The Ladybug is a Happy Blogger Among Happy Bloggers at Arsenale Vintage Market in Verona

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It all started a month ago, in Padua, during my shopping session at the Padova Vintage Festival, while I was buying a lovely vintage ’80s cardigan from Deuda Vintage- and more precisely, its founder (vintage collector and vintage events curator) Leonardo Chiti.

“So you are a vintage blogger?,” he said, “I have something that may interest you.” He told me that he was one of the organizers of the very famous Arsenale Vintage Market in Verona, with the “Associazione Culturale Retrobottega.”  I have never been to AVM before, but I heard a lot about it because it’s one of the most interesting emerging vintage festivals in Italy of the last few years. He also told me that they were creating a very special event for the seventh edition at the end of October that would be dedicated to the bloggers, journalists and stylist; so, if I was interested… Of course I was, and a few weeks later I received an invitation to Arsenale Vintage Market as a blogger for the very special Vintage Tour Blogger created and deliciously held by Sara Biondi (News Eventi Como).

It was such a great thing to share this amazing experience with other bloggers of different areas, background and history, and meet them all in this special area completely dedicated to us, the “Vintage Concept Sofa.” The VCS is a wonderful retro space created by Matteo Agresti of AM Florence, an awesome artist specialized in vintage remakes. In this beautiful and intimate space we could tell a bit more about ourselves and our blogs and share our views, experiences and ideas on blogging, vintage, fashion and many other subjects.

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We had the chance to make a very personal tour around the two big pavilions of the AVM and meet the amazing stallers of the fair: mostly vintage dealers and sellers or handmade artists. I met old friends like Dorotea Vintage, Magnifica Preda, Camden Town, Shabby Chic, Lamù Vintage, Stondo etc., and new ones like the lovely Valentina from Déjà Vu, Maurizio from Maustore Vintage or Michela the artist of Lumière Bijoux.

During my tour I took some pictures with some of my favorite pieces, like this amazing hat from Stondo Firenze (for the first time I didn’t get any of their beautiful hats… also because I think my hatbox already holds pretty much their whole collection!!)

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Or this beautiful fuchsia vintage coat with fur collar from Maustore Vintage…

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We also had the chance to pick from one of our favorite sellers’, pieces to wear and make a vintage photo-shoot with our best-loved piece: I chose a wonderful vintage cream and navy dress from my adored Dorotea Vintage. We then took some pictures inside the fair (lovely vintage décor!) and together of course!!

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As you may notice my hair and makeup is done completely different from my arrival: four of us bloggers had the opportunity to get a burlesque inspired hairdo and makeup session with the lovely Ilenia from Capelli di Stile: it was perfect timing for some pictures and a funny interview with Ilaria from Vintage Lovers & More at the AVM Live Radio, the official radio of AVM.

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A lot of different activities like: late afternoon live music, a car expo and various workshops were just a few of the many options for the lucky visitors of this edition of Arsenale Vintage Market.

I must say that I had a blast there and I enjoyed not only the company of my fellow bloggers, but the whole organization and atmosphere of my first Arsenale Vintage Market!

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Oh… I forgot to share my finds of the day (which, believe it or not can all fit in one picture!): a poster from a 1939 Vogue’s cover and a Pop Art book from Happy Books and a lovely handmade heart ring from Lumiere Bijoux!

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The Ladybug, a Bottle of Whisky and a Cargo Full of Burlesque: Miss Polly Rae at Cutty Cargo, London

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Do you remember when I told you about releasing my Burlesque Goddess? I told you then that I’ve always been an avid reader and watcher of burlesque shows and reviews, but I had never tried it until the day Miss Polly Rae came to Milan for an awesome workshop on burlesque. She was amazing on video, but she was even better in person! I really enjoyed myself and I appreciated Polly Rae’s professional yet funny approach.

Since then I started following her more, specifically as one of my favorite burlesque artists: she is the star and the creator of London’s most famous West-End burlesque show: “The Hurly Burly,“ and she is the example of how love, passion and dedication for your art can catapult you to mass appeal!

