With their sleek white walls, minimalist décor, and the inevitable intimidatingly chic girls lurking in the corner, it’s getting harder and harder to tell art galleries apart from expensive clothing boutiques. In L.A., these distinctions have been tossed aside. More and more shops are installing artwork alongside racks of clothing – and everything’s for sale. According to the L.A. Times, the new blend of art and fashion is mutually beneficial: “These exhibitions benefit not only retailers by attracting new customers and creating a sense of atmosphere but also artists, by exposing them to an "out of the box" audience with spending in mind.” Fashion-conscious shoppers who are also interested in contemporary art can learn about new artists in a familiar and comfortable environment, whereas the art gallery set gets exposed to younger and emerging designers that they might not otherwise come across. Unlike the cringe-worthy “art shows” displayed at your local independent coffee shop, the works on display at hip boutiques are often as well-curated as the designer selection. Would you pick up a painting while shopping for shoes? --ALISON COOL PS - That's the Kate Moss painting by Chuck Close that was recently at The Whitney.