The Ladybug’s Thursday Riot at Bloody Edith Atelier

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One of my favorite spots for retro inspired clothing and accessories in Milan is the lovely Atelier in via Col di Lana 8 (in a beautiful Milanese court) called Bloody Edith. There are many reasons why I love this place:

  1. The owner and founder of Bloody Edith is one of the most adorable vintage ladies I have ever met;
  2. The retro striped tops and other handmade 50’s inspired pieces are to die-for;
  3. The shop itself looks like a retro paradise with vintage and feminine pieces everywhere;
  4. The atmosphere: more than a shop I would say a vintage boudoir;
  5. The Thursday Riot: about every month this boutique turns into a vintage party venue, with drinks and snacks but, more important, with a “vintage” guest for customers’ pleasure!

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The last Thursday Riot event hosted the lovely Valentina from Déjà Vu Vintagepedia, one of my favorite vintage jewelry seller, with the best vintage European and American pieces and amazing bakelite jewels.

It was great to spend time with the girls (and Madame Ilary who celebrated her birthday there!) and to meet new “vintage ladies” who tried with us almost all the amazing vintage necklaces and earrings from Déjà Vu! Even if I was distracted by vintage jewelry I couldn’t help falling in love with the new trousers and shorts (in perfect 50’s style) from the winter collection, and to keep my love alive for the striped sweaters (I was thinking of starting to collect them!).

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I tried to take some pictures of the event so that you can understand what I mean…and visit this adorable boutique as soon as you can if you haven’t done it yet!

As for me, I can’t wait for the next Thursday Riot at Bloody Edith (and to get my next striped top!)

I wore Sportmax coat, vintage French beret with vintage hatpin from Tricia Leonard in Munich, Muji preppy scarf.

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The Ladybug’s personal search for Vivian Maier

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Not too long ago I told you about one of my favorite exhibits ever, Vivian Maier’s photographs in Nuoro, Sardinia this past September (see here).

I knew that the exhibit was going to move to Milan soon and I decided to go and see it again before it ended, yesterday. I expected to find the same pieces that I saw in Nuoro but to my big surprise only part of the photographs exposed in Nuoro were in Milan at the Galleria Forma Meravigli (and for the double of the ticket price!), taken from the 50’s to the 70’s by this mysterious nanny-photographer who reached a huge success only after her death (in 2009), when her rolls where accidentally found during an auction. The exhibit structure and presentation was honestly less attractive than in Nuoro (I missed the yellow walls!) and maybe the small space and the crowd didn’t allow me to visit as peacefully as I did in Sardinia (where I was almost alone!).

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It was still a pleasure getting lost into this woman’s world that feels so familiar yet so full of mystery.

I am still non completely convinced about the reconstruction of her story made by John Maloof (the one who found the rolls and gave Vivian Maier an incredible success with his documentary on her life and a traveling exhibit around the world) as I still can’t believe how great she was being a simple amateur photographer. I keep being convinced that she was a real photographer and that she knew more about her art than what they want us to believe. At every picture of her I keep finding the proofs of my theory…but I guess it will keep being a theory!

For this freezing cold day in Milan I wore Diffusione Tessile coat, Whistles hat, Liu-Jo ankle boots and Miu Miu handbag. Brooch is handmade from Lora Nikolova, scarf is thrifted from Oxfam charity shop in London.

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The Ladybug’s movies appreciation society: Carol

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Being this blog the space that I use for spreading the word about my first big passion (vintage!), I realized that I don’t write a lot about some of my other big passions like movies and books. This is the reason why I decided to create my “movies and books appreciation society” to share here some good advice on what to read and what to watch if you are a vintage lover! I don’t often read books or watch movies related to vintage but when it happens I promise to share my experience here!

The idea came to my mind a few weeks ago, while watching the movie Carol. I am sure that you heard about it but if you haven’t seen yet, please run to the cinema before it ends. I cannot say that I loved the movie, I am among those who didn’t really consider it as a masterpiece; still it is a good movie. But if there was a reason to adore it, this reason was the costume (and Cate Blanchett!). I cannot really explain the magnificence of Carol’s wardrobe, including jewels and accessories so it doesn’t surprise me that the costume designer, Sandy Powell, is an Oscar candidate for best costume design for this movie.

