Malibu Country Mart

You guessed it - back to LA.

If you find yourself landing at LAX with an afternoon to kill, it's an easy trip up to Malibu, more specifically the Malibu Country Mart, just off the Pacific Coast Highway on Cross Creek Road. Though it may sound quaint, this "country mart" is full of pricey, tempting boutiques.

The best concept store here is an only-in-LA creation that mixes designer sneakers with an art gallery. The name? "Canvas," naturally.

A display of children's sneakers.

It's hard to describe to an East Coaster what to wear in LA. Sneakers and tee shirts, yes. But they have to be the kewlest sneakers and tee shirts out there. This is a town of sneaker fetishists, and Canvas really captures the vibe.

Embroidered sweatshirts by Artful Dodger ($165-325) were particularly interesting, and a John Varvatos one, at over $200, was very flattering. Great for LA, but they may not be the best outerwear investment for New York, a city where it, like, rains.

LA is also home to a chain of stores called Madison. Despite the somewhat cheesy name (kind of like calling a New York boutique "Rive Gauche"), it is like taking a trip up Madison Avenue - all the same brands are represented. Below, the a guard looks out the door of the couture version, Madison Gallery.

A stealth photo of the upstairs. At Madison Gallery, you'll find gorgeous pieces from the likes of Chloe, Matthew Williamson, Nina Ricci, and Lanvin. Indeed, there's no reason to actually leave Malibu to go to Madison Avenue.

Shoes and bags.

The under-$1000 version is just plain Madison, around the corner, which is like Barneys Coop with a few more brands thrown in for good measure. Though you can find almost everything worth having here, from denim to party frocks, the selection is well-edited. See by Chloe, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, and even Tom Ford sunglasses.

More shoes and bags.

James Perse is the stop for comfy LA basics.

Malibu seems the perfect location for the casual RRL branch of the Ralph Lauren empire.

A skull and crossbones necklace made of white gold and studded with rose quartz, black diamonds and emeralds will set you back $10K at Malibu Rock Star jewelry. For lower-budget rockers, the Travis Walker cufflinks are $350.

Two shoppers with Juicy Couture bags.

A Ron Herman outpost.

Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Road
Malibu, California