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There are many holiday craft shows happening all around the Bay Area but my favorite is coming up this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11th, 2016.

Featured are Sarah Durling and Nora Akino, two Berkeley artists who have quite a following among local collectors.

gvg_0393_smSarah is The Buttonist – she’s a collector of antique and vintage buttons which she fashions into bracelets, rings, pendants, and I hear now she’s making brooches!! Sarah’s pieces stand out for their elegant design and quality settings in sterling silver. Every year longtime customers add to their collections and often sport two or three bracelets at a time.

 

 

Nora also has an elegant aesthetic, designing and sewing silk scarves and quality bags of all sizes in silk and cotton. I have a small bag I wear around my neck to hold my eyeglasses in style and I love Nora’s added touch of using antique buttons. Customers collect her larger sizes for shopping bags. Such a great idea as more and more shoppers shift away from those environmentally-unfriendly plastic bags. What a unique holiday gift idea. In addition to accessories, Nora will show monotypes and paintings using traditional Japanese pigments. Ooo … I can’t wait to see.

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This is a private sale in Berkeley but OverDressed for Life readers, you are invited!  Please e-mail info@noraakino.com for details. Or contact me at overdressedforlife@yahoo.com. We’ll fill you in. I hope to see you there.

kevin-hart-horizontal-finalYou can tell a lot about people by their appearance. Good style in a woman is about her being herself. It’s about being able to bring your flair and attitude to your clothing. It’s not just about what you think is cool, it’s what you make cool. That’s the difference. The women who understand that always dress in such a unique way. It doesn’t look forced. You believe it.

– Kevin Hart, American comedian.

img_20161105_142904On our way to a music concert at St. James Church in Piccadilly, my eye caught the most lovely of old buildings and whaddaya know it was a clothing store – Cordings. I took a quick peek in the window and liked what I saw …  tweeds galore.

After the concert we went back and I perused happily taking in all the wonderful and very British jackets, trousers, shirts, and sweaters. It’s a country look for sure, but with a large chic factor thanks to quality fabric and construction.

What is a British country look you might ask? It’s all about appropriate clothing for country outdoor activity such as walking, horseback riding, bicycling, and I have to mention shooting but I don’t approve of that so … enough said. Construction for ease of movement is key as is heavy fabrics for warmth. The look is tweeds in trousers, jackets and waistcoats (vests). Other fabrics include corduroy and velvet. Knits too! Macintosh raincoats and of course boots, including Wellingtons. What attracts me is the simplicity and timelessness of the style.

Cordings has been around since 1839 providing country clothing for gentlemen and in recent years for the ladies. One of the store’s best customers and biggest supporters musician Eric Clapton says Cordings, “… is a place of tradition … the heritage of England.”

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Velvet Cuff Jacket. Image courtesy of Cordings.

Being the anglophile that I am, no wonder I love the place. I also like the idea of mixing a bit of country with city. Such as sporting a tweed jacket over a sharp t-shirt or a cape belted and paired with a mini-skirt (a current trend in London) and thigh high boots.

Thank you Cordings, for making the country chic and for inspiring my inner country.

 

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Ms. Ross is the daughter of singer and style icon Diana Ross.

I’ve been a shopper and vintage collector for years. I’m big on wearing clothes multiple times. I was taught as a young girl that you work hard for your money and there’s nothing wrong with spending it on beautiful things if you’re going to cherish them, take care of them and wear them lots.

– Tracee Ellis Ross, former fashion model and current actress on the television show Black-ish.

In 2016 Ms. Ross was the first African-American woman in 30 years to be nominated for an Emmy award in the category of best leading actress in a comedy. She didn’t win but I think we’ll see her again in the award lineup.

 

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I’m a sock gal from way back. When I was a kid I collected what I called “crazy socks” which were just socks with patterns. But there are times when a girl wants a sock feel without a sock look. Enter – Keysocks.

Recently I had the chance to sport the new Keysocks for this review and I can say right now that I love them! Keysocks offer protection for the feet, warmth, and they are super soft and comfortable. Great with any kind of shoe, particularly the type that look better sans socks, flats for example. They even work well for layering, say with boots wear a little ankle sock underneath the Keysocks for added warmth but no bulk.

img_20161121_121700860_hdrThey are intended not to be seen but I say play with layering and wear them over tights for a fun and unusual look.

Keysocks come in black, nude, and pink. There are two weights: original and light for warmer months.

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The Keysocks logo on the back is a nice touch.

Keysocks are available on Amazon.com. Think: stocking-stuffers, Secret Santa gift, Hanukkah, or just because.

I’m not against see-now-buy-now, but there has to be some scarcity somewhere. When you just put things out there and it feels like everything is available all of the time, right away, there’s no sense of something special.

– Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group.

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Burberry was among the big brands to offer see-now-buy-now.

During the last fashion show season in September, many brands offered some of their items for sale right away. There is much talk in the industry about this trend, called see-now-buy-now. Some designers think it’s great for increased sales and exposure. While others are unsure, expressing concern about changing timelines and schedules.

See-now-buy-now is a pretty big shift (if it lasts) affecting manufacturing, editorial, delivery, space in stores and so on.

Retail sales in clothing had been on the decline – perhaps it’s this fast-fashion/have it now/nothing special that has turned people off buying clothes. Instead consumers are finding their sense of special from experiences such as travel, food, and entertainment.

 

Chesterfield is around 150 miles north of London. A scenic two hour train ride. We spent a day and night there on our way back south to London from Bakewell.

The town center has a large flea market every Thursday. There you can find all kinds of objects to buy: hardware, silver, books, clothing, jewelry. I was partial to the silver as I have a thing for spoons!

While perusing the market in the rain, I spotted a little shop across the square with a big sign – Ooo La La Vintage Clothing. You bet I hopped right on over.

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Sara Bennett from Ooo La La in Chesterfield, England.

Proprietor Sara Bennett has collected and nicely displayed quality vintage clothing and accessories, mostly 30s to 60s. I was impressed with the array of  Italian mohair and Danish “Sarah Lund” sweaters. Hers is the only vintage shop in town but she says vintage is a growing local interest. (Once a year the market hosts a 1940s festival where everyone turns out in vintage of the era and enjoys live music, dancing, and classic cars.)

Sara’s customers lean toward the 50s, which makes me think of Vintage Life magazine a UK based publication. Sara tells me she follows VL on Facebook. I think VL needs to follow Ooo La La.

Thank you, Sara. Nice to have met you!