You may have noticed I have a bit of a rollerskating ‘thing’. Not being the sporty type, I can only guess it must hinge on the seductive Californian, 70s imagery that accompanies anything rollergirl/boy related, although there’s also some amazing imagery that goes back beyond the 70s. This year, Lucozade decided to tap into the same carefree energy for its new Lucozade Sport Lite commercial and two months ago invited me to L.A. to watch it being filmed (I know!). Over three days we hobnobbed with some of L.A’s best skaters, took in the sights and – oh yeah – sampled a vintage shop or two.
My fantasy of living the ultra-healthy, egg-white omelette, L.A lifestyle was not to be as I found myself feasting on waffles and berries for breakfast on days one, two and three. Quelle surprise. First stop on the shopping circuit was Fred Segal, followed by Opening Ceremony. As anticipated, the edit is a careful mix of the old, the new and the unexpected. I loved the layout of endless rooms and couldn’t help but linger in the room of art and photography books. My favourite discovery was Thomsen’s handpainted, watercolour-splashed shirts, a collaboration with Cheri Messerli. I also noticed something of an Agnes B revival, with an exclusive OC collab of stripy tops and the return of the ‘Lolita’-logoed cloth backpacks of the 90s. Of course, my inner retail tourist insisted I buy one as a souvenir.
Next, to The Way We Wore and Decades for some vintage worship. I was bowled over by Decades. Of course, everything was far, far out of my price range but owner Cameron Silver was more than happy just to chat. The first thing my eyes rested on were the Judith Leiber minaudiers and Silver revealed that there’s a very healthy market for them, “someone just bought two for a museum”. He also continues to sell lots of Chanel, “always”, and YSL jewellery, “there’s always an Yves Saint Laurent thing going on – he’s the master of the modern woman’s wardrobe.”
After a satisfying, kind-of-healthy, sushi lunch at The Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya, we drove to Mister Freedom, a vast emporium of vintage Americana and utilitywear. Satin varsity jackets, rugged kilts, loveworn sweatshirts, Western shirts, motorcycle jackets – exactly the type of casual vintage I love – all were in plentiful supply and beautifully merchandised in their own sections by French owner Christophe Loiron. Alas, no rollerskates but we would see plenty of those the following day…