Fashion by the Decade

May 15, 2017  
Filed under Fashion

Family Room volunteer Mary Hart modeled an Eileen Fisher fashion from local boutique Expressions at the Spring Blooms! Fashion Show and Dinner, a benefit for VNA’s Janet S. Munt Family Room that was held on Thursday, April 6.

Family Room volunteer Mary Hart modeled an Eileen Fisher fashion from local boutique Expressions at the Spring Blooms! Fashion Show and Dinner, a benefit for VNA’s Janet S. Munt Family Room that was held on Thursday, April 6.

Local comedian Autumn Spencer fills the role of emcee.

Local comedian Autumn Spencer fills the role of emcee.

What goes around comes around…and when it comes to fashion trends this year, the wheel seems to just go round faster and faster. Fashion designers have long borrowed from the past, but this year, there is something from every decade.  Read more

The Fashion Year in Review

January 3, 2017  
Filed under Fashion

   Fashion meets high tech function. Find jeans that fit with smart leggings outfitted with sensors that send your measurements to an app via Bluetooth.

Fashion meets high tech function. Find jeans that fit with smart leggings outfitted with sensors that send your measurements to an app via Bluetooth.


By Sharon Mosley

Ring in the new but retire the old? Not so fast! Hang onto those pompom beanies. Here are some of the best fashion trends of 2016 that promise to still be around for the year ahead.

–The year of virtual fashion. High tech met functional fashion this past year to get us all really connected to our clothes. Think computer chips in your sneakers that track all your moves, to smart leggings that take your measurements for jeans to body-scanning clothing tags that give you suggestions on how to style your outfits. Expect to see more and more tech-friendly fashion in 2017 like a denim jacket from Levi’s and Google that will add new meaning to just swipe and go.

–The year of the boot. Yes, boots have been around for years, but in 2016, boots had an incredible year, becoming classic staples for the whole family. From ankle boots to platform midi boots to thigh-highs, boots will kick-start the New Year. Try a fur-trimmed pair to really warm things up.

–The year of velvet. Velvet was one of the big stars of 2016 for both men and women. Colorful pants, dresses, tunics and jackets added a chic touch to festive wardrobes. From shining metallic to inky blues, look for velvet to slink right into the New Year at a party near you.

–The year of embellishment. It was all about embroidery this year…on denim jeans and jackets, handbags and boots. Whether it was DIY patchwork or handstitched designer-inspired art, it was the extra details that gave clothes and accessories a unique touch. Minimalists need not apply. More was more.

–The year of supersizing. Fashion designers went into overdrive this past year, creating roomy, oversized jackets, tops and sweaters. These slightly slouchy looks are the perfect way to ease into the chilly months of the New Year. So get cozy while you can. But remember, swimsuit season is not far away.

–The year of flower power. Not since the ’60s have we had so much fun with florals. Wearing them head to toe and mixing them all together in a riot of colors was one trend that continues to blossom into 2017. Take a chance and plant a few of these in your wardrobe in the spring season ahead.

–The year of “bath-leisure.” The track suit pant may have morphed into office attire thanks to the “ath-leisure” trend, but pajamas and bath robes hit the streets as well as the runways. “Onesies,” even hit the cover of a magazine for the holiday season courtesy of Oprah Winfrey. So if you’re tired of your yoga pants, just relax and celebrate the New Year in your jammies.

–The year of the cold shoulder. It had to be one of the “it” looks of the season. The top that bared the best of our erogenous zones was seen on the red carpet, at holiday parties and even on our First Lady, Michelle Obama, a style icon in her own right.  – CNS

–The year of the pantsuit. And speaking of political style savvy, Hillary Clinton proved that professional style is alive and well with her bold colorful pantsuits. So if flower power is not growing on you, take a chance with a stand-out pantsuit. You might get more votes than you ever dreamed.

–The year of celebrating all shapes and sizes. It may be the best trend of all…when curvy supermodel Ashley Graham appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimwear issue in 2016, it was a super special moment. This plus-size model signaled a wave change in the fashion waters that hopefully will only gain more momentum in the year to come.


