The Ladybug Queues Next: Next Vintage in Belgioioso!

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If you used to going to vintage fairs quite often, for years, the risk is that you may become… blasé.

But there are some fairs that bring a bit more to the table. They’re the same, but different at the same time. One of these, for sure, is Next Vintage in Belgioiso. I don’t go twice a year as they organize a Spring and Autumn edition, but indeed at least once a year, I need to be there.

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The atmosphere in Belgioioso has that certain something that you don’t find everywhere: maybe the location (the wonderful Belgioioso castle and garden that by itself worth a visit), maybe the selection of stallers from vintage to handmade, maybe the good vintage that can be found there, whatever it is… I think that if you love vintage you must go there!

It may not be easy to find a bargain there: I find it a bit pricey (especially some sellers who honestly sell over the regular price), but you can for sure admire many rare and hard-to-find pieces from different eras.

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This edition, A.N.G.E.L.O. offered a wonderful expo featuring Roberta di Camerino vintage pieces… a dream for every vintage lover! I’ve never seen a lot of her pieces in real life, but those exposed there were absolutely amazing. The connection between them was the use of the “trompe-l’oeil” technique, very popular at the time and in her creations, and perfectly managed by the designer most of the time.

And for me, it was time for some shopping too: I got a late ’70s vintage doctor bag from Sculptures to Wear and a lovely handmade beret from Madame S, whom I met for the first time. She makes amazing headpieces and like me, usually attends fairs and vintage events.

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I also modeled for my friend Angela, of Sculptures to Wear, some of my favorite bags from her amazing vintage collection.

For the warm afternoon I wore my Rolling Stones’ tee from a charity shop in London (I got it for a few pounds in Oxfam, if I’m not wrong), vintage skirt from the Montagnola in Bologna, Marco Brogues and Cavalli & Nastri vintage bag from the ’70s.

By the way, I am also wearing my new Miu Miu glasses… since I found out that I need glasses, I decided to go for an eccentric pair of retro inspired cat-eye frames… what do you think?

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The Ladybug is in a Vintage Paradise at Milano Vintage Week

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Even if I had gone to the first edition of the Milan Vintage Week which happened last Spring during the Salone del Mobile, when I heard about a new edition I decided to head in during the weekend to see what it was about this time. I just didn’t expect to find what I found.

I’m not saying that I didn’t like the first edition- it was pretty cool and interesting, but this time I was just… WOW! Yes, possibly because it was a shorter edition (not a week but just a weekend) it was full of people.  And not just those people who are there to have a look and go away, but I mean packed with real vintage people: those who love it and live for it! Like me!

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A lot of interesting workshops and lectures around vintage, style and craft workshops were held over the course of the weekend and it was also easy to find great bargains with general pricing being correct and honest.

The atmosphere was alive and sparkling with an ease of meeting new people with your same passion- talking vintage forever! I found some of my favorite sellers and let me say that what I saw in their stalls was pretty amazing: from clothes to accessories, I just fell in love with many pieces. And even if I wasn’t in the mood for buying, I couldn’t resist getting some stuff: like a beautiful handmade ’40s turban style from Shabby Chic and a lovely plaid skirt from A.N.G.E.L.O.

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Speaking of him, this time he presented one of the most beautiful vintage expos I’ve ever seen: last edition he brought some wonderful vintage silk scarves from Hermès, this time it was all about Yves Saint Laurent. The two rooms dedicated to the designer’s wonderful pieces from the ’70s and ’80s were a real paradise for those you love vintage, but also for those of you who appreciate a good piece of fashion. I spent a lot of time admiring the decorations and the wonderful work on these pieces, and I was really amazed to find a kind of creativity that doesn’t exist anymore. It was a way of reminding me why I love vintage fashion so much.

For the occasion I wore a yellow dress by Zara, Replay biker boots, Celyn B leather jacket paired with Tolani animal print scarf and my new ’70s vintage doctor bag from Sculptures to Wear during Next Vintage at Belgioioso.

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The Ladybug is All About Eco-friendly Design: The Opening of Gloook in Como

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A few weeks ago I was invited to the opening of a very special concept store in Como. I already knew of the brand because it was already one of my favorite shops in town, but when I heard about a new concept store opening in the lovely historic via Vitani- I got all excited and curious to see what it was all about.

The brand I’m referring to is Gloook, the Italian brand of eco-friendly design that proposes a new way to decorate our homes in a very sustainable way: you can find objects and home-ware mostly created in paper, all handmade in Italy, with great attention to detail and creativity.

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In addition to their displayed offerings, you can also choose to get a customized object or piece. Because Gloook works with Italian and international designers and architects at their disposal, they can make you happy with what you need to decorate your house- giving special attention to your environment. The keyword is recycling and creating with sustainable materials!