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I recently read an interview where Sandy Powell said that she accessorized Carol (Cate Blanchett) with jewelry by Fred Leighton and Van Cleef & Arpels but she also used a lot of original vintage pieces like handbags and bespoke hats. One of the funniest thing was that she had to use customized shoes by Ferragamo based on their original ‘40s and ‘50s patterns because foot sizes are much larger today than they were in the ‘50s, so it would have been impossible to have original vintage shoes! Same thing happened for the matching gloves! One of the tips that Sandy Powell shared in the interview was the fact that she used a lot of retro inspired lingerie (especially bras) in order to create the shapes of women of that era.

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If Carol’s style remains almost constant for the whole movie, Therese (Rooney Mara) character has a huge change of style at the end of the movie passing from a low-profile student style to a more feminine clothes and make-up choice. Her resemblance to Audrey Hepburn in the last few scenes of the movie is really incredible .

One of the other interesting things about Carol (at least for vintage lovers!) was the accurate respect and re-creation of the ‘50’s era. When I say this I mean not only the clothing and accessories but also furniture, cars and even a completely different lifestyle, far away from the speedy world we live in. Some people criticized the movie for being slow but I guess that it was just a way of living of that era that we probably should imitate more!

 

The Ladybug’s tips for retro inspired winter sales

PURPLE%20MANCHESTER%2006_CMYK-001Winter sales started about two weeks ago and I am just in time for the second round of further reductions when we can really grab some interesting bargains!

You know that I love mixing vintage with designer and high street so the sales’ season is perfect to buy some trends of the season that we can easily mix with our vintage pieces, or maybe some retro inspired pieces.

I chose 7 key pieces you better buy now before they sell out:

  • Colored faux-fur coat: 70’s were the big trend of the season and we saw a lot of fluffy colored coats in the windows of our town’s shops. Well, it’s time to grab one for yourself: faux-fur coats are warm and they never go out of style. You can buy a retro inspired piece or go for a vintage one but always prefer faux-fur to real fur…we love fashion but we also love animals, don’t we? (The yeti coat in the picture is from Patrizia Pepe’s old collection)

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  • Redingote coat: it is a classic bon-ton chic retro piece that will live forever in your wardrobe! It’s not easy to rock, especially if you are a curvy girl like me but some have great shape like this one I picked up from Max&Co.

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  • Culottes: my big love! I have them in many colors, lengths and shapes but I never get tired of them. They are perfect to replace the boring trousers in our smart office outfits and they can add an incredible retro touch to every outfit. You can easily find many different models in your Zara store at ridiculous prices right now (less than 20 euros!), like the navy one in the picture below.

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  • Palazzo pants: a classic vintage piece from the 40’s to the 70’s the palazzo pants are one of my favorite pieces of this season. The retro effect is immediate when you wear them, especially in a typical man pattern like the Prince of Wales. Here again, you can easily find one like the one below in your Zara store but, unless you are very tall, don’t forget to wear it with super feminine heels!

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  • A long circle skirt: maybe it is not one of this winter trends, but I just fell in love with this green one from Max&Co. If you are not tall enough to pull it off (like me!), you can go for the shorter version like I did! In any case the skirt is amazing and with a long (or knee-length) circle skirt your retro inspired outfit is already done!

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  • Ankle boots: this is an evergreen, at the point that you are allowed to buy a new one at every winter sales! This year the must-buy ankle boots have killer heels but they are super comfortable because of the platform and they are from L’Autre Chose. If you really don’t like ankle boots any other heeled shoe from this brand is perfect LOL (Yes, I am a L’Autre Chose shoes addicted!)

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  • Hat: yes, one of my addictions! Vintage is better, handmade is great but whatever you decide just allow yourself a new hat, turban, headband or headpiece, you deserve it! (I can’t remember the brand of the one worn by Cara Delevingne in the first picture of this post but I loved it so much that I thought it was perfect to use it here!)

The Ladybug goes French for the opera!

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What if you receive a last minute invitation from your friend to go to the opera at the Teatro alla Scala to see the rehearsal of “Rigoletto” and you didn’t have enough time to plan your outfit?

