The Ladybug is a Photogenic Lovebug in Verona: Visiting the Gordon Parks Photography Expo

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There are really a few cities in Italy that have a magic sound to me: cities I go to because I am a victim of their enchanting sound and atmosphere.

One of these cities is Verona. Maybe it’s because of the romantic aura of the place, maybe the beauty along the river, or the arena, the amazing food… maybe all of this, but now that I’m not too far from it- I try to get there as often as I can.

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I was in a sort of abstinence from Verona, so when I read that Gordon Parks’ photography expo “An American Story” was showing there, I decided to go and have a look (also because I missed it when it was in Milan last year). The expo was AMAZING: I am in love with Parks’ work and it was very well displayed and curated… definitely an expo to see if it happens not far from you.

Of course I also took some time for shopping (at Lazzari, of course), eating  some of the town’s deliciousness and hanging around like a tourist!

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Here are some of the pictures that I took there! I am wearing a Zara floral shirt and orange mini skirt that I paired with a vintage ’70s tangerine handbag that I bought in a vintage shop in Florence a few years ago.

I added my new favorite pair of espadrilles, animal printed and soft leather from Dune London.

My frames, also vintage, are from L’Opposto: a find from Reggio Emilia vintage fair last year.

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The Ladybug’s Jamboree Dress Up: Summer Jamboree Day #2

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With Summer ending just a couple days ago, I really felt that I needed this post to refresh this beautiful summer that started with this amazing experience- The Summer Jamboree in Senigallia.

I only spent the first weekend there before flying to Sicily: in my last post I showed you my outfit for Saturday and today it is my last outfit… Sunday evening.

Unfortunately; Sunday wasn’t as good a sunny day, but we managed to find a way to enjoying the day by visiting Marilyn Monroe’s expo first, then going South to get some great bargains in the Southern Marche outlets (ok, I bought a Miu Miu clutch!).

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But we came back to Senigallia just in time to enjoy the night, but really enjoy it! We had been around the market to meet old and new friends, but we also drank beer and danced all night long! It was really great!

And this is my second outfit: I wore a polka-dot dress that I bought in Humana Vintage in Milan, I think it is from the ’80s but it has a ’50s flare that I liked! I added the same shoes (Swedish Hasbeens) and bag (Divas Vintage) from the previous outfit, but I added something new: a beautiful handmade hairband that I got from Bebop a Hairbands, a lovely English lady who makes beautiful headbands with a ’50s inspiration. I fell in love with this one with the ’50s cars and purple dots, I thought it was the perfect moment!

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Another piece that caught a lot of attention that night was this amazing pair of ’50s frames that I bought some years ago from Auntie Aviator during my first visit at Pop Up Vintage Fairs in London. I would love to meet her again when I go back to London because I really believe that she has the greatest frames in London. These are a one-of-a-kind piece of art; every time I wear these glasses people stop me to ask me where I got them (which happened during that night many times!).

By the way; I was going for a “Pin Up” touch with both outfits. Did I make the mark?  Tell me, which outfit you prefer, day one or day two?

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The Ladybug’s Jamboree Dress Up: Summer Jamboree Day #1

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After my first experience at Summer Jamboree last year the only thing that I had in mind was going back again this year! Yes, because my first year was more like my year of satisfying a curiosity: I didn’t know exactly what to expect and though everyone talked about it, I wanted to see for myself. I enjoyed it very much, but I wasn’t prepared (neither my mood or mode) for the full ’50s immersion… but this year, I was ready!

I not sure what I can say about the Summer Jamboree to add to its allure… I mean, who doesn’t know it? I did an article this month on Vintage Shopper giving a bit more detail about these great and magical 10 days in Senigallia; so if you really don’t know what I am talking about you can read it all here.

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I spent the first weekend of the Festival in Senigallia and I must say that I enjoyed it even more than last year: first of all the weather was great and I could enjoy the beach where part of the ’50s show happens during the day, plus I was very into trying new outfits for the event.

This is my first outfit, the one I used for the Saturday night when I enjoyed the Ben E. King concert.

