The Ladybug is PrePPy in vintage!

The Ladybug Chronicles Preppy (2)

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 “friendly” weekend in Rome

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My weekend in Venice was not the only one out of town in March: I also spent a great weekend in Rome to visit my adorable friend Simona and with her my new bunch of friends in town.

The great thing about it is that each of them has their own special feature: for example one is a great runner, which makes sport an important part of the weekend, one is specialized in great restaurants and music selection in the car (yeah, you know who you are!) ensuring at least a great dinner and lot of singing especially on the way back home, one knows (and makes) the best cocktails so that drinking is covered as well and Simona is the perfect pair for running, drinking, eating with special bonus for shopping and art.

Art was indeed the first excuse for this trip: the exhibit on Henry Toulouse-Lautrec was at the Ara Pacis museum (it is still there until the 8th of May) and we planned a lovely visit on Sunday morning. It was my first Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and I was totally amazed by his art including posters, illustration and photographs. What I liked most about the exhibit was the way it managed to re-create the world in which the artist worked: the Paris of the Belle Epoque, the bohemian city of the late XIX century.  After the visit we walked to Piazza di Spagna, had a healthy stop for lunch at Ginger in via Borgognona and enjoyed some window shopping in this amazing city.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (7)

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I never get tired of walking in Rome: on Saturday (after a morning run with the girls and a classic dance class in the afternoon!) we headed to Campo de’ Fiori for a drink. It was a special occasion in Rome that day: the rugby match between Italy and Scotland turned the whole city into a great party venue. Handsome Scottish men in kilt were hanging around playing the bagpipes (it happened also in the restaurant where we ate later and it was AMAZING!), drinking beer and making it even easier than usual to chat and have fun with strangers in the streets! It was the funniest thing ever!

By the way, if you want to try a good restaurant in Rome we went to Casa Bleve, in the courtyard of wonderful XVIth century building in via del Teatro Valle where you can also visit the Roman ruins of an ancient wall, have a great quality dinner and be sure to find the perfect wine that goes with it.

(For the visit to Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit I wore Stefanel camel coat, Acne Studios jeans, Prada sweater, Lazzari brogues, Miu Miu bag and Momonì scarf).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (1)

The Ladybug answers THE question: did you visit EXPO?

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If you live in Milan I’m pretty sure that the most frequently asked question you have answered in the last few months is always the same: did you visit EXPO? It happens at least once a day and it may come from a friend, a colleague, someone you meet in the subway, your family and friends leaving somewhere else, the owner of the bar where you use to get your coffee in the morning: the question is there and you need an answer! Also you need to get prepared for a second question coming in case of affirmative answer: How is it?

Well, as I had to cope with this question for the last few months I decided that, as EXPO happens in my town and it is “just around the corner” I had at least to step in and see what it was all about!

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The occasion came a few weeks ago, when we organized a ladies night out with my colleagues to go to EXPO in the evening to watch “Alla Vita!”, the Cirque du Soleil show especially created for the EXPO: it is a one-hour show at the open air theatre and if you haven’t seen it yet and have never watched a Cirque du Soleil show before you can’t miss it (you have time until the 31st of August). You can admire the dancers, acrobats and artists who made the history of Cirque du Soleil and believe me, the show is really worth a visit!

At the same time you can take advantage of the five-euro ticket for the night entry to have a look around and see what EXPO is, while sipping a Colombian mojito or eating Belgian fries with your friends! You can also take pictures at the China, Ghana or Nepal pavilions or get lost in the colors and scents from your motherland (yes, I needed to have a look at the Sicilian pavilion!). Of course the main attraction remains the famous Tree of Life, incredible at night with its colored lightening; I guess you have seen it in pictures everywhere but I must confess that seeing it for real is an experience!

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If my answer to the (in)famous question is then “Yes”, I’m not sure that I’m really prepared for the second one: How is it? As I didn’t spend too much time there and only had a quick look around before the show I allowed myself a second chance for a whole day, just to make sure that I can give a serious advice while answering the second question; in the meanwhile I just answer: “Seems cool!”

As I wanted to do EXPO in a vintage style, I wore a lovely dress from Episode Vintage in Bruxelles, Lazzari shoes, Michael Kors bucket bag, Topshop belt and Valentino sunglasses.

Be sure that I will share my second “serious” visit here but now I want to know: did you visit EXPO? And…how is it? 😉

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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 in Turbans Wonderland: The Grand Opening of Sine Modus

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Sometimes being happy for other people’s success is really hard, I know. Most of the time, it’s because we don’t think it is really deserved and we pass our false felicity for their fortune with the notion that it is just good luck or make other haphazard excuses for their success. But believe me, when it is completely deserved and is the fruit of hard work, you cannot be anything other than happy and even a bit proud, especially when you were one of those who believed in it.

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This is what happened with me for the huge success of the beautiful Manuela and Chiara, the amazing souls behind Sine Modus. But let me start from the beginning, which means December 2013 when I met them at the Lekker Market and could not move away from their stall of amazing turbans. You may know already my passion for hats, turbans, headbands, fascinators and anything that you can wear on your head, to the point that I often feel naked when I can’t wear something on it- especially in winter. And their handmade turbans were to die-for! I even bought one, not the one that I chose at first, but a turquoise one that they put on my head and I just fell in love with at that very exact moment. They were mostly classic turbans but very well done, with amazing variety of materials and with incredible shades and decorations. But what really made me crazy was the fact that their turbans were recycled from vintage dresses and shirts, giving them new life under the form of turbans. Since then I felt that they “had something:” they told me that they mostly sold at markets and events and that I could find them on Facebook if I wanted more handmade turbans. Which I did, of course. Every time they were at some market/event I went to find them to try new pieces (as they evolved to new more structured forms) and of course to get some new turbans to add to my collection. When I wear their turbans it’s always a smashing success (people stopping me everywhere in the streets and asking me about them – even in London!). We often talked about them selling online or even open a shop- and then it happened, almost a year after we first met. I was full of joy when I received their invitation for the opening because they were finally rewarded for their hard working and of course because I finally have a place where I can find them whenever I want!

