The Ladybug is PrePPy in vintage!

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Who doesn’t like a bit of preppy style every now and then?

I must confess that I’m not a fan of preppy but I have a couple of cool preppy pieces and today I decided to wear them all together! When I looked at myself in the mirror I really felt like a preparation school girl (except for my wrinkles!).

Basically I’m wearing vintage/thrift head-to-toe (I’d better say head-to-ankle as shoes are not vintage!): let’s start from my navy double-breasted blazer with golden buttons, a real vintage thrifted piece and also one of my favorite bargains ever. I found it in NYC at the Salvation Army and I paid it only 6.99 dollars! I still wear this jacket a lot with many different styles and it is one of my wardrobe favorites!

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I paired the jacket with a vintage tartan skirt from A.N.G.E.L.O.: I bought it years ago during the Vintage Week event in Milan, as at the time I had a thing with vintage tartan. I sold most of my vintage tartan pieces since then but I still keep this one!

The bow shirt is an old find form a vintage/retro store in Naples and the shoes are from Lazzari.

The straw bag is another vintage piece that I adore: I bought it many years ago from Opherty & Ciocci during a vintage fair in Italy as I really love straw bags (I think I need more of them in my life actually!) and 70’s long horizontal bags; so two things that I love in the same bag!

PS: I also chose a typical brownstone building in Milan for this set of pictures, just to fit the whole preppy thing!!

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The Ladybug’s vintage riddle of the day!

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November has just ended and I have a little riddle for you: which amazing vintage event takes place twice a year in Milan, in April and November? I know, this is easy and as I guess that you are a vintage lover it is even easier! It is the Milano Vintage Week! The thing is that, if you are a vintage lover in Milan there are for sure a few shops and markets where you can go for vintage shopping but many of them are way too expensive, so all that you can do is wait for your favorite vintage event in town where you can still find good pieces at affordable and fair prices and where you can breathe (and shop) vintage for a couple of hours!

This year I brought one of my non-vintage-lover friend who ended up buying vintage inspired pieces, which is the first step to move into vintage fanatics world! I did the same of course, but this is no news!

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As always my little vintage paradise in Milan was full of great stalls and pieces and I could see my “vintage friends” (Opherty & Ciocci, Shabby Chic, Magnifica Preda, A.N.G.E.L.O.), meet new dealers and crafters and be part of some of the many events and activities that at every edition make this Vintage Week fun and pleasant (workshops, presentations, beauty and hair tutorials, retro inspired photoshoots).

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I also visited the lovely exhibit (in collaboration with A.N.G.E.L.O.) dedicated to Valentino with some of his beautiful pieces from the 70’s and 80’s. The two rooms dedicated to the designer were a real paradise for those who love vintage, but also for those who appreciate a good piece of fashion. I spent a lot of time admiring the decorations and the wonderful work on these pieces, and I was really amazed to find a kind of creativity that doesn’t exist anymore. It was a way of reminding me why I love vintage fashion so much!

I wore Heka Couture lace jabot, Dixie black culottes, Max&Co black coat, Maison Momonì folk clutch, 8 pointed brogues and & Other Stories glitter socks.

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The Ladybug on How To Become a True Vintage Lover: Milano Vintage Week

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Milano Design Week is over (I will tell you more about my Design Week next week), but there is no Design Week in Milan without one of my favorite vintage events in town… Milano Vintage Week.

This beautiful event is quite young (it started in 2014) and has two editions- one of which happens during the famous Salone del Mobile and the other during MDW. So it’s no surprise I immediately feel excited about the best vintage coming to town in the weeks before their arrival!

I travel a lot checking out fairs and events to spot the best vintage around, but when it happens in Milan (at the Showroom Riccardo Grassi) I feel even more excited! As surprising as it may seem, there are not many vintage events in Milano, but the Milano Vintage Week is a special one- mostly because of the accurate selection of the stallers. I know most of them and I consider them among the best vintage dealers and lovers in Italy.

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Among them, Opherty & Ciocci (in my opinion- one of the leaders in vintage research, quality and rarity of pieces in Italy, especially vintage designer handbags), Shabby Chic (who brought some wonderful handmade pieces made with original ’50s fabrics and amazing straw headpieces), Magnifica Preda (with a great quality choice of handbags and beautiful dresses) and A.N.G.E.L.O. (with his amazing collection of pin-up swimsuits and other rare accessories); just to name a few on the long list which definitely makes it worth a visit, so don’t forget to note it for the next edition!

