The Ladybug Takes a Sunday Off at the Navigli Antiques Market

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If you live in Milan and you love vintage, the place to be every last Sunday of the month is the Antiques Market all along the Navigli. I talked about this place before and every time I get a chance- I head there for a lovely walk among the vintage and antiques stalls and shops for some great shopping… and why not?!

I have to say that due to busy weekends and traveling around, I can barely remember the last time that I was there. So when I was invited by my friend Ilaria (the incredible talent behind Madame Ilary designs) to Sunday brunch and a walk about the market, I accepted immediately!

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It was a great day! We were celebrating her turbans being sold by the adorable Ms. Laura from Italian Vintage Suite, and we took some pictures with our favorite pieces before walking around for some great shopping and some vintage street style (I love photographing Ilaria in her vintage pieces)!

Ilaria bought some great vintage buttons for her creations. As for me, I finally decided to gift myself some Marion Godart resin jewels, which I dreamed of for a long time, from Lorena Taddei’s beautiful stall!

I wore Max&Co black coat and messenger bag, vintage denim shorts, Tosca blu ankle boots, La Maison Momoni tartan scarf and my new palm brooch from Marion Godart!

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MILK Does The Ladybug’s Body Good: The Borotalco MILK Test Experience!

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Spring is here! This means summer is on its way and that we need to pay more attention to our body: our shape, our skin and last but least our scent… Yes! I mean it!

How many of you use public transportation every day? And how many of you fear that time of the year when even the unsuspected ones’ bad smell travels with them?

Well, I have a good news for you!

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Just in time for the beginning of “the season,” Borotalco launched a new line of deodorants created for those who want protection, soft and dry skin called Borotalco MILK. It is the first time that our favorite vintage beauty care brand has put hydrating milk in their deodorants with incredible soothing and nourishing properties for an all day soft and dry skin!

The new line comes in four different applications (spray, vaporizer, roll-on and roll-on tube), so I decided (for the purposes of a fair and unbias judgement) to test the spray myself, and give the three others to my friends (two girls and a guy).  We would test them for two weeks.

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Here are the results of my test:

  • S. tried the vaporizer every day for two weeks. She is a very sporty girl and as she goes from work to the gym every day: she told me that she was impressed by the long lasting property. Borotalco guarantees indeed a “48 hours” duration because of the natural micro powder that absorbs the sweat and leaves the skin dry for a longtime, even after a whole spinning workout!
  • B. is the delicate one: she has sensitive skin and she spends most of her day out because of work. Like me, she always has a bottle of deodorant in the bag to use during the day in case of need! She was amazed by the nourishing action in respect of her sensitive skin. She told me that after two weeks her skin was soft, dry and protected. This happens mostly because of the hydrating milk, rich in proteins and lactose, and of the protective active ingredients.
  • G. is the guy… not an easy test right? BUT I was surprised to learn from him something very interesting for guys who work all day in a suit; he told me that he was amazed (and even asked his wife to buy more Borotalco MILK deodorant!) by the “clean job” it did!  What he meant was this: his standard deodorant would leave yellow stains on his shirts, but during this two-week test, he realized that his shirts were clean at the end of the day! Indeed thanks to a new technology that reduces the use of powders, this new line reduces also the white and yellow stains on our clothes!
  • As for me, I was impressed by its long lasting action (especially after eight hours at work and a run or workout after!), and by how soft my skin was: no irritation, no bad smell, but a super hydrated and scented skin!

I love when my tests are successful and sharing my favorite products with my friends and readers was a great bonus.

And you? Have you tried it? Share your comments or do your own tests and let me know!

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The Ladybug’s Open Minded Reflection: Remember Vintage in Brescia

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I think that I traveled around Italy enough to say that I have visited almost all the vintage fairs around the country.  Still, I am really happy to tell you that it is refreshing to find new and surprising events every now and then!

A fresh vintage wind came the second weekend of March in the way of the Remember Vintage event in Brescia, in the amazing location of Villa Fenaroli in Rezzato.

I expected to know everyone and to find more or less the same sellers and meet lovely friends that I’ve known during my trips around the country but… surprise! I didn’t know anyone and… surprise! I made a lot of new friends in the vintage and retro inspired handmade world!

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As I said before this was totally refreshing: I realized that most of the sellers came from the area near Brescia, and it was great to learn that there is a whole world of vintage sellers and collectors, handmade artists and very rare pieces in this beautiful place between here and there!

I had a blast with my friends that afternoon and we enjoyed the sun, the location (absolutely fantastic!) and the great vintage exposed!

