THE POP SHOPS: Maxfield/LA Boutique review
The windows of any retail arena are the key to seducing unsuspecting patrons inside. Glamorous gowns or items featured in Vogue commonly grace the store front of any high-end boutique.
Maxfield in Los Angeles employs a different tactic—the entire building is concrete, except for a carved-out corner with two panels of glass. This is Maxfield’s only window display, and at first glance, can be a bit misleading.
The countless times I have trekked down Melrose Blvd in Los Angeles, I never noticed Maxfield. It is situated across the street from what used to be a fitness center, and there is minimal signage. What eventually caught my eye was the quiet display window showcasing a graphic pair of McQueen leggings on a mannequin decked out in biker gear, stand
ing with her back toward the street, next to a motorcycle. Any store carrying Alexander McQueen, in my book, must be explored immediately.
Despite its cold exterior, Maxfield, inside, is so homey I feel as though I’ve just trespassed into Alice Cooper’s closet—with the eccentric touches of skull-shaped candles, antique gold desk accessories and some racks of mens’ jackets and pants in dark, gothic tones.
I first caught sight of a decadent silk tulle Lanvin dress, one that seemed to melt into my hand as I held it. Next to those luscious satin Lanvin dresses were some deconstructed Gareth Pugh pieces. A few racks behind those were printed Gucci tunics, Prada frocks, and a lone rack of Chanel’s pre-fall collection. Each section is mindfully merchandised—and each piece of clothing is worth its three- or four-digit price tag—every garment will turn heads and warrant a second look.
The mens’ clothing and womens’ clothing were divided by a long shelf of shoes—Dior Homme sneakers, Balenciaga sandals, and every corner is flanked by a glass display case or shelf of museum-worthy baubles and home décor. Museum-worthy—yes, but you can touch and take home.
Aside from glorious jewelry, clever home adornments and unique designer clothing, Maxfield also boasts a distinct and highly-coveted collection of vintage Hermes bags. Every single item in the store is hand-picked by owner Thomas Perse (if his name sounds familiar, he’s the father of James Perse—the unofficial king of luxurious basics), and judging by the merchandise selection, he was probably a rock star in his previous life.
However, you don’t have to be a rock star to shop at Maxfield. Its clientele is worldwide and diverse, attracting celebrities, entrepreneurs, collectors and fashion fans. Maxfield is the crème-de-la-crème of exquisite LA shopping—no shopping trip would be complete without a stop into this Melrose gem.
Whether or not avant-garde fashions are your cup of tea, everything that seems unreal on the runway, is flesh and blood at Maxfield. Be warned that Maxfield is not for the budget shopper or anti-fashionista—for some of us, leaving empty-handed is painful, but so is losing sleep over the Yohji Yamamoto coat you saw, and suddenly can’t bear to be without.