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But Milano Vintage Week is not only beautiful vintage dresses and accessories. There’s also Italian vintage design (and why not, it is Design Week!), handmade, a beautiful fashion exhibit in collaboration with A.N.G.E.L.O. that told the story of fashion in the Postwar years and presented interesting news. For example: there were vintage hair and makeup tutorials in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden- who also offered vintage hairdos and makeup to those who wanted to try it for a day and know more about the story of this long-running brand! Plus a lot of tutorials and workshops and “how to” events, including vintage makeup, weddings, china and the use of foulards to make perfect gift packages to reduce the use of paper!

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Milano Vintage Week is the perfect event to actively try and experience vintage. It’s also the kind of event that I strongly recommend to those who want to know more about the beautiful world of vintage. I am sure that you will step in curious about vintage and leave a true vintage lover for life!

I couldn’t wear a vintage outfit as I wanted to because of my running errands during the day, but I paired my Acne Studios black jeans, H&M denim shirt, Lazzari brogues and Miu Miu handbag with a vintage striped shirt, vintage ’70s sunglasses by Maison Studio, handmade earrings by Metalica and handmade velvet turban by Madame Ilary.

The Ladybug Queues Next: Next Vintage in Belgioioso!

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If you used to going to vintage fairs quite often, for years, the risk is that you may become… blasé.

But there are some fairs that bring a bit more to the table. They’re the same, but different at the same time. One of these, for sure, is Next Vintage in Belgioiso. I don’t go twice a year as they organize a Spring and Autumn edition, but indeed at least once a year, I need to be there.

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The atmosphere in Belgioioso has that certain something that you don’t find everywhere: maybe the location (the wonderful Belgioioso castle and garden that by itself worth a visit), maybe the selection of stallers from vintage to handmade, maybe the good vintage that can be found there, whatever it is… I think that if you love vintage you must go there!

It may not be easy to find a bargain there: I find it a bit pricey (especially some sellers who honestly sell over the regular price), but you can for sure admire many rare and hard-to-find pieces from different eras.

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This edition, a wonderful expo featuring Roberta di Camerino vintage pieces was offered to the visitors. The pieces came mostly from the Fondazione Sartirana Arte and from different vintage dealers (like A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage Art, Aloe & Wolf, Viola vintage and many Others)…a dream for every vintage lover! I’ve never seen a lot of her pieces in real life, but those exposed there were absolutely amazing. The connection between them was the use of the “trompe-l’oeil” technique, very popular at the time and in her creations, and perfectly managed by the designer most of the time.

And for me, it was time for some shopping too: I got a late ’70s vintage doctor bag from Sculptures to Wear and a lovely handmade beret from Madame S, whom I met for the first time. She makes amazing headpieces and like me, usually attends fairs and vintage events.

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I also modeled for my friend Angela, of Sculptures to Wear, some of my favorite bags from her amazing vintage collection.

For the warm afternoon I wore my Rolling Stones’ tee from a charity shop in London (I got it for a few pounds in Oxfam, if I’m not wrong), vintage skirt from the Montagnola in Bologna, Marco Brogues and Cavalli & Nastri vintage bag from the ’70s.

By the way, I am also wearing my new Miu Miu glasses… since I found out that I need glasses, I decided to go for an eccentric pair of retro inspired cat-eye frames… what do you think?

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The Ladybug is in a Vintage Paradise at Milano Vintage Week

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Even if I had gone to the first edition of the Milan Vintage Week which happened last Spring during the Salone del Mobile, when I heard about a new edition I decided to head in during the weekend to see what it was about this time. I just didn’t expect to find what I found.

I’m not saying that I didn’t like the first edition- it was pretty cool and interesting, but this time I was just… WOW! Yes, possibly because it was a shorter edition (not a week but just a weekend) it was full of people.  And not just those people who are there to have a look and go away, but I mean packed with real vintage people: those who love it and live for it! Like me!

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A lot of interesting workshops and lectures around vintage, style and craft workshops were held over the course of the weekend and it was also easy to find great bargains with general pricing being correct and honest.

