For fans of independent booksellers, the Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. no doubt is already on the radar. But with its recent move to new 10,000-square-foot digs on the busy, colorful corner of Spring and Fifth, the Last Bookstore is expanding more than its inventory. With a stage and a sound system, a roomy exhibition space and plenty of places to sit and gather, it's clear the store wants people to hang around. Any given afternoon or evening might see authors, musicians, visual artists and/or social activists making the scene. But the most special of all the creative collaborations going on there is surely the Brutique — an edgy locals-centric culture hub curated by Victor Wilde of Bohemian Society. An artist and accomplished fashion designer, Wilde is in residence for the foreseeable future, and he's figured out a way to combine commerce, art, film and public performance into a kind of couture social experiment. Drawing on extensive knowledge of the history of art and style, Wilde is having some fun with ideas about exclusivity, spectacle and neighborhood flavor. That, and making sure folks are as well-dressed as they are well-read. 453 S. Spring St., dwntwn. (213) 377-6514,

—Shana Nys Dambrot

LA Weekly