The Ladybug finds relief in Escher’s geometries

The Ladybug Chronicles Escher (1)

Milan is too hot to do anything these days. It is hard to go out running or walking and when I cannot reach the beach I need to find a way to reduce my pain caused by the awful heat.

The only way to do it is finding a nice place with air conditioning, like a museum! Thanks God there’s always a good exhibition to visit (there are a few actually!) then I called my friend to reach me for what became more than a simple visit, but a real interactive experience: the Escher exhibit at Palazzo Reale.

I have always loved this artist, especially how his art was involved in fashion and music industry (one of my favorite pieces ever is the so-called Escher dress by British designer Matthew Williamson for example!) but it was the first time that I visited an exhibit dedicated to his work.

The Ladybug Chronicles Escher (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Escher (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Escher (2)

More than 200 works were exposed in six different sections going from his roots to his love for Italy (especially Southern Italy!) and the discovery of geometric art in Spain. What I love more about his art is that it challenges the viewer and his ability to “read” his work, to find new images in images, to discover new paths from the visible paths. A large part of the exhibit was also dedicated to his huge influence on comics, advertising, music and films during the 20th century…but I couldn’t see the Matthew Williamson dress!

You can visit the exhibit until the 22nd of January 2017.

I wore Topshop mom jeans, Please golden tee, Zara laced shoes and vintage 70’s bag from Foxy Brown Vintage. I added my new handmade turban from Heka Couture and handmade silver Nepalese double necklace. ..I was totally in my “Princess of Persia mood”!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Escher (6)

The Ladybug found Paris…in Monza!

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (2)

Although I have been living in Milan for more than four years now, I never visited Monza. It is only 15 minutes by train from Milan but I never had the occasion to go there. Not that I didn’t want to; I was very curious especially because every time it was mentioned the first reaction of people involved in the conversation was: “Ah, Monza…lovely”!

Indeed, lovely! Now I know that it is the perfect way to describe it!

When I heard that I could have a second occasion to visit the Robert Doisneau exhibit (“Le merveilleux Quotidien”) in Monza – I missed the first one in Milan years ago – I thought it was also the perfect excuse to have a short visit of the town.

I invited a friend of mine to join me and we spent a beautiful Saturday in Monza, visiting the exhibit and doing a little bit of sightseeing!

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (4)

Doisneau’s exhibition was just wonderful: I didn’t know that much about his photography, except for the famous “Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville” and I was amazed to discover his art, especially the beautiful street photos of Paris. Eighty photographs were exposed from his early works until the 70’s, describing the life of his adored Paris. Moments of simplicity and authenticity portrayed in his photographs can lead to pure emotion to those who admire them.

The exhibit was held in the historical Arengario di Monza, in the city center, a few steps away from the beautiful Cathedral (currently under restoration). You don’t easily get lost in Monza, but walking through the old streets of the city center is such an experience! Beautiful landscapes are everywhere especially if you cross the Lambro river on one of the typical bridges.

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (7)

We dedicated our afternoon to the visit of the amazing Royal Villa of Monza with the beautiful gardens and the incredible art exhibitions. Once used as private residence of the Austrian royals, the Villa now hosts events and art exhibitions. The magnificent gardens around the building are not only a fresh shelter during the hot summer days, but also an amazing park to walk, run or just take the sun in the beautiful nature.

If I can suggest a lovely place to eat if you visit Monza I loved the Locanda Bergamotto, a lovely restaurant not far from the city center (a few minute walk) with young and welcoming personnel and where you can taste typical Italian dishes at affordable prices.

I wore Zara printed pants, & Other Stories shirt and Superga sneakers. I paired with Celine sunglasses and Miu Miu bag and Bao London canvas tote (a souvenir from my last trip in London!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Doisneau Monza (6)

The Ladybug is a London Citizen(M)

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (4)

If you followed my London adventures on my social medias you probably saw pictures of the amazing hotel where we had the chance to spend our weekend, the CitizenM in London Bankside.

