The Ladybug’s Heavenly Trifecta: Mantova + Voglia di Vintage + Festival della Letteratura… YES!!!

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I decided a while ago to head to Mantova for one of the multiple editions of Voglia di Vintage, one of the most important vintage events in Italy. I didn’t know the city, it’s not too far and the event created a good occasion to do some vintage hunting.  Unfortunately, the stars never really aligned for me to get there… until recently.

As people usually say, “everything happens for a reason;” and the reason for me to wait that long was the combination two of my passions (traveling and vintage) just wasn’t enough… the Universe wanted for me to add another one of my biggest passions – literature – and to put them all together in the same town on the same weekend! Mantova is indeed not only a lovely little town with a lot of history, a beautiful city center, delicious food and a famous vintage fair; Mantova is also the perfect venue for one of the most important literature festivals in Italy that I’ve always wanted to visit, but never managed to get to.

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This is why I couldn’t deny the perfect invitation from all my passions in a same day: I decided to bring KNAGUI with me for this great adventure and I must confess that we had a lot of fun. The beauty of Mantova during these events is probably bigger than usual as it was full of people, different stalls of books, events, authors’ meetings in all the biggest places of the center and plenty of places to visit. We managed to go around all day and we enjoyed the festive atmosphere and the company of literature and vintage lovers from all over the country.

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We visited monuments, bought some books and, after a good lunch in an historical “Osteria”, we sat and digested in the beautiful atmosphere of Piazza Virgiliana where the fair was held. I love the idea of open air fairs, especially on such a beautiful sunny September day when it’s not too hot and you can enjoy the last sunrays while vintage shopping! Of course, there was some shopping beyond the books… a pair of vintage frames from Punti di Vista and a lovely handmade necklace inspired by Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea from Pamphlet, a handcraft artist from Mantova who makes beautiful handmade jewels.

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During this beautiful day I wore a colored vintage skirt from L Train Vintage in NYC, a striped Zara top, vintage bag and a pair of brogues I picked up from Shoegasm.  Now that I think about it, I guess I was in a New York State of Mind.

[photo credit: KNAGUI]

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The Ladybug Revisits New York in Her Turin State of Mind: Alicia Keys Live in Italy Summer ’13!


It is funny; lately all the artists that KNAGUI has mentioned or written about are making stops in Italy after their dates in The States.

It was the case of Solange Knowles, Lenny Kravitz and now Alicia Keys. I’ve seen the first at a fashion event not longtime ago, I saw Lenny enough times during my life and now, it was my first time seeing Alicia live!



I recall hearing the news of her coming to Turin for a concert made my Monday morning while I was heading to my office on the subway! I saw her face in an ad and I wondered what it was about, but it was late and I needed to get to the second stop.  There I realized she had a date in Italy and the only one was in Turin. No way was I going to miss her live this time!! When I arrived at the office I immediately bought the ticket!



After experiencing her, I can say that I was very happy to have gone. First of all, the trip to Turin was fun. And second, Alicia is AMAZING! Seriously, I was thrilled by her voice and her show, a real tribute to New York. She opened the show with “Streets of New York” and closed it with “Empire State of Mind” (her duo with Jay Z who appeared on screen). Speaking of Jay Z, I saw a bit of “Beyoncé” in her during the show. Consider the fact that she was amazing while playing the piano alone on stage (the Alicia that I adore), she would sometimes, as Andre 3000 said to John Legend in Green Light, step from behind that piano and let us know what’s goin’ on… dancing with four uber hot dancers and even singing ragamuffin-style, “Murder She Wrote!”



Four more things about the concert: she had fantastic background vocals. They did a duet during the concert, and in general, I was amazed by their “vocal presence” on stage. She played a lot of instruments on stage: piano, keyboards, drums- but her voice was to die-for! Throughout the show she wore purple: I was positively surprised by that. She wore it on a top at the beginning and it was the color of her gown at the end of the show (usually artists avoid this color on stage, but she showed courage and a love for the most wonderful color in the world!).




For the event I decided to wear retro inspired high street by mixing the retro inspirations eras! I’m wearing an Hawaiian print shirt from Topshop with an ’80s twist and a wanna-be ’60s orange skirt from Zara.

For comfort, I wore a pair of beige studded flats from Zara and my vintage (from the ’90s) cat print canvas tote.

Oh, yes I said four things: she had the hottest male dancers ever!!! (Huh, I said that already? Sorry, I forgot.) LOL