The Ladybug is retro or vintage?

TheLadybugChronicles Vintage&Retro (4)

Vintage or retro? What is the difference?

A vintage piece is an original piece from the past, a piece that had a life before ending in your hands, that resisted time and use, that traveled the world before finding place in your wardrobe.

A retro piece is totally new, made with new materials but reminding old styles for its shape or pattern.

I personally prefer original vintage but many of the “new” pieces of clothing that I have in my wardrobe are retro. Sometimes I just like to mix them up, just to give a vintage twist without wearing head-to-toe vintage.

That’s what I did a couple of weeks ago (before the heat invading Milan!) where I put together three retro pieces with a vintage one.

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Retro pieces:

          Although it looks absolutely vintage (the shape is based on a 40’s original pattern) the navy high waisted trousers with golden buttons are absolutely new. It is an handmade piece by Madame Ilary and definitely one of my favorite retro pieces!

          The pale pink shirt with fireflies is also new: it comes from Diffusione Tessile but its pattern and shape is absolutely retro inspired!

          Ankle boots: squared toe, moccasin ankle boots with golden chain…this pair of Marella boots are definitely inspired by the 60s, no doubt!

Vintage piece:

          Burberry original trench is one of my favorite vintage finds of the last few months! I was looking for one like this: men style but for women. I found it in a lovely vintage shop in Milan called Napoleone;

          Myself….an original piece from the 70s!!!

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The Ladybug on how to get the perfect retro look for the office (again!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Capra & Cavoli (3)

This is one of the most debated topics among vintage lovers and one of the questions that I receive more often from my readers. We love vintage, but how can we try to have a retro or vintage look when we work in a corporate office and we are supposed to wear suits? Shall we leave our passion for our weekends?

My answer is always: No! When I started working in a corporate office (where I still work) I standardized my workwear to look like the others: dark colors, blazers, pencil skirts etc. It didn’t work for too long as after a few months I realized that this was totally killing my personality. With time I decided to add small vintage and retro pieces just to add color or a retro touch to make people get comfortable with it. After more than ten years I wear vintage shirts, dresses or jewels at work and I have managed to make my colleagues understand that this is just a part of myself. I never cross the line but I don’t want to hide my own personality every day during the week or have a double wardrobe, one for work one for my spare time. Well, there are still things that I wear only during the weekends and that I would never wear at work but I can say that they are limited.

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If I’m not wearing vintage, I always try to make it look retro, by adding details that say “Hey, this is me!”. I went all black for this outfit, wearing a classic little black dress from Diffusione Tessile paired with a bon-ton retro black spring coat by Benetton (they have them in many colors though and for a very good price!). If you wear all black with a pair of heeled bicolor lace-up shoes like these from Fratelli Rossetti, you will see that they will change the whole outfit! I added my day bag from Miu Miu (it pairs perfectly with the color of the shoes and it is big enough to contain all my stuff!) and a very retro touch with this adorable flamingo brooch from Erstwilder, one of my favorite jewelry labels lately (I am totally obsessed!) that I bought in the lovely Godiva vintage boutique in Edinburgh (btw, I will tell you everything about my last trip to Scotland very soon!).

If you also add waves to your hair I guess that your perfect retro outfit is ready for your next workday!

PS: The pictures are not taken in an office, but mostly in Capra e Cavoli, one of my favorite spots in Milan for a good aperitivo (I love their mojito and they always offer new great side dishes!), but it was just a drink after work, so my outfit comes from a real workday! (I thought the disclaimer was pretty much needed! Hehe)

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The Ladybug’s personal Stramilano “after party”!

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As I mentioned in my last post, once the physical effort of running 10K at the Stramilano run was over, with the girls we thought that we deserved a serious “after-party”!

After stretching, partying with the other runners and showering we were ready to head to the Navigli to have a serious drink and food session in one of our favorite spots in town: the Brazilian-Sushi restaurant Temakinho! They have irresistible sushi made with Brazilian ingredients and everything on the menu is a mixture of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine that we adore! Also, they have the best caipirinha and amazing fruit smoothies…but it wasn’t a day for smoothies…we needed to celebrate!

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We spent our Sunday afternoon on the Navigli just enjoying the sun and the cocktails, walking around and taking some pictures for my outfit post hehe!

I wore a retro printed pink shirt from Diffusione Tessile, Max&Co navy cape-coat and Imperial navy trousers. I added  New Balance sneakers, Valentino shades, Miu Miu bag and a retro touch with my palm brooch (a tribute to the upcoming warm season!) by Marion Godart.

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The Ladybug on Spring, girlfriends and Herb Ritts

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Imagine the first Spring weekend (well, the one just before!), your girlfriends being in town for the Stramilano (Milanese run) the next day and many girlish things to do during the weekend. What is on the menu? Food, running, shopping, pictures, art and much more!

It was hard to put everything in a weekend program but we managed and we are very happy about it, even if on Monday we felt like we needed the whole week to recover from the last two days! But let’s be honest, the time spent with your friends is the best time ever whatever you decide to do but when you do all the things you love and they love, well it is priceless!

This is just the photo-story of a Saturday in Milan, from a healthy regenerating lunch at God Save the Food to the Herb Ritts exhibit at Palazzo della Ragione, from shopping in the city center (including our favorite Bivio shops) to a vintage glass of wine at the Sine Modus shop in Porta Venezia, ending with a delicious Russian dinner at La Veranda, my favorite Russian-Ukrainian place in town.

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Let me just add a few words on Herb Ritts exhibit “In equilibrio” at Palazzo della Ragione until the 5th of June: there is not much to add about this incredible photographer but believe me, the exhibit is absolutely worth a visit for the collection exposed of fashion and celebrities photographs (including one of my favorite Prince photograph and my adored Bill T. Jones series) but also to admire his incredible art of making powerful portraits.

This is basically how we prepared for the 10K run of the next day…not really healthy preparation I know but incredibly fun!

I wore Diffusione Tessile navy maxi coat, Penneys striped shirt, Met jeans, Traffic People headband, Valentino glasses, Miu Miu bag, Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers and Nars red lips courtesy of Simona!).

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The Ladybug’s personal search for Vivian Maier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Ladybug supports handmade designers at the Blue Velvet Atelier

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

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

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

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

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