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Arts and Entertainment

Get Peggy Lee's Clothes and More at K-Town's New Bellejar Vintage

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Over the past year, friends Katie Stratton and Jayde DiVita had been on a nation-wide search for the best clothing to stock the store they planned to open together. The pair went everywhere: Arizona, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina were just some of the states they traveled to during their hunt.

Twenty-two-year-old Stratton, whose day job is a photographer and editor at Getty Images, said she and DiVita (who works estate sales on the side), 23, would buy as much as they could at the out-of-state estate sales, often not even knowing what they had grabbed. "We've been barricading our rooms with all this shit!" said Stratton.

All the fruits of their labor and travels were finally revealed during Bellejar Vintage's grand opening on Saturday. The result was an amazing, well-edited collection of gorgeous '40s heels, dainty '50s cardigans, sexy Mad Men-era lingerie, vintage luggage, classy handbags galore and more at their new store in Korea Town. Stratton's boyfriend, Josh Norton, and her brother, Nick, played a blues-licked set; mandolin- and accordion-infused folk rock band Sons of August was due to follow with a performance until noise concerns arose (their next show is Dec. 19 at Pasadena's Old Towne Pub). Bluegrass band Gypsy River Haunts (who's playing next Monday, Dec. 14 at Crane's Tavern in Hollywood) later played an acoustic set inside the store with the accompaniment of members of the other bands.

Standing in the store's sewing corner, Stratton said among her favorite finds included purses, clothing and records owned by Peggy Lee (along with a demo Neil Diamond sent to the singer). "I'm a big fan of history," she said, and seeing people who are just as interested in buying time-tested things is exciting. "It's interesting to see who's attracted to what...You never know who has a spark for what."

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The store will also host live music monthly and sell work from local artists. "We have so many talented friends," and DiVita and Stratton wanted to provide a place where others could showcase their work. While DiVita will work primarily in the store, Stratton will be there part-time as its in-house seamstress, creating vintage-inspired clothing to be sold at the shop.

Just a sampling of items seen at the store's opening like women's shoes, cardigans and blouses ran from about $15 to $35, while outerwear was roughly between $35 to $80.

The store is located at 3103 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, 90038. Bellejar Vintage is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m, and closed on rainy days, but check their website for weekly updates to their hours. They're on Twitter as @bellejarvintage and on Facebook and Myspace.