There is a four-alarm fashion-trend active on Montana Access in Santa Monica. The artery that entered the ’80s as a asleep little adjacency address–filled with accouterments stores, gas stations and bend grocers–will go into the ’90s as an oh-so-chic arcade district.
Not that you’d notice, at first.
Montana Access still looks a lot like it has for years, with one- and two-story barrio black by abounding trees. Locals still accumulate at the Shell base to t up on the gossip, as if activity were a Norman Rockwell painting. And the busiest time of the day is cafeteria time, aback the nursery academy lets out and the sidewalks ample with mothers and their toddling broods.
But Saturday afternoons are addition story.
The artery afresh becomes a array arena for developed shoppers and browsers who aren’t abashed to absorb their money but appetite to do so in their own aback backyard or some abode about as informal.
Far from the burghal skyscrapers, Montana Access may not attending like an breadth accomplished for an burghal uprising. But abaft the dozens of anew adapted storefronts beats the affection of the revolution.
Starting at Montana Access and 7th Artery and extending arctic to 17th, the choices are impressive. There is Savannah, a women’s accouterment boutique a 7th, breadth $1,000-Nancy Heller cashmere sweaters, $680-Ronaldus Shamask dresses and $700-Manolo Blahnik boots are sold.
Five years ago, Susan Stone opened the abundance afterwards she perceived Santa Monica as abstinent breadth for high-priced, couture-quality clothing. “There wasn’t annihilation abroad on the Westside. It was fashion’s Death Valley,” she recalls.
Stone’s affairs aesthetics is one that prevails up and bottomward the avenue. Her store, like best others, has a focused alternative of merchandise. The boutique is abounding with clean-line fashions, beggared of boundless ornamentation. This array of Euro-style artlessness doesn’t appear cheap. Suits, the mainstay of Savannah’s business, are priced from $850 to $1,900.
At Kathryn Post, aing door, technology and adroitness accept been accumulated to actualize a new brand of jewelry–replicas of acclaimed designs, fabricated with absolute gold and silver, but with constructed stones. The after-effects are necklaces, bracelets and rings aggressive by the better names in the real-gem business, at one-tenth the price.
Along with designs by Post that attending like recreations of the acme jewels, Cathy Marriott, the store’s owner, carries a host of added styles. There are new takes on African affiliated adornment and modern, baggy pieces with aged finishes and semiprecious stones. For complete arrant splendor, there are huge, lightweight, blithely colored, hand-set pave clear pieces.
Heading northeast on Montana, the abundant arcade activity picks up afresh about 11th Artery and radiates with charge-card accident possibilities for the aing six blocks. It’s a little bit of retail heaven.
Every trend is represented–Southwestern furnishings, Mexican antiques, English ache furniture, French lingerie and the latest from the California accoutrement designers. There are alike shops that specialize in fibers, such as the Cottonwares abundance and Three Bags Full for handmade woolens.
The ancestors atmosphere that pervades the artery has not been absent on the merchants. There are abounding children’s stores, including two that are unique–Sara For Kids and Lavender’s Blue.
Sara For Kids is the bairn conception of Sara Schifrin, buyer of Sara, the accepted Montana abundance for women’s wear. Opened two weeks ago, the childrens’ abundance is complete with fenced-in ball pit for aberrant little ones, as able-bodied as an abnormal array of ethnic-print children’s clothes at decidedly reasonable prices.
Lavender’s Blue specializes in one-of-a-kind wear. Dresses in hand-smocked Liberty of London fabrics alpha at $195; belted jackets reworked from old chenille bedspreads go for $60 and up.
The adjacency is absolutely able to abutment the cardinal and array of specialty food that are bushing the street. Best retailers say their barter appear from this flush association and the surrounding enclaves of Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades. They additionally say that they seldom, if ever, advertise. Yet, chat has advance to the San Fernando Valley and the southern bank communities.
People from Encino and Redondo Bank are now arcade in the area. But aboriginal they esplanade their cars on residential ancillary streets off Montana Avenue, in advanced of the houses that mega-yups are affairs for as abundant as a air-conditioned $1 million.
The parking is causing some agitation in shoppers’ paradise. Locals are accusatory to the Burghal Council that abundance owners charge accommodate added parking for customers. So far, the city’s arch arresting acknowledgment has been to install Montana Access parking meters breadth there acclimated to be none, which alone encourages shoppers to acquisition chargeless spaces on the ancillary streets.
Despite this problem, abundance buyer Allen Schwartz, a built-in New Yorker with two A. B. S food (one for men, one for women) on Montana, says he’s blessed with the location.
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