International fashion hides Downtown

Los Angeles is a hub of international food, culture, religion and, of course, fashion. The city boasts trending fashions from countries all across the world, including India, China, Paris and even our own uniquely American designs — so you can find clothes to fit your style no matter where you’re from. You just have to know where to look.

Jade alert · Bohemian Crystal, on Maple Avenue, is home to droves of beads and jewelry, most of which are made in China. Here you can get everything from jade beads to wooden and seashell necklaces. - Laura Cueva | Daily Trojan

Looking for amazing Indian harem pants or tunics? There’s no better place for unique and authentic international wardrobe than Los Angeles’ Fashion District. Few shops sell authentic international fashions, but the ones that do sell them at a complete steal.

Style in Fashion, an importer and distributor of Indian fabrics and clothing, sells some of the most magnificent and ornate Indian fashions around. Located on Olympic Boulevard in the heart of the Fashion District, bright colors and patterns adorn the walls in the forms of dresses, tunics, skirts and tops.

Some are impressively complex: pastels, some featured with intricate designs stitched into the fabric and accessorized with beads and dangles. Others are more simply designed but equally beautiful, like all-white tunics with smaller,
crocheted embellishments.

Once you’ve found an outfit, walk down Olympic Boulevard to Maple Avenue to Bohemian Crystal, a bead shop with imaginative accessories. Nearly every piece of jewelry is made in China, adding a unique Asian flare to the necklaces, bracelets, earrings and headwear.

From jade bead pieces to wooden and seashell necklaces, you can customize your jewelry or buy it straight off the rack, making this a one-stop-shop for everything pretty, lovely and bead-dazzled.

For something a little more authentically Asian, try Los Angeles’ Chinatown or Little Tokyo. These are centers for their respective fashions: Chinatown has the Saigon Plaza, in the Chinatown Plaza, and Dynasty Center; and Little Tokyo has the Japanese Village Plaza, all of which offer fantastic deals on imported fashion.

You can find embroidered silk dresses in most of the shops in Chinatown. The craft and handiwork that goes into making these pieces is often worth the hundred-dollar price tag. Cheaper dresses can be found, but you can also haggle with storeowners and get them to drop the price significantly.

Similar to the Downtown Fashion District, Chinese-inspired tops and wraps hang from shop walls and dress mannequins, so you can quickly see the styles and ask for the ones that most catch your eye.

Knitted caps, which are very in right now, are often hidden in the racks in Chinatown shops. Though it takes a dedicated shopper to find them, chances are you’ll be wearing them out of the store.

Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village Plaza is much less hectic and just as worthwhile. Customers aren’t allowed to touch the delicate kimonos in most of the shops, but if you ask, a clerk will show you his most popular pieces and how to wear them correctly.

You can find Japanese make-up kits, jewelry and other accessories in the plaza as well, and even a select number of American-style (think Forever 21) blouses, bottoms and summer dresses, imported directly from Japan.

If you’re just looking for random styles with no particular country in mind, the Fashion District is probably your best bet. Walk one block and you’ll stumble upon everything from African-style animal and safari print specialty stands to Hawaiian and tropical wear shops.

Of course, if you don’t have the stamina to withstand a hunt through the Downtown fashion alleys, you can always go to Forever 21 at The Grove. They’re fully stocked with Bohemian tops and dresses, Mexican style embroidered tops and hippie skirts for every girl’s taste. And you may just see a celebrity while you’re there.

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