I've been trying to veer away from the predictable brands (especially those associated with the L.A.-girl look like Rachel Pally, C&C, etc.) and have been seeking out fresh new designers. I recently bought an amazing, amazing wool, pin-striped, very fitted shift dress from a designer called Rachel Mara. The unusual thing about this dress is that it has NO zipper: so there is no bunching to speak of -- the fit is incredible. It is a little inconvenient to take off a wool dress with no stretch over one's head, but it's just gorgeous. It's such a thrill to find new designers that not everyone is wearing (although now Ron Herman carries her clothing). Smaller labels are by no means cheap, but I'd rather throw money towards an independent designer than say, Juicy Couture (not that I don't have my share of that, as well). What are your favorite, less-known labels?