THE BLOG
12/02/2011 08:16 am ET | Updated Feb 01, 2012

West Hollywood: A Cultural Gem

Nestled between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, and bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains and an honor guard of mega-billboards, West Hollywood, the Creative City, is one of Los Angeles' finest examples of the culture of the cutting-edge.

WeHo is home to 39,000 full-time residents, yet plays host to a weekend influx of 78,000 who come to take advantage of world-class shopping, dining and events the likes of the annual Vanity Fair Oscar Party and largest Halloween Street Party in the world; quite the attractive blend of intimacy and vibrancy.

A two-square-mile city, WeHo natives put the "nobody walks in LA" cliche to rest.

There are only three Cecconi's Restaurants in the world, one in London, one in Miami and one, at the Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard intersection, in the heart of WeHo. Cecconi's is an absolute must for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or unparalleled Italian Tapas.

Just down the block on Melrose, you'll run into one of my favorite hair salons, Galvin & Benjamin, breathtaking boutiques such as Maxfield, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, Miu Miu...and if you're a vintage-maven like me, just a few blocks further east and you'll find some of LA's best kept secrets, selling gowns and formal-wear from the 20's, 30's and 40's.

The City's "Art on the Outside" engages visitors and residents with innovative artwork.

Currently WeHo is hosting seven colossal abstract sculptures from world-renowned contemporary artists along the grass median of Santa Monica Blvd, historic Route 66.

Sprinkled throughout the city and also running through June 2012, you can also find multi-lingual poetic municipal signs by artist Rebecca Lowry.

But, the cherry on top of WeHo at the moment, lies within MOCA's Pacific Design Center Space, where former Dior Homme designer, YSL art & collections director, and International Designer of the Year, Hedi Slimane demonstrates a uniquely experiential & uplifting breed of story-telling with his exhibit "California Song."

On the ground floor Slimane's 'California years' black-and-white photographs are framed in unfinished wooden boxes and separated from one another by mirror's, offering individualized vantage points to take stock of the series of narratives being whispered in the intimate space.

A genuine look at California's rock and roll heritage is splattered throughout the gallery, from monochrome portraits of Francis Bean and her mother Courtney Love, Beach Boy Brian Wilson and up-and-coming lead-singer Christopher Owens, set next to iconic images of broken down squats, vintage pontiacs against the Pacific Ocean and a blurry look at the American dream.

The top floor, produced exclusively for MOCA, showcases an outstanding sonic & motion-picture installation. Photographs are projected onto a cube in the center of the room, surrounded by speakers, inviting you to soak up your own version of Slimane's slightly morose exploration of youth subculture & beauty culture, and the immersive intersection of fashion as art & photo as literature.

"California Song" will be on display at MOCA's Pacific Design Center space in West Hollywood through Jan-22, 2012.