It was recently that I read about her upcoming burlesque show; which merely calling this venture a “burlesque show” is definitely reductive as it’s a series of events that begin next Thursday 12th of September. Then will begin the first installment of the Cutty Cargo Series called Cutty Sark’s. It’s a special event where theater meets dance, and burlesque in particular.  The hottest talent from across the city will be brought together in one place for one night, inside a giant reproduction of a wooden cargo crate, used to smuggle Cutty Sark Whisky into America 90 years ago.”

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It’s a new concept of burlesque show that will start in London the day after tomorrow and will tour to bring music, dance, visual art, theater, food and design all around the world- including New York, Tokyo and Barcelona! I’m waiting to know if it will ever touch Milan. If so, I’ll be sure to catch it, especially after reading Polly Rae’s comment about the event:

“London is very open-minded and the city has helped evolve the burlesque scene and transform the dance style into a visual spectacular fusing cabaret and circus. Cutty Cargo will be an intimate venue and I’m creating a whisky-inspired bespoke piece to leave the audience mesmerised – people should expect to see glamour, sophistication and a little bit of naughtiness!”

Miss Polly Rae will be accompanied by The Shanty Theatre Company, a group of famed Londoner storytellers: “they will take the audience on a fantastical journey as they perform an epic love tale laced with iconic images. Mysterious twists will shock and captivate the audience as the plot unravels.”

Artists, Jesse Ware and DJ Duke Dumont will provide the soundtrack of the event.

If you are in London don’t miss out this incredible event: you can find more information and win tickets here on their site.

You can also enjoy this video of the lovely Miss Polly Rae preparing for the event and sharing with us what we should expect from the Cutty Cargo show:

The Ladybug Accepts the Call of Summer Jamboree 2013: Senigallia By Night

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For those of you who never heard about the Summer Jamboree, it is definitely the most important, famous and amazing Italian Festival of the American culture and music of the 1940s and ’50s. It started 13 years ago and year by year it attracts people from all over the world, all ages and cultures in a beautiful festive atmosphere which I enjoyed during that weekend.  Ten days of music, costumes, clothes, accessories from the ’50s… you almost have the feeling of living during that era.

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I was surprised by the massive amount of people walking around the streets of Senigallia on Saturday night, moving from a stage to another places in some of the central squares of the village to listen to the best Italian and International Americana artists, or dancing rock ‘n’ roll or just shopping vintage and retro clothing in the many stalls all along the lovely streets of the town. From neophytes to aficionados, everybody tried to honor the Festival by wearing something ’40s/’50s, rockabilly style! I was completely amazed by the crazy quantity of events, concerts, parties: Hawaiian inspired parties, Burlesque classes, vintage car expo and even a Johnny Cash expo!

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During the day, the beaches are full of adorable pin-ups in their ’50s bathing suits- enjoying the Adriatic sea and the town is a desert (only me visiting around apparently!), but when the night falls everything changes and that’s when the party begins! It is impossible to describe the amount of people invading the streets of the city center, but the atmosphere is magical! I also managed to buy some little things (a beautiful Laura Ashley dress at “Fermata d’autobus”  a lovely seller from Livorno  and a pair of vintage “’80s does ’50s” sunglasses from Punti di Vista… you will see them both worn here soon!). And for sure it was great to say cheers to my friend Marco from Opherty & Ciocci who brought some of his amazing stuff as well.

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I decided to KISS… “keep it simple & sexy,” yet inspired: I wore a simple one strap black body top by Topshop and a long black skirt from American Apparel; I added my new vintage Prada black sandals and then I went for a touch of red and a touch of retro! A vintage red clutch and a beautiful red orchid hair-clip that I picked up on Ebay! …Red lips (Armani… my new favorite lippy) and nails (Chanel Dragon) and a pair of amazing original glasses from the late ’40s found in Reggio Emilia from Tabatà Vintage.

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The Ladybug’s a Rockin’ Robin at the “Rockin’T’Park” in Milano

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Two weeks ago I was invited by my friend Angela Eupani, CEO of Sculptures to Wear, to the first Vintage Festival Expo, which happened in Milan on the 15th and 16th of June.

I really like to go to the very first edition of Fairs or expos because, unless it’s a reincarnation of a previously named event, you have nothing to compare it to and they appear as something completely new. When I read the flyer, I immediately got excited about the program: the Festival was a real tribute to America and Americana. It put together the best of Rock’n Roll, Jazz, Country-Western and Rockabilly styles. From dancing classes and free dance floor, to workshops and exhibitions on burlesque, jive and boogie-woogie; from vintage styling to a vintage cars expo and of course, a vintage market with clothes, accessories, toys, books, posters, vinyl and furniture.

