The Ladybug follows her heart to…London!

The Ladybug Chronicles London 2018 (11)

I am not new to pop-up trips, totally unplanned and decided in about 5 minutes so you shouldn’t be surprised if I tell you that this was exactly that type of trip! I am always ready for a London weekend: I have friends that I love to see when I am there and this city is always in my heart since my first trip there (when I was a kid!); it became a sort of second home since I spent my first year there.

Anyway, when I read on Internet about the first solo exhibit of the Senegalese photographer Omar Diop at the Autograph Gallery in Shoreditch (one of my favorite areas in London) I just opened my flights app and bought a flight to London immediately!

This is the second time that I do that this year, after my quick trip to Paris to see Malick Sidibé exhibit at the Fondation Cartier. This exhibit was definitely smaller in size but not less intense as it is a celebration of the African Diaspora and Black Resistance through portraits that are interpretations of events and black figures throughout history. And he is the first protagonist of this journey through African roots and culture around the world during many centuries of history: from Black Panthers to Senegalese “tirailleurs” to many other black portraits the two exhibits “Diaspora” and “Liberty” show the presence of Africa in European and American history. The power of this exhibit was immense and I was completely breathless at the end of the tour.

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The Ladybug Chronicles London 2018 (7)

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After the exhibit we had a nice walk around Shoreditch in search of Banksy and other street artists work, then we headed to West Hampstead for a nice tour of charity shops and vintage shopping (one of the best areas of London for charity shopping!). As it was Halloween weekend we took advantage of the festive atmosphere to join the celebrations in Shoreditch where we met some friends for a lovely night out!

Our Sunday was completely dedicated to relax and to the best vintage experience that you can have in London: the Pop Up Vintage Fair! You know that this event is my favorite one in London because of the beautiful atmosphere, the best vintage dealers in town…and the best vintage women of the City: my wonderful friends Maxine (the event organizer and founder of Pop Up Vintage Fairs), the beautiful Salina, the adorable creative Daisy of Make Thrift London and, last but not least, I finally met for real my Italian twin Darling Le Glam…so incredibly sexy, sweet and beautiful lady!

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The tea, sweets, chatting and shopping session was hard…but I left super happy and with a very heavy bag of vintage coats (three amazing vintage pieces that I will show you soon!) and jewelry and lots of love from my adored friends! Thanks God I had a plane to catch or I would have bought so many more things! The Pop Up Vintage Fair is a vintage lover paradise! This time the event was in the beautiful Saint Stephen Church but if you want to visit it in one of its locations just check their site to see where they are and when!

One more tip: as you can see from some of my pictures I had the chance to stay in one of the most incredible hotels in town, the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch! I loved everything there: the spacious and elegant room and bathroom, the wonderful terrace with an awesome view of London skyline, the retro bowling room and the magnificent Jailhouse Bar for a superb cocktail before heading out for dinner! Modern, comfy, with the most caring and helpful staff, our stay in London couldn’t be better than that!

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The Ladybug’s personal view on William Klein

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Before going on holiday I made sure to visit all the interesting exhibits happening in Milan…just not to miss any of them as they will mostly end in September and I don’t want to be famous anymore for being the last visitor of the last day of the exhibit!

In a hot Thursday afternoon I joined my friend at the Palazzo della Ragione to visit the William Klein exhibit, “A modo suo”. I always love the exhibits in this amazing place and I fell totally in love with this one! Klein’s multifaceted work (from painting to photography, movies and literature) is grouped in nine thematic areas starting from Abstractions, his first exhibit in Milan collecting his wall paintings for various Italian architects.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Klein (1)

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And then New York, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Moscow the towns where he lived and/or worked, a real journey in his favorite places in the world where he didn’t stop going around with his camera day and night to catch the essence of events or just ordinary street life.

The last part is dedicated to fashion and movies, two big areas where Klein exposed is talent and spread innovation.

