Grace Huang's Los Angeles Hit List

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Jul 13, 2015

Having divided her time between Australia and the US for the past three years, Grace Huang knows LA’s haunts well. “The best thing about shopping in Los Angeles is that it’s got something for everyone – from edgy on-trend fashion to high-end designer boutiques and even great vintage and interior stores,” says Huang, best known for her role alongside Russell Crowe in the The Man with the Iron Fists and star of this year’s sci-fi thriller Infini. “I prefer to shop in real shops, where I can touch and feel and try before I buy,” she adds. “I work in the industry so I know when you shoot clothes you might clip them or tuck them – how they appear in the picture is not how they actually are.”

Red Carpet

This is not your usual luxury boutique. At the Balenciaga store in West Hollywood, there’s a collection of cacti out the front and the exterior is smothered with ivy. Inside, though, it’s as you would expect: super-slick architecture, lust-worthy fashion and spacious change rooms. “When I want something special, I can’t go past the Balenciaga store,” says Huang. “I love the way it displays its shoes and bags – it looks like a museum.”

Balenciaga | 8670 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood  

Fashion Fix

This airy emporium stocks designer brands (MM6 Maison Margiela, Opening Ceremony and more), cool denim (from Fabric Brand & Co to Alexa Chung’s new range) and vintage numbers. “I like stores where there’s a lot of room and where salespeople don’t hover around,” says Huang. “This is my go-to place for fashion. It’s big, bright and you can get some great buys, from colourful scarves to elegant dresses. It’s also connected to a fantastic homewares store, Maison Midi, so you can spend a good few hours here.”

American Rag Cie | 150 S La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles 

SEE ALSO: How to Shop Like a Fashion Designer in Los Angeles

Shoes

Dominated by a gilded rock-crystal chandelier, this split-level store has some towering heels on show. It’s also great for men’s shoes, sunglasses, bags and leather knick-knacks. “What I love about it most, though, is its section of bespoke heels. You can pick the style, colour and fabric, and have your own one-off.”

Jimmy Choo | 240 N Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills  

Interiors

Jonathan Adler’s design philosophy? “Build an effortlessly chic foundation and accessorise with abandon.” You won’t have trouble following the US designer’s advice at his LA interiors store. There are velvet-clad sofas and myriad cushions to throw on them; teardrop-shaped brass tables and unglazed porcelain vases; even handbags and accessories. “It’s also great for small interior pieces like photo frames and bookends,” says Huang, “And I love the oversized mugs – the colours are amazing.”

Jonathan Adler | 8125 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Vintage

From intricate gowns to hard-to-find jewellery and accessories (multicoloured stone brooches by Chanel, say, or a crocodile belt from Hermès), this Aladdin’s cave has it all. “I once bought an antique necklace for one of my friends here – it was beautiful,” recalls Huang. “One look at the stuff here and you know it’s not mass-produced.”

Decades | 8214 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles  

Cupcakes

If you’re going to indulge, you might as well really indulge. At Magnolia – an offshoot of the New York bakery that featured in Sex and the City – cupcakes can be filled with white chocolate and truffle or laden with caramel meringue buttercream. “My favourite is the classic red velvet,” says Huang. “They do it really well here.” BOOKS Samuel French  7623 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles  samuelfrench.com From screenplays and theatrical scripts to cinematic anthologies, if the book you’re after has to do with performing arts you can find it here. “There’s also a great selection of actor biographies,” says Huang.

Magnolia Bakery | 8389 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles

Bags

Saint Laurent. Céline. Balmain. Rick Owens. Maxfield is your go-to store if your fashion taste veers on the cooler side. It’s also a magnet for celebrities. “But it’s the bags that I love the most here,” says Huang, “from compact clutches to large leather totes.”

Maxfield | 8825 Melrose Avenue, Los Angele

Lingerie

There are two Agent Provocateur stores in LA. While the boutique on Melrose Avenue is great for slightly edgier designs, this one is a favourite with the A-list as it stocks the brand’s top-end offerings, from corsets to garter belts. “It’s the sexiest store in LA. The luxe couches and beautiful colours and décor. You feel so special when you walk in.”  

Agent Provocateur | 242 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

SEE ALSO: Our full guide to the best restaurants, bars, things to do and accommodation in Los Angeles