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Made by Margaret

Taking shape as a new boutique, L’Agence makes its way to Melrose Place.

Margaret Maldonado

Margaret Maldonado may be best known for inaugurating star stylists like Rachel Zoe and Jen Rade through her eponymous agency, but for the last five years, she’s channeled her energy to furthering her own fashion line, L’Agence, a label lauded for its simply chic silhouettes, not flash-in-the-pan trends.

And if anyone can tell the difference, it’s Maldonado, whose background informs her current passion. “I’ve seen stylists bring everything to their clients, and I’ve seen stylists do a clean edit that was one rack and right to the point,” she says. “My process every season with L’Agence is about getting to that one rack.”

Currently Maldonado’s luxe looks are dressing the racks at her just-opened boutique on Melrose Place. The quaint, 500-square-foot shop its proprietress has “always dreamed of” is situated in the same building that also houses the Margaret Maldonado Agency and was built by well-known ’50s architect John Woolf. “We didn’t want to take away from the space,” says the designer, but did desire it to have a “super-clean,” not a “closed-in” feel. To create the illusion of a more spacious, open environment, Maldonado turned to design specialist Peter Vracko, who, she notes, “designed it [to] look like merchandise is floating; and, because of the mirrors, the space looks double the size.”

The decor—original parquet wood floors, a mirrored desk, crystal chandelier and a large Jean-Paul Goude photograph of Grace Jones—complements fall’s gorgeous array of well-constructed dresses and separates with quilted detailing, and fur and leather accents. And if you can’t decide which piece to purchase, take a minute to consider them while relaxing in the store’s intimate courtyard, complete with a bistro table and water fountain. Now there’s just one more reason to head to L.A.’s chicest street.

Maldonado’s Hots
Talenti Gelato, vacation time with family, NewbarKs, Dr. Lancer’s skin rescue, dinner with Ron and Carol Herman

Maldonado’s Nots
Working until the sun comes up, red-eye flights, potholes, my dog getting old, going to the dentist