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What's In Store: Top Spring Picks

New arrivals at East Bay boutiques; a fresh salon opens in Rockridge; local designers shine in the national spotlight; and more in our retail report.

Courtesy of Ella J

Taxes are filed and the social-media posts of Coachella weekend one shenanigans are winding down. It’s safe to say that most of us are breathing a collective sigh of relief. If you’re expecting a return and looking to blow some hard-earned cash, read on for new arrivals all over the East Bay. And, hey, if you just got back from the desert festivities and want to postpone logging into TurboTax to finish your extension, you’ve come to the right place for a distraction. Party on, right? Right.


New to stores

For the aforementioned music-festival fashionistas, Ella J in Danville is hip to what’s hot. The Danville boutique’s racks and tables are packed with sartorial stars such as Paige denim and J Brand Jeans. We want pretty much every pair of leggings in stock (we’re especially sweet on the floral print), any of Chaser Brand’s throwback cropped tanks, and the chevron-patterned ankle jeans by Paige.  Head to 169 East Prospect Avenue to see for yourself, or visit them on Facebook for the scoop on incoming merch and sales.

Courtesy of GapKidsAlso in Danville, Blackhawk Plaza’s Apricot Lane Boutique announced an ownership change, and with that a pledge to “feature celebrity-inspired fashions and designer labels” and “an impressive collection of jewelry, handbags and accessories to create looks seen right off the runway and in the most current pages of any fashion magazine for an affordable price.” What does that mean? Expect to find straw fedoras, TOMS’ wedges, a trove of mint and coral accessories, and breezy dresses from designers such as Sugarlips.

All fashion-forward mommies rejoice: Diane von Furstenberg launches her limited-edition line for GapKids on April 25. Check out this coo-worthy video of little ones frolicking in the colorful clothes. Only thing that might make you have a fit: You need to shop online, or in San Francisco, for the new looks. The line only appears in select stores.

Courtesy of LabelsWhat’s old is new again over at recently expanded Labels Luxury Consignment at 1367 North Main Street in Walnut Creek. Among the secondhand steals, we discovered a pair of clip-ons (pictured) for $38 that beg to be worn poolside in a bikini designed by Derek Lam for his recent Kohl’s collaboration. We thank Racked SF for bringing this swimsuit to our attention—and for detailing its most flattering features, such as how the cut of the high-waisted bottoms “prevents you from looking like you're wearing a diaper.” You read our minds.


Courtesy of Paper Source

Courtesy of Title NineMoving on up

DIYers and crafters take note. Premier paperie Paper Source is opening a location in Walnut Creek this Friday, April 19. Stock up on a wide array of paper, invitations, giftwrap, and more at 1567 Botelho Drive. The new location will also host monthly workshops for local residents on skills such as bookbinding, wedding invitations, and card making.

With bathing suit season on the horizon, we can all now pretend that we are going on a juice cleanse tomorrow, and once that’s over, we will work out every day. Whether you’re gung ho about exercise or taking baby steps toward getting in shape, you might consider motivating yourself with new workout garb. Title Nine—a chain selling women’s activewear that also has a Walnut Creek location—recently moved from its old spot on Fourth Street down the street to a beautiful new corner store near the Amtrak station. Next door, there are some shiny new storefronts with lease signs up. We’re curious to see if any other boutiques have an eye on setting up shop. What would you want to see show up next in the West Berkeley shopping enclave?

Courtesy of Convert Shoes Back up on the familiar Fourth Street stretch, Convert Shoes debuted some new footwear. Along with shimmery Emu sandals, you can also slip into flats from H by Hudson and J Shoes, or prance around in Great Gatsby–esque heels from Seychelles called “Music to My Ears.”


Courtesy of Bar Method

Redesign your life

Cross over to North Berkeley for more fit fun. We’ve been keeping up on news of Bar Method stretching its Pilates-meets-ballet regimen out to 510 land (there are already classes in Walnut Creek and San Ramon), and rumor has it that the Rose Street studio is set to open between April 20–25. Newcomers are welcome, and can take unlimited classes for the first 40 days for $100. Purchase your package here.

You can polish your newly rejuvenated self with a trip to Viv & Ingrid at Oxford Hall for some Butter or Deborah Lippmann nail polish. Both lines are featured in spring nail guides curated by Fashionista as well as the Cupcakes and Cashmere blog. While you’re there, get a jumpstart on a gift for Mother’s Day with a dainty pearl necklace or opulent earrings. You can also shop online and receive 20-percent off on purchases more than $150 if you enter “LOVEMOM” at checkout.

Courtesy of Elsie Green House & HomeMore delicate gifts await Mom (and you!) in Alamo-based Elsie Green House & Home’s latest catalogue. From vintage plates to monogrammed linens, you’re bound to find something to decorate your abode and help the environment. A portion of every purchase is donated to 1% for the Planet.

Back over in Oakland, a new design store called Turtle & Hare is set to open in April at 100 Grand Avenue. On April 25, from 6–9 p.m., there will be a grand opening feté with wine and nibbles. If you plan to attend, RSVP no later than Friday, April 19, by emailing rsvp@turtleandhare.net. The first 20 guests receive keepsakes, so get there early!

Nearby in Rockridge, Spruce Salon and Spa is set to open at 5327 College Avenue this month. Relax with a massage or stop in to get your bangs trimmed, among other services. Make your appointments now by calling (510) 450-0542.

While you’re in that neck of the woods, stop in Rockridge Home for the 2013 spring collection of HOBO handbags, and save 50-percent on the fall line.


Courtesy of Mercury NewsLocal stars shine

Shout-outs to local tastemakers: Oakland jewelry maker Marisa Haskell is featured on Refinery 29; stylish looks from McMullen grace the pages of the latest Elle magazine; and ladies can go crazy for sharp-dressed men in a Mercury News slideshow of local gents dressed to the nines…just because. We applaud you!


Quick Hits

Patch brings news that Livermore’s Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store is moving to 4650 First Street…right next to independent craft store Richard’s. Hopefully they can peacefully coexist? Man about town Beyond the Creek reports that Walnut Creek’s DayOne Baby Store closed on April 12, joining Giggle, Tulip and the Right Start on the retail chopping clock. Where are you moms and dads going?


Got news about new or expanding East Bay businesses? Or tips on great sales and deals? We want to know! E-mail us at style@maildiablo.com, and look for "What's in Store" every other Tuesday.