The atmosphere was alive and sparkling with an ease of meeting new people with your same passion- talking vintage forever! I found some of my favorite sellers and let me say that what I saw in their stalls was pretty amazing: from clothes to accessories, I just fell in love with many pieces. And even if I wasn’t in the mood for buying, I couldn’t resist getting some stuff: like a beautiful handmade ’40s turban style from Shabby Chic and a lovely plaid skirt from A.N.G.E.L.O.

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Speaking of him, this time he presented one of the most beautiful vintage expos I’ve ever seen: last edition he brought some wonderful vintage silk scarves from Hermès, this time it was all about Yves Saint Laurent. The two rooms dedicated to the designer’s wonderful pieces from the ’70s and ’80s were a real paradise for those you love vintage, but also for those of you who appreciate a good piece of fashion. I spent a lot of time admiring the decorations and the wonderful work on these pieces, and I was really amazed to find a kind of creativity that doesn’t exist anymore. It was a way of reminding me why I love vintage fashion so much.

For the occasion I wore a yellow dress by Zara, Replay biker boots, Celyn B leather jacket paired with Tolani animal print scarf and my new ’70s vintage doctor bag from Sculptures to Wear during Next Vintage at Belgioioso.

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The Ladybug at Milan Design Week 2014, pt. 2: Milano Vintage Week

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So let’s recap: we said that the most important week in Milan is the Milan Fashion Week. Then comes the Milan Design Week, but what if I tell you that we also have a Vintage Week?

Indeed, during Design Week, Milan hosted the first Vintage Week ever- with stalls, expos and workshops all dedicated to Vintage. Let me say first say: compared to last year, I was very surprised by the relevance of vintage during this year’s Design Week and not only in terms of inspiration for design, home-ware and decoration, but also in terms of vintage related events.

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So the last day of my Design Week, on a sunny and warm Sunday morning, I brought my friend Kay who was visiting me from UK to the first event of the day… the Vintage Week at the Riccardo Grassi Showroom. This vintage marathon attracted different kinds of customers: from buyers to vintage lovers and addicted, from fashion lovers to simply curious people trying to understand what vintage was about.

Clothes, accessories, handbags, glasses, jewels, shoes, books, home-ware… every kind of vintage article was exposed to fulfill everyone’s expectations on the theme!

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The Vintage Week was an event in collaboration with A.N.G.E.L.O. who brought his beautiful collection of 24 wonderful silk vintage Hermès carrés.  Another small expo, “Vintage for Love” was dedicated to the vintage brides and weddings worlds.

It was great to see my friends Marco from Opherty & Ciocci and Nicoletta from Shabby Chic (two of my favorite vintage sellers in Italy), but a part from them the area was a bit bland: maybe because it was Sunday morning, but nothing “new” was really exposed and it was quite “standard business targeted on Italian customers” (what I mean is: “the more labels the better”). I was a bit disappointed by this event that was very well advertised- which is why my expectation was so high!

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Still; I tried some cute pieces from Telma Vintage, (what do you think of these frames?)

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and some amazing headpieces from Shabby Chic (yes, I bought the straw hat with the purple net and flowers!!).

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For the occasion I wore a vintage sparkling sequined top from Humana Vintage, Zara trousers, an H&M biker jacket, Sam Edelman ankle boots, Balenciaga red handbag and Peter Pilotto for Target sunnies.

…Oh, and how could I forget my TOG “create” canvas bag… my Design Week favorite!

(Photo Credit: Kay Wilkinson)

The Ladybug Wakes Up In Her Recurring Dream: A Modern Day Princess Leia

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One of the most fun things that I did with KNAGUI while he was in Milan was our visit to the Star Wars expo at the Museo del Manifesto Cinematografico. It was a really interesting visit to the Museum and of the expo itself, but I will let KNAGUI (as he is the REAL Star Wars fan!) tell you about the expo in one of his upcoming SSwK.  In the meantime, I’d like to share my outfit for our “Night at the Museum.” (pun intended).

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As it was a beautiful and unseasonably warm day in Milan I wore my navy Max & Co coat-cape and I paired it with a thrifted Primark jacket (a charity shop bargain from London last year!), a vintage navy and white polka-dot shirt from A.N.G.E.L.O. (that I bought at their temporary store in Serravalle’s Outlet during the Vintage Fashion Festival last year) and a pair of Replay jeans.

