Best Drinking and Dressing (2008)
Dub night at the Echoplex and the DJs are hypnotic, the rappers phenomenal. I don't drink too much, and soak it up afterward with a tofu dog from the street vendor — grilled jalapeños and everything.
Then I walk a few feet down Glendale Boulevard into Enid & Edgar, an ivory-walled closet full of vintage dresses made at the time of that longish war in Vietnam (give or take a president). I pull everything I like off the racks, enter a tiny boudoir with oval mirrors and a floor-to-ceiling curtain and try things on.
Two guys walk in, intoxicated from the 'plex show. Jason, the co-owner, is sitting where he always sits, next to the curtain.
"Dude, what are you doing open now?" one of the guys asks Jason, as I suck my belly in on the other side of the curtain, checking myself out in a checked-tweed Tippi Hedren skirt.
"What, you think some beautiful woman is gonna walk in here all drunk and start trying on clothes?" says the other guy. I panic.
"She's in there right now," says Jason, nonplussed.
He's used to these questions. Some nights, he sits there and reads till past 2 a.m., and people are too confused to come inside after the club lets out. "Except Thursday, drum-and-bass night," he says. "For some reason, those guys aren't afraid to come in."
The intoxicated guys leave and I exhale. I settle on a nylon minidress with a ruffled India-ink skirt and a sleeveless, floral top. I pay a lot less than Jason could get away with charging, then ask him where he gets his stuff. He says he can't tell me, and I say okay.
Jason's 32. He's been married to Sandy for 13 years, and they have three children, Marcus, Amelia and Jonas. Jason and Sandy were going to start a restaurant and call it Enid — "dine" backward — but they did this instead and kept the name. It's been three months, and they're doing great.
"We noticed that most 'vintage' stores we used to frequent were totally overpriced," says Sandy (the quote marks are hers). "So we thought, why not put this passion to work and really stress keeping our prices affordable so everyone can enjoy it ... especially our Echo Park crowd.
"All of our pieces are vintage," she adds. "No repros. Most everything is from the '60s, '70s and '80s. A splash of '50s, '40s and '30s — these are getting harder and harder to find."
Mash-ups conjured by the clothes include: interstellar Barbie, Barbra through the looking glass and Barbarella goes to the prom. (Sorry, boys, I bought that one.)
The guys' gear takes up one side of this narrow little store, but you know how it is, vintage clothes for women are much more fun — especially after a night at the 'plex.—Mel Yiasemide
Los Angeles CA 90026
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