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I also bought a little present for myself: a beautiful handmade necklace made of buttons from “Le Cosine di Pape,” a lovely talented artist with plenty of nice handcrafted things that made it hard for me to pick only one! Near her another talented retro inspired artist, “Lanicodellemeraviglie,” who makes amazing head pieces and to whom I will certainly ask to create a custom piece… yet again, too many things that I liked and among which I couldn’t decide!!

The only person that I knew was my lovely Alessia Bee… a busy bee that day, as she was overbooked making beautiful vintage inspired hairdos and make-ups! I couldn’t do it again for myself, but I saw some of her creations around the Villa Fenaroli and they were top, as usual!

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I also found some very interesting rare pieces that I photographed to share with you and to help you understand how interesting this fair was… I will certainly return for the editions to come!

One more thing… don’t forget that vintage always finds a way to surprise you… you could just turn around the corner and find some amazing vintage piece waiting for you without prejudices or preconceptions. This is what I learned at Remember Vintage the other day!

I wore an H&M dress, Patrizia Pepe red coat, Liu-Jo ankle boots, Michael Kors bucket bag and a beautiful handmade tartan turban from Madame Ilary (www.ilariaparente.com).

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The Ladybug’s Loves the Skin She’s In: I Skin Good with Physiogel!

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Today I want to talk about skin and I want to ask you a question: how many of you follow a solid healthy routine every morning and every night to protect your skin? Not only your face but your entire body?

I know it’s not easy and believe me, sometimes I would like to stay in bed 10 minutes longer or go to bed 10 minutes earlier, but I force myself every day to give this little gift to my skin that makes me feel better. And when I do, I can see that my skin is really grateful for it!

Last week I was invited to the first event sponsored by Physiogel to talk about skin at the Open Bookstore in Milan (the location was lovely and the event very interesting!)

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The dermatologist, Adele Sparavigna, was there to give us some tips and good advice about our skin. She helped us to first understand what kind of skin we have. Is it dry? Sensitive? Do we use the right products that respect our skin type and the environment? Do we keep it hydrated all day and night? For example, did you know that you could use sparkling water on your face if the water from the sink irritates you?

Also, she gave us some very interesting tips to learn how to read the tags on our daily creams and lotions, the famous INCI codes with all the info and the ingredients contained in our creams. I know most of them are almost unreadable, but I am sharing with you a very interesting site (www.biodizionario.it) where you can learn how to read them and be more aware of what we feed our skin every day.

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Physiogel products are very famous for their attention to ingredients and for the care of most sensitive skin.  I know because I have used their products and I want to share these new products that you can easily find at your pharmacy or beauty products shop.

The Nutri-Hydratant lotion for dry and sensitive skins is a daily body product that I use in summer or winter when my skin is very dry because of tights or sun, depending on the season. It’s very soft and it absorbs easily; it helps keep your skin hydrated all day long and gives your sking a pleasant feeling because it alleviates that awful feeling of “stretching” skin.

The Soothing Care cream for dry, irritated and reactive skin is one of my can’t-live-without products in summer: I always have a tube in my summer bag because it is miraculous against sunburns or insect bites or in general skin reddening.

But “I Skin Good” is not only a slogan to help us women take care of our skin, it is also a lifestyle tip.

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I wasn’t surprised, indeed, to find at the event the lifestyle coach Vale Giuffré who really made us understand what it means to be comfortable in our skin and shared the real meaning of skin self-confidence. It’s not enough to say, “I feel good in my skin,” no matter how many different languages we use to express it. Because the truth is self-confidence and love for ourselves are the first things that come out of our pores when we really have these two components in our life… so, it’s no surprise when we are not happy and confident with ourselves it’s, as they say, “written all over our face” with acne or dark circles even wrinkles! Our skin is really the first business card of our soul. Diane Von Furstenberg used to say this: “Life is too short and insecurity is a waste of time.” And let me now add: it’s also a very bad habit for beautiful skin!

You can visit www.physiogel.it  or www.physiogel.com to find out more about their products for filling our skin with love and protection, and for store locations!

I wore a vintage Breton shirt, Marion Godart necklace, Acne Studios jeans, Tosca Blu ankle boots and Max&Co coat and bag.

 

 

The Ladybug Visits Her Sole Sister: Luisa Tratzi FW2015

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My busy Saturday during Milan Fashion week continued with a visit to the beautiful Galleria Silvano Lodi in the middle of the Quadrilatero della Moda to visit the temporary show room of Luisa Tratzi. A real corner of peace in a crowded area where I had the time to admire wonderful art creations (because I can’t just call them shoes!) and catch up with Luisa to chat about her FW2015 collection, Miss Garçon.

Why Miss Garçon? First; because she introduces new flat shoes, especially brogues, with a touch of masculinity that maintain very feminine details. Secondly, because of the details that recall mens’ shirts found in many of the new pieces (from super sexy high boots to very feminine killer heels décolleté). Last but not least, the use of new materials with a wink to those jacquards used for men ties and ascots.

