Originally hailing from San Francisco, artist and fashion designer Andrea Vence arrived in Los Angeles and immediately succumbed to the natural wildlife, the iconic 1920s buildings, the 70s and 80s-era tanning salons, the strip malls and the dazzling video stores. When she began experimenting with patterns and colors for her clothing company, Recreation, these aesthetics played a huge role in her designs.
In harmony with her sun-bleached memories of California, Andrea's business approach is respectful of the environment that fuels her inspiration. She only sources organic and sustainable fabrics and manufactures locally to minimize the size of her footprint. With a strong emphasis on hand screen-printed designs, bold prints and splashes of vivid color, Recreation evokes the same diversity of style for the thoughtful, modern Angeleno. You can also find influences from skate and surf culture in her designs, which are reminiscient of an 80s skateboarding video.
Recreation's SS17 Collection
Images courtesy of LAFW
When asked about the current state of personal style, Andrea touches on the upside of appropriation and borrowing from other cultures and decades: “I think it’s really a creative time. People are not trying to dress like just one era; I like that. The past always seeps in and it always will.” Andrea recalls how even a photograph of herself as a young girl emulating her glamorous mother has impacted her style.
Having just completed her first official runway show with LA Fashion Week
and with an increasingly erratic schedule that comes with growing success, Andrea somehow found some time to reflect on the places in LA that bring her joy and inspiration.
Here’s where Andrea goes in Los Angeles when she's plotting her next elaborate pattern:
Art and Culture
Slow Culture and MAMA Gallery
Andrea Vence: My favorite galleries are Slow Culture and Mama Gallery. They're always worth going a visit. Slow Culture is an independent art gallery in Northeast LA.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
AV: This is my favorite museum. Not only is it interesting that it resides in Little Tokyo, but it used to house cop cars and was completely re-done by LA legend Frank Gehry. When I first moved here I saw the Art in The Streets exhibit as well as Mike D from the Beastie Boys curating art and music here. These shows blew me away.
Image courtesy of MOCA
Fashion District and the Flower District
AV: Just walking around is fascinating and I also like to practice bargaining. I'm not good.
AV: The best local DJs all working together! Not only do they put on some great events, some at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but I always learn so much listening to them online! Support your local music!
AV: A beautiful, huge park with a lake in a lively, busy part of town. Families and friends barbecuing, toys being sold, the smell of churros … The people watching is endless.
Point Dume State Beach
AV: A beautiful spot and an awesome trail that leads to a picturesque point —with built in seating! Also, there's a remote, rocky beach that you can only get to by taking this trail!
AV: The perfect escape. Beautiful hiking. I never tire of it.
Casita Del Campo
Silver Lake, $$
AV: One of my favorite places to eat and drink. They have awesome free chips and salsa and I love the veggie enchiladas and margaritas. The decor and the service rule. It’s been there since 1968!
Santa Monica, $$
AV: Best bar in Santa Monica. Grumpy bartenders? Check.
HMS Bounty and Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
DTLA; Larchmont, $$
AV: The food isn't amazing at these restaurants/bar, but the decor and service is! I love these old places, and I hope they never fade! The back room at HMS Bounty is particularly awesome in pink, with an aquatic theme.
Image courtesy of HMS Bounty
AV: One of the best meals I've had downtown.
AV: Some of the best modern Southeast Asian fusion food I've ever had! Order the pea tendrils and black cod.
Ricky's Fish Tacos(Food Truck)
Los Feliz (brick and mortar) and various, $ (Food Truck)
AV: Ricky's kills it as far as food trucks in LA. Get the fluffy breaded cod fish tacos with pickled onions.
AV: Inventive and flavorful! Highly recommended.
Bennett Cordon is a culture digger from Los Angeles in constant orbit seeking out new distances and trajectories. Are you new here? Let him show you around. He's made of the city. Follow him on Instagram @futurememoir and Twitter @bennettcordon.
Header image courtesy of Recreation