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I decided on this floral dress from the late ’50s that I bought in New York at one of my favorite vintage boutiques: Hamlet Vintage. When I tried it on everyone in the shop said that this dress was made for me! And I think it really was because it fits my shape almost perfectly and even if I have a few more kilos than when I bought it, it still fits lovely! The dress is an original piece from the ’50s, but all the accessories are reproductions, except for the bag.

I am wearing my adored Swedish Hasbeens sandals and this amazing headpiece made from Nicoletta of Shabby Chic who told me that she made it thinking of a lovely hair piece for the Summer Jamboree! I guess I wore it for the perfect event then!

My bag is a bit younger… or older, depending on your perspective (I think it may be from the ’70s). It’s a beautiful find from the Divas Vintage store in Ljubljana I picked up some time ago.

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Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Passing the Torch is in Good Hands…

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 05One of my favorite things to watch when I was a kid was a game show called Wheel of Fortune and on the show from time to time the category would be “Before and After.”  The challenge was to complete two phrases that they’d put together using one word as the segue.  This is what I walked away thinking as I left Mitchumm Industries new flagship store in Como, Italy yesterday.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 01I had the pleasure of being invited to the one year anniversary event of, what I found to be, an extraordinary brand of mens’ clothing.  But even more intoxicating than the clothes, accessories and the ambiance was the cool powerful personality of the man at the helm, Mr. Alex Mitchumm.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 13Alex grew up under the creative eye of his father, Daniele Tino, the founder of Mitchumm Industries.  The brand was founded in 1976 on Manhattan Beach near LA, nearly 10 years before Alex was born, but the seeds of fashion and entrepreneurship were fused into his DNA.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 14With this store Alex has managed to create two separate but equal ambiances.  A tranquil, mature downstairs with hip grown man fashion.  I’m not talking about your daddy’s tailor, but more like the neighbor’s dad who rides to his office job on his Harley.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 03Then there’s the second level which is the “Keep Out” Animal House frat party floor.  Super macho, but comfortable enough for the ladies to chill with a drink.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 07This frenetic energy could very well come from his humble beginning.  You see, in the early 2000s he opened his first shop with an interior measuring only 12 meters square (14.35 square yards).  After displaying the clothes and placing some furniture, the space dwindled down to allow only about 4 people in the store at a time.  But the excitement that it created for Alex and the fans he and his designs were generating was nothing less than noteworthy.

I really enjoyed getting to know the brand and talking to both Alex and Daniele.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 02They have stores in the States up and down the East Coast and many more throughout Europe, Japan and Korea.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 11I couldn’t help buying this dandy pair of cufflinks and checking out these rings (they only manufacture 30/run).The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Mitchumm 09

Check out their digs and if you see something you like, use their online shop. Easy to find at www.mitchumm.com.

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See you “next” Sunday!

The Ladybug Goes Short Before the Shorts: Vintage Outfit and My New Hair!

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I found this set of pictures the other day in a folder called “The Ladybug Goes to the Cinema.” So I guess, in my mind, I was preparing an outfit post (with vintage pieces) for a cool afternoon at the movies, and I was trying to remember what I watched when I realized that it was only an excuse for showing off my new short haircut! How vain am I?!

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I like my hair like this, but more than that- I find this curt incredibly easy to dry and I get my hair done in less than five minutes. Sometimes it even gets a ’40s wavy vibe that I like a lot which I tried to use to inspire this outfit. I am wearing a vintage navy polka-dot dress, a great bargain at Humana Vintage in Milan, along with the bag (the same of my post on Klimt’s expo).

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Shoes are jeweled flats from Bagatt and Tortoiseshell sunglasses by Prada. And yes, this is a no makeup day!

By the way; I just remembered, the movie that I watched was “When Pigs Have Wings”…incredible!

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The Ladybug Still Believes Seeing is Believing: Klimt’s Expo at Palazzo Reale, Milan

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One of the last things that I did before going on holiday this summer was a visit to the Klimt’s expo at Palazzo Reale in Milan. On the last day, of course!