I love that more and more people are choosing a more natural lifestyle; moreover, I love that they don’t need to renounce creativity, functionality and innovation to achieve their personal perfection.

No need to tell you that I would have bought half of the shop. I already imagined many pieces in my house (you can see many of them my pictures here)!

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New Eventi Como, which organized the opening, put on quite the block party on via Vitani. It felt very much like the LA scene complete with paparazzi.  And of course, I was just a few steps from Sofia Vintage, so I couldn’t help heading in… but I will tell you more about that next week!

For the occasion I wore Anymoore jacket, H&M faux leather skirt, ASOS blouse and my adored Marni wooden platform sandals (which almost caused an incident on the small stones of via Vitani… in other words, I nearly took a loss in the middle of the shop!). I accessorized the outfit with my vintage bag from Sofia Vintage, a lovely gift from Roberta for her store opening in September.

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The Ladybug in Turbans Wonderland: The Grand Opening of Sine Modus

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Sometimes being happy for other people’s success is really hard, I know. Most of the time, it’s because we don’t think it is really deserved and we pass our false felicity for their fortune with the notion that it is just good luck or make other haphazard excuses for their success. But believe me, when it is completely deserved and is the fruit of hard work, you cannot be anything other than happy and even a bit proud, especially when you were one of those who believed in it.

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This is what happened with me for the huge success of the beautiful Manuela and Chiara, the amazing souls behind Sine Modus. But let me start from the beginning, which means December 2013 when I met them at the Lekker Market and could not move away from their stall of amazing turbans. You may know already my passion for hats, turbans, headbands, fascinators and anything that you can wear on your head, to the point that I often feel naked when I can’t wear something on it- especially in winter. And their handmade turbans were to die-for! I even bought one, not the one that I chose at first, but a turquoise one that they put on my head and I just fell in love with at that very exact moment. They were mostly classic turbans but very well done, with amazing variety of materials and with incredible shades and decorations. But what really made me crazy was the fact that their turbans were recycled from vintage dresses and shirts, giving them new life under the form of turbans. Since then I felt that they “had something:” they told me that they mostly sold at markets and events and that I could find them on Facebook if I wanted more handmade turbans. Which I did, of course. Every time they were at some market/event I went to find them to try new pieces (as they evolved to new more structured forms) and of course to get some new turbans to add to my collection. When I wear their turbans it’s always a smashing success (people stopping me everywhere in the streets and asking me about them – even in London!). We often talked about them selling online or even open a shop- and then it happened, almost a year after we first met. I was full of joy when I received their invitation for the opening because they were finally rewarded for their hard working and of course because I finally have a place where I can find them whenever I want!

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It is a cute little shop in Milan on via Pomponazzi, 22 full of vintage pieces (from clothing to accessories) and of course loads of hats and their famous handcrafted turbans! You can recognize it from the big “ Vintage is in the Air” quote on their window and from the two beautiful and talented girls inside!

Well done ladies, very well done!

I wore Topshop silk shirt, Zara pleated skirt, Lazzari oxfords and of course one of my adored Sine Modus handmade turbans!

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The Ladybug Bids You, “Namasté” from the Yoga Festival in Milan

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I’ve been telling you about how this year I’ve managed to recoup some of the events I missed from the year before, one of those was the Yoga Festival.

I have always been a fan of yoga: I tried both yoga and meditation some years ago and even posed for the cover of a magazine promoting health and fitness, but for the lack of good yoga centers where I lived- I never continued the practice. Still; I’ve been intrigued and curious, which is why, when I moved to Milan and realized there was a lovely yoga center just a few steps from my door: I decided to give it a try.

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I fell in love with the practice of dynamic yoga and relaxation and now, for me, it is the best moment of the week! After working hard and working out during the week, I take an hour and a half just for myself to regenerate and feel well in my body and mind.

Milan offers a lot of centers, free events and even an international festival where you can buy, learn, try all the things around yoga. You can gain an introduction to the centers, know more about different activities from meditation to self-medicine, you can try almost every type of yoga, attend classes, make new experiences and understand more about your body’s intolerances.  You can even buy your yoga material (for example at Re Yoga, where you can find recycled mats and cushions- it’s where I bought my first beautiful yoga mat!): the Yoga Festival offers many different free events every hour for the whole weekend and you will definitely find something interesting for yourself.

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This year I visited my yoga center and took advantage of attending four classes including meditation (which I’d love to start soon) and an amazing class of dynamic yoga that I adored. After four hours I was fully regenerated, but I would have spent even more time in such a beautiful place!

I was surprised by the number of people at the Festival. It felt good and made me happy happy to participate in the success of this fantastic discipline. I started as a wonderer, but now… I am nearly an addict!

