Los Angeles has long been one of the fashion capitals of the world. Celebrities often sport one-of-a-kind dresses and suits and make red carpet events a stunning spectacle to see. Designers get their time to shine, too, when their pieces are worn and become visible to millions after the photos go worldwide. Sunset Plaza has, of course, been a part of that storied history of the fashion of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. Boutiques have been a staple at Sunset Plaza, and for decades, designers and fashionistas have given their own flavor to the strip. Let’s take a look at a bit of the history of fashion at Sunset Plaza!
The Fashionable Beginnings of Sunset Plaza
The 1960s featured drastic departures from previous eras, including film, music, literature, and fashion. Flowing skirts, bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye shirts, and ponchos adorned long-haired women and men alike. Celebrities and musicians leaned into the so-called “hippie culture” and sought designers who could give them the most fashionable look possible.
Holly’s Harp was one of the most famous boutiques on Sunset Plaza throughout the late ‘60s into the ‘70s. She catered to everyone, from the rich and famous to everyday passersby. Her store was the prime location for experimentalism and hippie fashion. What started as a small location with a handful of employees later expanded into a brand that lasted 30 years and was a huge hit across the country.
Holly moved locations a few times, including closing on Sunset and opening a factory in Culver City, opening shops in New York City, and more.
De Voss was another boutique that saw an endless coming and going of the day’s celebrities. It was the location for the music video of “I Saw Her Again,” a song by the Mamas and the Papas. Inside, the store was filled to the brim with clothing, stacked on tables and stands – a stark difference from the more spacious boutiques that decorate Sunset Plaza today, which have a lot of breathing room and walking space.
Not only did the Mamas and the Papas visit for a music video (and to shop, as did many others, like Diana Ross, Jane Fonda, Barbara Streisand, Liza Minelli, Stevie Nix, and more), but the Rolling Stones stopped by for an entire night to shop. They picked up the outfits they wore for their compilation album “Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).”
Belinda’s featured the same abundance that was present in other boutiques on Sunset; there were plenty of dresses, skirts, tops, and more, but what made a lot of people flock to Belinda’s was the intimacy. Everything was made in-store – and a customer could even place an order and have the outfit tailored (or created in another color) the very same day.
For an inside look at this piece of history, check out Charles Lange’s television advertisement for Belinda’s Boutique!
Fashion Today at Sunset Plaza
Today, Sunset Plaza is home to a number of small boutiques, some of which are the brand’s only location in the country. What’s wonderful about these small operations is that the owner (or designer!) is very hands-on and present. Customers searching for a weekend outfit are given the same treatment and experience as a high-end celebrity who wants a new dress.
Who’s on Sunset Plaza today?
Sheila on Sunset
Sheila Speer’s boutique Sheila on Sunset (formerly Alley on Sunset) is warm and welcoming. Sheila always displays the season’s colors and is attentive to everyone who walks through the door. She enjoys featuring the products of those who are truly individualistic and independent.
If you’re walking down Sunset Boulevard and want a new look, whether for an evening out in Hollywood or a lunch date at the beach, Sheila on Sunset can help. Plus, there are always some snacks and coffee available.
Sheila also has a connection with another boutique on the list – she managed Holly’s Harp for a period in the 1970s and eventually opened her own showroom with Jim Harp.
Carmen Popa of Andrea’s Fashions has had a few locations around Los Angeles, but her Sunset Plaza spot is perhaps the most elegant. Its large, open space allows each displayed dress to be fully appreciated. All of Carmen’s dresses are hand-made and tailored to the needs of her customers.
There’s no need to settle for a dress – Carmen can help you bring your vision to life and create an unforgettable, unique look that you’ll remember for years to come. And one that’ll look glamorous in photos, too!
MAC & KELLY
Christiana Kelly’s concept store MAC & KELLY features fine denim, a wide array of accessories, lovely tops, and more. She designs and creates fashion for both men and women, and her attention to detail is among the best.
The store itself is more than just a store, as evidenced by the VIP room upstairs, and the different events that occur there (such as an album release party!). MAC & KELLY is more than a boutique; it’s a small slice of home, as she calls it.
Charlie Choukair, formerly Sand, sells some of the sleekest menswear in the city. Casual can be as stylish as you make it – and Charlie Choukair is an expert in that matter. Plenty of simple colors and designs make the products appealing and eye-catching.
Whether you’re attending a premiere or attending an important dinner, you can take a trip to Charlie Choukair for the outfit that will fit the occasion.
Fashion stores and boutiques are an important part of Sunset Plaza. Les Habitudes and Badgley Mischka have some of the finest women’s wear for all occasions, from daywear to wedding outfits. H. Lorenzo offers both men’s and women’s looks, too.
You have a look in mind – Sunset Plaza’s fashion stores can help you materialize it!
Visiting Sunset Plaza
Sunset Plaza’s rich history is one of the many reasons it’s always populated and why it’s a commonly visited location in Los Angeles. You can see for yourself what keeps people coming back to all of the boutiques and stores. Take a trip out to Sunset Plaza today to become an active part of Los Angeles fashion!