Colleen Atwood's 6 Favorite L.A. Shopping Spots
The 'Into the Woods' and 'Big Eyes' costume designer and newly minted bag designer spills her top shopping spots for film-worthy finds around town.
Since the late 1980s, when Colleen Atwood worked her magic on Tim Burton’s cult classic Edward Scissorhands, the Academy Award-winning costume designer has called Los Angeles home. A Washington state native, Atwood first stepped foot in L.A. several years earlier, working as a shopper on the flick Space Invaders. “Thomas Map Guides were my new best friend! I remember driving miles in the wrong direction and ending up in urban wastelands,” she laughs. “It felt like another planet coming from compact New York.”
But even before touching down in Los Angeles, Atwood had already begun to establish herself as one of Hollywood’s go-to costume designers, and has since racked up noteworthy accolades including Oscars for Best Costume Design in Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Alice in Wonderland. Christmas Day marks the release of two more highly anticipated films for Atwood — Into the Woods, a fairy-tale inspired musical directed by Rob Marshall and Burton’s fantastical Big Eyes — which are already generating early 2015 Oscars buzz for the costume designer.
But this week’s big screen debuts aren’t the only projects that have Atwood excited as of late: this fall marked the arrival of the costumier’s eponymous handbag line, a collection as dramatic and detail-oriented as her extensive on-screen work featuring three varied styles in an array of skins. “I love a great bag and wanted to create something really classic and pared down… The opportunity to do it with the highest level of manufacturing was the synchronicity I had been waiting for,” says Atwood of the luxury line, which was launched with the backing of Los Angeles-based clothing brand Citizens of Humanity, produced in Italy, and is currently available in stores around the country and at colleenatwood.com.
Colleen Atwood Sojourner Burgundy Lizard, $6,200
In the meantime, there’s no stopping for the in-demand costume designer, whose already hard at work in London on Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass — sequel to the 2010 hit. As to what Atwood will miss most about her adopted hometown when she’s on location? “Mexican food,” she says, adding, “I definitely don’t miss the traffic!”
Just in time for her Christmas Day theatrical debuts, Atwood shares her top list of spots around town for sourcing award-winning costume design finds around Los Angeles.
International Silks & Woolens
For more than 20 years, Atwood has turned to International Silks & Woolens, a go-to for the fashion industry for everything from textiles to zippers and bows since it opened its doors in 1969. “They are an amazing fabric and trim store with a kind and helpful staff,” notes Atwood.
8357 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-653-6453; internationalsilks.com
With a collection of clothing and accessories dating back to the 1850s, it’s hardly a surprise Beverly Boulevard destination Mister Freedom is on Atwood’s speed dial. “[It] has a great mixture of vintage pieces with great interpretations of period clothing.”
7161 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-653-2014; misterfreedom.com
The Button Store
“The woman who runs it has both beautiful vintage buttons and an amazing selection of modern buttons, too,” says Atwood of her favorite place to hunt down buttons of all shapes, materials and sizes. “She also personifies a certain old-world kind of service that I appreciate.”
8344 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; 323-658-5473
For leather goods, furniture and an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories, Atwood turns to founder René Holguin’s trading post-inspired spot on La Cienega . “Rth is always a fun pit stop for the eclectic surprise. It's very conceptual in its presentation,” she says.
529 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-289-7911; rthshop.com
When it comes to proper toppers, Atwood turns to Venice Beach hat maker Nick Fouquet. Madonna and Pharrell Williams are among his growing fan base. “Nick Fouquet millinery reintroduces haberdashery in a new way,” says the costume designer.
1629 Abbot Kinney, Venice; nickfouquet.com
An industry favorite as beloved for its fashion-forward fabrics as the sheer volume of its selections, this La Brea mainstay has been a longtime favorite of Atwood’s. “I’ve patronized Mood since my New York days,” she adds.
645 S. La Brea, Los Angeles; 323-653-6663; moodfabrics.com