Believe it or not, I wasn’t very excited about it. Not because I’m not a fan of Klimt… I mean it’s nothing like that – when I was at university I was one of these girls with Feltrinelli’s Van Gogh and Klimt posters on the walls (The Kiss, of course!), but my excitement was diminished because of the reviews I’d personally received- they just weren’t promising. And I must say, they were confirmed.

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klimt

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Maybe because it was the last day and the museum was full of people making it almost impossible to have a proper look, but the truth is: there wasn’t much to look at. Very few Klimt’s paintings, some reproductions and a lot of minor artists, equaled one disappointing expo.

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But overall, it was a nice day and I had a lovely walk in a “Zara summer sales” outfit! Aptly named because I bought the shirt and the skort a few days prior at Zara during the sales. I just added this lovely pair of Topshop golden glitter flats with ankle strap (also acquired on sale via their online shop… they were 9 euros, so I guess it was a bargain- especially since I simply love them!) and a vintage handbag from Humana Vintage in Milan.

Coral lipstick from Marc by Marc Jacobs makeup at Sephora.

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The Ladybug is Vintage-Modern-Vintage at Sephora’s Italian Beauty Book Event in Milan

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The other day I shared with you my lovely evening at the Sephora “Italian Beauty” book event in Milan, but I also wanted to share my outfit for the event.

I am mixing modern and vintage again and I decided to focus on this amazing vintage Lanvin skirt. I found it in Humana Vintage in Milan, for a ridiculous price during last January’s sales. And even if it didn’t fit at the time, I decided to buy it anyway. Good move as it fits perfectly now (the last post shared why)!  It is not easy to coordinate, but I think that it looks pretty with this Max & Co black blouse with white peter pan collar.

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I added two of my favorite buys of the year, one modern and one vintage. The modern is referenced in these de-structured ankle boots from ASH: I was looking for a pair of ankle boots, but I wanted something a bit different than the average. It took a while to find these peep-toes that were gazing at me in their shop in Rome. They are amazing and uber comfortable (I wear them all day in the office for example!) and I love their shape so much, especially the heels!

The vintage piece is this pair of wonderful cat-eye frames with strass and studs from Trisha Lovers that I bought at the Vintage Roots Festival in Inzago last June.

Red lipstick KIKO cosmetics, red nails OPI.

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The Ladybug on Why Running is More Vintage than Aerobics or Roller Skating: My 1st 5K (Energizer Run)

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(Scroll down for Italian text – Testo in Italiano alla fine della pagina)

It all started on a Milanese tram: I was going to work with a colleague and I was complaining about the fact that, although I was working hard to lose weight- it seemed almost impossible. I’d swim, go to the gym, eat properly, but nothing I committed myself to help me get slimmer.

He, a serious marathon runner, candidly said: “you should start running!”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 03I exploded in laughter, because the idea of these two entities, “myself” and “running,” together was really hilarious. I then started the usual list of excuses of non-runners: “I don’t need it,” “I already go to the gym,” “it is boring,” “I could never run for more than three minutes.”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 04He didn’t care about my excuses and proposed a challenge: he told me that he could get me to run 5K by the end of the month and that I could ready to participate in the Energizer Run (a 5K run) that was going to happen mid-June. It was beginning of May. I accepted the challenge, more for pride than personal belief, but I strictly followed his tableau de bord for a month.

I went from dying after 5 minutes of slow running to enjoying the ride a bit more every day. I had set milestones and it was so refreshing and satisfying to reach them.  I gained a lot of motivation and self-esteem and I started losing weight.  Needless to say, running quickly became “my thing.”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 05I know I am a vintage gal and I should have gone for ’80s aerobics or roller skating (which I adore! Roller skating, not aerobics… even if I love the trashy aerobics outfits!); still, in the end what is more vintage than the first movement ever that a man could do?! Of course, I try to make it the most vintage as I can: for example I listen to Rock’n’Roll and ’70s/’80s disco to boost my run. I also wear vintage t-shirts and ’80s shorts and the incredible terrycloth wrist and head bands (Nike has them in many flashy quirky colors and patterns!).

