The Ladybug gets color-blocked at Roy Lichtenstein exhibit

The Ladybug Chronicles Roy Lichtstein MUDEC (4)

Roy Lichtenstein “Multiple Visions” was possibly one of the most interesting exhibits that I have visited in Milan this year so far. The exhibition took place this last spring/summer at the Mudec Museum and exposed around 100 prints, sculptures and tapestries from the king of the pop art, including also videos and photographs from many American and European private collections and museums. I also loved the decorations and the entire set-up: color-block printed walls, striped and polka-dotted floors, a blossoming of pop colors (and very Instagram-friendly!) in perfect harmony with the exposed art! It is not a coincidence that I took so many pictures, also outside the exhibit area, in the hall of the museum that is one of my favorite spaces in Milan for its modern architecture.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Roy Lichtenstein MUDEC (1)

The pop art movement was born in the 60s and its first objective was to find a language that could be used against the abstract expressionism. The most famous pop art artists were the same Roy Lichtenstein and of course, Andy Warhol. Like him, Lichtenstein used daily objects in its art, as a representation of the economic opulence of the era; he often used advertising language to attack mass consumerism but he was also the first to use comic strips as a new artistic way to communicate. Comic strips were very simple, clear and easy way to communicate and he made them a real form of art. It is still a mistake to consider it as the only or main form of art that he used: during the exhibit it is possible to admire his multiple ways of expressions and to know more about this incredible artist.

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For the visit I wore one of my favorite combos from Madame Ilary: a turban-culottes combination made with a golden sparkling Syrian fabric that I bought in Amman last spring. Such a shame that I didn’t have enough space in my luggage to buy more! I paired with a simple black tee from Asos and a pair of sparkling shoes from a Lazzari old collection. My golden necklaces are from & Other Stories and Afrohemien; my golden hoop earrings are from Genny Pi.

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The Ladybug on how to survive (and even enjoy) the Milan Design Week

The Ladybug Chronicles Milano Design Week 2019 (2)

When I arrived in Milan I considered the Milan Design Week and the Fuorisalone as my favorite week of the year: a lot of people from everywhere in the world, cocktails, events, parties, design, art. It was also the “blossoming week” that announced the spring and the “open air life”. In the last few years I almost hated it: boring parties and presentations, too many people in town, crowds everywhere. I almost skipped it two years ago and totally skipped it last year until I found out the perfect equilibrium to face the Milan Design Week: choose carefully the events and presentations and attend only those that really look interesting to you.

This was my approach this year and I was totally happy with it…I think that I found the perfect Milan Design Week potion!

During the week I just got a few hours around the Isola Design District as it is not far from work but I didn’t find anything worth my attention (except a new cocktail bar, my beloved second hand shop Ambroeus and a new – to me – jewelry shop that I fell in love with, Francesco Tramontano) but it was the perfect after work situation: cocktails and chatting with friends and colleagues not far from work in a sparkling lovely area that I still love pretty much.

It is during the weekend that I took things seriously and started my fun Design Week weekend: I got up early on Saturday to join one of my favorite spaces in town, Antonio Marras atelier “NonostanteMarras”, where he exposed in collaboration with Saba, a “couture” collection of sofas and armchairs made from meticulous tailoring techniques using the designer’s exquisite textiles archive. Also a lovely bistrot was created in the internal court full of flowers (especially wisteria) while walking down the stairs a new world from a lost era is waiting for the amazed eyes of the visitors: embroidered tapestries, mirrors, fabrics hanging from the ceiling and wonderfully prepared tables represented a world that not even my words could describe. We were lucky enough to meet Antonio Marras himself (such a lovely person as well as his wonderful charismatic wife) and to get a pair of beautiful socks from his last catwalk!

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After Marras we headed to one of the most exciting vintage events in town during the Design Week: the opening of the second Milanese store of Humana Vintage in via De Amicis 43! I am in love with this new spacious shop, much bigger than the first one near Duomo and with so many new things that I headed out with a couple of new gems to add to my wardrobe (you will see them soon,  I promise!). It was such a lovely party with relaxed atmosphere and I could have spent hours there (which I will probably do in the next few weeks!).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Milano Design Week 2019 (16)

On Sunday I won the rain (and the laziness due to the rain!) by walking on the moon: Moon Walk was the name of Marni collection presented during the Design Week in the blue light of their show room in Milan. The pieces were handmade by Colombian handcrafters who have been working with Marni for years now. The tribal element, mixed with bright colors and the wide use of different materials as well as the Black African and Berber inspiration made me love this collection madly. I loved everything especially the hand braided chairs and the colored rugs. As usual Marni is my not-to-miss place during the Design Week.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Milano Design Week 2019 (10)

Last but not least, this year for the first time during the Milano Design Week a new district was created: the Centrale Hub, with two main focuses. The first one was on the Advantage Austria that presented new Austrian design products within the “Austrian Design – Pleasure and Treasure” concept in the prestigious Sala Reale of the Milan Central Station, a location that is rarely open to the public and that I visited for the first time. In this room they created a Design Pool, with pink walls and full of recycled polystyrene petals! Also the beautiful Sala delle Armi was exceptionally open to the public for the event. Two Milanese gems that I was very happy to visit for the first time.

