black polo jacket ‘Pretty Woman’ 25th anniversary
Even though Viv returns to the store after her classy makeover and throws the snotty shop lady snubbery right back in her bitter face, that scene left two indelible truths in our minds:
1. Rodeo Drive shop ladies are mean if you not swanky looking and
Deciding to put the first theory to the test, I hit a few of Rodeo Drive lushest retailers with Photo Friend Debby to see if a girl more funky looking than fancy looking would be given a warm welcome or the cold shoulder.
1. Polo Ralph Lauren (444 N. Rodeo Drive): This is one seriously luxe store, set up like the expensively expansive rooms of a home I never be invited to, decorated with plush furniture and $3,000 dresses. The first couple of saleswomen barely acknowledge me, but the further we go into the maze of rooms, the nicer the sales staff gets. Even though most of the items are worth more than my car, they graciously allow me to peruse the hunt clubby fashions, including a $2,400 shearling aviator coat, appropriate for many things, but not flying.
But there a pleasantly smiling woman behind the watch counter who says, and then lets Debby and I ooh and aah at the diamond studded leopard pins and pink diamond rings, including the men Roaster watch for $4,350. And on the way out, one of the jewelry security czars winked at me in a warmish and non threatening way. Cool.
3. BCBG Max Azria (327 N. Rodeo Drive): The stylishly cool twentysomethings at the door nod us inside, as the call of formalwear beckons me upstairs. I decided, in the spirit of Julia, that I need to try on a serious red dress. I find a $300 low cut, ruffly bottomed stunner that a reserved but basically friendly sales chick lets me put on. It stunning, and the sales staff is basically friendly, although not overly so. But they being cool. I get it. What I don get are the $30 pointelle tights. They tights, people! They sell them at Target. But these are quite fancy.
4. Prada (343 N. Rodeo Drive): The wise prophetess Sheila E. once said, you have to ask, you can afford the lingerie. And normally,
I would assume that if you have to ask the name of the Rodeo Drive store, you can afford anything in it and oughta just keep walking to Target.
Well, I can afford anything in this cavernous, mazelike space, including a $144 zippered key case (!) or patchwork platform heels for the lowdown price of $1,070. But shocker! the staff is wondrously friendly. All around the store, the beautiful salesfolk keep asking if we need any help, but not in a sizing up the merchandise way. We even have a relaxed chat with the well suited man at the door about the mannequins displayed in see through tunnels in the sidewalk. When I win the lottery, I so gonna come back and buy something. Whee!
5. Versace (248 N. Rodeo Drive): One of the most gorgeous men I have ever seen asks me if I need any help. Like some of the other salespeople, he not what you would call warm, but not at all unfriendly. Just stylishly aloof. And did I mention gorgeous? Also gorgeous: a white, stretchy, long sleeved T shirt that proclaims your wise and swanky fashion choice with a big, Swarovski crystal for a big ol price $330. That right, Toto. We not at Gap anymore.
6. Two Rodeo Drive: This upscale, open aired cobblestoned collection of shops, including Versace, Badgley Mischka and Tiffany, seems like the perfect place to strike a pose for some aren we stylish pics that is, until a very pleasant but businesslike security guy named Victor asks us what we doing.
We explain, expecting to be given the heave ho (and endure the mortifying stare of shoppers who probably think we shoplifters being dragged off to the pokey). But instead, we escorted to the management offices, where the shockingly laid back and friendly publicist Alba Gibson tells us that our story sounds great and gives us carte blanche to take whatever pictures we need.
The Bottom Line on Rodeo Drive: No cold shoulder! The place is fancy,
yet surprisingly friendly. I should have known not to trust a fairy tale movie about a hooker.