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Let me say that the promises were definitely kept! I decided to spend my afternoon (and night!) there just hanging around and spending some time with Angela. No need to say that I hellicoptered the main area with the vintage market and the rockabilly style!!

I was very pleased to find many new stallers that I hadn’t met before, like the lovely Sweet and Ginger who had the nicest handmade rockabilly accessories or the place where I bought this lovely handmade fascinator that got my attention from the moment it caught my eye (damn, I’m getting old and I can’t remember the nice lady name!)

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For the occasion I am wearing a vintage red dress from Rokit London in Brick Lane, a pair of studded red ankle boots and a pair of retro inspired frames from Lopposto in Forlì.

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After some burlesque exhibitions and, as you can see, a bit of shopping; I headed to Angela’s stall where I spent most of my time! I met Angela in Belgioioso at Next Vintage in April, and maybe you remember me mentioning her because she was the seller of that cerise red Balenciaga that I saw there.

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We decided to keep in touch and we did indeed: Angela is a tireless source of ideas, tips and advice on almost everything: from blogging, to selling, to vintage and event planning and marketing. I could stay hours listening to her and to her stories and ideas. As in Belgioioso, here too her stall was full of beautiful things, I took some pictures to show you some of my favorite pieces.

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She is not just a seller of beautiful things (especially wonderful designer handbags!), she’s also a vintage stylist and researcher who organizes incredible shows and events related to vintage fashion (like the very famous Vintage Workshop) and she works on spreading the love and passion that she has for vintage fashion and jewels. You can find her here.

Oh… I forgot to tell you… I came back home with this! The Balenciaga Le Dix Motorcycle in red cerise is finally mine!! (Special thanks to “Sculpture to Wear” and Angela!)

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The Ladybug’s Lessons For a Better You: Releasing My Burlesque Goddess with Miss Polly Rae

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You may know now that I am a very curious girl. I enjoy new experiences and since I am in Milan I must say that the occasions to do something new and different have increased incredibly.

In the last few weeks I have been looking for a couple of new things to try… like yoga, or burlesque! I had been looking around until I found this very interesting advert on Facebook from the Voodoo de Luxe Agency and the burlesque teacher Milena Bisacco in Milan. It was about a two-hour workshop in Milan with… Miss Polly Rae!

I am sure many of you have already heard of her… She is one of the most talented and influential burlesque artists in the UK and when I saw her name I understood that I really needed to go there for my maiden voyage into the burlesque world! Since she was in Milan for the show Les Follies Burlesque, she was invited, for the first time, to give a short clinic on burlesque.

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Milena was a wonderful host, and Miss Polly Rae was absolutely amazing! Not only is she a wonderful performer, but she is a lovely, funny and prepared teacher.

I had the chance to talk with her before the class started, about her great hairdo, her experiences and about the fact that I was a complete beginner with very poor self–confidence… a desperate case! If burlesque was about feeling fabulous and sexy I was probably the most challenging pupil in the room! I let you imagine my face when I realized that I was the only “burlesque virgin”! I felt completely out of place for a moment, but let me tell you that Miss Polly Rae did a great job even with me! After a short presentation about what she does (she is one of the most appreciated burlesque performers in the West End in London and her show “The Hurly Burly” has been touring with huge success)  and what she thinks of burlesque (every woman should try it, not only because it is sexy but mostly because it helps releasing the funny, silly, fabulous woman that is inside of us), she promised to give us two hours of real fun!

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She also encouraged us to feel free, to let ourselves go, to really enjoy our bodies and our femininity with no worry about the others in the room: that was the only way for us to get what we paid for!

I decided then to follow her advice and enjoyed myself (literally!) for real: from simple burlesque tips (like eye contact, facial expression, isolating body movements and removing gloves… loved that part!) to the secrets of tease, shimming and bump and grind… those two hours passed by very quickly and with more fun than expected!

I managed to let my fears fly away and I started enjoying watching myself in the mirror and feeling great in my skin. Is it a miracle? No, just a burlesque class!