Fabulous Five for Fall

September 15, 2016  
Filed under Fashion

The statement blouse or jacket is a key item to buy for fall. (Photo courtesy of

The statement blouse or jacket is a key item to buy for fall. (Photo courtesy of

By Sharon Mosley

There are lots of ways to update our wardrobes and put a new spin on the old standbys. Here’s a quick list of the basic must-haves to get you started.

Start with something velvet. Velvet is making a huge comeback this fall, but refined in dressed up details and softened flowing silhouettes enriched with jewel-tone colors and embellishments. Read more

Spring Showstoppers

June 10, 2016  
Filed under Fashion

Make a statement this summer in sunglasses inspired by 1950s movie stars such as these from La Perla.

Make a statement this summer in sunglasses inspired by 1950s movie stars such as these from La Perla.

By Sharon Mosley

If you have to just pick one item this season to add to your wardrobe, make sure it is a real showstopper. “Every outfit needs one showbiz item,” says Alyson Walsh, fashion blogger and author of “Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous.”

Select a standout piece to perk things up…something that you’ll want to wear until it falls apart,” adds Walsh. “Think maximum impact, minimum effort.”

So what will play a starring role in this season’s fashion line-up? Here are 10 “showbiz” pieces to think about adding to your wardrobe this spring:

Power Prints. From abstract batiks to tropical florals, the bigger and bolder the prints are this spring and summer, the better. Wear prints from top to bottom for maximum effect in a romantic dress or combine two prints in a top and pants.

Maxi Dresses. These are long on style and make a major fashion statement, whether you wear them on the beach or to the office. In flowing knits and colorful prints, the maxi dress is the perfect transition statement piece for spring into summer, easy to add or take away layers for even more versatility.

Shiny Tops. A showbiz star for sure. The shimmery top or jacket is taking center stage this spring …from iridescent gauze tops to metallic leather jackets. Silver and black make a big combo for spring. Wear these pieces day and night. Don’t just save them for special occasions.

Wide Leg Pants. These have movie-star glamour appeal. In soft knits, these pants go with the flow of warmer days and nights. In cropped versions, they give every outfit a fresh spin on spring. For evening, there’s nothing more chic than a pair of long palazzo pants. Top them off with a breezy cropped bomber jacket.

Bare Shoulder Tops. Time to show off those sun-kissed shoulders. It’s easy with the new prairie-style peasant blouses reminiscent of the ‘70s. Team them with pleated skirts or wide-leg pants. Balance the fuller silhouette by wearing chunkier block-heeled sandals.

Arts and Craft Handbags. We all know how much a new handbag can instantly update wardrobe basics. This spring, you can put away the heavy black leather totes and get a little artsy. It’s all about embellishment — more is more in 3-D details from glistening mirror hardware to graphic decoupage designs. Choose unique prints and colors and make a real bohemian statement with your handbag.

Choker Necklaces. Put the turtlenecks away and pull out the jewelry box. The choker necklace has made a comeback in Victorian-inspired beads and jeweled collars — again, the bigger, the better. Show-stopping chokers are great complements for off-the-shoulder tops.

Shoulder-grazing Earrings. It’s no wonder that long sculptured earrings are dangling from the most stylish ears this spring. They’re also perfect accessories for bare shoulders. And if you really want to make a showbiz statement, try wearing only one standout earring.

Rainbow-colored Shoes. A pair of new shoes can transport you into a whole new realm of style… even over the rainbow. You’ll find the candy-colored rainbow striped shoes in everything from platforms to sneakers this spring.

Movie Star Sunglasses. Sunglasses have long been a cool classic with jet-set appeal. You can’t go wrong with a pair of Aviators for instant style. But if you really want to give yourself the star treatment, check out the new collection of sunglasses at La Perla inspired by 1950s movie stars. Then channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and look at the world in a whole new way. — CNS 

Tips for Great Style

December 30, 2015  
Filed under Fashion

FASHION - smo112415adAPIf you find yourself standing in front of your mirror and thinking you really don’t have anything to wear to the party tonight, it’s time to upgrade the glam factor of your wardrobe. Take a cue from Jenny Levin one of the editors of ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’

Read more

Ageless Fashion Tricks

November 13, 2015  
Filed under Fashion


By Sharon Mosley

The times they are a-changin’ — especially if you’re over 50 and still want to look fabulous. Style is ageless and old is the new young, says Alyson Walsh in her intriguing guidebook, “Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide To Looking Fabulous.”

