The Ladybug enters the enchanted world of Antonio Marras (Nulla Dies Sine Linea)

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I started 2017 with great “firsts”: the first movie of the year (Collateral Beauty), the first book of the year (Rodolfo Walsh stories), the first shopping of the year (a beautiful and warm jacket for half of its price). So was my first exhibit of the year: Antonio Marras’ Nulla Dies Sine Linea at the Triennale in Milan.

I visited the exhibit at the beginning of January, on a cold Saturday afternoon and I loved it since I came in, passing through a series of hanged white shirts and black jackets with attached bells  as so wanted the artist.

The artist is Antonio Marras, one of my favorite designers ever, whose fashion showroom and artistic space (Spazio Marras) is one of my favorite corners in Milan (I visited it recently for the wonderful Malick Sidibé photography exhibition). I have always loved his fashion and I have always considered him as one of the most innovative and creative talents in Italy. I have been following him since he was an “emerging designer” because I was stunned by his fashion art and I have been loving him since then.

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I wasn’t surprised to find out that he was also an incredible artist. Nulla Dies sine Linea is a tribute to his life and career but also to the artist more than the designer. Fashion is everywhere but the exhibit is a totalizing journey into his world. From paintings to sculptures and installations, the atmosphere is relaxed, the lights are soft, the music delicately brings the visitor inside Marras’ world. There is no filter and the personal reaction is crucial. There is life and death, light and mystery, sex and fashion. Old doors and furniture often surround the installations and when you cross them you have the incredible feeling of entering something private, enveloping and fascinating, involving all of your senses.

I adored this touching journey and I fell in love with Antonio Marras even more as I discovered a lot more about his art and I was captivated by its amazingness.

I wore a Blauer green parka, Acne Studios black skinny jeans and Replay biker boots.

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The Ladybug’s big dream: Basquiat exhibit in Milan

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Six years ago one of the biggest European exhibits on Jean-Michel Basquiat opened in Paris, at the Museum of Modern Art. I was seriously thinking of getting a ticket to Paris just to see it but although my huge love and admiration for this incredible American artist, I never managed to see his art live. The first time that I saw a few of his paintings I was at Miart in Milan in 2013 but that’s nothing compared to the huge exhibit started at Mudec Museum this October and showing more than 100 works (from private collections) of the short but intense career of this amazing artist who died in 1988 at 27.

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He has been defined a writer, a graffiti artist, the symbol of the new African diaspora and a son of the African slavery but what I have always loved of Jean-Michel Basquiat powerful art is the way he put together his African roots and the energy of NYC suburbs. These two sides of his art are a huge part of this beautiful exhibit that will be in Milan until the end of February 2017 and I am thinking of going back to see it again before it ends.

The exhibit also shows his art as a bridge between different cultures and it is probably one of the biggest occasions to see Basquiat’s art in Europe or at least in Italy and I must say that it is absolutely worth the visit.

For the exhibit I wore a beige Please sweater, Topshop boyfriend jeans and Max&Co navy coat. I also wore my new clogs from Archivio Vintage and my new Bonne Maison colored socks with my Cavalli e Nastri vintage 70’s handbag.

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The Ladybug is…at “David Bowie is”

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When I first read about the “David Bowie is” exhibit at the V&A Museum in London I immediately thought that it was the perfect excuse for a trip to one my favorite cities! I was ready to buy a flight ticket just to see the exhibit; it only happened once before, when I was ready to fly to Paris to see Basquiat exhibition a few years before. In both cases the exhibits somehow came to me. Basquiat is still exposing at Mudec in Milan (I will share my visit soon here!) and “David Bowie is” was in Bologna until mid-November.

I took the occasion of my friends spending two days in Bologna also to see the exhibit during the All Saint’s bank holiday to join them. The first day we arrived at the Mambo museum without buying the tickets online and the queue was so long (more than three hours) that we decided to buy the tickets online for the day after. I couldn’t believe the long wait but when the day after we finally managed to see the exhibit I suddenly understood why so many people wanted to see it.

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I have always loved David Bowies since I was a kid. I was not a huge fan but I have always admired his persona and his music, his way of changing and surprising, his art and flair. I consider him one of my favorite vintage icons. All of this things I love him for where at the exhibition

“David Bowie is” is a huge comprehensive journey into David Bowie’s career: “over 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork and rare performance material from the past five decades are brought together from the David Bowie Archive for the very first time. The exhibition demonstrates how Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theatre and contemporary culture and focusses on his creative processes, shifting style and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre and film” (www.davidbowieis.it).