You just go French, because no matter what, how and when but French style is always chic, elegant and has that retro touch that we all need in our lives!

I must confess that I read books and posts promising to tell you how to be a perfect French stylish girl in every situation but unfortunately I guess it is something very hard to get, unless you were born in France!

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Any attempt is still welcome so I created my opera outfit starting from a vintage French beret hat that I found on ebay many years ago. I decided to add a statement vintage hatpin from Tricia Leonard Vintage shop in Munich. I mixed all this vintage with high street and designer pieces: a black coat from Sportmax, a black sweater from Dixie, grey culottes from Imperial. To complete the outfit: Marc Jacobs thrifted grey ankle boots from Epiphany Vintage in Frankfurt and Miu Miu handbag.

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The Ladybug’s festive outfit for her first day of work after Christmas break!

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I know being late is my personal mark, but hey! in Italy only yesterday we celebrated the last festive days of the Christmas holidays, so…as I was back at work this morning let me share my Christmas day’s outfit!

Even if I’m wearing red (in perfect accordance with the Christmas rules!), hearts and velvet, let’s imagine that it is a daily outfit, with the exception that, being in Sicily and being Christmas day particularly warm, I wore just a shirt without any coat or jacket!

I tried to create a retro style even if none of the pieces that I am wearing is vintage.

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The heart shirt is from the Korean site Yes Style, a new discovery from a friend of mine who is a regular customer and proposed me to try it. I went for this lovely shirt and I am very satisfied with my purchase!

The velvet blue culottes is something that I have been looking for for ages: I finally found this pair at Diffusione Tessile in Milan, one of my favorite places to find the best unsold pieces from Max Mara, Max& Co, Sportmax, Marella and other brands of the group past seasons pieces for half of their retail price. If you can’t find a store near you make sure to have a look at their site.

I added my favorite 70’s inspired heeled shoes from L’Autre Chose (I found them for half their selling price on Yoox) and handmade red earrings from Lora Nikolova Bijoux.

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The Ladybug supports handmade designers at the Blue Velvet Atelier

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During the frenzy of Christmas period, among markets and crazy shopping, I was invited to a very special event in the heart of Milan, the Blue Velvet Atelier in Corso Como. Two days in a beautiful space where art, fashion, handmade and design meet together for a different kind of event. Not a market but a temporary shop that looks more like a boudoir with some of the best handmade designers around. Plus: free delicious cakes, Dammann Frères tea, street food trunk and a special corner for hair and makeup!

I went to see my beautiful friends Ilaria and Gemma from Heka Couture exposing there their beautiful creations: I loved their hats, turbans, headbands and clothing as usual and I bought from them some of my Christmas presents for my beloved ones (yes, I’m trying to make more turban-addicts!!) and of course for myself! By the way, what do you think of my new check headband? :)

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I also found some new handmade designers like Lora Nikolova Bijoux & Art, an amazing jewels designer (I fell in love with her necklaces and I bought a lovely pair of earrings and a beautiful tree-brooch) and Riminimade who makes beautiful handmade shoes that you can “create” yourself with the color and fabrics that you prefer (I didn’t buy a pair but I definitely will, I’ve already created my favorite pair!!).

For the event I wore my new blue coat from Diffusione Tessile in perfect “dressing-gown style”, Acne Studios jeans, Please sweater, New Balance sneakers, Miu Miu bag and my new Heka Couture headband!

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The Ladybug, Renata Tebaldi, a night at the opera and Dolce & Gabbana

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Beginning of December I had the chance to attend the rehearsal of the first opera of the season at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The opera was Giuseppe Verdi’s Joan of Arc and it debuted in Milan the 7th of December.

I was there when I knew that, to celebrate the important date, Dolce & Gabbana decided to dedicate all the windows of their shop in via della Spiga 2 in Milan to the famous soprano Renata Tebaldi for a whole week. I couldn’t miss this kind of vintage exhibit (for free!) so I immediately headed to the city center to have a look!

