ignored me, including the salespeople. Anyway, I wandered around the store briefly but I have to be honest. I don’t see what the big deal about Fred Segal is. It looked like a upscale Hollywood-ized version of Wet Seal to me.
The day before we left sunny California, I decided to stop in a shopping mall called the Beverly Center. I had chosen this shopping center to stop in because it had a Bloomingdales. I grew up loving Bloomingdales and believing it was the epitome of fashiondom. I am sad to tell you that Bloomingdales is not the store it used to be. The Bloomingdales at the Beverly Center had rap music playing (does anyone else remember the days of live grand piano music?). Rack after rack of Juicy bags constituted the handbag section and I swear I saw Kate Spade and DKNY handbags on the floor. I couldn’t handle the blasphemy and hurried out of the store. (I must note that not all Bloomingdales are not like this. I more recently went to a much better kept Bloomingdales in the Mall of America.) I searched the store locator map for any other glimmer of handbag hope. No luck. I was sadly planning to leave LA without a handbag. I decided to go in Dior again just to peruse.