The ongoing transformation of Hollywood Boulevard still surprises those of us who grew up here. But the “Broken Dreams” tag line that marred the boulevard for too long now seems dated. Young entrepreneurs, artists and designers are moving into former tchotchke shops and office lofts, filled with big dreams of shaping a new neighborhood.

Of course, major developers and corporations have claimed a piece of their own, as seen in Kristin Young’s feature on the Hollywood & Highland complex on page 30. The funkier flip side of the neighborhood is showcased in Marcy Medina’s picks for Scene, on page six.

All the action in Tinseltown has been contagious. Despite concerns over the economy (see the first-half outlook by Young and Katherine Bowers on page 28), Los Angeles manufacturers, designers and retailers are going on with the show.

And with the parties. Emcee Jay Leno and singer Jackson Browne headlined the Lucky Brand Foundation’s annual Black Tie and BlueJeans gala, held Nov. 16 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, which raised $700,000 for a variety of children’s causes. At the live auction, Cherokee’s ceo Robert Margolis and founder Jimmy Argyropolus plunked down $14,000 for lunch with Lucky co-founders Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman. When a second lunch was offered, infomercial king Ron Popeil anted up another $14,000. That’s going to be some meal.

The Fashion Business Incubator and 400 supporters invaded Chinatown on Dec. 8 with a fashion show featuring David Cardona and eight other local designers. Supermodel Tyra Banks turned out to cheer on pals Lisa Chin and Ynaice Thomas, who were launching their sportswear line, Liya Cynamone.

On Dec. 10, Kevan Hall rolled out his vision of a modern day Josephine Baker and her contemporaries at the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. As the last night in the two-year Absolut Africa tour, Hall shared the runway with nine designers from Niger, Senegal and other African nations. Keep an eye on Hall come award season.

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