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Racked LA editor defends flip-flops as fashion and more

July 17, 2008 |  8:36 am

Tasha Nita Adams is the ultimate shop girl. Last April, she helmed the launch of Racked LA -- a siteImg_3694_2_2 devoted to every fiber of local style and retail. The Rage asked the "Rack" a few questions about our much maligned fashion scene and the local economy:

How would you defend L.A. style to a snotty New Yorker who says that Angelenos only wear flip-flops, tight jeans and $300 T-shirts?

Adams: "I think one of the greatest benefits of L.A. is that we're not tied to wearing designer labels in the the same way that New Yorkers are, which lends to a lot of creativity. I would say at one time that the stereotype was a lot truer than it is now. L.A. has become much more sophisticated in the past five years; sure people wear jeans, flip-flops and tees, but if they're going out, it's much more dressed up, while still maintaining an aesthetic reflective of living in a warm climate and so close to the ocean."

"I would also drop a few names: Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, Cynthia Vincent, Geren Lockhart of Geren Ford, Jenni Kayne, Rami Kashou, Corinne Grassini of Society for Rational Dress, Michelle Mason, Juan Carlos Obando (who was just nominated as a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist) — amazing designers come out of L.A."

We're in a recession, but Melrose Place is booming. Is anyone shopping down there?

Adams: "That's a very good question. I've been down there on a number of weekends lately and it's been quiet but for the Sunday farmers market. Often retailers will tell you that everything is "fine" despite the economic climate, but I don't think any retail -- from luxury designer to the little indie shop -- is immune to the economy right now. Many, many retailers have told me that it's very tough right now, even worse than post-9/11, one boutique owner reported."

Are you afraid that there won't be any more "storecastings" on your site if this economy continues to nosedive?

Adams: "The amazing thing is people do continue to open shops regardless! I was discussing this very issue with a veteran boutique owner recently. Have they done all the research? Do they have money to fund it with no profits for a significant period of time? One thing this position has further illuminated to me is that retail is brutal."

Name the most stylish neighborhood right now, when it comes to residents with flair?

"I would have to say Silver Lake. When I think of going to friends' homes or apartments for dinner parties, cocktails or even a BBQ, this is where I see the most intriguingly dressed people. It's not about being an uber-hipster or dressing particularly trendy, but cultivating a personal style -- some cumulative result of aesthetic, interests, where you've lived and traveled, a necessity based on climate and countless other factors."

If you had $5,000 and could only shop on one block in Los Angeles, where would you splurge?

"Oh no! At first I thought the question was for a shopping area, and I was going to say Melrose Avenue, between La Cienega and Fairfax -- Creatures of Comfort, Decades and Resurrection, Foley + Corinna, Agent Provocateur, Kiki de Montparnasse, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, DVF, totally endless, I could go on. But one block? That's difficult. This is not an exciting answer, but I would go to Barneys and relish every moment of having $5,000 to spend there."

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