The Ladybug Chronicles Milano Design Week 2019 (18)

The Ladybug Chronicles Milano Design Week 2019 (12)

Right behind the station, a whole forgotten area in via Aporti was brought to life by the opening of the old Central Station hangars and warehouses to host presentations of artists from all around the world. I was totally amazed about the work that was done there and I loved many of the installations presented here: from the Japanese DNP “Patterns as Time”, to the American Human Scale “Bodies in Motion”, from the Dutch Weltevree “Once Upon a Pool” to the Italian Aria “Come To Light”. But my two favorite presentations here were from the Korean Noroo Group “Tides by Kwanghoo Lee X Wang & Söderström for Noroo” (the pastel colors and the atmosphere were incredible and I loved that they printed the pictures that you took inside if you posted them on Instagram!) and my favorite ever, from the Dutch artist Maarten Baas “I Think Therefore I Was” that I can declare as the presentation of the whole Centrale district that I loved the most (I even got in twice!).

It was an intense weekend of art, design, fashion and fun but I think that…I will do it again!

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The Ladybug explores the visual archives of the Black Image Corporation (in a very vintage location in Milan)

The Ladybug Chronicles Black Image Corporation (2)

I have been curious of visiting the Osservatorio Prada in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan for ages, until I found the perfect exhibit to visit there: The Black Image Corporation by Theaster Gates.

It is a very interesting project that shows part of the incredible Johnson Publishing Company archives with many images representing the “image” of the contemporary African American identity. The images come from the monthly magazine Ebony for example or the weekly magazine Jet from the 40s and the 50s: they both gave voice to the black Americans after the World War and promoted black celebrities as well as cultural discussion. In particular the exhibit focused on the work of two black photographers: Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton with particular attention to the creation of the “black female icon”.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Black Image Corporation (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Black Image Corporation (4)

Everything is placed on the two floors on top of this beautiful building: the Osservatorio is located above the central octagon, at the level of the glass and iron dome that covers the arcades, realized by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867 that looks so French but is absolutely Milanese. Also the beautiful wooden floors are original from the previous structure bombed during the World War II.

It is a place that deserves a visit especially if you do it on a calm sunny morning like we did with the beautiful light filtered by the dome first and then by the glass façade.

I wore a pair of prince of wales culottes and black turtle neck sweater from Zara with my new pair of AMAZING black laced boots from Ouigal. They are my favorite piece at the moment and actually my third pair of shoes from them! Yes, I am totally addicted but who wouldn’t be? They are just mind-blowing!!

My headwrap is the new Coco wrap from Madame Ilary in black and prince of wales with side tassel while my handmade brass earrings are from Metalica Creazioni. Black leather bag is from Coccinelle.

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The Ladybug’s good excuse for a weekend in Florence: Marina Abramovic exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi

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When I first heard of Marina Abramovich exhibit “The Cleaner” in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi I was over excited because, even if I knew that she wouldn’t be there, I was very curious to see what it was about. The good thing is that my friends were super excited too so we quickly decided to organize a nice weekend all together in Florence to see the exhibit, going around, shopping and eating ribollita and all the good things from the Tuscan cuisine!

The weekend was amazing and so was the exhibit. I read that Marina Abramovic herself took care of the exhibit with videos, photographs and live performance from her disciples during the day. It was one of the most emotional and with greatest impact that I have ever visited. Many of her more or less famous performances are shown in photos or videos, a journey across her work, art and life in the last few decades.

If you want to know more about The Cleaner you can find more info on the site of the Palazzo Strozzi as the exhibit ended on the 20th of January.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Florence (7)

But Marina Abramovic was not the only excuse for me to spend a weekend in Florence. One of the things that I absolutely needed to do in Florence was eating at the Libreria Brac, a lovely bookshop with the most exquisite vegetarian cuisine. Many friends told me about this lovely place so I needed to go and to “taste” it: it was absolutely over my expectations and if you are in Florence make sure you stop there for lunch or dinner but book your table first. Another place that we loved for dinner was La Cantinetta just near the Cathedral while for an easy aperitivo before dinner and a view on the Ponte Vecchio just nearby you can go at Volume for a good Tuscan red wine and bruschetta!

