Stella Dottir could easily be mistaken for a Gothic fashion store or psychic business. A musty, musky smell greets you as you enter its dimly lit, boudoir-meets-Barbadian-beach-hut interior. Its Icelandic owner and in-house designer, after whom the boutique is named, is all downtown voodoo cool, with her metal cuff-bound dreadlocks and life story that spans continents, delivered in hushed tones. Save for some Victorian-esque robes that look dangerously like Halloween costumes, however, there is nothing scary about the fashion sold here. All hand-sewn by the self-taught Dottir, the mostly black collection includes intricately designed lace dresses and embroidered 1920s-inspired hats so well-crafted they fall into that highest realm of fashion magic known as haute couture. Tired of seeing women ensnared by uncomfortable underwire undergarments that transform them from Audrey Hepburn to Aubrey O’Day, Dottir also has created the prettiest, softest silk brassieres, which will leave women — and men — spellbound. 430 S. Main St., dwntwn. (213) 623-8464. —Noelle Loh

LA Weekly