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A Day In Beverly Hills

March 18, 2007|Jessica Gelt

Hot Off the Runway

Prada, 343 N. Rodeo Drive (310) 278-8661

There are two reasons to put on your Louboutin sling-backs and stride into the Prada "epicenter." One is the extravaganza in satin that Miuccia Prada has created for her stores, a limited-edition collection of tops, skirts, dresses, stoles and shorts that's a variation of what came down the runway for spring. The shimmery, shiny duchesse satin items range in color from cobalt blue to emerald green to curry yellow and sell for $795 (short shorts with crease-line fronts and cuffed bottoms) to $3,530 (a mini-dress with a scooped back, pleated belt and scrunched puff of a skirt). If your wallet doesn't have that kind of heft, you can marvel at the store itself. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the 24,000-square-foot boutique's futuristic look includes clear glass dressing rooms that cloud over when a "privacy" button is pressed and a storefront that toys with environmental boundaries by yawning wide-open to the street.

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ONE THING TO DO

It's OK, You're With the Band

Before opening his Backstage Cafe & Bar, Ian Copeland, brother of the Police drummer Stewart Copeland, booked punk and new wave acts (Iggy Pop, the Go Gos, Flock of Seagulls). At the funky cafe he displayed the many mementos from his music career. When he died last May, the Backstage becamea living museum: autographed guitars, ticket stubs, buttons, posters and 180 gold and platinum records. If you look closely, you might find a backstage pass from 1974. Or you could stumble across an impromptu jam session. Previous attendees include Mick Jagger and Slash. 9433 Brighton Way, (310) 777-0252.

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IT WAS ALWAYS IN THE STARS

In the early 1900s, the Rodeo Land and Water Co. developed a town with spacious lots and broad, winding streets. When Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford built Pickfair mansion in 1919, the area lured stars and jet-setters. Today Beverly Hills' population (35,000) is 100 times less than L.A.'s, but its median household income is about twice as large, and the average value of its sprawling homes has shot past the million-dollar mark.

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ART & ARCHITECTURE

The 1921 Spadena House, on the corner of Carmelita Avenue and Walden Drive, looks as if it's melting. The spooky king of all Hansel and Gretel-style architecture features impossibly peaked gables, oddly placed windows and off-balance walls. It was originally designed in Culver City as a movie set.

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MY FIND

Cafe Rodeo at the Luxe Hotel boasts one of the only outdoor areas on Rodeo to rest your sore shopping feet. And it's the perfect place to discreetly watch the parade of characters strolling by. Highly recommended: a $3.60 martini from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays. 360 N. Rodeo Drive, (310) 273-0300.

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