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Published November 22nd, 2023
Looking Good in Lamorinda
Hand painted silk top by Natasha Silk Art. Photos provided

Ready or not, it's the holiday season and time to make the shopping list! The Moraga Art Gallery in the Rheem Shopping Center has many an option for fashionable gifts including jewelry by Lafayette resident K. De Groot and hand painted silk tops from Natasha Silk Art. Don't miss the gallery's holiday event, "Shopping Night and Craft Beer" from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14.
"Santa's Sleigh Boutique" returns to the Lafayette Community Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Dec. 2. This is always a fun holiday stop for unique handmade gifts.
Another opportunity to purchase local handmade items is at the Shadelands Ranch Museum's annual "Holiday Faire" in Walnut Creek. Each room of the mansion's second floor is filled with delightful gift options such as jewelry, holiday decor, ornaments, crochet items, jams and jellies, glassware, and so much more. Last year I picked up a festive red dress ornament handmade out of felt. I envision a whole tree decorated with red dress ornaments. The faire is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day from Nov. 25 through Dec. 10. Word has it that Santa will stop by on Saturday Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets to see Santa are available on Eventbrite.com.
I've been reading a fascinating book by fashion historian Dr. Kate Strasdin, "The Dress Diary: Secrets From a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe," published by Pegasus Books. Anne Sykes was given a journal on her wedding day in 1838. In it this young woman from Northern England kept swatches of fabric of her own, her family's, and friends' clothing. Fast forward to present day when the tattered journal fortuitously fell into the lap of Strasdin, who spent six years researching Anne and her family. In "The Dress Diary" Strasdin reveals who Anne was and follows her life in England and her travels to Singapore, as well as providing the context in which she lived, including the rise and decline of the British textile industry. A New York Times Editors Pick, "The Dress Diary" is a compelling read and the perfect gift for any fashion history enthusiast on your gift list.
Mark your calendars for an exciting fashion exhibition coming to the de Young Museum in San Francisco. "Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style" opens on Jan. 20, 2024 and will feature over 100 pieces of women's clothing worn by local philanthropists and civic leaders spanning over 100 years from 1906 to present day. The Fine Arts Museums are home to one of the most significant collections in the United States of 20th and 21st century women's fashions and this is the first major presentation of the museum's costume collection in over 35 years. Included in the exhibit are gowns, cocktail dresses, evening attire, and the "little black dress" by iconic designers such as Dior, Lagerfeld, Valentino, McQueen, and others.
Among the fashions featured are pieces loaned to the exhibit by Sherri McMullen, East Bay resident and owner of McMullen, an Oakland boutique named by Vogue and Women's Wear Daily as among the premiere fashion retailers in the country. McMullen is known for offering luxury fashions by designers including Dries Van Noten and The Row, as well as established and rising African and African-American designers such as Christopher John Rogers.
"`Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style' offers the opportunity to explore the history of our city through the lens of fashion," says Laura L. Camerlengo, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts. Now we have something to look forward to after the holidays! Check out the museum website for tickets and more information: www.famsf.org.
Enjoy the season and go forth in holiday style.
Moya Stone is a fashion writer and blogger at www.overdressedforlife.com.

Photos provided
Silk evening gown by Christopher John Rogers is part of the exhibition coming up at the de Young Museum. Photo Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco?

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