Fiorucci in Beverly Hills

Photo: LA Times 1980. (Vintage Los Angeles collection) 
If there's ONE store from my youth that still stands out the most in my nostalgic brain, it's gotta be FIORUCCI in Beverly Hills. It was OUT THERE even by todays standards. I still  dream about it because it was so ahead of it's time during the late 70s and early 80s. The window displays were full of spandex, leopard prints, Hawaiian style shirts, neon checkered ties and 1950s rock-a-billy prints - all imported from Italy. It was more rock n roll than MTV. I Loved and wore my FIORUCCI pants till I could not patch them up any more.  Those fine corduroy pants were painted on me and I loooovvvved them! I wore them with a blue satin baseball hat from CAMP BEVERLY HILLS and a jersey from HEAVEN. 

I was 10 years old and this was my paradise. 

Fiorucci display window and opening night. Photos: Gary Wilde

In 1967, FIORUCCI founded the Italian fashion label.  By the late 1970s his New York store became famous for the fashions it …

Living Across the Street From Edward G. Robinson

I recently found the above vintage Polaroid photo when my mom was packing up our old house. That’s Edward G. Robinson standing in his driveway, directly across the street from where we lived on Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills. My mother snapped this from my upstairs bedroom window shortly after I was born, and it’s the only photo that we have of him. We used to see Mr. Robinson walking his seven dogs with his wife, Jane, while smoking that signature cigar of his. His house was on two lots, and was built by architect Samuel Marx, who had very recently completed his own masterpiece in 1939, The May Co Department Store at Fairfax and Wilshire Blvd. Robinson’s home was a picturesque Tudor style, which the actor contemplated selling in order to build a new home that would better accommodate his growing art collection. In fact, Edward had such an extensive art collection that he commissioned Samuel Marx to build a separate art gallery on the property. It was designed specifically to show off…

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills

I couldn't think of a better place to set me loose! 
Graystone Manor is a hidden gem tucked away above Sunset Blvd in Beverly Hills. The mansion, built in 1927 is only open during special programs such as Music in the Mansion and Friends of Greystone events, although the outside grounds are open daily for visitors to enjoy! 

Greystone Mansion, and the surrounding grounds with which it shares its magnificent beauty, are rich in California history. Edward Laurence Doheny, who bought the land in the 1910s, was born in 1856 in the small Midwestern town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1892, Doheny and his friend Charles A. Canfield, were the first to strike oil in Los Angeles. They later discovered large oil deposits in Mexico which, combined with their Los Angeles holdings, made them the largest producers of oil in the world at that time. Edward Doheny and his wife Carrie Louella Wilkins had two children. Their first, a daughter Eileen, passed away when she was just seven years old. On No…

Edelweiss Chocolates

I just adore the window display atEdelweiss Chocolatesin Beverly Hills - especially around the holidays. This charming little chocolate factory has been in business in the same location since 1942. Those are the original Art Deco glass blocks on both sides making it one one of the very last vintage store facades left in the neighborhood - and one of the oldest confectionaries in America that still process its chocolates by hand. Frank Sinatra's favorite were the Maple Creams and Lauren Bacall and Katherine Hepburn's were the Chocolate Turtles (also a favorite of my father's). Many think this is where that famous Lucy episode was filmed, but it WAS where Lucy got the idea for the episode since she used to enter through the back door. In 1996, agent Marty Ingles purchased the entire store for wife, actress Shirley Jones. She sold it in 2004 to current owner, Madlin Zahir. If you get there early enough she might give you a tour. In fact once of my earliest 'Vintage LA'…