The fashion journalist, who also writes a blog called “That’s Not My Age,” has a few tricks up her stylish sleeves for older women who refuse to be invisible.

Focus on a statement jacket. “To someone who embraces casual glamour, the kick-ass jacket is vital thrown over jeans and a T-shirt for business meetings, or to help avoid the ghastly lecturer-dressed-as-a-student vibe. Not forgetting that when everything starts to slip southwards, a spot of decent tailoring can help to restore a little structure and conceal the dreaded middle-age spread.”

Fit is key. “Generally speaking, when it comes to proportion and balance, a looser top looks better over slim pants or a pencil skirt and a looser bottom half (wide-leg trousers or A-line skirt) looks neater with a more streamlined top.”

Get a little creative. Walsh suggests experimenting with vintage style with bohemian flair. “I’d recommend keeping the silhouette simple by choosing clean lines over ruffles, frills and frou frou,” she adds. “A flat canvas creates a more elegant look.”

Be bold with color. Steer clear of “yellowy” beiges; instead opt for warmer shades, such as camel, and team them with strong colors, such as red, black or leopard print in the winter and turquoise and white in the summer.

Think like an artist. Walsh is also inspired by Mondrian color-blocked paintings. “Monochrome plus a primary color creates a powerful visual effect. Orange, turquoise and emerald green also look stunning with black and white.” Wearing one color head to toe is another one of her favorite fashion tricks to ageless style.

And a big color no-no? “Wishy-washy pastel hues have no place in a grown-up woman’s wardrobe. Faded denim is the nearest to a sugar-coated shade allowed. Don’t wear pastels; they may not kill you but they will make you look 20 years older.”

Natural fabrics are your friends. “Stick to natural fibers like cashmere, wool, silk, and linen. Avoid nasty man-made fabrics.”

Accessories can make an outfit. Scarves are one of the best ways to add a flattering touch to anything you wear. “Though I’m not quite at the Nora Ephron stage just yet,” she admits (she’s 51), “I do thoroughly understand the benefits of a beautiful scarf. Just don’t drape over one shoulder.”

Sprinkle on the bling. “Whether it’s simple or statement, costume or precious, jewelry is the perfect complement to a pared-down outfit and an easy way to express creativity. I know this from my fashion editor days when styling fashion shoots; a string of gobstopper beads and a stack of bangles or rings would bring an outfit to life.”

It’s all about the sneakers. “As a sporty kid, I spent my life kicking around in trainers,” says Walsh, “and I’m still a fan of this laid-back look. To me, a pair of trainers teamed with a tailored jacket and slim or slouchy pants are an essential part of dressed-down daywear.” As for any other kind of shoes you choose to wear, well, make sure “you can damn well walk in them.”

And don’t forget the sunglasses. Walsh suggests investing in one of three different styles: the classics (such as Ray-Ban Wayfarers or aviators), kooky show-stopping frames or retro designs that never go out of style (think oversized, Jackie O sunglasses). And never wear wraparounds, adds Walsh. “Ever.” Oh, and if you do buy a pair of expensive designer specs, try not to sit on them. —CNS


Dressing for the In-Between Season

September 18, 2015  
Filed under Fashion

Use fall’s rich colors to make the summer-to-fall fashion transition. Try sophisticated pieces, such as this Vince Camuto tie-neck blouse. (Contributed photo)

Use fall’s rich colors to make the summer-to-fall fashion transition. Try sophisticated pieces, such as this Vince Camuto tie-neck blouse. (Contributed photo)

