Celebrity stylists and design mavens Emily Current and Meritt Elliott talk California style, LA’s trendsetting nabes and their favorite hideouts in the city.
By Ramona Saviss
LA-based fashion pros Emily Current and Meritt Elliott met while attending UCLA, where they hit it off over a shared passion for vintage clothing. The two began collaborating together on various fashion gigs, and are now among the city's most sought-after stylists, with a bevy of celebrity clients. When not styling or consulting, the two (who seem glued to the hip and even live on the same street in WeHo), are designing cult-favorite denim brand Current/Elliott and serving on the board of local cancer-research charity Phase One. They took time to talk fashion inspiration and the must-have closet staple for any California girl or guy.
Time Out: How would you describe LA style? Emily Current: LA's become such a fashion hub. I think it's due to a couple different elements: The weather lets you dress for fashion. You can have more personal style and expression of what you want to wear. I think there is such a casual feeling about LA, which we just love. We love Americana and it's such a huge part of our DNA [as designers and stylists]. Meritt Elliott: This is really funny, but there are a couple private schools around here and I'm totally inspired by what the kids do with their uniforms. It reminds me of Girls Just Want to Have Fun or something because the only freedom they have is in their shoes, their hair and the way they roll their sleeves. I've had so much inspiration from that younger generation in Los Angeles. I love it!
Time Out: How would you describe the style difference of Westside versus Eastside? EC: The surf culture is a huge part of the West Coast in general, but I think there is definitely a kick back hoodie, Rainbow flip-flop thing happening in the Westside. Where in the Eastside you get to play out a little more of the rock and roll fantasies-you'll find people wearing baby doll dresses, '90s boots and studded jackets. And while there is crossover, there's a mood difference in how people wear their hair, how much makeup and what sunglasses they're wearing.
Time Out: What's a must-have closet staple? ME: Emily and I are huge fans of the third piece, like scarves or statement jewelry, which work particularly on the West Coast because we don't need huge wool coats to survive. We're always into a warm leather jacket—it's a great investment piece.
Time Out: Where do you go for after-work eats and drinks? ME: We love Tinga on La Brea for Mexican food. EC: We have a lot of work dinners, so we always end up at Craig's, Tavern, Gjelina or Laurel Hardware—we always end up in the same places. We love to get take-away lunches from Larchmont Wine & Cheese and coffee from Kings Road Cafe. Lately, we've all been having sweet-tooth cravings at the office, so we've been getting banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. Yeah, everyone in the office definitely likes to eat.
Time Out: How do you escape with your crazy day-to-day schedules? ME: I have a seven-year-old daughter and we spend a lot of time in Griffith Park looking at horses or having a picnic. We also like to shop or stop at a cafe in the neighborhood. It's just far enough away from where we live that it feels like a little bit of a different air. EC: I'm in the car a lot, driving all over the city from Santa Monica to Los Feliz, so to get away I just don't drive. I stay home or walk to dinner. Being at home, in my house or yard, is where I go to escape.
Time Out: Tell us about Phase One. EC: Meritt's husband passed away from cancer a few years ago so it's been a really dear charity to us. ME: I think it's important for us to stay grounded because what we do for a living can be so silly sometimes. But the truth is that you can really lend your voice to get support and it pays in millions.