04/24/2012 03:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Threads for LA's Wiggle and Sway

If style represents the perfect mixture of beauty and adaptation, then three examples of LA style are: the Peggy Moffitt show at the Pacific Design Center, the skate scene on Fairfax and the Orthodox Jewish culture on Fairfax which coexists alongside the skaters.

Even if you don't care about style, go see The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton at MOCA at the Pacific Design Center. Designed and installed by Marmol Radziner, the show begins in an all black room (think New York), travels upstairs in a hallway of chartreuse and black wallpaper (the flight out west), and lands in a room of fuchsia, orange and chartreuse (LA -- you've arrived). We love these clothes because they are friendly to the body. Want to do a few sun salutations post cocktail? No problem! You can cartwheel in these 1960s minis. Imagine a few tropical fish mixed with mango flesh and Bird of Paradise and you have the beginnings of an understanding of the riot of color and pattern that defines this collection. Lastly, there is something unflinchingly Modern, like MOMA or Mies, about Peggy Moffitt -- you could cap a totem to the International Style with her jet black bob.

Another stream of LA style weaves through the wiggle and sway at Fairfax and Beverly. After something diabetically sweet at Canter's, groove on down to Supreme where two large cone breasts (think Madonna, 1980s Gaultier) poke through the ceiling, causing the skaters and hangers-on alike to salivate. It's not just the skate bowls upstairs or the knitted caps that are the lure, it's what they represent -- the ability to glide past the oozing gum on the sidewalk, the addicts missing a puzzle piece, and name the street as your playground. There is something weirdly wonderful on this section of Fairfax where skate temples like RVCA stand alongside Orthodox Jewish butchersand groceries. A timeless beauty marks the men in their black and white suits with their long beards and felt fedoras. This mixture of anachronistic devotional life with the rumbling now of skate culture definitely creates the finest selection of caps in Hollywood.



Installation views of The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton at MOCA Pacific Design Center, February 26, 2012--May 27, 2012, photo by Brian Forrest. Photos Courtesy MOCA Pacific Design Center.



Images of the vibrant, mixed cultures of the Fairfax neighborhood in Los Angeles. Photos Marmol Radziner.