By Sharon Mosely

Cooler weather may be just around the calendar corner, but in the meantime there are plenty of warm days that require our summer wardrobes to stretch into fall. But don’t sweat it: here are some ways to make the transition in style and stay cool at the same time. Move over to the dark side. Yes, the old rule of not wearing white after Labor Day has gone by the wayside, but for many of us who have worn our white jeans thin over the summer, fall is a time to make the switch to darker colors. Change out those white jackets to more autumnal hues such as burgundy or teal green. Add black trousers or dark blue jeans. Toss on a jacket. It doesn’t have to be heavy and weigh you down, but a lightweight jacket will make that sleeveless shift dress feel and look more polished for the office. This season, update your wardrobe with long jacket “vests” to give skirts and pants a fresh twist. Add a piece of leather. You don’t have to save that leather jacket until the first freeze. Instead, pare down the layers underneath — a cotton camisole or T-shirt — and team with gauzy skirts or jersey culottes for a breezy transitional take on the popular fashion statement. This fall, look for leather-like leggings to add some serious style to your wardrobe. Trade in your tank tops. Blouses are back in a big way and they are the perfect way to give your summery separates a feminine boost. Watch for high neck “bow” blouses to return as a sassy alternative to the crisp white menswear shirt. Wear them sans jacket with a sophisticated knee-length pencil skirt or flared trousers. Check out new prints. Fling the funky florals to the back of the closet. Opt for a new jacket or sheath dress in a graphic windowpane plaid or houndstooth check. Black and white make for a great transitional combination. Change out your handbag. Leave the canvas totes behind at the beach. Now is the time to bring out the leather or suede handbags that hopefully you bought on sale last spring! If you’re shopping for a new tote this fall, scope out the bags swishing with the latest fashion fad: fringe. Go for the gold. If you’ve been sporting silver jewelry all summer, mix in a few gold bangles or a chunky gold cuff for a change. Lighten up the gold with pearls. The gold pearl ear cuff is a new way to update your jewelry collection. Step out in boots. Slip out of the sandals and flip-flops and into a pair of boots. It may still be a little too warm for the thigh-highs, but ankle boots instantly give whatever we wear more fashion energy, even if we wear them with bare legs. The perfect transitional boot? A “shootie,”— an open-toe shoe boot in suede (with fringe of course). —CNS

Rethinking Your Jewelry

August 2, 2015  
Filed under Fashion

By Sharon Mosley
Go big and go bold. It’s the mantra of jewelry designers everywhere this year. The bigger the bauble, the better. From pearls to pendants, jewelry is once again making a big fashion statement — popping up not only on celebrities strutting their multimillion-dollar sparklers on the red carpets, but in the accessory wardrobes of women who are scoring great finds from local artisans and vintage flea markets.
It’s time to rethink your own collection of jewelry. Here are some quick ways to update your decorative treasures right now:
Make a statement. It’s all about impact when it comes to jewelry trends. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your choices. The oversized statement piece is one of the best investments you can make in creating a wardrobe that has personal style.
Mixing classic with contemporary or mixing materials is one of the best ways to update old jewelry. Combine different metals and gemstones, as well as gold and silver. Mix, don’t ever match. It’s called “coordinating.”
Layer, layer, layer. More is more when it comes to accessorizing with jewelry. Layer necklaces, combining long and short, for more impact and creative style. Stack a dozen thin slivers of bangles in an artful mix of silver and gold, some dangling with your favorite charms, for a delicious dose of arm candy at its best.
Change up your chains. Wear solid link chain bracelets with snake chain or beaded chain bracelets. Combining different textures is a quick way to make your jewelry much more interesting. Chunky chain cuffs are another way to pump up the glam factor.
Buy local and personalize. Necklaces or bracelets that sport various words or slogans continue to be a popular way to express a special occasion. But necklaces and bracelets dangling with pendants and charms can also be a creative way to tell your own personal history. Check out local jewelry artisans in your area to find unique pieces that can be customized just for you.
Go for the “multiple” experience. There are plenty of ways to get creative when it comes to accessorizing with jewelry. In the spirit of “more is more,” consider wearing multiple rings on your hands, whether it’s one ring across several fingers or two or three rings on one finger  ditto for long necklaces, earrings or bracelets.
Try a new trend. Perhaps tassels dripping from a hand bracelet, feathers fanned out over a brooch or a single earring dangling with stones. Whatever you decide to try, the latest jewelry trends are a fun way to indulge your fashion fantasies. This year, the “arts and crafts” look will update your wardrobe of basics. Also on the jewelry trend radar: tribal-inspired designs, mirrored metals and geometric shapes.
Make it versatile. Think about wearing a piece of your favorite jewelry in a new way. Pins and clips can function as fasteners on dresses and blouses as well as an accent on scarves, belts, hats and shawls. Scout out special clasps that allow jewelry to be worn in different ways. A hinged “oyster” clasp is one of your best bets.
Remember: think outside the jewelry box! — CNS

Spring Fashion in Vermont

April 28, 2015  
Filed under Fashion, Feature Stories

Reporter Adam White visited several local retailers to find out what’s new in fashion for the spring season. Vermont Maturity editors added some great accessory suggestions.

