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Published November 24th, 2021
Looking Good in Lamorinda
Handmade hats at Busy Stix in Lafayette.

"People on the slopes want handmade hats," says Marcia Brunning, proprietor of Busy Stix in Lafayette. It's warm gear season and the trend is for handmade; and not just knit, but also crochet. Fashion designers showed crochet on the runways this year and the trend continues. Crochet instructor Liz Kaplan says that recently the look has become more popular with young women, but "crochet never went anywhere." Like knitting, the craft is always present taking different twists from year to year. We haven't seen what we call the "Granny Square" in a few decades but it's what younger women are clamoring for and they want to make it themselves, perhaps inspired by knitwear designer (and Vice President Kamala Harris' stepdaughter) Ella Emhoff, who features her knit and crochet creations on Instagram.
Kaplan often helps Busy Stix customers with their crochet projects as well as teach the occasional class and she creates her own patterns. The shop stocks an array of crochet kits for beginners and of course there is a beautiful assortment of yarn and supplies. Are you hitting the slopes this winter? Get on this fashion trend and make yourself or someone else a warm hat. Check out the website https://busystix.com.
ReChic, a women's consignment shop in Orinda, offers quality clothing, accessories, and new gift items. The store is currently stocked with sweaters, boots, handbags, and a selection of new dainty jewelry just right for the current layering trend. For a unique holiday greeting card, ReChic has cards that feature a drawing of the Orinda Theatre sign. I bought one and made it a birthday card for a friend. (Thank you to ReChic for donating 50% of the proceeds from the card sales to support the theater.) Shop owner Maureen Brown is planning some festive events including Holiday Outdoor Marketplace on Saturday, Dec. 4 from noon to 4 p.m.; more than 15 local businesses will feature various gift items. Then on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2 to 6 p.m., special guest Jenny Hill from Beautycounter, the company that has led the clean beauty revolution, will be on hand to offer tips for looking our best.
Christine Del Monica, a local hat designer from Lafayette, is selling her wares at The Spotted Cow, a pop-up vintage market in downtown Martinez. Del Monica's whimsical and festive creations are just the thing for a holiday gathering or a New Year's Eve celebration. Staying local or hitting the road, donning a hat is always appropriate. The Spotted Cow will be open Saturday, Nov. 27 and again the first weekend in December. Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.
The de Young Museum in San Francisco has reopened with the fashion exhibit, "Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love." Lafayette resident and personal stylist Francie Low saw the exhibit and is excited to recommend it. "Patrick Kelly's southern roots inspired playful designs, elegant enough to grace a Paris runway," says Low. "It was fun to learn his mismatched button theme on sleek black dresses was inspired by his grandmother's button box. Small memories can spark remarkable creativity."
Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954-1990) was known for combining whimsy with classic. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to NYC to study fashion design and in 1979 he moved to Paris. There he had friends bop around the streets in his handmade jersey outfits adorned with buttons. These colorful ensembles caught the attention of French Elle magazine and voila, he was on his way to fashion stardom. As well as 80 fully accessorized ensembles, the exhibit includes several videos of runway shows, sketches and art by the designer, and other ephemera.
Make it a holiday treat! "Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love" in on now through April 24, 2022. Masks are required and tickets are timed so it's a good idea to book ahead online at: https://deyoung.famsf.org.
Stay warm and go forth in style.
Moya Stone is a fashion writer and blogger at www.overdressedforlife.com.

Granny Square shawl hand crocheted by Liz Kaplan.?
Orinda Theatre cards available at ReChic in Orinda.

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