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But it is not only about the content of the exhibit, it is also (or in particular) the way it is presented to the visitor: multi-media art is everywhere, animations and video installations makes you feel like a part of the art.

I can definitely say that it was one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen: I didn’t even want to leave the last room when I realized that the journey was over!

I wore my adored Twenty8Twelve military jacket with a vintage grey leather pencil skirt (a bargain from Humana Vintage in Milan!) and my Frida tee by Vanna Vinci with Michael Kors bucket bag.

I couldn’t take any pictures inside then the only pictures from the exhibit are taken from Google.

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The Ladybug’s ode to Cuba

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Before going on holiday I had the chance to visit one of the most interesting exhibits in Milan right now “Cuba. Tatuare la storia” (Cuba. Tattooing History) at the PAC (Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea).

From the 6th of July and to the 12th of September the PAC is the perfect venue to visit if you want to discover an amazing exhibit completely dedicated to the art of this amazing country that I had the chance to visit in 1996.

This is more than just an exhibit: there are videos, paintings, installations and live performances by the artists who better represent the contemporary Cuban art from the 70’s to the present.

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Each artist represents a part of “the journey towards Cuba, with its magnificence and its difficulties, its sound and furore, its cultural, linguistic and mythical issues, its ideological differences. Starting from the historical performative nature of contemporary Cuban art, the exhibition will present a large selection of works and installations — some of them conceived for the PAC — of the most representative Cuban artists and the most up-and-coming artists of the new generation” (excerpt from the exhibit page on the PAC Internet site).

There is a certain sadness and bitterness all around but it is part of this wonderful island and I totally saw it represented there. But there was also joy, hope, especially when we realised than we could take with us part of an art piece (I won’t tell you more about it!).

If you are in Milan during this summer holidays it is a great art experience to enjoy more than a simple art exhibit, one of these not-to-miss events! Just one last tip: check the PAC site before planning your visit to know if there are live performance scheduled (www.pacmilano.it).

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The Ladybug finds relief in Escher’s geometries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Ladybug’s new experiments at Miró exhibit

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Since the opening of the new Mudec Museum in Milan I must say that I have seen there some of my favorite art exhibits, including “The Force of Matter” dedicated to Juan Miró. Over 100 works of the artists dating from 1931 to 1981 (with the contribution of the Fundació Juan Miró in Barcelona) are exposed chronologically to reconstruct his art trajectory. His pieces are one of the highest contributions to modern art and his constant experimentation with forms and colors has as a result a captivating, joyful and colorful art that I love. The exhibit is very well curated and I enjoyed the visit a lot. I especially loved his simplification of forms (which reminds me a lot of a kind of primitive art) and his incredible mastery of colors.

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For the visit (and a brunch out with a friend in a lovely summery day) I decided to wear my new oversized striped tee from & Other Stories and skinny jeans from Acne Studios. I added silver flats with buckles from Max&Co (a piece from this past winter sales but perfect for spring and summer days!), Michael Kors bucket bag and a pair of Dior vintage frames.

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The Ladybug on curls and contemporary art (at Boccioni exhibit!)

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I finally learned to embrace my curls, I can say it loud and proud now! Many people ask me if this is my real hair or I made something to make them curly, well this is my real white-afro hair!

I can’t explain how my life changed since I finally accepted and loved my natural hair! I spent more than 25 years using straightening products because I wanted so much those classy straight hair instead of my lioness mane but I have finally fell in love with it (never too late!). I think it represents me so well and it really expresses my personality at the point that I cannot see myself with straight hair anymore!

You may wonder why I am so much into self-acceptance today and the reasons are: 1. I am always into self-acceptance and self-support; 2. I took this pictures just after a good haircut at my favorite hairdresser in Milan (the one who made me understand how great my hair was!) which explains why my curls are just curlier than usual!

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The real goal of the post was to tell you about my visit at the Boccioni exhibit in Milan at Palazzo Reale (until the 10th of July) but if I have to be honest, I expected a bit more from it. Too much space for Boccioni’s early works and so little room left for the futuristic artist that I love and appreciate! Still I think it is worth a visit for the second part of the exhibit and for the exhibit “2050” that could be visited with the same ticket until the 29th of May, exposing 46 contemporary artists with 50 pieces interpreting the future of the planet. A great surprise and an amazing exhibit on contemporary art including one of my favorite artists, Louise Bourgeois.

I wore Zara pale pink spring coat, Topshop palm shirt and mom jeans (both from my last trip to Topshop in Edinburgh!), Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers.