And here we are, after the class… thank you Miss Polly Rae… it was much more than dancing and routines… and you are such an inspiration!

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The Ladybug announces a very vintage weekend with Luigi Cagliari from Tara Vintage

 It has been quite a silent month for Italian vintage lovers: after the Belgioioso Fair in October, a full vintage weekend is expected in Emilia Romagna for the end of November.
From the 18th to the 20th (from 10am to 8pm) Modena will be the stage for one of the biggest Antiques Fairs in Italy; the 7.8.Novecento and third edition of Vintage Circus. The best of Italian designers’ (and not) vintage will be presented with many collateral events, all of which are worth a visit. For example Chicas Locas will teach you how to play with retro make-up and hairstyles (“Gioca col Trucco e Parrucco”). You can learn how to move like Dita Von Teese with the Burlesque classes, or get a lot of information and deepen your curiosities about the History of Costume and Fashion (further details on www.7-8novecento.it)

One of the scheduled events, in Modena, that got my attention is an expo on lingerie and corsets organized by Tara Vintage which is one of the most successful Italian vintage dealers of “Pizzi, piume e crinoline. Le femmine sono tornate” (Laces, feathers and crinolines. Females are back).
I had the chance to meet Luigi Cagliari, from Tara Vintage and to ask him some questions about the expo, the company and, of course, vintage!
TLC: Luigi, Tara Vintage is considered a very important reference in Italian Vintage landscape. Please tell us your story…
Luigi: Tara Vintage started in 2006, from a real passion for the fashion of its founder, Patrizia Fissore. She’s a very refined fashion collector and during the years she’s bought and meticulously taken care of vintage pieces of the most famous couturiers and designers of the 20th century. This huge passion for hunting unique clothes and accessories moved me and lead Tara Vintage to specialize in the Italian vintage landscape in designer vintage bags and accessories, along with clothing.
In 2007, we started the site www.taravintage.com and we opened the boutique Tara Vintage in Bra (Cuneo, Italy), in via Gianolio 41. There you can find particularly rare and valuable pieces, hard to find objects whose beauty and charm don’t fade with time. Every vintage object from Tara Vintage has been chosen for its quality and uniqueness. We personally select every piece based on our own taste, but also on its history and quality.
The history of Tara Vintage as a retailer is quite recent, but it permeates a strong desire to spread a real vintage culture in Italy. This because we are, first of all, passionate lovers of those objects and we always strive to gain a wider knowledge of them; we realize there’s something new to learn every day.
We give special care to the originality of the objects that we propose. And to the correct information we give to those who approach vintage or the collection of these objects. We strive to give them the most detailed and comprehensive description of what we sell (particularly aiding in dating when it is not stated).
TLC: At the 7.8.Novecento Fair in Modena you will present a charming exposition on lingerie and corsets from the 19th century to the 1990s, can you tell us more about it and which pieces do you consider most interesting?
Luigi: It is a real journey in the history of women’s lingerie from the corsets of the end of the 19th century until the 90s. It is also an evocation of a certain femininity that often disappears because it’s hidden by homogenizing garments.
Intimacy and seduction are life: vintage corsets are tools for this part of life!
Moreover, the materials and the manufacturing of an age get lost in time and in this exposition you can notice the quality of those vintage pieces compared to the more recent manufactures.
There will be quotes on the history of lingerie from famous divas. For example this one by Lana Turner: who, while in the States, was interviewed by a famous journalist who asked her how she became famous and she humorously answered: “I wore a good bra and a t-shirt two sizes smaller than mine!”
The most interesting pieces are without any doubt the older ones, like the corsets with whale bones, all handmade, very rigid and with a very tight waist, or the 50s and 60s girdles and the first bras.
