Shopping: A study in natural light


Los Angeles is a luxury testing ground where brands such as Prada and Chanel try out new retail concepts influenced by Southern California’s acclaimed modern architecture, sunlight and indoor-outdoor lifestyle. With the debut of its Beverly Hills flagship, Missoni also takes advantage of the location to bathe the fashion house’s seasonal collections, accessories and housewares in natural light.

The Missoni store is a glass, steel and concrete box wrapped in woven aluminum bands (inspired by the house’s signature knitwear), which filter in light during the day while glowing from the inside at night. The interior is where Milan meets L.A.: You walk off Rodeo Drive into a modern skylighted galleria with accessories and fashions in kiosks and vitrines flanking the pathway. The walkway leads to an outsize neon box in the rear of the boutique, where the label’s luxe Home collection — candles, pillows and a sofa — are arranged.

The play on light extends to the folding mirrors and the palisander wooden flaps with sides that can be adjusted to direct incoming sunlight.

“California is very sunny place, and I wanted the store to be very fresh and neutral and the facade a big knit like a sweater,” says Angela Missoni. “L.A. has understated glamour and is very close to Missoni’s spirit of relaxed fashion and good living.”

Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Manfreda of Kinmonth Manfreda, based in London and Rome, collaborated with house designer Angela Missoni on the 7,500-square-foot store — the duo’s first public building. Kinmonth Manfreda previously designed the AngloMania show at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and curated the 45th Valentino retrospective in Rome and at the Louvre in Paris. The woven aluminum exterior was crafted near the Missoni clan’s hometown of Sumirago, in northern Italy — pictured in Missoni’s new summer ad campaign shot by Juergen Teller — and shipped to L.A. for assembly.

The Missoni flagship stocks plenty of brand accessories, including sunglasses ($200 to $370) and women’s scarves ($250 to $700), plus the house’s colorful knitwear, including men’s and women’s cardigans ($750 to $1,500). The spring-summer 2010 sari-like layered dresses are also available, starting at $1,000.

A special L.A. touch, along with a VIP room, is the Missoni Mare swimsuit collection ($350 to $650), which is displayed on quirky flip-through enamel-and-wood torsos.

469 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 246-3060. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Rachel Pally Friday through Feb. 21: Sample sale featuring designer’s trademark jersey dresses and separates from current and past season collections, including Pally’s White Label at up to 80% off retail. Prices start at $45 for tops, skirts and pants, and $65 for dresses. Cash and major credit cards accepted.

2301 E. 7th St., Suite C100, Los Angeles. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


Chez Bop: New Sunset Plaza boutique, opened Feb. 1, stocks women’s contemporary apparel, priced from $350 and up, from Aventure des Toiles and Indies of Paris, plus Los Angeles designers Hanna Friedman and Kay Lim. The store also carries gifts ($30 to $40), handbags ($150) and jewelry ($199 and up).

8669 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 855-9700. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.