I feel a bit sacriligious saying this, seeing as I am now an L.A. resident, but I think Jenni Kayne is massively overrated - have seen it all before, and usually done better for half the price. Even so, I thought I'd drop by her new shop in West Hollywood - the first devoted solely to her own designs - in hopes that I'd be pleasantly surprised.
It's filled with the typical Hollywood pretension that normally deters me from the area - lack of signage out front; window displaying a red carpet gown and taxidermied leopard; parking lot filled with Porsches, leggy girls with fake smiles, and the luminescent-sneakered men who love them. Inside is more of the same - all dark wood minimalism and shouty emo music serving as a backdrop to Kayne's unremarkable fall collection and a halfhearted collection of art books, which looked as though they were added as an afterthought to bring some color to the place.
The one upside to the shop is its jewelry collection - an impressive collection of vintage-looking Tiffany watches mixed with chunky statement necklaces and bracelets. I would have asked a bit more about them if Kayne and her shopgirl had been paying any attention to me -however, a visiting friend (who I think may have been the guy who plays the bitchy assistant on Ugly Betty) was taking up all of their attention, and I guess pointedly gazing into the jewelry case for several minutes was not enough of a hint that I was a potential paying customer.
The shop will probably appeal to the customers of Holiday and Maxfield, which are just around the corner on Melrose - but I prefer my shops with a bit more personality, in both atmosphere and merchandise.