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Lang In The Loop

September 09, 2007|Elizabeth Khuri | Special to The Times

Timed perfectly to fashion's renewed interest in minimalism, Helmut Lang is opening its first free-standing boutique since the company was purchased in 2006 by Link Theory. Now that Lang himself is out of the picture, the collection is designed by Nicole and Michael Colovos, the duo behind premium denim label Habitual. True to Lang's original urban aesthetic, there are plenty of layering pieces, double jackets, stovepipe trousers and lots of black, of course. The 2,600-square-foot space is also modern and cool, with glossy white wood, black glass and white leather.

8426 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 951-0994. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon to 6 p.m. Sun.

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OPENINGS

T.J. Maxx "The Runway at Maxx," today. T.J. Maxx's new in-store boutique in Thousand Oaks is similar to Loehmann's Back Room. The second Runway in Los Angeles (the first is in La CaƱada Flintridge) offers 60% off U.S. and European designers, more than 85% of which is current season. How does the store pull that off? Most of Maxx's merchandise comes from overstock at department stores and sweet deals with designers. Set off from the rest of the store with purple signage, the 500-square-foot boutique offers a smorgasbord of women's apparel, shoes, bags, jewelry, lingerie and gift sets. Shipments come in weekly. 30805 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village; (818) 707-6824; www.tjmaxx.com. 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun.

Madison Gallery Housed in a rather ominous, medieval-inspired, paparazzi-proof space, this is a new, upscale sister to the Madison chain. Located in the Malibu Country Mart, the Gallery features ready-to-wear collections, shoes, handbags and jewelry by Lanvin, Marni, Derek Lam, Balmain and up-and-comers such as Erin Fetherston and Sari Gueron. Head buyer Belen Hormaeche calls the space "an exclusive, luxurious, yet freaky fashion emporium." 23410 Civic Center Way, Unit C1, Malibu; (310) 317-8787; www.madisonlosangeles.com. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun.

Agent Provocateur British lingerie label Agent Provocateur has opened its second U.S. in-store shop at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza: 650 square feet of bordello style and a counter edged with black lace graphics. It's pure baroque goodness, down to the swank dressing rooms with satin curtains and a chandelier. Bloomingdale's, third-floor Intimates section, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa; (714) 824-4731; www.agentprovocateur.com. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sun.

Bull Couture Former stylist Megan Isaacson brings a touch of Paris to the North Ranch Mall in Thousand Oaks with black-and-white striped wallpaper, Murano glass chandeliers and chic pink shopping bags. Isaacson stocks a mix of American and European designers, including Cynthia Steffe, Walter, Eva Franco and Shay Todd. "It's a girl hangout," Isaacson says. And she's hanging out there too -- serving coffee, cheese and sodas to her customers. 3297 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; (805) 497-2855 (BULL). 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.

Bulgari As if you needed any more evidence that South Coast Plaza is rivaling Rodeo Drive, Bulgari has opened twin stores in the O.C. mega mall, one for the watch and jewelry collector and a second for the accessories hound. The combined 2,600 square feet of selling space displays the full range of the growing Bulgari collection, including jewelry, timepieces, handbags, ties, fragrance and sunglasses. A lightweight canvas handbag stamped with Bulgari logos starts at $1,500, while the super-hot, one-of-a kind "twist" handbag in black crocodile will set you back $100,000. 3333 Bristol St., Suite 1420, Costa Mesa; (714) 751-7833. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sun.

Bottega Veneta German-born creative director Tomas Maier redesigned the 5,554-square-foot Beverly Hills boutique himself, expanding the floor plan by 400 square feet and opening new areas featuring fine jewelry, home furnishings, luggage and apparel. With ultra suede walls, mohair furnishings and New Zealand wool carpets, the new store is as stylish as a Bottega Veneta handbag. 457 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 858-6533. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun.

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FASHION EVENTS

Social Atelier at American Rag Through Sept 30: Social Atelier displays its T-shirts and baby onesies from its fall collection in the store's display windows. The activist label donates a portion of its proceeds to various causes, and this season's issues are war and body image. (Say what?) Proceeds from the Awareness line at American Rag go to the Solar Cooker Project, which helps women in Darfur have safer lives by limiting their need to go outside of their camps in search of cooking fuel. Tees range from $88 to $98. American Rag, 150 S. La Brea Ave.; (323) 935-3154. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon to 7 p.m. Sun.

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