By Adam White

Spring fashion in Vermont mirrors the rebirth in Mother Nature herself, as colors and patterns awaken from their winter slumber of greys and blacks. Area experts in style provided an inside glimpse at what to look for in stores as the weather warms up. Versatility rules in the uneven, often-changing temperatures of Vermont spring, making layers and multi-faceted garments the
go-to choice of savvy stylists.

02 skirt1

Spring is about rebirth, and floral prints and vibrant colors help mentally shake off the doldrums of winter. “You want to put on something bright and cheerful because it makes you feel better; it’s good for the psyche after being shut away all winter,” said Peggy Eastman, owner of Sportstyle on Shelburne Road in South Burlington. (ABOVE: Skirt by Krimson Klover, $89. Model: Crystal Minton)


09 salaam_shirt

Spellbound on Church Street in Burlington also features men’s clothing by Salaam, including this brightly-colored shirt (ABOVE) with retro flair that would look equally at home at an art opening or on a dance floor. Spellbound owner Mara Brazilian said Salaam designer Andrea Miksic injects energy and vibrancy into her line. “She switches prints by season, which is refreshing,” Brazilian said. (Shirt by Salaam, $55; hat by Goorin Bros., $50)

04 pattern_dress

Whatever the occasion, Vermont customers tend to lean as much toward comfort as style — and the name of the designer rarely enters into the equation. “Nobody wants to be weighed down by something heavy; they want something they can move around in better, something more fluid,” said Peggy Eastman (ABOVE) of Sportstyle on Shelburne Road in South Burlington. “People in Vermont are practical, down to Earth; they’re not so hung up on the label as in other areas.” (Dress by Joseph Ribkoff, $199)

11 earrings

Marilyn’s on College Street in Burlington features not only clothing, handbags and other fashion accessories, but also a selection of fine jewelry. “When we put together an outfit and then pick out the perfect piece of jewelry, we feel like we’ve come full-circle,” said owner Marilyn Gaul. (Earrings by Freida Rothman, $248.)


12 mannequin1

Spring fashion is as much about color as any other element, and owner Peggy Eastman of Sportstyle says vibrant hues such as the blues bursting from this dress (ABOVE) are what mark the season. “You won’t see a lot of pastel pinks at this time of year,” Eastman said. (Dresses by Komarov, $329 )

Chicken Coin PurseCheck out this funky chicken purse! Do you fancy yourself as the hottest chick in town? Have some fun and keep your loose change nice and safe inside this life-like Chicken purse!  $13.39 (

Trevara Derby Cloud

These handcrafted fine leather derbys have a touch of masculinity in their structure with simple feminine lines. Perfect worn with either pants or dresses they offer a contemporary look. Trevara Derby Cloud, $143. (


01 topper1

Elissa Colton of Monelle Vermont on Church Street in Burlington says variable spring temperatures make the season’s fashions “all about layering,” with items such as this dress topper (ABOVE) adding versatile style to one’s wardrobe. “It’s convertible; it can be worn as a scarf, and goes from under a jacket to over a dress.” (Cashmere dress topper by In Cashmere, $128; Linen tunic by Vineyard Vines, $118; Silk tassel necklace by Zaccasha, $42. Model: Charlotte Yordon)

Style is only one consideration that goes into making the inventory at Spellbound on Church Street in Burlington. Versatility and responsibility go hand-in-hand with this poncho (ABOVE), made from organic materials through fair-trade practices. “Ponchos are one of the biggest trends in our world,” said Mara Brazilian of Spellbound. (Poncho by Indigenous Designs, $84. Model: Susan Keppel)

Majique Jewellery BH4775 REDMajique Jewellery bangle bracelet studded with semi precious stone and glass beads with a gold-tone metal finish, $23. (


10 pattern layers

Patterns and layers are key components to spring fashion in Vermont, and these blouses at Marilyn’s on College Street in Burlington offer the best of both: the cuffs are intended to be rolled back,
injecting a second, complementary pattern into the look to add detail and variation.  (Blouses by Ciro, $135 each.)

