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Published March 15th, 2023
Looking Good in Lamorinda
Dresses in shades of Magenta available at Divine Consign. Photo Moya Stone

Viva Magenta is the color of the year, says Pantone Color Institute, the company behind the standardized color matching system. Magenta comes from the red family and it is described by Pantone as a shade with "vim and vigor" and is "expressive of a new signal of strength." Inspired by nature, more specifically the cochineal beetle, Viva Magenta is meant to reflect strength, power, and compassion in our ever more stressful and challenging world.
Magenta is a vivid color that pops any outfit. I see it as an interesting accent in patterns for dresses, shirts, and accessory pieces such as scarves, gloves, and even socks.
For those sartorial adventurers who want the full color experience, I spotted the perfect Magenta dress at Devine Consign in Lafayette. Made of lace, the dress has a fitted bodice and full skirt and would be a lovely and unique choice for the prom, a wedding, or an elegant dinner party. If you have a taste for vintage, currently Devine Consign has a wide variety of vintage clothing and jewelry as well as decorative items from mid-century to the 1980s. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1014 Oak Hill Road.
It feels like we're rocking the '90s again with this season's Elevated Basics look: trousers paired with a tank top or a classic white shirt topped with a blazer; relaxed fit denim; cargo pants in all fabrics from silk to leather; the classic pencil skirt with an Oxford shirt or cropped sweater; ballet flats and long drop earrings. Understated (meaning simple structures with no bells and whistles) totes are in, and the bigger the better!
In local fashion news - Venture Quality Goods boutique in Lafayette is moving just one block west of their current location on Mt. Diablo. Co-owner Rosylyn Stenzel tells me that the new space has much to offer. "At the new location," she explains, "we'll be more visible, have more room to show product, as well as a more comfortable experience with the bigger, open space." And there's better parking, too. Established in 2012, Venture is our local go-to for casual clothing for both men and women. The shop offers California brands including Patagonia, Faherty, and Johnnie-O. A recent addition to the store is the popular line Cotopaxi, which repurposes scraps from other companies to make colorful outerwear and bags. Stenzle says that she's grateful to the people of Lamorinda and the Bay Area. "We started from nothing and now we have a great community that has been really supportive." Venture is still open at their current location, but look for them sometime around late March in their new home at 3599 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Also check out their website: www.venturegoods.com.
Recently, with the rise in the maker's movement, the craft of making Friendship Bracelets has become a focus and London-based crafter Maria Makarova (AKA Masha Knots) is on it! After more than 10 years of making the colorful bracelets herself and offering YouTube tutorials, she has written a book - "The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets: Essential Lessons for Creating Designs to Wear and Give" (Rocky Nook). The popularity of Friendship Bracelets has ebbed and flowed over the years, but as an endearing sign of friendship they never really go away. New generations of teenagers, young adults, and now even older folks can't resist the charm of a handmade symbol of connection.
In her book, Makarova explains in detail how to make simple and more complex bracelet designs. She covers tools of the trade, basic loops, embellishments, fixing common mistakes, and she even offers "tricks and tips." The instructions are user friendly with lots of diagrams and step-by-step photos. Friendship bracelets are a great accessory to play with color. Viva Magenta anyone?
Add some color to your wardrobe and go forth in style.
Moya Stone is a fashion writer and blogger at www.overdressedforlife.com.

From left: Rosylyn and Tom Stenzel from Venture Quality Goods, Joseph Ward from Joseph Ward General Contractors. Photo provided
Photo courtesy Rocky Nook, Inc.

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