There is a four-alarm fashion-trend alert on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. The street that entered the '80s as a sleepy little neighborhood address-filled with hardware stores, gas stations and corner grocers-will go into the '90s as an oh-so-chic shopping district.
Montana Avenue still looks a lot like it has for years, with one- and two-story buildings shaded by leafy trees. Locals still gather at the Shell station to catch up on the gossip, as if life were a Norman Rockwell painting. And the busiest time of the day is lunch time, when the nursery school lets out and the sidewalks fill with mothers and their toddling broods.
Starting at Montana Avenue and 7th Street and extending north to 17th, the choices are impressive. There is Savannah, a women's clothing shop near 7th, where $1,000-Nancy Heller cashmere sweaters, $680-Ronaldus Shamask dresses and $700-Manolo Blahnik boots are sold.