Online Shopping Début:

Gilt Groupe's Jetsetter
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East Side Bounces Back:

Madison Avenue Gets Ready
For Newcomers

Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping:

West Coast Indulgence Edition

24crit650.2This week, Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson ditches Manhattan for a browse around L.A. for the Thursday Styles, landing at the renowned boutique Maxfield on Melrose Avenue.
Wilson delivers the surprising news that, along with staggeringly expensive Balmain motorcycle jackets, the store also stocks a selection of luxury erotica and even more disturbing, a rage of macabre artifacts.
I have always wanted to see a real shrunken head. At Maxfield, you can buy one for a mere $37,500. Also a Dayak human trophy skull, whose tag describes him as having a “very well handled patina,” and perhaps the most truly frightening objet d’art I’ve ever seen: another human skull with huge ram horns knotted onto it with rattan and decorated with a knot of shredded floral fabric that strongly suggests the someone’s bird-watching aunt toddled too far into the heart of darkness ($39,000).
Cool? Gross? Both? I guess there's an 11-year old in all of us who wants to stand over a glass case and say, "Wi-i-i-i-icked!". These things are expensive, but will certainly save you the trouble of making your own.
Even Wilson is stunned at the price tags, particularly for some of the decrepit "vintage" pieces ("A moth-eaten Gucci suitcase made of genuine zebra hide will set you back $21,500 ... but it screams old money.") In the end, La Cintra can't help but admire owner Tommy Perse's curatorial skills, with qualifiers.
There is something that feels sincerely radical about $3,000 jeans, rare art books, sex tools, the viscount’s old luggage, Le Corbusier patio chairs and human skulls all being sold in the same room. But is Maxfield truly avant-garde, or is it sexily complicit, capitalist luxury kitsch?
Critical Shopper | Maxfield The Posh and the Perverse By Cintra Wilson
Maxfield 8825 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
On a related note: The Shophound will be in L.A. in a couple of weeks. We haven't been there for ages, so please let us know HERE about any fantastic California stores we shouldn't miss.

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