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In the luxury retail squeeze, it’s Robertson vs. Rodeo

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People might not be shopping, but new stores keep opening -- on Robertson Boulevard at least. Last night, a new D&G flagship opened with a party to benefit local charity Art of Elysium. And the starlets turned out in their LBDs -- by D&G, of course.

Ginnifer Goodwin looked incredibly chic (she always does) in a black D&G chiffon top and tulip skirt, with beads that matched her pumps. And Amy Smart managed to make a black bra top and D&G blouson dress look sweet.

Lauren Conrad, Paris and Nicky Hilton were also there, sipping vodka and (not) nibbling mini burgers and fries, which have replaced the ahi cones and tenderloin wrapped asparagus we used to (not) nibble before the recession.

You can’t help but notice how different Robertson’s retail row is looking these days. I counted five Kitson storefronts on the blocks between Beverly and Third. But the high-end is starting to inch out the paparazzi-friendly. Ralph Lauren’s new Robertson digs are beautiful, more beautiful in my opinion than the Rodeo Drive store. The Chanel space is pretty special too, the way it opens to the sidewalk.

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The D&G space looks like a boudoir — dark and mirrored with black carpeting — as most of the Italian design house’s stores do. On the racks, there are lots of leopard print ruffled blouses and tight cocktail dresses with ruched bodices from the spring collection of D&G, Dolce & Gabbana’s less expensive little sister.

A D&G publicist believes Robertson is poised to do well in the downturn because it’s a less conspicuous place to consume than the luxury sinkhole Rodeo Drive (‘luxury sinkhole’ being my words), where nobody wants to be caught dead with an armload of shopping bags.

That’s one way to spin it I guess.

-- Booth Moore

Top photo: Actress Ginnifer Goodwin in D&G. Credit: J. Strauss / Wireimage

Bottom photo: Actress Amy Smart in D&G. Credit: J. Strauss / Wireimage


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