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What's in Store: Coming in 2015

There's lots to look forward to in the new year, including a flaming runway show and a massive white elephant sale.

Hot Couture | Courtesy of The Crucible

As 2015 winds down to a close, we can look back on all of the fantastic stores, boutiques, and shops that made their debuts in the East Bay, and also look forward to all of those to come in the new year. Here are a few January events you won't want to miss.

Now Open ...

In my October column, I mentioned that Learning Express Toys would be opening in downtown Lafayette, in addition to its other East Bay location in San Ramon. The store is now open on Mt. Diablo Boulevard, and carries a wide range of educational toys and children’s gifts that encourage imagination, creativity, and intellectual and physical development. And, just in time for the holidays, Learning Express Toys provides free gift wrapping and complimentary personalization for a number of items. 3568 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.

High-tech Shopping ...

Neiman Marcus in downtown Walnut Creek has partnered with BestFit Mobile to give shoppers the retail upperhand. Download a Neiman Marcus Pass to the iPhone’s Passbook application to receive in-store messages with events and special offers happening at the store throughout the holidays, including trunk shows and special fashion presentations. Those who download the holiday pass can also visit Customer Care on level two of the Walnut Creek store to receive a little stocking-stuffer gift. 1000 South Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 279-3000.  

Courtesy of McMullenMcMullen Boutique has launched its personal shopping delivery service for the holiday season. Throughout the month of December, Bay Area shoppers can take advantage of this convenient alternative to in-store shopping. Visit McMullen's website to browse items and purchase your merchandise, and then opt for two-hour delivery that comes right to your door. This service is free through December 31, and all items can be brought back to the store within 48 hours for an exchange or full refund. 1235 Grand Ave., Piedmont, (510) 658-6906.

Mark Your Calendars ...

Friday, January 9, and Saturday, January 10, visit Oakland's The Crucible for Hot Couture 2015. This year’s theme is Air, Earth, Fire, Water. The flaming fashion and runway show will feature ten artists, and designer teams will create haute couture concepts celebrating the fusion of fashion and the four elements. 1260 7th St., Oakland, (510) 444-0919. $45 in advance, $60 at the door.

White Elephant SaleOakland Museum of California’s legendary White Elephant Sale will have a preview sale on Sunday, January 25. Peruse the 96,000 square-foot warehouse on the Oakland Estuary for vintage clothing, fine jewelry, Asian collectibles, furniture, sporting goods, music books, and much more. All proceeds benefit OMCA, and the actual show will be held March 7 and 8. Last year, it raised $1.88 million. Tickets are $15 beforehand, and $20 at the door. 333 Lancaster St., Oakland. Purchase tickets to the January presale show here.

Got an idea for Diablo Style? Email me at diablostyle@maildiablo.com.