When we booked our trip we were intrigued by the place and we decided to give it a try as it was in a perfect location for our planned tour of London: a few-minute walk from London Bridge tube station, Blackfriars bridge, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe, Thames river, Saint Paul Cathedral and just in the middle of Southwark, full of lovely shops and restaurants. Location-side we couldn’t ask for more!

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (7)

But the CitizenM hotel was a real surprise when we headed in: it is a modern luxury hotel at affordable price with all the comforts that customers may ask for and the greatest design. Rooms are equipped with free wi-fi, flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies, touch-screen tablet for light, wake-up call and curtains control, rainfall shower in the bathroom with different lighting depending on your mood!

Moreover we loved the incredible trendy lounge bar and lobby work space, the colored 24/7 canteen for light meals and cocktails and the beautiful modern furniture (I was in love with my favorite red leather couch and with Robbie Williams giant photograph in the middle of the reception!). There is also a breakfast bar available, which serves coffee, tea, pastries and cooked English breakfast.

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The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (6)

This is one of these hotels where you don’t go just to sleep while you are on holidays abroad or on a business trip; it is an hotel to live and to enjoy with all the comforts and pleasures that it offers.

Personnel is young, helpful, kind and very welcoming (something that you don’t expect when the check-in and check-out are self-service) and we enjoyed fully our short stay in this adorable hotel.

You can find CitizenM hotels also in Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Glasgow (visit www.citizenm.com for more details or booking).

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (3)

Leather jacket: IL2L at Shores, yellow printed shirt: Zara.

The Ladybug’s vintage tour of London pt.2

The Ladybug Chronicles London 2 (8)

Our first day in London was full of vintage but we still felt like we didn’t have enough and we needed a bit more before leaving the city later on that Sunday afternoon.

For the second day of our London experience we headed to a totally different part of the town, South Kensington and Chelsea to see what was going on. Despite of the typical London rain, we walked in this amazing area and we got lost in the beautiful buildings and houses of Chelsea borough before heading to the Chelsea Old Town Hall to visit Frock Me Vintage Fair.

It was the first time that I visited this fair and I was very curious about it as during all my last visits over the past few years I never managed to see this very famous vintage event. I was not disappointed at all and the fair was definitely worth the long wait. I was so happy when I saw on Facebook that the event was going to be up during my  stay so I totally couldn’t miss it!

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 2 (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles London 2 (4)

First of all I was amazed by the location, perfect for a vintage fair, full of history; I spent a lot of time with my nose up staring at the wonderful ceilings! The event itself was full of amazing vintage from different eras and for every pocket! What I saw there is completely different from what you usually see in shops: original vintage pieces from the 30’s to the 70’s were my favorite thing there, I really felt like in a vintage paradise! I even bought a beautiful 50’s dress with a very rare Polynesian pattern from the lovely VintWear2 (you can also find her at Portobello Market or on Etsy) and I can’t wait to wear it this summer!

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 2 (3)

It was hard to leave this place to join a friend in South Kensington for lunch but I took some pictures with the beautiful black and white houses where I keep dreaming of living in one day! Last bit of pleasure before leaving: my favourite red velvet cupcakes at my favourite bakery in London, The Hummingbird Bakery!

I wore a total black outfit (IL2L leather jacket from Your Shores, Dixie culottes, & Other Stories tee and white sneakers) but I added some color with my adored Sine Modus handmade turban! Bag: Miu Miu.

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 2 (9)

The Ladybug’s vintage tour of London pt.1

The Ladybug Chronicles London 1 (5)

London is just London: there is no right words to describe my love for this city. I try to go back every year because I feel the need to be there, to breath the air, to feel the atmosphere, to get lost in its amazing views, to discover something new that I didn’t know yet, to walk down the streets to find new details and feelings that this wonderful city still offers to me every time I go and stay for a while.