If you want to visit the exhibit it is open until the 11th of September 2016.

For the event I wore my new vintage gem: a dress that I bought from Vintwear2 at Frock me Vintage in London, an original late 40’s dress with rare tropical print that I adore!

I paired it with Swedish Hasbeens shoes, Traffic People headband (both from London but from a few years ago!) and Miu Miu bag.

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The Ladybug is a London Citizen(M)

The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (4)

If you followed my London adventures on my social medias you probably saw pictures of the amazing hotel where we had the chance to spend our weekend, the CitizenM in London Bankside.

When we booked our trip we were intrigued by the place and we decided to give it a try as it was in a perfect location for our planned tour of London: a few-minute walk from London Bridge tube station, Blackfriars bridge, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe, Thames river, Saint Paul Cathedral and just in the middle of Southwark, full of lovely shops and restaurants. Location-side we couldn’t ask for more!

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The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (7)

But the CitizenM hotel was a real surprise when we headed in: it is a modern luxury hotel at affordable price with all the comforts that customers may ask for and the greatest design. Rooms are equipped with free wi-fi, flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies, touch-screen tablet for light, wake-up call and curtains control, rainfall shower in the bathroom with different lighting depending on your mood!

Moreover we loved the incredible trendy lounge bar and lobby work space, the colored 24/7 canteen for light meals and cocktails and the beautiful modern furniture (I was in love with my favorite red leather couch and with Robbie Williams giant photograph in the middle of the reception!). There is also a breakfast bar available, which serves coffee, tea, pastries and cooked English breakfast.

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The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (6)

This is one of these hotels where you don’t go just to sleep while you are on holidays abroad or on a business trip; it is an hotel to live and to enjoy with all the comforts and pleasures that it offers.

Personnel is young, helpful, kind and very welcoming (something that you don’t expect when the check-in and check-out are self-service) and we enjoyed fully our short stay in this adorable hotel.

You can find CitizenM hotels also in Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Glasgow (visit for more details or booking).

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The Ladybug Chronicles CitizenM London (3)

Leather jacket: IL2L at Shores, yellow printed shirt: Zara.

The Ladybug’s vintage tour of London pt.1

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London is just London: there is no right words to describe my love for this city. I try to go back every year because I feel the need to be there, to breath the air, to feel the atmosphere, to get lost in its amazing views, to discover something new that I didn’t know yet, to walk down the streets to find new details and feelings that this wonderful city still offers to me every time I go and stay for a while.

This time it was a long weekend to visit some friends, hang around, visit museums, go for shopping and of course vintage hunting!

On Friday evening I discovered a lovely place to eat, The Refinery, just near my hotel in Bankside where I enjoyed a good dinner, the company of great friends and the fresh air of London in a beautiful night in a vintage inspired atmosphere.

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The day after we started with a long walk along the Thames and a visit to the amazing Tate Modern a few days before the opening of the new building. It was such a pleasure to get lost in one of the best modern art galleries in the world! We also enjoyed a walk in the area (including Shakespeare’s Globe). We had a lovely lunch with friends at the Founders Arms pub, with a beautiful view on the Thames, Millennium Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge and of course Saint Paul cathedral on the other side of the river!

After lunch we immediately headed to Brick Lane, one of my favorite areas of London for vintage hunting. I couldn’t help stopping at my favorite places: Rokit, Blitz, Beyond Retro and Absolute Vintage! But one of the greatest things about Brick Lane is that you can decide to wander and get lost in this area and every time that you do so you will discover a new gem, a new place that you have never seen before! That’s how I found for example the lovely Vintage Basement in Cheshire street on my way to Beyond Retro!

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Don’t be surprised if I tell you that I didn’t buy anything…I was just enjoying the vintage hunting!

