Tavin: A Taste of World Bazaar in Echo Park

NYC transplant and stylist Erin Julie Tavin, owner of Echo Park’s Tavin boutique, is one of the bright spots in the neighborhood these days. After a stint working as a stylist/costumer in the film industry, Erin Tavin opened her dream store in July 2009.

More than just “curb appeal,” Tavin proffers a burgeoning communal space, comparable to that of a world bazaar, for bohemian artists, musicians, fashionistas, designers and L.A. neighbors. Its gypsy interior, made from sustainable and reclaimed materials, transports shoppers to metropolitan Meccas like Paris, Rome or the Lower East Side of NYC. “It’s very whimsical and absolutely full of eye candy,” says Justina Blakeney, one of the designers featured on Tavin’s shelves. Blakeney, who runs the line Compai, helped build Tavin’s interior, turning old ballet bars into clothing racks, reclaimed windows into shelves for object d’arts and installing a front door looted from a salvage yard.

Tavin offers redesigned vintage clothing with more modern looks (she has a seamstress in Atwater), vintage labels like Christian Dior, Valentino and Comme des Garcons, as well as a slew of local designers including Church & State, Wren and Park Vogel. She scours estate sales, private collections and costume houses for her finds and it shows: accessories range from Native-American and Indian beaded jewelry to feather headpieces to worn, leather boots.

Unsurprisingly, Tavin’s clothing also feels like it transports its wearer to another period. Some cool pieces to note at the moment include a purple poncho, a Mad Men-like vintage Louis Vuitton silk scarf and a gorgeous Edwardian gold dress with charmeuse silk and hand-embroidered flower appliqués. One more that caught my eye? This Josephine Baker-esque turquoise crochet dress.

Tavin holds artist exhibits too and is currently showing Brooklyn-based fiber artist Audrey Stone.

Erin will often fill her shop with the sounds of Van Morrison, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hein, Patti Smith, or “random ethnic music” – her husband, who performs in the circus group, the Mums, will also play the piano for events.

Live in Pasadena? Visit Erin at the Rose Bowl swap meet on the second Sunday of every month.

Tavin, 1543 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, 213.482.5832