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I am also wearing a navy hat by Whistles and Isabel Marant Dickers booties in tan and two more vintage pieces: suede gloves with warm faux shearling inside and a beautiful navy handbag from Un’altro giro di giostra, a beautiful vintage shop that I spotted in Reggio Emilia last year.

[Photo Credit: KNAGUI]

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The Ladybug is a Maniac… Maniac in Treviso: visiting “VintageMania” in Bassano del Grappa

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Another weekend, another vintage fair, another tour in Veneto!

After the great experience of Arsenale Vintage Market in Verona, here I am again on my way to Bassano del Grappa heading, for the first time, to VintageMania.

As soon as I arrived I felt as if I was in Belgioso, probably because of the beautiful location of Villa Giusti (a wonderful two floor villa with an awesome patio and a huge park all around), but also because of the crowd and the very chic customs (French would say BCBG!). I must say I was quite surprised about the variety of people that I found inside, especially the range of age with particular mention of an adult band of customers that I don’t usually see in vintage fairs.

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The two floors of Villa Giusti were entirely occupied by beautiful vintage clothes and accessories (including stallers I’d met in Verona and more) and handmade creations from many amazing handcrafters of the area. I like seeing more and more artisans at vintage fairs because of the uniqueness of the pieces they present- it’s a wonderful thing that they share with vintage pieces and moreover, the attention to detail and quality standards insure that one day these very things will be in someone’s vintage collection.

It was a beautiful warm day. Outside was full of people chatting, drinking and listening to live vintage music (especially rock ’n’ roll) in the amazing park surrounding the villa.

Even if it was hard to have a detailed look because of the crowd, it was also nice to meet Leonardo Chiti from Deuda Vintage and Nicola from Bidonville (a new friend from Bari that I met in Verona last weekend!). Also Dorotea Vintage was there with Michela from Lumière Bijoux and my beloved Laura from Oggetti Smarriti (yes, I bought another pair of vintage frames!).

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Two interesting expos were presented at the Fair: on the first floor Elizabeth the 1st exposed vintage tribal and ethnic pieces (this one in particular was my favorite!)

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and on the 2nd floor A.N.G.E.L.O exposed some wonderful vintage gowns and cocktail dresses (these are the ones that I loved most… especially the red Valentino!)

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It was interesting to meet some local vintage dealers like L’Ottagono, where I took this funny pic with his amazing antiques piece!

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As for my finds of the day, let me say that as long as Oggetti Smarriti is around I can’t help buying a new pair of vintage frames! These aluminum cat-eye beauties are to die for, aren’t they?

And since I am all about small vintage bags lately, I found this late ’70s purse from Foxy Brown, a vintage seller from Padova whose stall was definitely one of my favorites of the whole Fair!

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The Ladybug Visit’s Her First Padova Vintage Festival

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This year has been full of vintage firsts for me. A few weeks ago I visited the Padova Vintage Festival for the first time and much like the Summer Jamboree in Senigallia, it was full of vintage lovers and people with lots of knowledge of vintage. It was so refreshing and surprising at the same time.

I mean, it’s understandable that you meet people at the Jamboree who are deep seeded vintage aficionados because of it’s long and successful history, but I’m a bit ashamed to say that I prepared to go to Padova Vintage Festival, which began in 2010, with a bit of prejudice. But in two short years it’s amazing how profound and successful it’s become.

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Padua is a wonderful town (I had time to have a look around in the city center and I really liked it!), and the location of the Festival makes it absolutely comfortable to reach. But the location itself is absolutely lovely: the agora, which sits in the center of it all, is surrounded by arches and the upper level has a lot of space and a lovely view of what’s happening in the “market’s area of the village.”

With that said, I had the chance to meet some of my favorite stallers (and to buy from them, of course!) and some new entries that I was pleased to meet. Coming into contact with familiar people and familiar items made me understand the key of their success, and it is this: their staff and their attention to marketing and details. Going to the Padova Vintage Festival was a different experience, even if the actors of the movie were the same… because of all the Chantilly cream, everything looked much more fresh. There were models dressed in vintage, a fashionable public, every genre of vintage was represented, some alternative celebrities, a beautifully well decorated location and, of course, a queue outside the doors!  It was “the place to be.”