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 01One of my milestones was the famous Energizer Run, a charity night run in Milan that donates the participants’ fees to the Unicef: it was a good cause and a good occasion.  After being postponed due to bad weather, I finally participated in the run: I was very scared at the beginning as it was my first one, but when I realized that I was going to run with more than 7000 people- I immediately felt better. And I was very proud of my results: 5K in 30 minutes, a lot of fun, new friends and a new passion… RUNNING!

Go baby, GO RUN!!!

 

Tutto ebbe inizio su un tram milanese:  mentre andavo al lavoro con un collega, mi lamentavo del fatto che nonostante tutti i miei sforzi per perdere peso l’obiettivo sembrasse praticamente impossibile. Nuoto, palestra, dieta sana, niente di tutto ciò sembrava funzionare.

Il mio collega, un maratoneta di un certo livello, mi ha risposto candidamente: dovresti iniziare a correre!

La prima reazione è stata una fragorosa risata: il solo pensiero di mettere insieme queste due entità, me e la corsa, mi sembrava terribilmente divertente! Solo dopo ho iniziato a snocciolare tutte le tipiche scuse di chi non corre: “Non ne ho bisogno”, “E poi vado già in palestra”, “Correre è noioso” “ E poi non potrei mai correre per più si tre minuti consecutivi”!

Come se non avesse sentito una sola parola mi ha lanciato una sfida:  “Se segui i miei consigli, entro la fine del mese potrai correre per 5 km e partecipare alla Energizer Run che si terrà a metà giugno. Era inizio maggio. Ho accettato la sfida, più per orgoglio che per reale convinzione, ma ho seguito scupolosamente i suoi allenamenti per un mese.  Così sono passata dal “sono senza fiato” dopo appena 5 minuti di corsa lenta al godermi una bella corsa di qualche km dopo pochi giorni. Risultato: più autostima e motivazione e …attenzione attenzione…meno peso! Naturalmente da quel momento ho iniziato a correre.

Lo so che sono una ragazza vintage e avrei dovuto preferire l’aerobica anni 80 o i pattini a rotelle (che adoro…i pattini, non l’aerobica…anche se amavo tanto quei completini colorati supertrash!) ma alla fine mi sono detta: cosa c’è di più vintage del correre….la prima cosa che impariamo dopo camminare? Assolutamente niente!  Certo, ci metto del mio per rendere la mia corsa un po’ vintage: ad esempio ascolto solo musica rock’n’roll anni 50 o disco degli anni 70 e 80 per caricarmi durante la corsa, oppure mi piace indossare t-shirts vintage e pantaloncini anni 80 o quelle orribili fasce da polso o da testa (persino Nike le ha riproposte in colori fluo e disegni improbabili).

Tornando al mio obiettivo, la famosa Energizer Run, si tratta di una corsa non competitiva il cui ricavato viene donato in beneficenza all’Unicef che si tiene ogni anno a Milano. Per me era una buona causa e una buona occasione al tempo stesso. Dopo un primo rinvio causa pioggia, finalmente è arrivato il giorno della gara: ammetto di essere stata molto nervosa all’inizio ma quando mi sono accorta che avrei corso insieme ad altre 7000 persone mi sono sentita subito meglio! E sono stata molto fiera del mio risultato: 5km in 30 minuti, tanto divertimento, nuovi amici e soprattutto una nuova passione:  CORRERE!

Go baby, go run!

The Ladybug Has Good Luck: Meeting Hanif Kureishi at the Milanesiana

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 01I had a pending situation with my favorite writer, Hanif Kureishi.

You may remember the chronicles of my vicissitudes trying to meet him for a picture or a simple signing of my book last year during La Milanesiana in Milan. Well, throughout the course of the year nothing much changed. He came to Italy a couple of times, but for some reason I wasn’t in town, I couldn’t go or something came up and that left me chasing my little reader dream.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 05When Miss Sgarbi came back with a new edition of this successful event, the first thing that I did was download the agenda to see who was invited! … I was at work, but I couldn’t hold the little scream of joy when I saw that he was on the menu… excuse me… the panel again!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 02It was set for the 1st of July at the Piccolo Teatro Grassi and this year’s theme was… The Good Luck!  A good sign, right?

