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L.A. Chic


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Introduction: L.A. Chic: Between Rags and Riches

Urban chic: The becoming of the new Los Angeles

Chapter 1: Freeway vs Downtown

From suburban noir to downtown chic

From the suburbs to loft living, or: Neo-noir in gentrification-land: Veronica Mars - The Movie

Naomi Hirahara: Murder on Bamboo Lane and Grave on Grand Avenue

The subversive need for speed: Fast family, smart L.A. and muscle/cars in Furious 7

A gentler, softer, hipper Los Angeles for the twenty-first century?

Chapter 2: Santee Alley vs Santa Fe: Latinidad between Ramonaland and Latino Grit

Fuego: The new L.A. street style in Santee Alley

The Ramona mythology

Los Angeles and Santa Fe: A tale of two nostalgias

Fashioning latinidad

Chapter 3: L.A.'s Surf Chic: From Drop-Out Culture to Silicon Beach

Beaches, L.A. style

L.A. beaches become chic

Surfer culture

The original beachboys

Let's go surfing now: Californian lifestyle in the 1950s

Surf globally, resist locally

Silicon surfers

Reading the beaches

Chapter 4: Bling and the Realities of Compton and Calabasas

The Bling Ring

Surfaces and seriality


Umwelt - Calabasas

The ins and outs of Compton

Coda: GTA: City without angels

Chapter 5: L.A. Fashion in Museums

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

Other fashion-related exhibitions in L.A.

Chapter 6: Los Angelization a la Tom Ford: From American Gigolo to American Apparel

"Doing a Gucci"

Armani goes to Hollywood

"Doing a Dov"

Conclusion: Learning from Los Angeles, the Josephine Baker of Cities

Works Cited


About the Author

Susan Ingram is associate professor of humanities at York University.

Markus Reisenleitner is professor in the Department of Humanities at York University.


"Building on LAs history, L.A. Chic encompasses complex cultural influences and here we are able to witness their evolution. . . . In our collective consciousness, we often see 'L. A.' as embodying the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Despite the popularity of this image, it is shown here to be inaccurate; this text gives 'L.A.' a much greater depth, allowing room for the shifting of collective consciousness. Something else to emphasize is the abundance of case studies from within popular culture, which make this text significant for the twenty-first century. . . . Until the timely release of this publication, LA has perhaps been neglected both in the study of fashion and in cultural geography. The case-studies here allow anyone access to the world of LA. They offer ways to translate and interpret all the different snippets of information we believe ourselves to have about the city."-- "Film, Fashion & Consumption"

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