Caroline Legrand's LA Blog

Day before departure: after a lazy morning of all time consuming pampering for the trip (Tracy Anderson training at home, massage, mud wrap, pedi/mani, blow dry) My physical self is as ready as it will ever be.  My emotional self is as well (so excited to see my girlfriend who lives in LA).  My spiritual self is also ready thanks to my morning meditation and chanting. My intellectual self isn’t though as I need to use my brains to pack. Argh, I am not in the mood to pack today. I look at it as if it's a hill which I know I need to climb and I am feeling laaaazyyyyyyy.  I have been away every 2 weeks for the past 6 weeks and I am suddenly feeling exhausted at the thought of packing I am being diverted in many ways: phone calls, emails I need to read/reply to....It's dragging on..... the weather is weird in London, the energy is weird...everyone is complaining about the weather and dying to leave town...I mean, I am not happy with it either but I am choosing not to complain about something I can’t do anything about. Not in my hands...and thank god for that!  So, as I said, packing...I am off to LA. Weather is great (compared to London) but it's not like it's tropical heat either. I know its flip flop town, but I don’t do flip flops unless I am on a beach. Just like I don’t do exercise clothes unless I am in the gym...So, I need casual, LA style, a bit of “fresh” weather clothes, a bit of “hot” weather clothes....am also going to Glen Canyon/Lake Powell area in Utah which requires hiking gear...and pool attire....

Major packing it is...2 weeks worth. Let's start to climb that hill.....
I start with the “going out” outfits...jeans and tops, jeans and tops, jeans and tops. Voila. Oh, let's put a couple skirts in in case I want to stand out from the jeans and top crowd. But it's just in case...I pack my new favorite Mason sexy grey top with a black lace back which works well with jeans and with my black YSL leather skirt (2 seasons old hence why I refer to it by the artist formerly known as YSL and not Saint Laurent as it is now called).  I also pack my new Pilotto skirt which was a hit in NY, not sure it works in LA but better to have it than not...also as I have been invited to Rodial’s luncheon at Soho House, I need options to decide on the day...in goes my Isabel Marant paisley “hippie chick” skirt and top.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
The skirt is not easy to wear because the shoes to wear it with can’t be too madamy, wedges don’t work that well but I have a pair of (again) YSL wedges which do the trick...so this is my outfit numero uno to go to the Rodial lunch. I will team it with my Isabel Marant black biker jacket and my beloved Choos.  Second option is: Gucci jeans suit and men's shirt.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I love this outfit, I have been waiting for it since I saw the collection back in October. I  love the 70s Charlie’s Angels feel. Hey, I am a child of the seventies after all and it is clear to me it is my era. I love the clothes, the girls were so hot and cool and the furniture is equally hot and cool....
I need to add the cut off shorts, bikinis and t-shirts and some flip flops for the pool side part of the trip and am done.
Oh, exercise clothes! Of course I have already told the Tracy Anderson studio in LA that I am coming and I have signed up for classes...where she is, I go, religiously.  So I arrange my pile (which has been edited) neatly on my bed so that I can run through everything again...
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I have some girlfriends who just “throw” stuff in their suitcase, and make it work, but for me, I need to have days, evenings, casual, more dressy, all organised and visual in front of me.  I get in the mood of the LA trip by putting the Kardashians on TV.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
Since spending the summer in the Hamptons, they have been my new “friends”, I don’t know why I like to watch them because let’s be honest, I have absolutely nothing in common with them at all but for some reason, I kind of have adopted them.  I go to bed with a strong feeling which says: I am not ready for this trip.  I guess I will feel different in the morning.
After a smooth flight I arrive in LA in style.  donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionSurprisingly passport control is easy, luggage is easy, rental car is easy...everyone wants to help and do something for me. I let them.
I drive from the airport to my girlfriend’s house in Pasadena. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and cool LA music playing on the radio.  And the strong feeling which comes over me is: Freedom.  There is nothing more powerful than be able to go wherever you want to go, to have no pressure of time, to look at the world around us with our eyes wide open.
I barely have time to unpack and shower when my girlfriend takes me to a bar to meet some of her friends for a drink. We drive to Hermosa beach to what is being described by my girlfriend herself as a “dive”. Hahahah. It is for sure but it's also interesting to look at the people around us. I am a people observer. Am still amazed at how many of us there are on this earth! So I guess, my new skinny high waisted black IDA jeans, black top and little black Saint Laurent jacket (because it's fresh and that's the only one I have with me) are a bit too much for the dive but who cares, it is what it is....
Day 1: Lazy day. Go to brunch with friends. My new Current/Elliott (favourite brand) boyfriend jeans, J Crew stripy t-shirt, Philip Lim little jacket and white Manolos. In the evening, we go to Soho House. I wear the same outfit as the day before except I put on a grey t-shirt and my Intermix silver necklace. Easy and cool. Amazing view of LA from the rooftop restaurant, food is great.
Day 2: Off to Tracy Anderson for a dance cardio AND a bands class, my favourite. I love driving around LA. Never been (or ever heard) of Studio City where the studio is located but I like the area I must say. I see a lot of the teachers I have met before in London or in NY.  All very happy and feeling like I am at home. The studio is small but the energy is great.  Some familiar faces in the form of tabloid faces...it’s LA after all, so it's normal.donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
After my workout I take my girlfriend’s daughter for some shopping. We go to Westfield (!!!) and do the teenage shops she likes (Pacsun and Abercrombie & Fitch)