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The Ladybug is a Vintage Bike Rider at the Tweed Ride in Milan

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A few years ago in London I saw one of the most beautiful things in my life: hundreds of riders of vintage bikes amazingly dressed in impeccable vintage style all along the city center. I then found out that this very popular and famous event was very famous in London under the name, Tweed Run. Since then I tried, without succeeding, to participate in one of the London events, but I was never able to manage it.

Until now!

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During my summer holidays at home I found out about the Tweed Ride Italia: the concept was almost the same, but with a glimpse of Italian passion! I couldn’t imagine that there were enough people with this passion in Italy to create many events throughout the country, but I was wrong. I immediately contacted Ferruccio, the founder and the soul of the Tweed Ride, and he gave me the amazing news that the Tweed Ride was coming to Milan in September. It took me few minutes to check the site and subscribe to the event!

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I didn’t have a vintage bike. Well, there was my old bike which I picked up second hand not too long ago. I didn’t have time to make it nice like the others by decorating it with flowers and all, and I wasn’t prepared to go all out with gingham clothes and handmade cakes, but I had some clothes that could fit the event! The main sponsor of the event was Avirex, the famous clothing brand and indeed everything started and ended at one of their shops in Milan. From Piazza San Babila we rode all around the city center, the liberty area, the Navigli, the Montanelli park to end up in the amazing Avirex store in via Comelico with a huge space outside to share drinks and something to eat.  There was an award ceremony and a flashmob styled dance session showcasing some cool swing and charleston with the amazing guys of Non Solo Charleston!

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Maintaining the heart of vintage, Tweed Ride Italia was also a charity event- donating a part of our subscription fee to the non-profit organization ProAdamo which helps in research for prostate cancer and supports those affected by this form cancer and their families.

It is hard to explain how great it was and how it felt because I was so full of delight and surprised of finally participating… in my own country. And yes, maybe also the fact of sharing like passions for cycling with style and for vintage dressing, ’40s dancing and music in Piazza San Babila while waiting for the ride to start, seeing happy faces of everyone participating, smiles and the waves of the people looking at us and just the atmosphere individually and collectively take all the great words to describe my experience away from me and leave me with: “I really had the greatest time! Now I am just waiting for the next one!!”

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For my outfit… it isn’t actually vintage except for the ’40s bag that I found on Ebay, but I am wearing a J.Crew dress found for a ridiculous price at a charity shop in London, Topshop golden flats and an AMAZING turban handmade from my talented friend Ilaria (Madame Ilary). I added tons of fake and real pearls… but no diamonds!

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The Ladybug Lives Life Off the Wall at Swing’n’Milan

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Last year I missed a very important weekend in Milan because I was out of town: two events that I really wanted to attend to be precise. The first event was Swing’n’Milan, an event completely dedicated to the beautiful ’30s & ’40s dance Lindy Hop (swing). This event started last year- apparently with huge success, and I got an idea of what’s happening around the swing movement in Milan when I went and saw for myself how many people were there and how many of them were serious Lindy Hop dancers.

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I admit, I am very bad at it: I can’t swing, but I started my very first steps during the free class for the beginners, like me, event on Saturday evening. It was funny as hell and I am still looking for the perfect dance school in Milan to start soon. By the way… do you have an idea of how many swing schools there are in Milan??? Loads!

Although I am not a dancer, I enjoyed the event very much: many bands took the stage during the two-day event and I saw the NP Big Band on Saturday night. People dressed in perfect vintage style were dancing to the rhythm of Lindy Hop in a lovely atmosphere full of vintage stalls of every kind: from the lovely girls of Place Minuit (one of my favorite retro shops in Milan) to the vintage pieces of Memory Lane and Telma Vintage, to the perfect retro barbershop (our friends from Bullfrog), to the lovely vintage corner full of American cakes by our friends from the Vintage Bakery!

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Also, the location was near perfect: the Great Gatsby styled dancing room of La Pelota had the energy I believe was felt in the old black and white footage I’ve seen over the years.  Well… at least until the end of the night, because like every night, at the closing of the ballroom- the party moved to a secret destination to sustain the atmosphere of an era past!

For the event I wore a lovely denim sailor dress from Pepaloves, brogues from Lazzari Store and a vintage bag that I found on Ebay!

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The Ladybug Pollinates Marni’s Flower Market

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My last event of Milan Fashion Week in September was also my favorite one!

On September 21st Marni started the celebrations of its 20th anniversary with the opening of the Marni Flower Market at the Rotonda della Besana. Perfect location for a lovely, adorable event!

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It was a real Flower Market with beautiful flowers wrapped in Marni prints papers, seeds sold in beautiful printed packages (the same seeds were given as a press invitation to the event!), flower bags and gardening tools- all especially designed for the event by Marni.

During the entire afternoon, the public could shop and take flowers and the unique memories from this one-off event home. There were many workshops for children held in the park outside the Besana where you could find beautiful flower compositions with handmade creations representing birds were exposed throughout.

