LA’s Los Feliz High-Low Couture-Bohemian Style
Los Feliz Flea is always a joy to attend – not only due to the eclectic and endless variety of vintage wares to be snagged, but also because the street style to be found there is an endless font of inspiration. Perhaps the same might be said for any Los Angeles flea market or vintage show, but the way the attendees dress at this one in particular is something special – if it’s a vintage style making a comeback or an obscure look about to be everywhere, this is the first place you’ll see it.
The market attracts shoppers from all walks of life, from very young people to seniors, and from the affluent to the ultra-thrifty. While Los Feliz is a wealthy neighborhood – as evidenced by the parking lot of the market, inevitably filled with swank luxury cars and sleek vintage rides – any flea market is sure to also attract bargain hunters who excel at crafting “cheap-chic” looks. Los Feliz Flea co-founder Shelly Famighetti-Dane explains the event draws “a true mixture of all cultures. Some shoppers think a flea market is a thrift store, which it’s not. A flea market is cheaper than a vintage store, but the hunting of a thrift store is already done for you.”
A vintage Volkswagen Diesel limousine parked near the market in Los Feliz epitomizes the neighborhood’s mix of vintage and luxury.
The most ubiquitous look we spotted at Los Feliz Flea would have to be bold prints, drawn from every style and era - from 1970s disco-chic, to 1990s grunge, to sugary Gothic-Lolita-inspired looks. The prevalent style seems to be that there is no primary style – anything goes. Shoppers can be seen in anything and everything, cherry-picking hero pieces from every era and in every price point to add up to something new entirely.
According to Famighetti-Dane, “Y2K is a whole thing for the 20-year-olds. High-end vintage designer also seems to be loved by everyone; right now we’ve been seeing lots of vintage Louis Vuitton and YSL moving quickly. And embroidered and painted clothing is big too - the artists doing the paintings on clothing are so talented.”
A vendor proudly models a dress she made and hand-painted herself.
The hot accessory to be found on everyone shopping the market, though? A protective face mask – many, of course, rendered in bold and bright prints. As Famighetti-Dane explains, “We had a soft opening right before the pandemic, but we really launched in September of 2020 which was right when things were allowed to open. At one time we lifted the mandatory mask wearing, but we are back to it at the moment. Many events including flea markets don’t enforce that, which makes us enforce it even more as most sellers do multiple events. Those who attend tell us they truly feel the safest at Los Feliz Flea because we are serious about mask wearing.” Leave it to this trendsetting crowd to turn even safety into a fashion statement.
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