This time it was a long weekend to visit some friends, hang around, visit museums, go for shopping and of course vintage hunting!

On Friday evening I discovered a lovely place to eat, The Refinery, just near my hotel in Bankside where I enjoyed a good dinner, the company of great friends and the fresh air of London in a beautiful night in a vintage inspired atmosphere.

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 1 (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles London 1 (2)

The day after we started with a long walk along the Thames and a visit to the amazing Tate Modern a few days before the opening of the new building. It was such a pleasure to get lost in one of the best modern art galleries in the world! We also enjoyed a walk in the area (including Shakespeare’s Globe). We had a lovely lunch with friends at the Founders Arms pub, with a beautiful view on the Thames, Millennium Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge and of course Saint Paul cathedral on the other side of the river!

After lunch we immediately headed to Brick Lane, one of my favorite areas of London for vintage hunting. I couldn’t help stopping at my favorite places: Rokit, Blitz, Beyond Retro and Absolute Vintage! But one of the greatest things about Brick Lane is that you can decide to wander and get lost in this area and every time that you do so you will discover a new gem, a new place that you have never seen before! That’s how I found for example the lovely Vintage Basement in Cheshire street on my way to Beyond Retro!

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 1 (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles London 1 (7)

Don’t be surprised if I tell you that I didn’t buy anything…I was just enjoying the vintage hunting!

That same day I made another great discovery for dinner: the Taiwanese restaurant BAO, a tiny place in the West End, where we tasted the famous bao (in the picture below). We also discovered that it is one of the favorite places of many Londoners! Just try to eat there after your shopping in Oxford Street: you cannot book but the queue is very quick even on a Saturday evening and I promise you won’t regret it!

For the day I wore vintage shirt from Everybody’s Buying Vintage, Dixie culottes, IL2L fringed leather jacket, Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers and Miu Miu bag.

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The Ladybug on how to start the day with great energy (and sleep for the next two days!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (1)

When a friend of mine had the idea, I was very skeptical: as I missed the 5.30 morning run in Milan because I was still recovering for surgery and couldn’t run for about a month we had a second occasion to do an early morning run, the Breakfast Run organized by RDS (one of the most famous Italian radio stations) starting at 5.45 am.

I said ok anyway as I was curious about the experience, but I regretted it immediately that Friday morning when my wake-up call rang at 4.30 am!! I used to run at 7 am when I was in Dublin but 5.45 was too much for my old soul!

Somehow they brought my body and soul totally asleep to the Arco della Pace, the weather was awful and you could read on my face that I needed to sleep! I couldn’t even think that after that I needed to run back home, get quickly showered and dressed for the office instead of going back to bed and sleep!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (3)

But something happened when I started running my 5K in a wonderful town, almost empty and showing its beauty in the first morning lights. Incredibly the sun showed up, I felt a lot of energy and I finished my run with my best time on a 5K! We also enjoyed an healthy breakfast offered by the event team and I can say that I started my day full of positive energy and ready for a long day at work.

I started thinking that I should do that more often, but after lunch I started yawning and that same night I went to bed early and totally destroyed! I also spent the whole weekend sleeping and trying not to fall asleep when I went out so I guess that this is cool if you do it once but the early morning routine is definitely not for me!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (5)

A Ladybug’s vintage aperitivo in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Let's Vintage Frida (3)

I don’t know if it’s just me or if it happens to you too but my weekends always start with a phone call from (or to) a friend saying: What are your plans for today?

Once we realize that we are free and that we have time to spend together we start checking online what’s on in town, trying to find the event that will be perfect for our couple of hours of chatting and – possibly – drinking! It can be a market, an exhibit, a shop opening, a lecture, a concert.

Milan is a town full of events of every kind and it is almost impossible not to find what you are looking for, it is just a bit harder than anywhere else due to the large offer. But when you have a lovely place (Frida bar in the Isola district) organizing a vintage event (Let’s Vintage) with special offers and bargains it is easier to pick up the perfect event that makes everybody happy!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Let's Vintage Frida (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Let's Vintage Frida (4)

It was indeed the perfect occasion to drink my favorite ice tea in town (Hanoi!) and to grab vintage bargains for really ridiculous prices.