That same day I made another great discovery for dinner: the Taiwanese restaurant BAO, a tiny place in the West End, where we tasted the famous bao (in the picture below). We also discovered that it is one of the favorite places of many Londoners! Just try to eat there after your shopping in Oxford Street: you cannot book but the queue is very quick even on a Saturday evening and I promise you won’t regret it!

For the day I wore vintage shirt from Everybody’s Buying Vintage, Dixie culottes, IL2L fringed leather jacket, Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers and Miu Miu bag.

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The Ladybug Parts the Gray Clouds with a Vintage Smile in Como

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I hate rain! Yes; I hate it so much… not only because my hair gets awful and I want to scream, but also because I never know how to dress… Yet I am a vintage gal and vintage always has an answer!

I want to share my almost head-to-toe vintage outfit that I wore for a vintage event in Como a couple of weeks ago in which I matched some of my favorite vintage pieces from a bit everywhere!

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The greatest piece of the outfit is my vintage grey shirt with frills on the sleeves and collar. I bought it in a beautiful vintage shop in Brooklyn called Stella Dallas. Here I paired it with a grey vintage soft leather pencil skirt from Humana Vintage in Milan (it didn’t fit properly when I bought it, but now it is perfect!) and with a short grey jacket from Imperial.

I mixed this with Max&Co leather boots, a wool turban from Asos and a wonderful patent clutch from one of my favorite vintage shops in London, Dappa Boutique.

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The Ladybug is a Vintage Bike Rider at the Tweed Ride in Milan

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A few years ago in London I saw one of the most beautiful things in my life: hundreds of riders of vintage bikes amazingly dressed in impeccable vintage style all along the city center. I then found out that this very popular and famous event was very famous in London under the name, Tweed Run. Since then I tried, without succeeding, to participate in one of the London events, but I was never able to manage it.

Until now!

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During my summer holidays at home I found out about the Tweed Ride Italia: the concept was almost the same, but with a glimpse of Italian passion! I couldn’t imagine that there were enough people with this passion in Italy to create many events throughout the country, but I was wrong. I immediately contacted Ferruccio, the founder and the soul of the Tweed Ride, and he gave me the amazing news that the Tweed Ride was coming to Milan in September. It took me few minutes to check the site and subscribe to the event!

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 05

I didn’t have a vintage bike. Well, there was my old bike which I picked up second hand not too long ago. I didn’t have time to make it nice like the others by decorating it with flowers and all, and I wasn’t prepared to go all out with gingham clothes and handmade cakes, but I had some clothes that could fit the event! The main sponsor of the event was Avirex, the famous clothing brand and indeed everything started and ended at one of their shops in Milan. From Piazza San Babila we rode all around the city center, the liberty area, the Navigli, the Montanelli park to end up in the amazing Avirex store in via Comelico with a huge space outside to share drinks and something to eat.  There was an award ceremony and a flashmob styled dance session showcasing some cool swing and charleston with the amazing guys of Non Solo Charleston!

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 07

Maintaining the heart of vintage, Tweed Ride Italia was also a charity event- donating a part of our subscription fee to the non-profit organization ProAdamo which helps in research for prostate cancer and supports those affected by this form cancer and their families.

It is hard to explain how great it was and how it felt because I was so full of delight and surprised of finally participating… in my own country. And yes, maybe also the fact of sharing like passions for cycling with style and for vintage dressing, ’40s dancing and music in Piazza San Babila while waiting for the ride to start, seeing happy faces of everyone participating, smiles and the waves of the people looking at us and just the atmosphere individually and collectively take all the great words to describe my experience away from me and leave me with: “I really had the greatest time! Now I am just waiting for the next one!!”

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For my outfit… it isn’t actually vintage except for the ’40s bag that I found on Ebay, but I am wearing a J.Crew dress found for a ridiculous price at a charity shop in London, Topshop golden flats and an AMAZING turban handmade from my talented friend Ilaria (Madame Ilary). I added tons of fake and real pearls… but no diamonds!