Last but not least, Florence was the occasion to hug my beautiful friend Sabrina that I haven’t met for the last six years. If you are in Florence don’t forget to say “Hi!” to her in her adorable vintage shop in via dei Pilastri 32, Lady Jane B Vintage: she is the most amazing woman that you will meet in Florence and her shop is exactly like she is!

Vintage blue coat from a charity sample sale in Milan; Vintage bag Lullaby Barcelona; Vintage headscarf Humana Vintage; Vintage peacock brooch on Ebay; Shoes Ouigal; Mustard sweater Marella; Handmade brass earrings Metalica Creazioni.

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The Ladybug and the Brazilian experience at PAC Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles PAC Brazil (8)

Before leaving for my summer holidays I visited a last exhibit in Milan: Brazil. Knife in the Flesh at PAC in Milan. At my biggest surprise it was a great exhibit and I enjoyed it a lot, especially the live performance by Maurício Ianês that I found emotional at the point that I couldn’t stop thinking of his work for the following days.

I don’t go often to PAC exhibits but when I do they turn out as great events: I think about the one on CUBA or on Nelson Mandela, two of my favorites ever! This one on Brazil was not less. The name of the exhibit (Navalha na Carne) is the title of a play by the Brazilian writer Plínio Marcos, particularly active during the years of the Brazilian military regime. Not a surprise then that the exhibition is based on this never-ending conflict inside the Brazilian society; it is expressed through installations, photographs, videos and performances of the artists invited and it is often interpreted with hope for the future or with complete disillusion and disappointment.

Anyway, the Brazilian cultural environment is still alive and prosperous and it represents a sort of revolutionary act in front of this perennial conflict.

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The Ladybug Chronicles PAC Brazil (4)

I was lucky enough to visit the expo in July, during the live performance of  Maurício Ianês, in front of whom I spent a lot of time, sitting on the floor and trying to connect with the artist and with his incredible powerful message. He arrived at the exhibit beginning of July completely naked (like he did 10 years ago at the San Paolo Biennale) waiting for the visitors to offer him food, clothes, drinks or whatever they want to offer. Since then he has been living in the Museum for two weeks exposing what he received during his performance (that he calls “action”) Untitled (Dispossession).

For the event I wore different shades of blue: from the electric blue of the thrifted Topshop silk shirt, to the teal of Zara culottes, to the aqua of Madame Ilary handmade turban. I added a vintage 80s flamingo brooch from La Vespa Roja in Valencia and mud caged boots from Jeffrey Campbell.

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The Ladybug’s new shoe crush: preview of Luisa Tratzi AI18/19 collection

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When Luisa Tratzi comes to town, at least twice a year during the Milan Fashion week crowd, I know that I will fall in love again. I must confess that I can’t resist the beauty of her shoes! They are not just beautiful, they have strong personality, they are charming and shoe lovers know what I mean. They are not just shoes!

Last February Luisa Tratzi opened her temporary shop during the Milan Fashion Week event in the Brera area to present the AW18/19 collection: it didn’t take long, I just spent maybe 20 minutes in her space and hop! Fallen for a new pair! It happens all the times but I have to confess that lately she is going too far!

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70s suede and shapes just got me addicted: rust, yellow, teal, powder blue, soft grey…I couldn’t resist my favorite winter colors! Funny thing is that this time my favorite piece of the collection was also hers, then we decided to both wear it in two different shades: she went for bold golden leather and I chose a light blue suede. The piece itself was amazing: stiletto heels, pointed toe, a beautiful twist of small straps with buckles, soft and brave at the same time! Awesome!

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This AW18/19 collection was full of incredibly well managed contrasts: patent and suede for example, cut-outs and mid-heels, transparent and color-block. Mid heels are also a new trend, near the iconic (and super comfortable) stilettos .

I tried to take some pictures for you to have a sneak peek of this new amazing collection presented in Milan. Feel free to visit www.luistratzi.it to find out more about the brand and to add your favorite shoes to your shopping basket!

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The Ladybug and the story of an African King (of Fashion)

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My second and last day of Afro Fashion Week in Milan ended with the event that I have been looking forward for a while now: Anggy Haif fashion show.

If you don’t know about him let me just give you a couple of information: Anggy Haif is a super talented designer born in Cameroun where he started his career before moving to France and being recognized as an incredible fashion artist. Africa is still his first source of inspiration and his shows in Paris are always a blossom of colors mixed with raffia, leather and other traditional materials. I love his fashion because it is so incredibly modern and traditional at the same time.

