All the Rage
Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances
2014 in fashion: Hello, North West; goodbye, Oscar de la Renta; and more

Whether you're counting hits or misses, 2014 certainly left a mark fashion-wise. From the runways to the red carpets to the slopes of Sochi, it was an endless parade of see-through dresses, ugly Olympic sweaters, cool cats in extra-large hats and just about one of everything wearable in between. So, before we turn the page to see what the new year has to offer, it's worth a quick glance in the rearview mirror at some of the fun, the fantastic and the failures that were the year in fashion.

The fashion runway served up no shortage of memorable moments. Chanel built a grocery store (complete with branded hams) to showcase its fall/winter 2014/2015 wares and staged a sign-waving protest for women's rights to showcase the spring 2015 collection. Jean Paul Gaultier, king of the cone bra, retired from the ready-to-wear runway after 32 years with an extravaganza that included a beauty queen contest, lucha libre wrestlers and a flurry of catwalk confetti. Rodarte showed it was one with the...

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Fashion forward: A look at likely trends for 2015

With new designer debuts and trends reshaping how we buy and what we wear, here are a few predictions for what to expect in the fashion universe in 2015.

1. Wearable technology will continue to gain traction. Judging from the level of social media obsession among the fashion flock, even something as moderately attractive as the Apple Watch (coming in early 2015) is poised to be the season's must-have accessory, especially if it can count your calories. Also look for garments that charge your phone or help you navigate the streets with a gentle push on the shoulder.

2. The silhouette of men's and women's wear will begin to shift. The 1970s trend on the women's spring 2015 runways signaled an end to the tyranny of skinny jeans and the return of flares and culottes. Men's suits, no longer shrunken to Christopher Robin proportions, are loosening up too, as double-breasted jackets, not seen since the high-flying 1980s, make a comeback.

3. John Galliano will have a second act. The disgraced...

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Beauty trends for 2015: New products for hair, nails, skin

Nail varnishes that stay on for at least a week, intensive hand-held skin cleansing systems, dry sprays, organic everything and brands that originated in other countries: These are predicted to be the hottest beauty trends for 2015.

Beauty brands are focusing on what consumers want, including the ability to replicate near salon-level results at home. No time for that gel manicure? Here are a host of home-use products that can keep nails unchipped for up to two weeks. Those blow-dry bar appointments eating into your budget? A slew of dry sprays, the latest alternative to dry shampoo, can help space out salon vists. And all-natural products without sulphates and parabens will continue to be a force as shoppers demand cleaner ingredients.

"Clients want organics, they want prestige and they want them to be effective," said Maria Rush, vice president of business development at Beauty Collection boutiques in Los Angeles.

Many of the new products that will be on store shelves in 2015 were...

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Sophia Amoruso brings her Nasty Gal and more to Melrose Avenue

Sophia Amoruso, 30, the digital doyenne who turned her hobby of selling vintage clothing on EBay into the $130-million, L.A.-based Nasty Gal fashion brand, has had quite a year.

Her "#GirlBoss" business manifesto was published in May, documenting her journey from shoplifting teen to fashion mogul, and was a runaway hit that made the New York Times bestseller list. She has been embraced by the New York-centric fashion industry, landing a feature in Vogue magazine and a collaboration with MAC Cosmetics (the Nasty Gal collection of "fierce shades" of nail polish and lipstick is in stores now). She provided the wardrobe for actress Lena Dunham for the "Girls" creator's book tour — a stamp of approval from cultural arbiter Dunham that only added to Amoruso's million-plus Facebook fans and Instagram followers. And in November, she capped it all off by opening the first brick-and-mortar Nasty Gal store, at 8115 Melrose Ave.

The 2,500-square-foot space across from Fred Segal has expansive...

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Step out, then duck into these L.A. hot spots for a drink

The holidays are a time to socialize, and for some of us that means an uptick in cocktail consumption. Where to go is always a question because There'seach hot spot comes with its own vibe, favorite cocktails and dress code. Where might you fit in? We've got a few suggestions.

Brilliantshine

The scene: A twentysomething crowd that doesn't believe in well drinks and appreciates good bourbon. (Money is not an issue for this crop of USC and UCLA grads who will Uber their way to their Brentwood and Santa Monica apartments at the end of the evening.) It's tough to get a reservation in the restaurant, and most people in the cramped bar are waiting to dine. Be patient.

The space: An indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant tucked behind two wooden saloon doors in Santa Monica. The former Renee's Courtyard location has been transformed with kitschy décor: ceiling fans, vintage Playboy cartoons in the men's room and miniature skateboard utensil rests on each table.

Dress code: Strappy heels, tucked-in...

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Institute for Art and Olfaction elevates the scents

An artful take on Caprese salad — half circles of heirloom tomato, watermelon triangles and mozzarella orbs decorated with violets, caviar-like beads of balsamic vinegar and walnut-pesto dressing — is punctuated by a bright lemon grass aroma with undertones of rhubarb and guava. Smoky elements of a caramelized yam and poached pear plate are elevated by a perfume with notes of smoldering juniper and hinoki woods, while a warm, cumin-cilantro aroma adds spice to the main entree, millet tamales with pumpkin, chiles, pistachio mole and pomegranate pico de gallo.

Each of four courses at a recent Stop and Smell Your Dinner event at Thank You for Coming, an experimental food and art collective in Atwater Village, was paired with a mouthwatering fragrance, inhaled by means of scent strips or perfumed blotting papers attached to so-called Aromaforks from Canadian company Molecule-R. Dinner was transformed into a feast for multiple senses.

"We picked scents that either complemented the dish or...

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