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But Marni Flower Market it’s not just a happy and colored event: it comes from an active collaboration of the brand with the MUBA – Museo dei Bambini Milan, whose headquarters are located inside the Rotonda della Besana. Moreover, this project comes from an important charity initiative held by Marni.

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A part of the proceeds from the sales of all the limited edition products are indeed donated to the Vimala Association which guarantees seriously disabled Tibetan children living in India for medical care and physiotherapy, as well as food and the maintenance of their school-house.

A beautiful event in a wonderful location for an important cause: could Marni do better than that? Nah…

For the occasion I wore a pineapple printed shirt from Lazzari, Zara skort, ’80s vintage envelope Yellow clutch and Miu Miu Golden gladiator sandals from many seasons ago!

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The Ladybug Investigates: WHITE Milano and Coontemporary Mood During Milan Fashion Week

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Last month I had the chance to have a closer look at Milan during Fashion Week. I already knew that it wasn’t all about fashion shows and amazing parties, but I finally got a glimps of the affairs happening around this important event that make a whole city change for 7 long and busy days!

For example the fairs and presentations and the pop-up events with emerging brands and handmade artists.

I spent an entire Sunday around via Tortona visiting Coontemporary Mood and WHITE. These two events, equally different, are an example of what you can discover during Fashion Week in Milan.

Coontemporary Mood is a special pop-up event completely dedicated to creativity in art, fashion and design.  It’s where 25 emerging brands and artists are selected to expose and sell their creations. This year was its third edition and I loved it not only because of the many beautiful things that I saw but also because I am such a fan of young emerging brands: their creativity and their artistry is a gift and it is always such a great discovery for me when I meet a new handcraft artist. During my visit I fell in love with Stefania Nicosia’s soft leather clutches and with two jewels makers: Metalíca Creazioni and MarinaMa Creazioni.

Metalíca makes wonderful and impressive handmade jewels mostly in bronze and brass with different types of stones; I was amazed by the eccentricity of the design and by the use of the materials. MarinaMa makes handmade luxury jewels and I was dying for her earcuffs and necklaces!

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The White Show in Milano on via Tortona is a completely different event: it is a tradeshow, an International contemporary fashion showcase with a great selection of designers from all over the world both emerging and well settled. WHITE is open to buyers, offering them a mix of the most interesting brands and designs from International contemporary fashion. WHITE is considered an innovative container of ideas and services in the fashion scene and also within the Milan metropolitan environment.

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The new trends and product for the SS2015 were presented and I fell in love with this big box full of clothes and accessories to come and of new brands that I fell in love with!

Let me just give a special mention to G.Kero, a French Brand that I discovered at WHITE that I adored… let’s call it love at first sight; I was totally amazed by their prints and patterns!

For the day I wore a Topshop silk navy shirt, a vintage skirt from EBV Everybody’s Buying Vintage and Topshop shoes and bag. I added one of my favorite handmade pieces: a statement necklace that I bought this summer in a craft market in Singapore.

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The Ladybug’s Milan Fashion Week pt 2: Massimo Rebecchi Fashion Show

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It can happen only during a Fashion Week! It is a phrase that I heard a lot of times, but I now understand what it means… in my small world of lazy Sunday mornings- in bed until late afternoon, having an invitation for 9am is for sure challenging. But it was Fashion Week and the Massimo Rebecchi show so I decided it was worth an early Sunday morning wake up. I did my best to appear fresh and well rested and I understand that the result wasn’t perfect, but the show was absolutely to-die-for; the location – Accademia di Brera – and the VIP parterre was the icing on the cake!

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In the Massimo Rebecchi SS15 collection you can find all the Massimo Rebecchi ingredients (silk, prints, colors), but mixed up with new elements (for example: dark denim and pop art colors and geometry) to create a completely new effect. And this effect reminded of the ’60s allure when pop art met fashion for new unexpected colors and patterns creating a completely new approach to fashion (anyone thinking of Yves Saint Laurent and his Mondrian dress?). But now the modern key is the tri-dimension: dresses and blouses have new forms and new graphics, and there is a blossoming of colors from pastels to color-block- mixed with more classic black and white.

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But there are also the ’70s in this Massimo Rebecchi SS15 collection: strong colors mixed (light blue with red, yellow and red) and new asymmetric forms for long silk dresses and playsuits, along with flower mixes and jacquard. Plus a little wink to the ’90s sporty style with a new version of gym chic touched by new modern essential lines.

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All these different inspirations found a place in an always recognizable Rebecchi’s style, where the lightness of materials and of the forms make him one of my favorites as always.

I wore Topshop navy silk blouse and my new beautiful handmade statement necklace from my summer trip to Singapore.