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Leather (especially suede) and patent are still the most used materials. Those along with the famous de-structured heels, which I loved so during her last show in September, continue to be the center of Luisa Tratzi’s new collection.

Speaking of which, I had the chance to try both the wedge heels and the “crooked” heels and I can tell you that they are incredibly comfortable to wear!

Luisa Tratzi’s shoes are not just shoes but elegant and sensual pieces of art, especially because of the attention and study of the details. For their complex forms and volumes, I would call them sculptures. The new colors and patterns, introduced in this collection, are to die-for: from magenta to purple, from olive green to navy blue and every possible declination of patterns on the soft leathers and new ecological furs… houndstooth mixed with patent and metallic heels.

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Yet again I see in her work a beautiful way of mixing modern (sculpted and geometric forms) with vintage (use of coil heels, multiple straps and classic patterns of past eras).

I introduced Luisa Tratzi last year as one of the most talented Italian emerging shoe designers, but let me tell you that, for me, she is a star in the Italian firmament of shoe designers. The great Italian quality and her strong attention to details, mixed with her incredible creativity- make her more than an emerging talent, but a new amazing reality to keep an eye on!

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I tried to take as many photos as I could of my favorite pieces to share with you. Just a little something to hold you over until the new collection goes on sale.  For more, you can visit Luisa Tratzi’s site www.luisatratzi.it.

PS: This is me with my new friend Giotto, who enjoyed the shoes (and the soft red carpet) as much as I did!

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I wore Max&Co coat, Topshop hat, Acne Studios jeans from Matchfashion.com, Dixie sweater, Tosca Blu ankle boots and nepalese necklace

The Ladybug has Her Head in the Clouds: Introducing Balossa at White in Milan

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Fashion week recently concluded; a low point for me since I was super busy, making it hard to attend all the events and shows. But I took advantage of last weekend to head over to some presentations I was invited to check out.

First of my Saturday morning Fashion Week-end was the White Show in Milan to meet the emerging brand Balossa.

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Before meeting the beautiful and talented Indra Kaffemanaite, the designer and owner of the brand, I did some research online to get to know her better, and when I landed on their site (www.balossashirt.com) I completely lost my mind. Fell in love. Badly. Totally. Completely. Desperately.

She is a shirt designer. Shirts… Yes, only shirts and mostly white. But calling her creations just shirts is seriously understatement: they are artistic creations, they have an architecture that sometimes look like origami or paper sculptures… other times white birds or dancing ballet dancers. These shirts have movement and dimensions. They are dynamic, fluctuant… aerial.

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When I saw them in person I fell in love even more, if that was possible! You know my love for white shirts mostly because they are the easiest way (yet super chic) to pair with vintage pieces in daily wear (at work essentially, like I do). But I’ve always seen them as a vehicle, if I can say like that, to introduce vintage without shocking too much (I call it “I’m being myself, but I am a team player” attitude!). Balossa’s FW2015 collection just opened my view on white shirts because the attention was all on the shirts! Not a vehicle, but a real statement: I wear a unstructured shirt therefore I am! There is no space for other pieces when you wear a Balossa shirt!

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This is what happened with Indra Kaffemanaite, the soul and incredibly talented designer behind this brand of these amazing shirts: this is her first collection and she told me that after working with a Japanese designer, she completely changed her mind about the white shirt and started imagining and designing these wonderful pieces of art that you can find and buy on their site. She told me that for her the white shirt continues to be the most surprising piece ever: it is practical, easy to wear, sexy and cool- but she gave an honest new life to our favorite piece!  Vintage in a completely new and modern version!

Green light to a new style made of volume, games and artistic details… modern lines, asymmetries, draperies, cut-outs, plunging necklines on the back, softness and sculptural, Balossa shirts that can be formal or sporty, but always incredibly sexy with great personality.

How could I resist? Of course, I’ve already chosen my first Balossa, can you guess?

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The Ladybug’s Trip Through Vintage Munich: The Best Vintage Shops in Town!

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As you may have seen from my Facebook page, I spent a few weeks in Munich this past January doing a lot of work, but with the weekends came freedom and with freedom came time to spend hunting vintage treasuries in Deutschland!

There’s a lot to say about Munich and about what to do, eat and see while there. But we’ll discuss these things in the next posts as I decided that I would start with… vintage!

We all know Berlin as the “vintagiest” town in Germany, but you will be surprised to find out how many (great) vintage shops I found in cold snowy Munich.

As you can imagine, I did some research before hitting the road and some other shops appeared during the journey, but let me tell you about my favorite so you too can put them on your “must stop” list while visiting this extraordinary city!