TLC: Working as a leader in Italian vintage market you know very well the trends of vintage in our country. What is the situation of vintage in Italy in your opinion, especially if compared to the other European countries?
Luigi: As I mentioned earlier, the Italian vintage market needs to get a real [education on what the] culture of vintage really is. “Vintage,” nowadays, is a very abused word. People think that vintage is a synonymous with second-hand. In other European countries like France or the UK, vintage culture is completely different with a much clearer philosophy and foundations. There, they appreciate the vintage object for its quality and for its soul, compared to the new, insubstantial and homogeneous ones. They appreciate the chance to “recycle” and to have an unique object that their friends can’t buy in a shop because it has become, in its way, impossible to find. They appreciate the possibility of styling the pieces based on their personality or using a statement piece that will add a special touch to a contemporary outfit.
In Italy there are too few people who live vintage with the right philosophy: too often people are more interested in second-hand of recent designer pieces just to have a better price than in the shop. Anyway vintage is not for everyone and it will never be.
I appreciate a lot those who come and ask about it, those who want to understand and are open minded because they want to learn and get enthusiast for a quality timeless piece. I appreciate the desire of being different, even through the way of dressing [is what comes] through the objects.
The ones who have to create this new culture are us, the vintage dealers and retailers, but very often this doesn’t happen. We try to do our best, especially through expos that put the accent on the real essence of vintage. For example “Bagagli e dettagli di un viaggio al passato” (“Luggage and details of a journey at the past”) is one of the latest expos presented by another colleague: a journey through trunks and luggage, based on the evolution of the luggage itself and on the details that were part of a trip in the past ages.
The retailer is not just a seller, he [or she] has to get more information and has to be prepared as if every customer [they] impact is more prepared than [themselves]. This is our philosophy: we give precise and veritable information, we don’t invent things just because we need to sell. If a customer is prepared, they expect the right information and if they’re not they deserve our attention [even more so].
Recently I’ve seen more and more new retailers who start [selling or showcasing] without any knowledge on what they’re selling, creating embarrassment not only for themselves but also for the whole community of the vintage dealers’ system. For example, to sell recent pieces saying that they are from the 50s or the 60s just because they have signs of wear! [What is that?]
At the same time I must say that in Italy, there are customers who are prepared and informed vintage lovers and they are able to see through the smoke and wait and select the best finds.
Last but not least, in Italy, many people perceive the state of something that has been worn as a real taboo: they want the perfect piece with no marks or flaws. Whereas in France, for example, a sign of wear is appreciated as it adds more value and taste to the piece.
TLC: One of the things that we like to ask to vintage experts who talk with us is their tips on shops/fairs/markets in Italy or abroad- where you can find the best bargains ang get very interesting rarities…
Luigi: Paris is, for sure, the place where you can find the best historical exemplars and notice the differences in the vintage culture compared to us. In a city like Paris there are so many places that, in my opinion, anyone could go by themselves and make finds following their own personal tastes. You can find everything you’re looking for there: from clothing to bags to luggage.
In Italy, I suggest an event called Next Vintage in the castle of Belgioioso which is held twice a year (in April and October). But you can find great bargains anywhere, you just need to keep your eyes wide open and have a clear idea in mind. You need to love what you’re looking for and be sure that you can find it even if you were to look in a little market near your house! Hunting is the most important step for those who really love vintage. For me personally, it is a bigger sublimation than selling, but it can sometimes cause you sorrow because you can become addicted to the fact that after selling- you are already looking for an even more beautiful object!
 

