From time to time, I go out on what I like to call “Me” dates. A “Me” date is a date that I take myself on, with absolutely no one else around. Now, it may seem silly, but I call it a date because I get all decked out for these occasions. I pick out a cute outfit, plan an itinerary, and even treat myself to a fancy lunch or dinner. These outings are my chance to get back in touch with myself. To reconnect. To take some time to think about where I am at the present, where I intend to go, and reflect on how I feel about the situation. Its a time to really get to know me, thus its a “Me” date.
This past Sunday I was on one such “Me” date, and decided to spend an afternoon at the Melrose Trading Post flea market held at Fairfax High School. I’ve lived in LA my entire life, and for some reason I’ve never made my way to the flea market until that day. Figures, right? Anyway, this was a fun and worthwhile experience! Let me tell you, and I highly recommend it to anyone who happens to be visiting or anyone just looking for something fun to do! Please note that admission is $3.00. For those of you who thrive on owning unique, one-of-a-kind, and hard to duplicate items: clothing, furniture, décor, accessories, and more – then this is a good place for you!
Now, I went with the intent to explore, learn, meet new faces, and promote the blog (*wink, wink*), so I was actually on my best behavior and I did no serious clothes shopping. If you knew me personally, then you would be impressed by that statement. Nevertheless, I could not resist looking. After doing much wandering, the first vendor to really catch my eye was a vendor by the name of Taxi CDC. Now, the specialty here is that the owner redesigns vintage pieces. I was drawn in by the rack of adorable mini dresses fluttering with their vibrant colors, like flower petals in the wind. But it does not stop there. There were racks of pieces inspired by the 80s and 90s, skirts, shorts, pants, even a rack with all kinds of denim overalls (talk about a 90s throwback).
Next, I found my way over to a sweet lady by the name of Donna Hart, who has some of the most darling sketches based on 60s and 50s fashion. She is a self taught artist, who eventually went on to hone her talent in formal study. What I loved most about her pieces is how classic the garments she imagines are. She told me that some of the sketches she did back in the 60s and simply held on to them. Anyway it goes, her art spoke to my heart. Especially considering that I had spent the previous day indulging in a classic movie marathon, watching “Funny Face,” which stars Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. If you love vintage 50s fashion, go watch this movie now!
My favorite find by far was meeting a warm, personable, and friendly young lady by the name of Mary. Her shop included apparel for men and women, much of which had an
urban and hip hop inspiration. She happens to own a style house called, House of MVT, and its her pop-up shop that the allows her to showcase some of her pieces. Her assortment included great vintage finds, urban/street wear, and a few unexpected finds like a Louis Vuitton coat! But what was most memorable is her endearing personality! One thing I enjoy most about my “me” dates are the wonderful people I happen upon while I let my feet carry me from one place to another. With strawberry rollers in her lime colored hair, a sun dress to rival the red of her rollers, and a great energy that draws you in, you find that buying from her shop is well worth the money, if only because she was just so pleasant! This is what exploring the city is all about, at least it is for me.
Finally, as I wandered aimlessly through the aisles between vendors for, I think, a third time, I noticed an assortment of books on display. Now, at first glance these books seemed like nothing more, in fact, I noticed that some were different genres, but seemed to occupy the same shelf. It was not until I really began to stare, that I realized that I was not looking at books at all. I was looking at clocks. Or more accurately, books that have been turned into clocks! The book lover in me said, “Yay,” but also lamented the loss of a book. Nevertheless, I really love this restoration for old books, especially in an era where books – actual books – are becoming more and more of a rarity and the book store is slowly going into extinction (a moment of silence for Borders). The shop is Bookworks and the owner Andrew – follow him on instagram @clockinbooks – was nice enough to let me peruse over his pieces, and let me take a few pictures. I am a Jane Austen lover, and asked if their might be a few of her books, however, he was sold out. He did suggest however, that I could purchase a hardcover copy of one, and he could turn it into one of his clockwork masterpieces.As the day wore on, and my feet grew weary and my tummy hungry, I decided a little sustenance was in order. As with any out door event, there were plenty of food trucks offering up their culinary wares. Yet, I never quite hopped onto that band wagon. I certainly don’t mind eating at a food truck from time to time, but I’m an old fashioned girl, and on a proper date – even a “me” date – nothing beats sitting down at a restaurant with a nice view and enjoying a leisurely meal. So, I made my way back down Melrose to Lala’s Argentinian Grill. There was a time when I frequented this place quite often, so I looked forward to revisiting and enjoying a quiet lunch time meal. I usually recommend getting the steak. Argentina + Beef = AMAZING Steak. There are several options, and they are all just delicious. But for lunch, I chose the lighter fare of salmon in a sweet Dijon sauce and broccoli sauteéd in white wine.
Finally, I would not be me if I didn’t mention the style I saw throughout the flea market. Being a sunny, warm, LA day, there were plenty of sundresses, sandals, and crop tops hitting the scene. Furthermore, you think, “Its a flew market, who is going to go all out,” but as is always the case… this is LA, and there will always be someone who takes the fashion game up a notch. One such young lady caught my attention, as she casually shopped in a summer white crop top, cut-off shorts, and red, studded, pumps to simple die for! It was the shoes that got my attention! Her name was Amber – follow her on @amberscholl for both instagram and twitter – and she was such a great sport about letting me take a snap shop. I also stopped a fellow shopper whose casual style I loved, if only because it was fun, comfy, and cute. See pics of both below in the photo gallery.
As for myself, I kept it simple and comfy as well. Floral top, high waist, denim jeans, and booties. This day was more about others, and less about me. With a notebook in hand, and a pencil in my hair, I looked more the reporter than any fashionista.
With this post, I announce the launch of my newest category: Travels… need I say more?
Looking forward to our next outing.
May we all be sweetly inspired.
All photos taken by A. Reneé for Darling Afflatus, 2015. Explicit permission given by all in photos. Do not use without permission.