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Tricia Leonard was the first on my list. It was the first place I visited and the shop where I left my heart (for many reasons). First, because of Tricia herself: a beautiful jazz singer with a history that taps into Milan. We started talking as if we were old friends (yes, that’s the power of vintage!). She is such a lovely woman with great style, taste and an incredible story, and her shop is a direct reflection of her person. You won’t find a lot of clothing, but tons of amazing accessories and jewelery dating back to the ’20s. You won’t believe your eyes! Her collection of brooches really left me open-mouthed, but more than that- I fell in love with her fantastic collection of hatpins. Hatpins are one of my favorite vintage accessory ever! It’s very hard to find good ones, but in Tricia’s shop- I couldn’t decide which one to pick (I picked three indeed!).  I’m telling you, this shop is to-die-for!

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Next door to Tricia is another lovely vintage shop, very different style, more eccentric and maybe more the style of shops that I expect to find in Berlin… I would call it a postmodernist shop! The name is Cat with a Hat (adorable!)… and as I love both (cats and hats) I couldn’t help stepping in to take a look! Very colorful and funny shop with some statement pieces that are really worth your time!

Walking in the same area (the so-called vintage area of Munich) we found another crazy vintage shop… I would say more surreal: Alexas. There you’ll find amazing statement pieces from the late ’70s and ’80s, but stay away if you don’t like buying items that demand the spot light because Alexas’ inventory is notorious for capturing the eye! I bought a lovely velvet 1980s does the ’20s hat (you can see it in the last picture with my new hatpins!).

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Last but not least: Vintage Love… a real paradise for vintage lovers! If I was richer, I would have left with half of the shop, but I tried on tons of clothes and shoes (and bags) even if nothing really fit me well (good news for my credit card!). In Vintage Love you can find almost everything and of very good quality.  Now, in glorious vintage custom, you’ll have to take your time and search, but you can find whatever your heart desires: from wonderful designer gowns to more casual clothes, shoes and very rare handbags and jewels. It is a bit more pricey, of course, but the pieces are well priced without much exaggeration (you know I am an expert on vintage pricing!). The shop is very spacious and you will probably have that feeling of “Where should I begin?” But once you’ve found your way, you can get completely lost in this wonderful shop that is really worth a visit.

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The Ladybug’s Sofia-sticated Vintage Photoshoot #5: I Disagree Kermit, It Is Easy Being Green!

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I can’t really call this one part of the photoshoot. Let’s say that after shooting some vintage outfits for Sofia Vintage in Como, my eyes landed on this beautiful green dress and I totally fell in love with it!

I tried it on (with a dark green vintage hat) and paired it with my Replay biker boots just to see how it looked on me… BOUGHT IT! I loved the feminine shape and the color so much… you will definitely see it on me again!

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Here are some pictures to share with you of “that moment” when you try something on and you really have the feeling that it must be yours (can’t you see it on my face?!).

In my defense, it’s kinda hard to leave Sofia Vintage empty handed!

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The Ladybug’s Sofia-sticated Vintage Photoshoot #4: The Vintage Bon-Tonian

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This time we tried to imagine a perfect vintage look for traveling in Bon-Ton style!

Another perfect vintage outfit that the wonderful Roberta Ciceri, owner and founder of Sofia Vintage, rocked the styling of The Ladybug in, with great vintage clothes and accessories (suitcase included!)- all from her beautiful vintage shop on via Vitani, Como.

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The shoes come from my personal wardrobe… beautiful ankle boots from Sergio Rossi in perfect retro style!

What do you think?

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The Ladybug is Spellbound at Marc Chagall’s Expo in Milan

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It may be a coincidence, but all of the expos that I see at the beginning of the year at Palazzo Reale in Milan become my favorite expo of the year!

I can’t say if this one will be the best of 2015, but those to come have a high bar of expectation.  So, if you missed it, trust me, you missed something special.

As usual, I went during the final days (but not the last one… this time!). The expo started in September last year and I still had to wait almost an hour and a half to get in but: a) one hour and a half was nothing compared to those who waited almost three hours; and b) it was totally worth the long queue!

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I can’t explain the charm of this painter, who is still one of my favorites of all times. His colors and his representation of love (The Birthday and The Walk were my favorite of the expo!) give joy to the soul and quiet the mind.

The expo was very rich with a lot of paintings representing different stages in the life of the artist and different historical moments: the way his work changed passing from one room to another was awesome. The curating and design of the expo was amazing! Many of his most important pieces were there (more than what I remember seeing at the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg), and even his costumes and sketches for the theatre were exposed.

I hope that the next expos held at Palazzo Reale will worth the visit (and the queue!) …again!

(Turban with brooch: Shabby Chic with a night view of the Duomo!)

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