And if all this is not enough, just head toward the coast not far from Modena to Rimini, or more precisely, Morciano di Romagna, from Saturday the 19th to Sunday the 20th (from 10 am to 7pm) to another interesting vintage event: Vint & Glam (more info www.blunautilus.it). You can find vintage objects, accessories and clothing of many different eras mostly from the 70s to the 90s. Many of our friends like Oggetti Smarriti and Lamù Vintage (do you remember my two favorite frames providers! Lol), Chicas Locas, Le Civette Vintage (my favorite in Rimini!) will be there along with many others.

Also, A.N.G.E.L.O. Vintage Palace will be there with their amazing itinerant fashion museum. We saw them in Forlì with the expo: Japanese Style on Issey Miyake. This time it will be Emilio Pucci vintage collection! More than 50 pieces including: cocktail dresses, day dresses, jackets, handbags and ties from the beginning of the 50s to the end of the 60s will be on display, along with the most famous prints of this fantastic designer. Besides of this clothing expo, A.N.G.E.L.O. will also present a very exclusive lingerie collection by Pucci which was designed for the American market.

I think it is a perfect weekend to breath some very good vintage… and to learn the art of seduction with vintage lingerie!
 
Enjoy those amazing expo’s pictures courtesy to Tara Vintage (“Pizzi, piume e crinoline. Le femmine sono tornate”)

The Ladybug lands on Memory Lane at the Forlì Vintage Fair

Vintage is all about memories, whether you’re recycling your own style with a renewed class or invoking the memories of others through your finds or creating your own memories by redesigning and defining your ideal style… Vintage IS memorable!

When I was 18 I left Sicily to go to college: I loved foreign languages and decided that I wanted to be a translator (don’t ask me what happened to that dream!). At the time one of the best colleges for Interpreters and Translators was the SSLMIT in Forlì – a lovely town between Bologna and the Riviera Romagnola where I spent the most amazing and happiest years of my life! Forlì was, and still is, a quiet and calm town where people prefer their bikes over their cars. It’s full of students from everywhere in Italy and abroad. Being situated near big cities like Bologna and great clubbing centers as Rimini and Riccione made it the perfect place to have fun, meet new friends and enjoy my first experience out of my hometown! This is why I hold great and happy memories of this place. It’s also why I was so excited to go there for the Forlì Vintage Fair which is probably the most important vintage event in Italy (they count about 15 thousand visitors every year, in two semiannual events). It also boasts as one of the oldest (the first edition was in 2008) ongoing Italian vintage fairs.

I took the train from Naples and met my friend in Bologna.  We then headed to Forlì by car.  With a full weekend ahead of us, we scheduled to only attend the event on Friday afternoon (the 23rd of September, opening day). I won’t explain here the emotions of that day (a great surprise in Bologna and all the feelings of my “homecoming!”), but I’ll try to share with you that afternoon of fun!

Basically the Fair was divided in 3 big areas: the proper vintage area, the biggest one, with many stands of vintage clothes and accessories from the ’40s to the ’80s; the design-remake area, a very interesting bunch of stalls where new designers exposed their retro inspired creations, using old recycled materials and creating new forms of art from the past; and the collectibles area, where it was possible to find any kind of antique object, from toys to perfumes to small furniture.

In the main vintage area I could find some of my favorite sellers and discover some more or even meet those with whom I’ve been in virtual contact, but had never met for real! A special mention goes to Tara Vintage, honestly the best designer vintage seller around with great clothing and accessories pieces from Chanel (I fell in love with a very expensive black pleated dress from Chanel! Sigh!), Hermès or Vuitton; to Opherty & Ciocci (I finally met my virtual friend Marco!) with the most amazing ’70s handbags (yes, I bought one!) and some great Gucci vintage pieces; and of course A.N.G.E.L.O. Vintage Palace, who is the ‘author’ of the beautiful vintage Issey Miyake itinerant museum. Then there’s Lamù Vintage (a new friend!), personally one of my favorite stalls for sunglasses (yes, I got a pair too….a fantastic Dior!) with Oggetti Smarriti, and to Boutique Nadine, on my top list of vintage and retro shops if you ever go to Florence (don’t miss it, as they added a new store recently!).

Also many events were planned during the Fair like burlesque classes, American bar and retro music artists playing live… I was tempted to attend a burlesque class, but I really didn’t have time because a long car trip to Milan was waiting for us that same night!

To be fair I also have to put my attention on two negative facts: first of all, the complete lack of air conditioning. It was freaking hot inside (and outside!) and we even left earlier because of that: it was impossible to try fur coats or wool hats and I guess this problem affected not only the visitors but also the sellers. Secondly, a negative mention to Di Renzo Vintage, a stall with cool vintage hats but very unfriendly owners. I was asked not to take pictures (erm….why?? They couldn’t say…crazy!) and when I said I was a blogger- they said I should have told that… Really?!?! So….we left there two hats we wanted to buy and put a cross on them! (Of course, no pictures of their stuff either! Lol) *note to owners: If they see it, they will come. Word of mouth is the best publicity.

Here are some of my pictures of the event. The Ladybug’s vintage finds of the day – Forlì Vintage Fair coming soon!

The Issey Miyake vintage collection from A.N.G.E.L.O.

A lovely burlesque performer

Some shots from the great Tara Vintage collection

Cute vintage inspired head-pieces

Cuteness!

A.N.G.E.L.O., of course!

Cute white glasses from Oggetti Smarriti (so stupid I didn’t buy them….pfff)

With Marco from Opherty & Ciocci

J’adore….

Rocking the 80’s…

Animal prints forever!