In the evening, I go meet my girlfriend Maria at her hotel in Westwood.  We laugh a lot and I finally have some food...we don’t touch a broccoli salad and the waitress kindly removes it and tells us she will remove it from the bill as we didn’t touch it...errr, yes that’s the LA service for you. We tell her and smile and say thank you.

Day 3: I drive to Studio City again for another 2 hour workout. I can feel the pain from yesterday but I can do this...then off to the Rodial lunch at Soho House.  I try my 3 outfit options and opt for the Gucci ensemble. And it's a hit...Maria looks amazing in a Gucci bright blue tunic she is wearing with tiny shorts underneath. She has amazing legs and she looks the part. She is a great advert for her brand.  Her friend Yasmin Mills is there too, it seems like a lot of London people are in LA.

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

I meet Cameron Silver from the famous Decades vintage store and a very cool art dealer, Julie, who I instantly connect with.  The lunch is to celebrate 10 years of Rodial in the US and the launch of the men’s care line.  It's fun, relaxed and a lovely group of people.  Also leave with yet another generous goodie bag and get a mega tub of the new Size Zero body cream.

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
After the lunch as I am in the area, I decide to hit the furniture stores my friends Patrizio and Claudio recommended. They are both creatives and I am excited to see what they are recommending to me...and boy do I not get disappointed! I am blown away by the store's cool, amazing pieces. Even walking the streets I get inspired and take shots of anything which attracts my eyes...I spend nearly three hours going from one place to another and building a nice little library for myself.  donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionThank you guys, this must be the highlight of my trip.

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

 donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

Day 4: Today I am heading off to the Getty museum and Malibu.

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

My outfit for the day is London cool: Isabel Marant black/white stripy pants (2 years old but a classic, I live in them), faded denim J Crew shirt (snapped up in NY) and my favorite Choos.

I love driving my car, I love going all over LA actually. I listen to 97.1 Amp radio and I already have my favorite songs:

1. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
2. Clarity by Zedd
3. I Love It by Icona
4. Started From the Bottoms by Drake
5. Hey ho by The Lumineers
6. Memories by Kid Cudi & David Guetta
7. Pour it up by Rihanna....

My best friend in LA is simply Garmin!

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

He takes me everywhere, even when doing a wrong turn he manages to put me back on track in no time, no stress....he doesn’t argue with me, he is  just there to make my life easier...