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The Ladybug’s Mission Impossible: Produce a Love for Picasso in Milano…

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I think that it’s pretty clear to you that my love for the past touches every field, from fashion to movies passing by literature and figurative art. This is why, when I read that a new huge Picasso’s expo was about to start in Milan (last September) I got very excited about it! This is also why I made a big sacrifice when KNAGUI asked me to wait for him to be in Italy to go and see it together… which meant January 2013! I was a good friend and boss- even if my excitement didn’t stop growing during these months: many people were telling me how great it was and I even refused a guided invitation offered by a colleague at work. Every time that I passed by Palazzo Reale (where the expo was held) I could see long lines and even many people I know came from everywhere in Italy to visit it.

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This was the third exhibit in Milan dedicated to Pablo Picasso, with more than 250 works (including videos, pictures and sculptures) coming from the Picasso Museum in Paris and representing different stages and different creative approaches of the artistic life of the Spanish Maestro. Picasso is represented not only as an artist, but also as a man, a creator, a thinker and a pioneer. His creative curiosity and his own personal approach and attempts to the making of a work of art are probably the most innovative part of this expo… which absolutely deserves a visit.

Some of his most famous paintings are exposed here: The Kiss, The Portrait of Dora Maar, La Celestina, The Portrait of Olga, The Reader… just to name a few.

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I personally have a huge passion for Picasso, and not only because of his iconic striped shirt!!

I love his “forms” and I find it particularly challenging: you cannot – not stop by a painting of his and wonder what he is representing or communicating. His art is pure creation without limits or restrictions. He is, artistically, what I call a rebel: in my opinion his constant tries and searches for new forms and expressions and his complete explosion of creativity makes him, in my eyes, a real revolutionary artist.

KNAGUI and I spent a very interesting and artsy afternoon… and I was on a mission: to make him know and love Picasso! I’m not sure if I was successful or not, but he bought the official book of the expo, so I guess the mission was at least… “half accomplished!”

If you want to take this very interesting journey through Picasso’s art, you still have time because you’ve been given a bit of “Ladybug Luck.”  The expo has been extended until the 27th of January (the end date has been postponed due to the huge demand), but don’t forget to book and pay for your ticket by phone to avoid the endless queues in the freezing weather! More information on the official site: www.mostrapicasso.it

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The Ladybug says “Goodbye ’70s”: Visiting the Art Expo “Addio Anni 70”

When I arrived in Milan a few months ago I noticed an ad publicizing a very interesting expo: “ Addio Anni 70, Arte a Milano 1969-1980” (Goodbye ’70s. Art in Milan 1969-1980). Being very busy with work, moving and some other things- I forgot about it until a few days ago, when I realized in a few days it would end!

I decided to spend a Friday afternoon after work at the Palazzo Reale in Milan and let me tell you that I didn’t regret my choice! Not only because the Palazzo Reale is an amazing place to visit (I’ve never been there before!), but also because the expo was really worth every minute! Photographs, paintings, sculptures, books, newspapers, videos, posters of that era (really, every kind of art!) in Italy were exposed there. This was the kind of expo where you sit down every 5 minutes to check your iPhone to go online and look for more information about what you’re seeing.

Having been born in the ’70s, I really don’t know a lot about what happened in my country during that decade: first of all I was too young to remember, secondly at school we basically studied facts through the 2nd World War (as if our recent history doesn’t matter). And it’s a shame because art, especially in the ’70s, represented a lot of the social, cultural and historical backdrop of that period.

The violence and the fights for women’s rights, workers or sexuality were very well represented at the expo. The tragic and powerful events of those years are pictured as the cultural blossoming that made Milan the center of the political and cultural movements in Italy (for example there were pictures of Gabriel García Marquez or Andy Warhol visiting Milan).

I was particularly touched by the powerful presence of sex and sexuality in photographs, paintings and sculptures for example, or by the violence and anger of workers against the law of the money (I couldn’t help wondering what happened to the sons of those workers… I mean where have their ideals gone?).

It is not here the right place to discuss the political events of those years, but for me this expo was more a lesson of history and art than just an exposition of art.

Of course, being a fashion lover, I spent some more time in front of Alfa Castaldi photographs. Alfa Castaldi was a famous photographer of Vogue Italy and let me tell you that thanks to his work during the ’70s, he managed to give the status of art to fashion photography. This “Nudo di Marina à la Klimt” was definitely one of my favorite photographs of the whole expo.

“Goodbye ’70s” is probably one of the best and more interesting expositions I’ve visited lately: there was a bit of sadness in looking at that era and realizing that we have gone in a completely different direction. I can’t say, from my perspective, at what point we became stunted from growing from the better of that era… but I’m a nostalgic, you should know that!