08 scarf

What looks at first like an al fresco painting is actually a scarf from Italy. “Scarves are a great addition to a woman’s outfit, because they bring color up to your face,” said Marilyn Gaul of Marilyn’s on College Street in Burlington. A scarf of this size is also incredibly versatile, as it can be worn in a wide array of ways – from tight around the neck to draped loosely over the shoulders.
(Scarf by Italca, $98)


06 VT dress

Mara Brazilian (ABOVE) prioritizes Vermont-made goods at her Spellbound store on Church Street in Burlington. Half of the store’s women’s inventory is from Salaam, a company in Plainfield, Vt. “My top priority is to support the state where I live,” said Brazilian, adding that her store serves as Salaam’s main outlet in the state and sells all the company’s items at 20 percent off. (“Marilyn” dress by Salaam, $109.)

03 dress1

Those on the Vermont fashion scene tend to eschew the word “trend.” Peggy Eastman of Sportstyle on Shelburne Road in South Burlington prefers “direction,” and says certain elements of style tend to come and go rather than just fade from popularity. “Prints are back this season, and dresses are definitely back,” Eastman said. (Dress by Jude Connally, $168. Model: Crystal Minton)

Cabas Téo Léopard Menthe

Heads will turn at the sight of a Cabas Téo Léopard Menthe tote, $38

Ready, Get Set, Sale!

March 31, 2014  
Filed under Fashion

Check out new spring collections when shopping the sales. Designer Peter Pilotto’s collection for Target is a winner in bright colors, like this purple floral dress for $69.99. (Target and

By Sharon Mosley

Chances are you’re not yet quite ready to shop for spring clothes. You’re probably still snuggled up in your heavy sweaters and sweatpants, slugging through cold rain and blowing snowstorms. But, hey, it is sale time and worth browsing for some great deals, right? And if you’re really serious about scoring some fashion bargains, you’ll head out to your favorite store even if there’s a blizzard.

Here are some ideas to keep you on budget:

Shop in your own closet. I know you’ve got cabin fever and you want to hit the streets, but it really pays to assess what you already have at home. Many of us have a strange way of buying the same thing over and over and over. How many pairs of black leggings do you have?

Make a list of what you really need. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how many times have you wished you had a blouse to go with that long emerald green skirt you bought last year just because it was the Color of the Year? You may even want to take that skirt with you to find its perfect mate.

Replace the basics. No, it’s not as fun as finding that furry faux coat at 75 percent off, but if your old trustworthy trench is getting a little rugged around the edges, this is the perfect time of year to consider replacing it with a newer model. You know classics will always be good investments, especially if you can find them on sale.

Be prepared. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when you go shopping. Make sure you wear clothes that you can easily slip on and off. Leave the tight boots at home and wear flats. Suit up like a shopping warrior who means business, but wants to have some fun, too.

Check online. There may be plenty of good deals out there, and some are online. You can often get extra discounts just by perusing the websites of the stores you intend to visit. When you get coupons in the mail, stick them in your purse immediately, so you will have them with you when you go shopping.

Don’t get overwhelmed. If the racks are brimming with a tangled mess of clothes, just take your time. Get into the spirit of skimming the hangers for those hidden treasures. I often do this by color. I know I don’t need another black pair of pants, so I just skip over to the next aisle.

Try the merchandise on for size. This is a step that many of us just want to skip when we are in sale mode with a hundred other shoppers. But it can pay off. How many times have I just “known” without a doubt in my mind that that sweater would definitely fit me, and then get it home and it swallowed me up? Remember, sizes can vary from label to label drastically. So unless you know that you “always” wear a size 8 in a particular designer jean, err on the safe side and try everything you buy on, no matter how good a deal it seems.

Get out of your style rut. Sale time is a great time to reevaluate your own wardrobe. If you’ve been stuck in a rut, take advantage of buying something a little “outrageous” when it’s marked down. Try something that may not really be “you.” You never know how good it may make you feel … especially when you got it half price.

Explore the new season. You may have promised you would only shop the sales, but once you’re in the stores, look around. Check out the new spring merchandise that’s bound to be lurking just inside the entrance door. You never know what kind of deal you’ll find … before it goes on sale!


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