Go gift shopping in a gallery
We love shopping at stores that sell artist-made objects but don't like to drive far to seek them out. Now that Los Angeles's cult gallery-cum-boutique Iko Iko has moved from Echo Park to a more central location, we're looking forward to stopping in for surprising, must-have clothing and home decor.
Unlike most galleries, which can seem either snobbish or full of wares of questionable taste, Iko Iko carries elegant, show-stopping goods in a range of prices. Run by Kristin Dickson and Shin Okuda, the shop carries items sourced on annual trips to Japan (Okuda's birthplace) as well as local artisans' work.
We're crazy for Matt Merkel-Hess's stoneware, including bowls that are gleefully polka-dotted without seeming precious ($50 to $175). And limited-run tops and skirts from Dickson's label Rowena Sartin are fashion-forward and architectural, suggesting 1980s Comme des Garçons.
It's easy to spend an entire afternoon in the shop, sampling Lurk jojoba-oil fragrances and trying on Hannah Keefe's ombré brass jewelry ($50 to $675). Perhaps soon we'll even be able to part with some of our purchases and give them to someone else.
Iko Iko, 931 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-719-1079 or www.ikoikospace.com