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Special fall fashion issue

A Guide To Independent Boutiques


Matti d, with its urban, sophisticated mix of clothes and designers, is a welcome addition to a strip mall containing a chain coffee bar and postal service store. Designers: Poleci, Betsy Johnson, Development, Catherine Malandrino, Emanuel Ungaro, Louis Verdad, Rebecca Taylor. 2689 Via De La Valle, Del Mar; (858) 523-0693.--C.C.

Maxfield is an elite, arty emporium for high fashion with prices to match. Though service can be sterile, the selection is choice with key pieces from important designers. There's also an impressive collection of vintage Cartier watches, custom-made humidors and Lalique crystal. Designers: Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano. 8825 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (310) 274-8800.--H.J.

Monkie is one of the few places where you'll find local designer Rebecca Roozrokh's reconstructed vintage pieces. Offering a handpicked selection of street and evening wear from the U.S. and Europe, one stop covers everything from rock star to red carpet cravings. Designers: Fornarina, Gsus, Renee Bardot, Anja Flint. 2665 Main St., Suite B, Santa Monica; (310) 450-4512.--L.P.

Noni focuses on local independent artists who serve up a funky/classy/basics blend. The shop also hosts live DJs on weekends and doubles as an art gallery with new shows every few months. Designers: Louis Verdad, Liya Cynamone, Tiffany Alana, American Apparel, Mon Petit Oiseau. 225 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 469-3239.--L.P.

On Beverly is where co-owners Shauna Stein and actress Lauralee Bell ("The Young and the Restless") fill their spacious store with duds for both hip mamas and teenage daughters. A seasoned L.A. retailer, Stein hosts fashion chats for clients on some Saturdays, while Bell models the latest styles. Designers: Jean Paul Gaultier, Roberto Cavalli, Blumarine, Bluegirl. 8601 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 300-8601.--B.M.

Patty Faye, which is tucked inside a baby-blue bungalow in Silver Lake, keeps fashion secrets traded only among best friends: Cali-cool dresses, Patch vinyl clutches shaped like wiener dogs, and charming staffers who occasionally entice customers with doughnuts and champagne. Designers: Kerry Cassill, Alvin Valley, Tibi, Danang, Development. 2910 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 667-1954.--S.D.

Pearl, which is owned by Jennifer Nicholson, daughter of Jack, brings high fashion to the Westside, with selections from John Galliano, Narciso Rodriguez and Stella McCartney. Nicholson's own line, which reflects her self-described "1950s debutante on acid" style, is also stocked alongside handpicked vintage pieces. Designers: Emanuel Ungaro, Magda Berliner, Imitation of Christ. 1311 B Montana Ave., Santa Monica; (310) 576-7116.--B.M.

Pickett Fences & Petticoats combines the cozy ambience of an old-fashioned general store with the latest looks for women, men and babies. Girlie dresses, vintage prints, unique textures and classic lines are sprinkled on top of a great selection of jeans and shirts. Designers: Joie, Ella Moss, Splendid, Citizens of Humanity, Juicy Couture. 214 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 467-2140.--L.P.

Planet Blue is a destination for relaxed, beach bum style, including comfy track suits, cashmere sweaters and the jeans of the moment, now from Australian label Tsubi. Planet Blue Essentials, the beauty emporium next door, is also worth checking out. Designers: Juicy Couture, Ya-Ya, Foley, C&C Tees. Malibu Country Mart, 3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu; (310) 317-9975.--B.M.

Show Pony, Kimme Buzzelli's conceptual boutique, feels like something out of Edie Sedgwick's closet. Eye-catching plastic jewelry, tops and toys are scattered throughout, while rickety armoires hold the magpie creations she co-designs with Niki Livingston. Designers: Fancy Pony Land, Jackson Johnston & Roe, Mongrel, Madley. 1543 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 482-7676.--S.D.

Sorella, which means "sister" in Italian, is named for sister proprietors Tracey and Kerry McReynolds. Located in San Diego's newly gentrified Little Italy, Sorella stocks staples and lines from up-and-coming designers whose names are not yet department store brands. Designers: Renee Bardot, The Ballroom, Jill Michelle, Anja Flint. 619 W. Fir St., San Diego; (619) 232-9322.--C.C.

Suss Design bears the name of its creator, Suss Cousin, who hand-knits fashionable designs in her native Swedish tradition. Mohair ponchos, multihued sweaters and delicate separates are offered along with exotic yarns and weekly classes should you wish to create your own. 7350 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 954-9637.--H.J.

Therapy is where casual comfort is the name of the game. Shoppers can stock up on Joie cargo pants, Danang camouflage pants and C&C T-shirts. Finish off the look with belts by Hollywood Trading Co. and Birkenstock clogs. Designers: Theory, Loy & Ford, Sanctuary, Paper Denim & Cloth. 316 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 568-9905.--B.M.

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