Ducks in: L.A.

During my recent explorations around Los Angeles, California, I saw firsthand that sun induces self-expression. Evidently, this expression differed vastly across the city, but Californians were often bold and unabashed in what they wore and how they wore it. Some trends I observed on this trip included lightweight button-downs, an experimental mix of denim pieces, unique shades and athletic footwear. I myself donned some of my favorite pieces on the trip, including a denim jumper, my trusty thrifted denim jacket, Ray-Ban shades and Adidas Originals Superstar sneakers. My fashionable friends Will “The Redhead” Nielsen, a journalism student at the University of Oregon, and Sam Schmiedeskamp, a film major at the University of Southern California, accompanied me. They sported an eclectic, Pacific Northwest-inspired blend of motorcycle jackets, overalls and Chelsea boots through our trip full of artistic inspiration, adventures and tacos!

Thursday Feb. 18

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Immediately after stepping off of the plane at LAX, I was whisked away by my friends in pursuit of sustenance. And how could our first night in the city involve anything but an In-N-Out feast of animal fries and cheeseburgers? The line was well worth it! 

Friday Feb. 19 

Friday was devoted almost entirely to exploring the beaches scattered around L.A., particularly Malibu, Venice and Manhattan. First stop, Malibu.

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While the $6 parking fee to get INTO our chosen restaurant, Paradise Cove, was a bit of a shocker, the wallet-ravaging (yet delicious) fish tacos as well as the beachfront view made up for it. The majority of diners rocked a style that can be described as intentionally carefree and relaxed. Bold-patterned swimwear was commonly paired with flowy, lightweight cover-ups, wide-brimmed sunhats and shades. Customers relaxed in style while sipping piña coladas straight from the pineapple.

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Venice was our next stop and surprisingly, didn’t feel too far from home. The Saturday market vibe, mixed with the heavy presence of “420 Doctors” on each beachfront block, was overall reminiscent of my native Portland, as well as Eugene. The majority of pedestrians could be seen sporting denim shorts or cuffed pants, breezy button-downs or cardigans and athletic shoes that allowed for a quick escape from the pushy mixtape promoters lining the sandy streets.

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Still, the noticeable effort in terms of style served to set Venice apart from other beach towns around Oregon, as people generally seemed to dress and walk with purpose.

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Abbot Kinney Boulevard made for an ideal food break in between Venice and Manhattan Beach, the final stop of the day. Interestingly, Abbot Kinney feels like a solid block of Oregon – Blue Star Donuts, Salt and Straw and Will Leather Goods are just a few of the acclaimed food and retail shops that originated from Oregon. After munching on donuts and accelerating through a disconcerting number of yellow lights, we made it to Manhattan Beach just in time for sunset.

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To end the first full day, we took a trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at nighttime. LACMA was illuminated by the many lights surrounding it and by the flash from dozens of selfie sticks, of which we ourselves remained immune.

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Saturday Feb. 20 

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To kick off a day in the city, Sam, Will and I headed to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. With the weather in the high seventies and immense taco success on the horizon, nothing could bring us down! It was equally exciting to check out the fashion of L.A. locals throughout the day, a style usually involving a mix of leather and denim garments with badass boots.

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Next, we headed to the Central Market in downtown L.A. in search of… tacos! We were not disappointed in the least – how could we be with our $3.50 find at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas? The Central Market was full of a variety of food trucks – all indoors – and made for great people watching with tacos in one hand and my camera in the other. The trends frequently observed during this food break included more high-waisted denim, wide-brimmed hats, button-down shirts and sporty footwear along with a variety of edgy dresses and jumpsuits.

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Sunday Feb. 21

Our last morning was spent packing and preparing for the flight home. While the trip was short, I got my fill of style inspiration (and food!) and observed trends that came straight from Oregon and ones that are unique to L.A. I met many new people and was able to see how their lifestyles were reflected through what they wore and what they did in their free time.

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Still, although the weather was nice and the tacos were out of this world, I was ready to be reunited with my fellow raincoat-sporting ducks once again!

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Words and Photos by Kendra Siebert

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