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Published July 5th, 2023
Looking Good in Lamorinda
Image courtesy Walnut Creek Historical Society

Summer has arrived and it seems everyone I know is traveling to such places as Sweden, Italy, Alaska, and I just returned from San Juan Island in Washington State where I attended a wedding.
One of the tricky things about fashionable travel is deciding what handbag to sport. Crossbody or tote? Canvas or leather? I checked in with Lafayette handbag designer Debra Szidon from Cass Clutch. "My ultimate summer travel bags," says Szidon, "are the Cass Getaway Tote and The Cassie." Both bags are from the Cass Clutch line. "The Getaway Tote's expandable design makes it ideal for weekend getaways, beach outings, or visits to the farmers' market," explains Szidon. "Meanwhile, the coordinating Cassie with its crossbody strap is perfect for strolling around hands free and when night arrives, it effortlessly transforms into a chic tote or clutch." The Cass Clutch line has expanded to include new silhouettes and colors. Take a peek: www.thecassclutch.com.
Whether en route to an exotic destination, sitting by the pool, or relaxing on the patio, a good book is an essential part of summer. For fashion fans I recommend the memoir "Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style and Breaking all the Rules" (Deyst Publishers). Patricia Field is known for styling the costumes on the hit TV shows "Sex and The City" and "Emily in Paris," among others. In 11 chapters "Pat in the City" takes the reader through Field's childhood to her first New York City retail shops where in the '70s and '80s she created a haven for club kids and drag queens. Each of her first commercial successes get their own chapter filled with behind-the-scene tidbits. The book itself is quite stylish with colorful illustrations, photos, and photo collages. The images of Field, her family, and other people in her life help complete the story for the reader and they're just fun to look at. I can't think of a better story to dive into during the long summer days.
The Shadelands Ranch Museum's Summer Barn Market in Walnut Creek has become a fashionable trend. Happening on Sunday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Market is in its third year and bigger than ever with over 65 vendors selling all kinds of handmade and vintage goods including jewelry, clothing, art, baked goods, and new this year woodwork and ironwork. Fabric designer Margaret Szabo and glass artist Cynthia Whitchurch, both from Lafayette, are among the scheduled vendors selling their wares. (Full disclosure, I'll be out there too selling vintage jewelry and clothing). The museum is offering for sale antiques, collectibles, and small pieces of furniture from their archives. Let's not forget food! Look for the oh-so-popular Cousins Maine Lobster and I've heard talk about a pizza vendor. There's more to enjoy in the form of live music and the museum plans to offer tours of the Shadelands mansion. It's always a festive day at the Summer Barn Market (2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek).
Every sewist will tell you it's never too early to start a project, particularly if there's a deadline and the Make it With Wool California State Contest entry deadline is Oct. 14. Make It With Wool is a state and national fashion design and sewing competition sponsored by the American Sheep Industry. Founded in 1947, the competition website says it seeks to "Promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, fibers, and yarns." The contest is open to pre-teens, teens, and adults. Do you like to sew? Have a project in mind using wool? For more information check the www.makeitwithwool.com or contact California State Director, April Ward at april.ann.ward@gmail.com.
Enjoy your summer adventures and go forth in style!
Moya Stone is a fashion writer and blogger at www.overdressedforlife.com.

Memoir by Patricia Field. Image courtesy Dey Street Books.
The Cassie in Imperial Dune Image courtesy The Cass Clutch.

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