It takes a village to get a grip on fashion these days, with trends traveling at warp speed thanks to smart phones while the dizzying pace often serves to reconfirm the value of proven professionals. A couple of pros have gotten together at the Sunset & La Cienega, where Fred Segal’s famous retail village now hosts Browns, a kindred spirit from London. A hip match, made even more so by items such as this coat, which sold for $1,280 to an unidentified stylist from Chicago who wriggled into the Browns corner of Fred Segal before it even got started on a Sept. 1 soft opening. The piece comes from Charms, a brand out of South Korea, a hot center of fashion these days. Charms recently caught the eye of Ida Petersson, buying director for womenswear for Browns, and she capitalized on the new label in a way that smacks of the sort of discovery that has made Fred Segal a leading influence in fashion. Fred Segal President John Frierson said that’s the point of the store’s latest pairing, noting that Browns has played a similar role as a launch pad for up-and-comers in London … El Segundo-based Wolf & Shepherd has staked a claim in the world of fashion, billing its line of shoes as handcrafted “in Porto, Portugal, with fine Italian leathers, Parisian waxes, and completed in the U.S. with running shoe technology developed in-house.” Anyone who doubts co-founder Justin Schneider’s drive should check his resume, details of which were among the conversational highlight of a lively opening party last month at Westfield Century City, home of the brand’s first physical retail space. The engaging entrepreneur offered insights on his journey from decathlete majoring in industrial design at Notre Dame to fashion upstart aiming for new standards on style and performance … Give the folks behind L.A. Fleet Week credit for being hip to the history of the region when it comes to the annual “celebration of our nation’s Sea Sea services” held at the Port of Los Angeles each Labor Day weekend. This year’s event counted “Jack Ryan,” an Amazon series based on a Tom Clancy story of a desk jockey tossed into a role as CIA field agent, as a presenting sponsor. That’s a fine way to bring Hollywood and the defense industry together, connecting two major strands of Southern California’s DNA, not to mention desk jockies from El Segundo to Gower Gulch … No shortage of coverage of education in this issue, thanks to Howard Fine’s front page piece on M.S. programs and related story to the right on this page, a group of four lists that start on page 10, and a related Commentary on page 44. Extra credit if you know that Pepperdine University’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Athletics Sam Lagana also serves as public address announcer at the Los Angeles Rams’ home games … Sullivan Says: The rumor-mill put the hypothetical price tag on the Montage Beverly Hills at $430 million last week.

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