London-based accessories designer extraordinaire Charlotte Dellal has opened her first L.A. Charlotte Olympia store, a glamorous, Art Deco-feeling boutique at the top of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The decor is an ode to Old Hollywood glamour from the moment you step inside the door, where Dellal (who has the curves and finger-wave blond hairstyle of a 1940s starlet herself) has her own pink marble Hollywood Walk of Fame star set into the ground, with "Charlotte Olympia" etched inside.
"It was meant to feel super-feminine with the boudoir mirrors, and the brass fixtures create a retro feel," said Dellal, who launched her whimsical line in 2006. "It's celebrating Los Angeles from an outsider's point of view. I guess it's not all about Hollywood and film, but I'm a nostalgic person and I have always loved Old Hollywood."
Dellal's new "Hollywoodland" collection takes center stage in the store, with the "Mae West" T-straps (pictured above), "Girls on Film" pumps with plastic film-reel ankle straps, "Popcorn" bags, film clapboard clutches and other styles paying homage to silver screen stars of old.
"Starlet" flats come with a jewel detail on the toe featuring the image of Louise Brooks or Bette Davis. And the "Fred and Ginger" sandals have perspex heels that feature floating images of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing. How did Dellal create the cinematic effect? "Hollywood magic," said the designer, whose philosophy is "dressing from the feet up."
Dellal is visiting Los Angeles for the third time, and she still has stars in her eyes. She is staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel (where else?) and fantasizing about bumping into Rita Hayworth ("Gilda" is her favorite film) coming out of the Polo Lounge.
But rather than visiting Hollywood's vintage haunts, this time Dellal's trip has been dedicated to making sure the finishing touches are on the boutique, and to treating her oldest son to kid-friendly outings to Universal Studios and Disneyland.
The boutique, her third and biggest so far, also features such Charlotte Olympia classics as the "Kitty" smoking slippers, the "Pandora" clear plastic box clutches with different fabric pouch inserts, and the iconic "Dolly" pumps in a rainbow of colors, with island-shaped exterior platforms. She also offers a dye-to-match shoe service.
The Charlotte Olympia collection ranges in price from about $495 to $1,500.
Charlotte Olympia, 474 North Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 276-1111.