Where? On La Brea Avenue, a funky stretch of West Hollywood known for its stores selling vintage home furnishings and recycled fashion. It's a few minutes away from Melrose Avenue and the girly-twirl of boutiques sprouting in scores along Third Street.
Who? Zoe Schaeffer and Renee R. Klein know what the devil wears, having paid their dues in New York as fashion assistants at style bibles such as Mademoiselle and Cosmopolitan. Wanting to bring sophisticated fashion to Los Angeles, they scouted the city's under-the-radar talent for cool party frocks and laid-back basics.
Fashion finds: the owners prefer to support American designers, so expect deceptively simple tank tops bisected by grosgrain ribbon from Rose, a partnership of two local stylists; youthful yet elegant silk skirts by Proenza Schouler; gossamer cashmere from Richard Chai; tees and cotton dresses by Clu; and Vera Wang's collaborations with Philip Crangi.
The vibe: warm and unpretentious. A velvet crimson couch is set against vintage floral wallpaper for a vibe that is the antithesis of haughty couture. Natural light flows in through street-facing windows then bounces off the two-tone mirror bolted to the back wall.
The crowd: celebrity stylists and personal shoppers who prefer this unfussy ambience to Beverly Hills department stores. You could see sexy mothers over 50 and their gamine daughters thinking about buying the same merchandise.
Extras: fashion-savvy Angelinos will no longer be able to keep these delightful treasures to themselves; the boutique's website (www.presseboutique.com) launched last month.
Presse is at 326 South La Brea, West Hollywood, California, United States, tel: 1 323 937 1560.