Letter from the editor: Spring Fashion

Letter from the editor: Spring Fashion
(Photo credits from left: Geoffrey Smith; Michael Kors; Sean Gardner / Los Angeles Times; Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images; Laure Joliet)

Today we begin rolling out stories from the spring issue of our Image Fashion and Travel magazine. Over the next seven days, you'll see stories from an issue packed with style and globe-trotting stories to take you and your wardrobe to exciting new destinations. 



Nothing has the power to move us quite like music does.

I came to live in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago because of rock 'n' roll, and it wasn't because I wanted to go into the music business. I was transported from New York City by the lyrical images evoked by songs — "The Boys of Summer," "Hollywood Nights" and "Hotel California."

While I was growing up in the 1970s, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger and Joni Mitchell were on heavy rotation in our house. My mom hosted an informal class one night a week for neighborhood friends, during which she played records and talked about the history of music. Tucked in bed, I was rocked to sleep by the sunshine sound of the Beach Boys and the Sunset Strip-produced folk of the Byrds.

The first time I traveled to L.A., at age 12, I couldn't wait to put on my roller skates and hit the Venice boardwalk à la Linda Ronstadt. In the 1980s, the Go-Go's kept the dream of Southern California alive for me. And by the time I had relocated to L.A. in the 1990s, I was old enough to see shows at the Whisky a Go Go, which was within stumbling distance of my first apartment.

Fashion moves to music too. For the spring collections in stores now, designers sampled pop-music imagery that spans decades, genres and locales. So we've dedicated our fashion pages to looks inspired by music style archetypes: hippie, glam rocker, soft and sweet. (You provide the playlist.)

In the issue, we talk to California girl Clare Vivier about her booming handbag business and her new West Hollywood store, her biggest yet. Jenn Harris meets the two architects known as Design, Bitches, who are helping redefine the SoCal restaurant landscape today through their surfer-meets-punk-rock designs of such spaces as Superba Snack Bar in Venice and the Springs in downtown L.A. And Hollywood's flower power Eric Buterbaugh tells us about his new fragrance line.

I head to Seattle in search of the history of grunge music and find a city that's booming. Amanda Jones travels to the spectacular Galápagos, where an evolution in luxe accommodations is underway. And Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne takes a dream tour of Asia as seen through the work of Toyo Ito, winner of the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

We end with an essay by Adam Tschorn about Sunset Boulevard's rock 'n' roll billboards in the golden age of rock, pre-MTV, when the signs along the fabled strip of real estate were the key to bringing music to the masses.

No doubt I passed a few of them on my first trip to L.A. all those years ago.

Enjoy the issue.

This story is part of the Los Angeles Times' Image Magazine spring fashion and travel issue.