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 03I spent the whole week before the event in a whirl of ups and downs: ups when I imagined finally talking with him, shaking hands or just taking a picture- downs when I reminded myself to not be so “dreamy” because I’d be sure to return home with the same disappointment as the year before.  And this was my daily mental game, until that night.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 08I was very nervous and he was not the first one to present his lecture. I barely followed the others, except for Fleur Jaeggy whom I enjoyed a lot. Admittedly I spent the few minutes of his reading basking in his voice and my beloved British accent like a little girl listening to her mum’s voice singing a lullaby.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 06As he finished and I came to myself, I realized the time was soon approaching for my dream to come true. But when the magic is finished and the moment arises, what in the world am I going to talk with him about and more importantly, how was I to insure this moment not pass me by again?  I decided to write to Mr. Kureishi a little message and pass it through one of the ushers. Not easy! First of all I didn’t have any paper (which means that I had to write on my business card!). Second, I had to face the total lack of interest and curiosity of the ushers: “Excuse-me can you give this to Mr. Kureishi?” – “Mr. who?” – was the first answer. Oh well… ”you know, he read earlier…” – “I didn’t pay any attention”. Cool. “But you can give it to the hostesses they will find him.. “Erm… you know… it’s quite urgent…” –  “If you know who he is you can give it him.”  Yes!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 07I saw that he was sitting on the front row but guess what?, he was sitting in the middle of the row! The first person I could give the paper to and who could pass it to him was an old lady, whom I asked a couple of times (I think in three different languages) before she understood what she had to do with it. I thanked the lovely lady and came back to my sit waiting impatiently for the event to conclude.

Well… I don’t remember what happened after that, but I had been told later (once recovered from the shock) that he came out to look for me. We went to the bar for a drink, I looked like a 15 year old girl in front of the singer of One Direction- I spoke for half an hour without pausing for breathing. I have been told that I also said at some point that I spoke English, but that the language coming out from my mouth was difficult to understand. Long after, I realized the copy of the book (The Last Word) that I had in my hand was signed with a dedication to my name… oh, and there were pictures in my camera and iPhone with me next to him.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Kureishi 04So, I guess it happened. And I guess it really was good luck.

Thank you, Mr. Kureishi.

The Ladybug is an Italian Beauty at Sephora’s Book & Makeup Event in Milan

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You know already that I am a Sephora fanatic: I spend a lot of time (and money!) in their shops, and it is one of my favorite shopping places in Milan. I can always find the latest trends and my favorite makeup brands, but did you know that Sephora could also be a perfect place for a book event…? Well, the answer is yes- if it is a book about makeup!

A few weeks ago Erica (Erica Makeup Dolls), Alessia (My Head is a Fashion Jungle) and I had been invited to the presentation of Anna Airoldi and Gabriella Lojacono book called: “Italian Beauty,” a special journey inside the world of beauty and its secrets, a world in constant change and evolution- approached by two curious customers, Anna and Gabriella. Gabriella was amazing and told us about how the book was conceived and how they found out about a new fascinating world behind the scenes of the Italian makeup market. I also loved the simplicity of her approach with the genuine curiosity of a user/customer and a woman, like all of us, who loves makeup- as we all do! It was the same approach she used with us when we started taking selfies… plus she had (like one of the Benefit Cosmetics slogans) “the most powerful make up that a woman can wear,”  her contagious smile!

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Of course there wasn’t a better place than Sephora to talk about beauty! Moreover it all happened in their wonderful new shop on via Durini with some special guests that have a lot to say about beauty. All of the Benefit Cosmetics crew was there, not only as special partners of Sephora, but also to help us girls try the new amazing They’re Real liner gel and mascara and share the famous Brow Bar experience!

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Last but not least, Mr. Daniel Makeup, one of the most famous beauty bloggers and youtubers, was there to share some beauty secrets with all of us and to take pictures of course!

Here you can find some of our delirious pictures with him, Erica and Aurora, the beautiful and talented Benefit Cosmetics beauty consultants!

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