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Dolce & Gabbana are not new to celebrate Italian culture and they have a special love for the Milanese theatre and its history: last year Roberto Bolle was a special model for Dolce & Gabbana who made him the guest star of the catwalk in the foyer of the Teatro alla Scala. This year they filled their shop windows with the personal collection of objects and costumes of one of the most appreciated opera singers of all times, Renata Tebaldi, offered by the Museum Renata Tebaldi, along with original pieces of the theatre sets of the Teatro alla Scala and images of the singer on stage or in her private life, mixing art and fashion in a new artsy way.

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My favorite pieces? The dresses from the Aida and the Manon Lescaut or the velvet one that the singer wore for the Tosca back in the days.

If you missed it, you can see all the pictures here!

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The Ladybug discovers one of the hidden treasures of Milan: Albergo Diurno Venezia

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Many people say that Milan is not as beautiful as Rome. They say that Rome is an open air museum and that you can walk through the ruins of the Roman Empire at almost every corner of the city, while in Milan there is not much to see except for the Duomo and some other museum.

I love Rome but let me tell you one thing that I learnt about Milan: most of its treasures (and there are a lot!) are hidden. They are hidden in the wonderful internal courts of the city center private buildings for example or in areas that you would never imagine, as the stairs of the subway stop of Porta Venezia as I discovered las week!

Following the non-profit Italian organization FAI for the protection of the artistic and cultural Italian heritage I found out about the Albergo Diurno Venezia in 2014 when it was opened for one day to let people visit it for the first time after its closing. I missed the occasion as I was not in town but I kept an eye on it as I really wanted to visit it.

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This underground day-hotel was created in 1925 to allow people arriving in Milan after a long travel by train or by tram to have a proper bath or shower, get their hair done, have a manicure or a shave. It was also open to people living in Milan, especially to those who didn’t have a bathroom in the house, very common thing at the time as buildings used to have only one outside bathroom at every floor.

The Diurno didn’t open its doors again (due to the bad conditions of the place) until last weekend and the good news is that it will be open every Saturday of December and January so, if you are in Milan and haven’t visited it yet, just take the chance and I know that you will thank me for that!

The conditions are still not excellent but the volunteers of the FAI made a great work cleaning the hotel and they are still working to give it its old glamour back! The Diurno is a piece of history of Milan, one of its best kept secrets! It is the glorification of the art nouveau, which is “so Milan”!

As an homage to my current city I decided to have a stroll in one of my favorite parks in Milan (Indro Montanelli), not far from Porta Venezia, after a long walk in Corso Venezia to admire the beautiful buildings and to mentally repeat that my Milan is a bit like me: not clearly beautiful but in actuality  “bellissima” (quote from the Milanese actress Mariangela Melato).

I wore Imperial faux-leather pants, Max&Co coat and sweater, Asos hat, & Other Stories scarf, Tosca Blu ankle boots and Michael Kors buckle bag.

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Mamma Mia! The Ladybug is a disco queen for a night!

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I love theatre but if I have to be honest I am not fond of musicals, especially in their translated versions (only English please!). Nevertheless sometimes I enjoy a good one: Jesus Christ Superstar was epic for example and I would have watched it over and over again!

When my friends proposed to see Mamma Mia!, finally arriving in Milan straight from the London West End after the great success all over the world, I couldn’t say no; the main reason? The ABBA soundtrack! Mamma Mia! was created after the idea of Judy Craymer who based it on the ABBA music, mixing their songs with a beautiful story full of true values (friendship, family, love) and happening in a Greek island. It was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band, involved in the development of the show from the beginning.

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No need to say that we spent the night singing out loud and taking pictures pretending to be the trio of the musical! We are a well packed trio of old ladies!!! The cast is amazing with great voices, the colors and beauty of the imaginary island are captivating and there is a lot of fun but the soundtrack makes it all! (My friend would say that the young boys too…she is a real Tanya!)

Anyway, if you want to live the same 70’s inspired experience I strongly recommend you to put on an ABBA cd (better a vinyl!) and the vintage magic is done! The Swedish group who was very popular during the 70’s inspired several musicals and movies and was considered one of the most successful band and best-selling artists ever, now you can just remember why! The musical includes such hits as Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, Thank You for the Music, Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes It All, Voulez-vous, SOS and of course Mamma Mia!

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