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martinMARTIN's Lofty Store with Prices to Match

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There's no way to sugarcoat it: the lasting impression we took away from the opening of the new martinMARTIN boutique downtown was one of sticker-shock. $900 combat boots. A $1,300 messenger bag, and several $2,500 jackets. A quick survey of both the actual and metaphorical landscapes -- it's located in a grimy strip a block and a half down from the Cooper Building, and you probably don't need us to reiterate the financial doom and gloom -- man, that's cajones. Or possibly they know something we don't.

It's a sleek, bright, almost austere space, in marked contrast to the gothic-zombies-of-the-apocalypse vibe of the clothing and their presentations at LAFW. It's well stocked with both men's and women's. Much of it is unisex, too. Though we get the feeling the grape colored, droopy-crotched capri-length harem pants in the men's section is probably intended just for menfolk.

It's interesting to finally see the clothing up close and personal -- after their long, "this show has been going on FOREVER" presentation at last season's LAFW, we weren't really moved, but seeing it in the flesh made us a bit more receptive. The hallmarks of their look (unexpected folds, ruching, cut-outs) are used to dramatic effect in the coats and dresses. Some of it's made with origami-like precision, some of it more like, "Hey, I left this crumpled at the bottom of my closet for a week." Our personal favorite? The perforated, double-back-zip combat boots. We would buy those things TODAY?um, if they weren't $900.
· All martinMARTIN coverage [Racked LA]