It was also the perfect occasion to wear my new thrifted palazzo pant from Mary Portas charity shop in Edinburgh (never worn, still with tags, only 4 quid!), my new favorite fringed leather jacket from IL2L at Your Shores, Michael Kors bucket bag, Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers and Céline sunglasses.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Let's Vintage Frida (6)

The Ladybug is feeling so “Goude”

The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (1)

One of the best exhibits that I have visited in the past few years: this is how I can define the “So Far So Goude” exhibit at the PAC in Milan. Really amazing work from the curator (the installation made it even better) and from this talented artist that I didn’t know really well but that I appreciated during these hours spent at the PAC.

Over 230 photographs illustrated the world of Jean-Paul Goude, graphic artist, designer, photographer and film director, a man who deeply influenced our iconographic imagination in the recent decades. Most of the pictures exposed are part of our cultural background, we all know them but maybe not many people know that they all come from the same hand and eye.

The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (8)

I didn’t even know he was the man behind Grace Jones best photographs and videos (he was also her husband) or behind the amazing Naomi Campbell photographs that I’ve been loving for ages.

What I loved about his work was the joy and playfulness, the colours and life. He approached nudity and sex with such a playful eye that there’s never vulgarity in his art…it’s just plain straightforward sparkling life!

I think that the best thing that I can do is trying to show you some of my favourite photographs and drawings (believe me it was hard to pick only a few) . Drawings are an important part of the exhibit and they often represent the starting point for photographs and videos.

For the exhibit I wore Imperial dress and Tosca Blu ankle boots.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (2)

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The Ladybug Chronicles Jean Paul Goude (10)

 

The Ladybug’s oversized Sunday brunch

The Ladybug Chronicles Otto (3)

It is now in our running routine to organize a brunch or lunch after every run, especially when we run early in the morning and we deserve proper food and drink to reward our double effort (running and waking up early during the weekends!).

After our Strawoman run we decided to try one of the most interesting venues in town, Otto in Chinatown.

We loved the place, the beautiful green area outside and the welcoming space inside. We had a perfect after-run brunch with avocado toast, potatoes, fruits, Greek yogurt with honey and orange juice (ok, we had also a small dessert!) and we had the time to take some pictures around.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Otto (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Otto (5)

I was very tired from the run so I decided to take it easy and comfy with an oversized outfit for a Sunday casual brunch!

I wore my oversized Topshop denim shirt with oversized Zara culottes, Superga shoes and Celine sunglasses. I added handmade fish necklace from Pamphlet and souvenir folk bag from Ecuador (a present brought to me by a lovely friend visiting South America…I love when people bring me things from their trips!).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Otto (4)

The Ladybug is a Strawoman runner in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (2)

This year most of women runners in Milan were very disappointed about the fact that our favorite run organized by Nike every year will not take place in 2016. Running with women has always a different flavor, there is a kind of sorority spirit that is missing during mixed runs. For this reason we decided to try the Strawoman this year, a 10K run (actually they were only 9 in the end!) completely dedicated to women!

Although our faces are clearly destroyed about the fact that again we woke up early for running on a Sunday morning, we enjoyed the run very much especially because for once we run in a new city background. The starting point was the new Piazza Tre Torri and the whole run was in the modern area of City life with its new skyscrapers, green areas and modern architecture (including an unexpected rise – with a more unexpected surprise on top of the hill!!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (3)

Personally it was my first time in this new area and I enjoyed a lot to try a new path as most of the runs in Milan have a similar one around the city center and Parco Sempione. Also we loved to run in pink tees for once…we are just women!

PS. If you wondering about the surprise on top of the hill, it was two half-naked muscled young boys to cheer you up after the great effort!!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (1)