Soles by Esquivel

Times Staff Writer

Until this weekend, a man hoping to score a pair of custom-fitting, handmade George Esquivel shoes (his client list includes basketball players Yao Ming and Tyson Chandler, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and members of the band the Killers) had two choices: trek to the cobbler’s Buena Park atelier or make a house call worth his while. But this week, Esquivel will open a new Los Angeles showroom and appointment-only shop called B.Spoke just off 3rd Street behind Douglas Fir. (He’s keeping the exact address under wraps, so potential clients should e-mail to schedule an appointment.) In addition to selling Esquivel’s footwear and small leather goods including bags, wallets and belts, the space will offer custom-made dress shirts and suits from local designer Waraire Boswell’s WB Collection and custom furniture by Viesso. Esquivel, who has been making shoes for 15 years, will also have a flat-screen TV, so the boys can keep up with the ballgame while choosing among the meticulously distressed and purposefully wrinkled Italian hides, Norwegian calf leathers, exotic stingray and alligator skins for their luxe loafers, over-the-top Oxfords and bank-breaking boots. Prices start at $700 for special orders (made to your specifications but in a standard size) or $1,800 for full-custom, a process that can take three to six months.

-- Adam Tschorn



iane Merrick Sunday: A fixture on the L.A. retail scene for 32 years, Diane Merrick is celebrating two years in her current location with a blowout sale. Everything is 75% off, including California-cool denim basics from Citizens of Humanity and J Brand, cotton tops and dresses by James Perse and C & C, and light-as-air silk frocks from Rory Beca, and Merrick’s own colorful cashmere capes and cocktail rings. 7407 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 930-0400. Noon to 5 p.m.


Twenty Two Shoes: Chris and Alexandra Silverman are no slouches when it comes to good design. They had their own clothing line (Silverman and Silverwoman) and designed for Gap and Old Navy. Then, in 2000, they opened a shoe store in Oakland, which inspired them to create their own footwear line. They’ve chosen Southern California for a third store, featuring their artsy yet functional shoes. The Narcissus sandal ($280) has a geometric wood heel, while the patent leather Arum ($375) pumps in muted colors such as taupe and soft teal feature cutouts on the sides. For men, the Baker boot ($320) resembles an old-school beige work boot but manages to be evening appropriate. The shopping bags in the Zen-like store are even chic -- one-of-a-kind canvas totes by Chris’ sister-in-law, artist Louise Bonnet, whose husband, Adam, is behind Atwater Pottery. Guess good design runs in the family. 8304 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (323) 782-1929. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.



Napoleon Perdis Self-tanning School Friday and Saturday: Because everyone needs to know how to achieve a flawless fake-and-bake. The pros at this Australian cosmetics academy will offer self-tanning tutorials with Perdis’ Summer Lovers Sunless Tanning Mousse as well as manicures. The $70 fee for the services is redeemable for beauty products. Appointments recommended. 6621 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 962-7111. Noon to 6:30 p.m.

Sex and the City Sale Thursday: If you’ve ever dreamed of shopping in Carrie Bradshaw’s closet, here’s your shot. Well, sort of. Just in time for the movie’s May 30 release, the online sample sale site has rounded up a selection of discounted designer wares inspired by the TV series-turned-film. Oscar de la Renta’s red and cream sweetheart-neck strapless gown ($1,250) is decidedly Ms. Bradshaw, as is Chanel’s jeweled plaid bag ($3,800), which could have been picked out by Patricia Field herself.

Fashion Student Windows Today: If you feel like going for a drive, cruise on over to three L.A. shops to catch the final day of window displays featuring frocks by student designers from Otis College of Art and Design. The junior and senior class-created outfits are fresh off the college’s annual fashion show gala runway. The highlight is a series of 15 L.A. skyline-inspired dresses that came out of an assignment from Trina Turk, who serves as a school mentor. The collection, which includes a dusk and dawn gradient cutout dress by Kristen Friedlander, can be seen in the glass cases at Trina Turk, 8008 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; Neiman Marcus, 9700 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; and Savannah, 706 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.