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Anyway, this year I had the great chance to attend his show in Milan and I was utterly excited: in the beautiful framework of the Palazzina Appiani in Milan, his show was as captivating and fascinating as I imagined it! It also great to greet him and tell him how much I loved his work! (A bit groupie right?!)

For the occasion I wore one of my favorite Madame Ilary wax turbans on a total black look (culottes from Dixie and Asos tee) and with a vintage inspired denim jacket from Mango. Afro inspired earrings are Metalica Creazioni.

The velvet sandals are from Ottod’Ame while my mini bag is a vintage find from Divas Vintage in Ljubljana a few years ago.

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The Ladybug is a charity runner for Lierac

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A few weeks ago I finally run 10K at the Lierac Beauty Run in Milan.

I say finally because last year I missed the first edition because my legs were too sore for running. I was so disappointed because the event is really great and it is for a very good cause as you can donate part of the cost of the run to the Umberto Veronesi foundation for the research against breast cancer.

“Pink is good “ is the slogan of the run, and indeed Milan was all pink that Saturday night! A real party and a great event completely dedicated to women.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Lierac Beauty Run (3)

Pink tees, pink bags (full of amazing Lierac beauty products…maybe one of the best race kits ever!), pink everything! At the event before the race you can have your tee customized with your name or you can get your hair done (like I did!) everything for free!

I was not really trained to run 10K this time and it was very hard (I think I did my worst time ever!!).  It was not too hot but my lack of training was crucial!

But what is really important during these events is that you totally enjoy yourself: I was there with some friends and colleagues and we really had a great time together in a pink-colored Milan summer night!

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The Ladybug is a White Hunter: finding Africa in Milan

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A few weeks ago I visited a great exhibit at FM Contemporary Art Center in Milan. I didn’t know about this very interesting space until I saw the flier of this event called “The White Hunter. African memories and representations” and I decided to have a look on a Saturday afternoon.

The exhibit started end of March during the Milan Art Week and it presented more than 150 works of contemporary artists (including my favorite African photographers Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibé) as well as pieces from anonymous traditional artists. The main topic is Africa just seen by different eyes and represented in many different ways. Maybe this is the reason why I couldn’t love it more!

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The black building hosting the exhibit and the calm space outside was perfect also for a short outfit shooting!

It was indeed the perfect occasion to wear my Madame Ilary African wax turban that I added to a very simple outfit: old boyfriend jeans from Topshop, frilled white shirt from Alexa Chung Archive Collection for M&S, simple Benetton black trench coat and Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers.

I also wore my new folk clutch bought at Archivio Vintage event a couple of days before!

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The Ladybug found many treasures in the vintage archives: Arkivio Vintage Showroom in Milan, the second round!

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Dear fellow vintage lovers, you may have seen on my Instagram that last week I went again to the Arkivio Vintage event where my friend Ilaria (founder of Madame Ilary and Heka Couture) was presenting her new 2017SS collection. I am always happy when she is selling at this event because it is one of my favorite events in town for two very important reasons.

First one, the atmosphere: it always feels like going to Susan’s (the founder of Arkivio Vintage) house with your friends! The hospitality is top and you always meet a lot of people and start chatting with everyone (sellers and customers) while sipping wine and eating biscuits as if you were at a party with your friends. We try things, take pictures, make a lot of noise and – major bonus – buy a lot of beautiful things!

And here we go to the second reason why I love Arkivio Vintage events: you can find so many great things, not only handmade pieces (which you know that I love a lot because I adore the “unique” pieces made with love by handcrafters) but also real gems from really interesting emerging brands.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Arkivio Vtg (2)

Last time I told you about the Bonne Maison socks for example and the beautiful wooden clogs by Casta e Dolly, this time I discovered Fleurs Coquines and Isole e Vulcani swimwear as well as the beautiful bags by Daf Design. I am still in love with Arkivio Vintage own bags and I think that sooner or later I will get myself one!

This time I got this beautiful folk clutch that I adore (the book is a present from Ilaria and I can’t wait to start reading Elsa Schiaparelli biography!) and I am waiting for the next event to find more wonderful pieces in this adorable showroom in via Morosini 27 in Milan.

If you want to go to the next events (and maybe find me there!) you can check Arkivio Showroom Facebook page. See you there! PS: I was wearing a vintage preppy blazer, Zara culottes, Madame Ilary turban, Madame Cosette velvet boots and African necklaces.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Arkivio Vtg (4)