Me and Garmin get lost on way to the Getty Museum but I see every wrong turn as an opportunity to see something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise (lesson to self, this applies to everything in life: bad relationships, jobs, friendships...we need the wrong turns!) and end up in Brentwood. I like it here. I really do. I could live here. So Garmin gets me back on track, he is so smart...
Getty Museum: amazing Richard Meier architecture. The setting of course is impressive. not every museum gets to sit on top of a hill overlooking the ocean, a valley or canyon. The museum art in itself is not that good but I love walking around the place, it's very peaceful.  I snap up give books of my favorite architects: Richard Meier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, (John) Lautner, (Rudolf) Schindler, (Pierre) Koenig. Great insipiration in many ways: walls, floors, textures, plants....
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
After the museum I drive to Malibu to the “lumber yard” (3939 Cross Creek Road Malibu) which is a great outdoor shopping area. I had been here four years ago post an Ashram retreat week. I love it there, cool stores, and I mean a shopping centre by the ocean, all open air...can’t get any better than this, right?
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashiondonna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I do kids stuff first at Kitson.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I get them the new cool stuff in LA: Aviator Nation t-shirts and sweats. I am being forced (kind of) to buy the hottest thing on earth (according to a very good salesman): Homies t-shirt by BLTEEKIDS.donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
Rihanna is wearing it, Heidi Klum is wearing it, Heidi Klum’s kids are wearing it...Browns is the only shop in England carrying it (apparently) and my coolness is being questioned right there and then: do I want my kids (or myself) to wear what everyone else is wearing? the answer is no. But it's a cool little t-shirt and I know Oscar will like it because he is a cool boy... so phew, I am a cool mum and the salesman approves....hahaha.
I also go to grown-up Kitson and get some hilarious little books for my girlfriends and a sweatshirt which says “California is for lovers”. True.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionMaxfield has an amazing Chanel bag which sadly will not be mine as it costs the price of a small car. I buy an Isabel Marant cheesecloth shirt. I love cheesecloth, that's the hippie in me I guess. Everyone in every store seem to comment on my outfit. They either recognise the Choos or the Isabel pants...I snap another cheesecloth beach tunic at Planet Blue.
I love Malibu. The drive along the coast is gorgeous, the ocean beautiful, amazing houses along the beach, I mean everything about it is just fab.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionMy girlfriend Sam recommended I go to Malibu Beach Inn for lunch but no time to squeeze food in...I'll come back later this week.  Also another hotspot is Nobu on the beach. I am booking it for sure....
In the evening, I go to a super cool newish place called Laurel Hardware (7984 Santa Monica Blvd). It’s very cool, the crowd is very cool and good looking (all the young cute actors go there I am being told, which explains...)....the food is delicious, service is great and the layout of the restaurant with the cool inside and outside lounge/garden is just tres LA.
Day 5: Hiking morning. My girlfriend Rhonda takes me for a two hour hike in the Pasadena hills.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
That's what I love about LA, it's the nature around it. Hiking, surfing, beach, woods, all is possible here. I love Cape Town too because of the outdoor lifestyle which is similar to LA.  Same in Hong Kong.  So I guess I need to think about my retirement plan and I think it will be in LA...Malibu here I come! After the hike I decide to tick the last  boxes on my To Do list this week: Decades and Resurrection on Melrose Avenue.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I went to all the vintage stores whilst in LA for a design trip when I worked at Anya Hindmarch, probably about eight years ago.  Decades still is very much the same, lots of great pieces and very friendly staff.  Resurrection is like a mini museum of fabulousness. Lots of YSL, Ossie Clark and Chloe...I also quickly check Fred Segal on the same street.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
On the way back I do one more stop at J Crew for kids and get a headache trying to explain to the saleswoman I have two boys, different ages, different shoe sizes and I am trying to buy similar things but also not all the same as Oscar is now older and doesn’t want to wear the same stuff as his brother. I get it but this is making the shopping experience a bit less enjoyable...
Day 6: Starting the day with a 90 minute personal training session at Tracy Anderson...ouch ouch ouch....I suffer, I sweat, and leave dragging my feet....I move into the Beverly Hills Hotel and crash by the pool.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
First time in almost a week. The sky is blue, the sun is bright. The pool side is a scene. Massage and room service will do me just fine tonight.
Day 7: Lazy day again, a bit of work and emails in the morning and then lunch by the pool and more poolside.  The world is definitely getting smaller as a photographer friend who lives between LA, London and Munich ends up lying by the pool two chairs down.  Decide to have dinner at the Polo Lounge at the BHH and love the atmosphere. Very old Hollywood.
Day 8: Universal Studio day with the kids and their London friends who also happen to be in LA.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
We have a fab day, I had forgotten how civilised the Universal Studios are compared to Legoland or Disneyland.  In the evening, I reward myself with dinner at Nobu in Malibu. The setting is fabulous, the food is delicious, the crowd very “Malibu” (no Jennifer and Justin are not there sadly) and it is the perfect end to a perfect day.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
Day 9: We spend our last day in Venice. I love Venice! We went to Abbot Kinney Blvd which I have been told I HAD to go to (by my LA regular girlfriend Sam) because Gjelina is there which is not only a very cool restaurant but also has the most delicious food. donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
It didn’t disappoint! So many cool stores on the street, I am dragging the boys and have to promise iPad time in exchange of some retail therapy.  My favorite shop is Principessa which has a mix of beachwear, jeans, t-shirts, bikinis, beach dresses new and vintage, and also local LA designers.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
And all very reasonably priced, the shop is a little treasure where I snap a fab crochet bikini in burgundy/navy and cream and gold, a very Ibiza hippie cream lace long number (I don’t like the terms “kaftan’ or “cover ups”) by Jens Pirate booty.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion
I had already snapped a cheesecloth tunic by the same brand back in Malibu.
donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionThen I pick a very now and very hippie (again) crochet short which is a bargain at $57.  I buy it in black and white at that price. Will be great with the crochet bikini...and just before I go, I notice a silk poncho in a navajo blanket print, which is quite cool and unusual...I try it on and it gets the seal of approval by my son.  donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashionA bit further down the road is Aviator Nation, which is sooooo coooool. The store is an homage to the 70s California surfer dudes with super retro decor, a ping pong table in the courtyard with cool sofa’s, an old record player playing in the corner, and a very cool salesman called Domoshi (uh uh...).
The boys have been living in their sweatshirts and t-shirts since I got these for them and I buy more stuff for them. I also snap a few tees for myself in burnt yellow and grey which are great for yoga.

Walking on Venice Beach, my son clings to my hand as there are a lot of “weirdos” but I am happy because I like weirdos.

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion

Thats what makes our world more interesting. The variety of people. Everyone is doing or selling something on Venice Beach. Either pumping muscle, dancing, singing, offering healing, psychic readings, selling stuff...or selling stories for a few bucks.  A lovely crazy wacky melting pots of people trying to make a living. This is the end of our LA trip and we are sad to leave but we will be back....

donna ida, caroline legrand, london fashion, london blog, london style, blogger style, blogger fashion