Best Oscar-Worthy Resale Store, April 2006
When you don't want to run the risk of someone else sashaying into the Kodak Theater in the same scene-stealing gown you're wearing, vintage is an eye-catching, economical solution. Decades, Cameron Silver's famed designer resale shop, may feature dazzling one-of-a-kinds, but the red-carpet collection at The Way We Wore is endless. Proprietor and fashion encyclopedia Doris Raymond has spent 30 years amassing a 100,000-piece collection of museum-quality designer originals, including mint-condition pieces by Chanel, Bill Blass, and Claire McCardell. The store's rotating selection includes a $5,000 Ossie Clark jersey halter gown, a $2,500 Michaele Vollbracht tulip-print gown with matching kimono-style jacket, and a $1,200 Lanvin number from the '50s that just might get an Oscar crasher past the velvet rope.
Best Silk Scarves, August 2008
You can easily find a larger selection of scarves than that at The Way We Wore,
but none with a clearer point of view. The silk accessories from the '40s, '50s, and '60s burst with color combinations (psychedelic yellow and orange) and prints (abstract signs of the zodiac) that you rarely see in newly minted squares. A recent visit to the store provided an unexpected endorsement: Victoria Beckham on her knees, pawing through the Diors and the Balenciagas. (If you insist on never-worn pieces, go to Kitson or Intuition, where the smartly edited stock allows you to affect the look of Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, or Yasir Arafat.)
Best Kimono, August 2013
Ambience: With patent leather walls and gold lamé-draped ceilings, it's like shopping in Jean Harlow's closet.
Inventory: Exquisite vintage silk numbers, hand-picked by owner and L.A. Frock Star Doris Raymond, channel Old Hollywood glamour.