The city of Los Angeles woke up to a glorious sight: a radiant sun gleaming in the blessedly blue sky.
It was a long-awaited break from weeks of on-again-off-again cold and sporadic mist that had kept the city in a whomp-whomp kind of mood. (Or was that just me?) Finally. Days like this one, with its warm weather and unexpected sunshine, are helping renew my love affair with California. Oh, and it’s about to get even better – because I’m about to peruse a new exciting boutique that has just opened its doors in the city.
To people like me – that is, proponents of fledgling brands and progressive new talents in fashion – stores like Ouimillie are catnip. Interior architect and owner Millicent Cutler opened Ouimille’s first location in Boston, followed by a pop-up in Los Angeles, and now a full-on permanent store. The new boutique’s facade stops you like a traffic light. It’s limoncello-yellow and festooned with clusters of balloons. Nothing says “come in!” quite like arresting colors, festive decor, and a door that’s flung wide open. Chatter spills outside. A table full of charcuterie and the promise of cocktails beckon. I must go in!
A Colorful Superbloom
Inside, the 1,800-square foot location is vastly different from the temporary pop-up space Ouimillie inhabited while testing the waters here in Los Angeles back in December. While the previous location had the coziness of a warmly appointed pied-à-terre, Ouimille’s new home on South Flores Street is bigger and brighter, with soaring ceilings and an abundance of natural light. Color dances in your eyes everywhere you look. “There are certain colors I’m really excited about,” Millicent tells me. “Of course, there’s pink, but there’s this thing about yellow. If you just put yellow throughout your house or wherever, it does things to the brain.”
Not only is Ouimillie colorful, it’s sunnier, too – especially today.
Panels of sunlight are elbowing their way into the store, illuminating the paintings perking up the boutique’s walls. It’s hard not to be hypnotized by the scenes dreamed up by featured artist Lisa Baldwin. In one, a field of yellow and purple wildflowers spreads out like an open book, the painting almost giving itself to the viewer. In another, a meadow is spangled with purplish-pink patches of blooming buds. “I love artists,” Millicent says. “I love art. I love design, and I don’t like things to be the same all the time. We basically just go into a shell, we put the art up, and we build the work around the art.”