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And it worked! There was a lot of marketing and maybe a bit less spontaneity, but the result was interesting.  As for the prices I won’t complain: some exaggerations of course – as usual – but the average pricing was cool.

I was really curious about going there especially since I couldn’t go last year and, although it was a bit more commercial than my tastes usually go for, I really enjoyed my day there and my shopping of course!!

A.N.G.E.L.O, Shabby Chic, Dorotea Vintage, Oggetti Smarriti, Magnifica Preda, Stondo, Lamù Vintage and many other old “vintage friends” were there, but it was also time to meet new friends like the vintage collector Lorenzo Chiti from Deuda Vintage (from whom I bought this lovely vintage cardigan!)

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If the market owned the agora, the upper level was almost completely dedicated to vintage through another wonderful expo. A.N.G.E.L.O brought his vintage Missoni collection, but there were also amazing antique suitcases and travel bags from Arte Viaggi or a real vintage barber shop (there will be a nice surprise about it soon on the blog!).

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For the occasion I was almost completely dressed in vintage: vintage green silk dress from Humana Vintage, ASOS cardi and socks, lovely brogues from Shoegasm in NYC, H&M skinny belt, vintage leather bag from the Vintage Workshop in Milan the week before and a lovely fascinator from Camomilla in Milan.

Other finds of the day:  gorgeous French vintage glasses from Oggetti Smarriti

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Amazing orange “witch-hat” from Stondo Firenze

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And… of course… a logoed Vintage Festival canvas tote to put all my new finds in it!

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The Ladybug and the Chronicle of Compulsive Shopping at the… Outlet?

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Another sale season came upon us here in Italy earlier this month and I was looking forward to it, and I found it the weekend after the first sales. But finding myself in the middle of a mad battery of buying, I destroyed shopping snob cliché about myself. The cliché being that I’m not an outlet girl!

It took a while for some friends of mine to convince me to visit the famous Serravalle Designer Outlet. Less than an hour outside of Milan, on a grey Saturday morning, we decided- it was the perfect day to spend at this nice outlet.

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I usually don’t go to outlets because I am not a fan of most of outlet’s brands. I hate making compulsory shopping with too many other compulsory shoppers and bla bla bla… but you know what? This was bullshit! I was happy as hell and I shopped no-stop for 8 amazing hours!!!

I know, I’m a woman after all!

Serravalle’s Outlet is a real little city with shops, bars and restaurants where you can find all the biggest designers and high street brands, from luxury to sportswear, clothing, accessories and home-ware… a real paradise for compulsive shoppers and shopaholics!

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I was a bit shy and out of place at first, but after I realized it was the Vintage Festival event that month, I immediately felt more comfortable and confident and immediately went into Prada, just to leave half of my pay there! It wasn’t very smart, but this is what they call compulsory shopping right?!

Now, let’s be serious: how can you resist Prada shoes at 50-70% off? I HAD to get these two amazing pair of sandals in navy suede and black leather!

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And what about these ’50s inspired shades still from Prada?

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Also, being the beginning of summer I couldn’t say “no” to this lovely swimsuit from Miss Bikini with retro lips!

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As you may imagine my biggest joy was finding A.N.G.E.L.O.’s temporary store in Serravalle! They were celebrating the vintage event at the outlet with a beautiful temporary store (where I spent a lot of time trying beautiful vintage clothing and bikinis!) and an iconic vintage expo with the “best of” their pieces related to a vintage icon. Of course, I also managed to buy a vintage polka dot shirt!

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No need to show you here all my swimming/fitness shopping as I don’t want to be monotonous, but believe me when I tell you that it was very hard to fit all our bags in the car nor was it easy to tell which bags belonged to whom at the end of the day! But there was a huge smile on my face when, albeit I was completely tired from the long day, I put everything neatly in my wardrobe!

I too was vintage themed in my outfit for the day. I got this beautiful vintage red and white striped dress on Ebay a few years ago and I paired it with retro inspired sandals from Les Lolitas, my new Balenciaga red handbag and a pair of vintage Yves Saint Laurent frames that I showed you when I got them in Reggio Emilia vintage fair a few months ago.

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