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It is a cute little shop in Milan on via Pomponazzi, 22 full of vintage pieces (from clothing to accessories) and of course loads of hats and their famous handcrafted turbans! You can recognize it from the big “ Vintage is in the Air” quote on their window and from the two beautiful and talented girls inside!

Well done ladies, very well done!

I wore Topshop silk shirt, Zara pleated skirt, Lazzari oxfords and of course one of my adored Sine Modus handmade turbans!

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The Ladybug Lives Life Off the Wall at Swing’n’Milan

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Last year I missed a very important weekend in Milan because I was out of town: two events that I really wanted to attend to be precise. The first event was Swing’n’Milan, an event completely dedicated to the beautiful ’30s & ’40s dance Lindy Hop (swing). This event started last year- apparently with huge success, and I got an idea of what’s happening around the swing movement in Milan when I went and saw for myself how many people were there and how many of them were serious Lindy Hop dancers.

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I admit, I am very bad at it: I can’t swing, but I started my very first steps during the free class for the beginners, like me, event on Saturday evening. It was funny as hell and I am still looking for the perfect dance school in Milan to start soon. By the way… do you have an idea of how many swing schools there are in Milan??? Loads!

Although I am not a dancer, I enjoyed the event very much: many bands took the stage during the two-day event and I saw the NP Big Band on Saturday night. People dressed in perfect vintage style were dancing to the rhythm of Lindy Hop in a lovely atmosphere full of vintage stalls of every kind: from the lovely girls of Place Minuit (one of my favorite retro shops in Milan) to the vintage pieces of Memory Lane and Telma Vintage, to the perfect retro barbershop (our friends from Bullfrog), to the lovely vintage corner full of American cakes by our friends from the Vintage Bakery!

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Also, the location was near perfect: the Great Gatsby styled dancing room of La Pelota had the energy I believe was felt in the old black and white footage I’ve seen over the years.  Well… at least until the end of the night, because like every night, at the closing of the ballroom- the party moved to a secret destination to sustain the atmosphere of an era past!

For the event I wore a lovely denim sailor dress from Pepaloves, brogues from Lazzari Store and a vintage bag that I found on Ebay!

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The Ladybug Pollinates Marni’s Flower Market

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My last event of Milan Fashion Week in September was also my favorite one!

On September 21st Marni started the celebrations of its 20th anniversary with the opening of the Marni Flower Market at the Rotonda della Besana. Perfect location for a lovely, adorable event!

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It was a real Flower Market with beautiful flowers wrapped in Marni prints papers, seeds sold in beautiful printed packages (the same seeds were given as a press invitation to the event!), flower bags and gardening tools- all especially designed for the event by Marni.

During the entire afternoon, the public could shop and take flowers and the unique memories from this one-off event home. There were many workshops for children held in the park outside the Besana where you could find beautiful flower compositions with handmade creations representing birds were exposed throughout.

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But Marni Flower Market it’s not just a happy and colored event: it comes from an active collaboration of the brand with the MUBA – Museo dei Bambini Milan, whose headquarters are located inside the Rotonda della Besana. Moreover, this project comes from an important charity initiative held by Marni.

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A part of the proceeds from the sales of all the limited edition products are indeed donated to the Vimala Association which guarantees seriously disabled Tibetan children living in India for medical care and physiotherapy, as well as food and the maintenance of their school-house.

A beautiful event in a wonderful location for an important cause: could Marni do better than that? Nah…

For the occasion I wore a pineapple printed shirt from Lazzari, Zara skort, ’80s vintage envelope Yellow clutch and Miu Miu Golden gladiator sandals from many seasons ago!

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The Ladybug is a Photogenic Lovebug in Verona: Visiting the Gordon Parks Photography Expo

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There are really a few cities in Italy that have a magic sound to me: cities I go to because I am a victim of their enchanting sound and atmosphere.

One of these cities is Verona. Maybe it’s because of the romantic aura of the place, maybe the beauty along the river, or the arena, the amazing food… maybe all of this, but now that I’m not too far from it- I try to get there as often as I can.

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I was in a sort of abstinence from Verona, so when I read that Gordon Parks’ photography expo “An American Story” was showing there, I decided to go and have a look (also because I missed it when it was in Milan last year). The expo was AMAZING: I am in love with Parks’ work and it was very well displayed and curated… definitely an expo to see if it happens not far from you.

Of course I also took some time for shopping (at Lazzari, of course), eating  some of the town’s deliciousness and hanging around like a tourist!

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Here are some of the pictures that I took there! I am wearing a Zara floral shirt and orange mini skirt that I paired with a vintage ’70s tangerine handbag that I bought in a vintage shop in Florence a few years ago.

I added my new favorite pair of espadrilles, animal printed and soft leather from Dune London.

My frames, also vintage, are from L’Opposto: a find from Reggio Emilia vintage fair last year.

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