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The Ladybug Goes Americana at The Vintage Roots Festival in Inzago

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It’s somewhat strange to think that one of the most famous Americana festivals outside of the U.S. is in Italy; moreover, that it’s held just a few kilometers away from Milan. It was the 6th edition, but this year I decided to splash my way on a rainy Sunday to experience my first Vintage Roots Festival in Inzago.

To be honest, I really can’t believe it took me so long to finally visit, seeing I’m such a fanatic of the ’50s, but this year I finally made it and I realized why people love it so much. First of all; the atmosphere is retro charged- you breathe rock’n’roll at every corner of the city center! It is hard to create this kind of ambiance, but I think that these few days of music, dancing and entertainment are really among the best I have ever attended in Italy.

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Vintage Roots Festival 2014 01

And they really do their best with amazing music sets and live concerts, a real pinup contest, vintage cars and motorbikes, dancing nights and dancing classes (rockabilly, jive and boogie woogie), live shows and a lovely market where you can re-live ’30s, ’40s and ’50s America.

You can also find people like the lovely Chiara, the make-up artist and hairstylist behind Chicas Locas, who will make sure you get a perfect vintage style… like I did! I had my hair done by her and I loved the waves so much. I also added a red orchid that I bought on Ebay longtime ago!

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I wore an ’80s does ’50s polka dot dress that I bought in an incredible second hand/thrift store in Ljubljana called Gvant: this was one of my best finds at the time. This shop, though really complicated to find and quite far from the city center, was amazing.  I found many interesting pieces there at ridiculous prices! One of my great finds was this beautiful dress (I paid about 15 euros for) that was kinda made for me!

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Vintage Roots Festival 2014 09

I am also wearing my beautiful navy bag from Un Altro Giro di Giostra, an amazing vintage shop in Reggio Emilia, and a vintage belt.

Last but not least, it was the first appearance for my newly purchased Swedish Hasbeens, which just landed in Italy from their pop-up store in London! They are incredibly comfy and stylish I can’t take them off my feet!!

Oh… and she is my girl crush of the day!

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The Ladybug Answers London’s Call Again: 2nd Stop – Columbia Road Flower Market, Saint Paul Cathedral, Retro Fish’n’Chips and Lots More…

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My second day in London was as busy and full of events as the day before, but at the same time- just as fun and interesting.

Daisy and I woke up early to spend the morning in a beautiful place that I had never visited before: the Columbia Road Flower market. The market itself is so colored and fun and full of wonderful flowers and plants that made me think that even I could have a green thumb! (yes, I am a plant killer!)

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But it is not only the market: the lovely shops all along the market and in the surrounding area are to die-for! Furniture, crafts, accessories, clothing, home-ware… we were all excited about each of them, and leaving was not an easy option because of how great our attraction was to the colors and the unicity of most of them!

It was also a nice place to spot some cute Londoners’ Sunday outfits, and listen to some vintage music sang by these three lovely ladies!

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It’s wasn’t until lunchtime we decided to leave the market and head to a place that we saw last year, around Old Spitalfields, but couldn’t taste because it was going to close: I am talking about the one and only original Poppies Fish and Chips on Hanbury Street where you can have delicious fish and chips, served by lovely retro waitresses dressed in Collectif in a typical ’40’s-’50s post war London ambiance with an original vintage juke-box! It is a bit full all the time, but this time we managed to get a place!


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The Ladybug Chronicles - London 2 2014 11

After a good lunch, our afternoon continued with lots of shopping and visiting around: from Saint Paul’s cathedral to Swedish Hasbeens popup store in Boxpark Shoreditch (where I finally bought these beauties), to more vintage shopping in Shoreditch and charity shops in West Hampstead.

For the day I wore an Aztec print ASOS dress, with Strategia studded boots, Max&Co messenger bag and a unique handmade yellow turban from my dearest, Sine Modus girls!

Goodbye London… I miss you already!

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The Ladybug Answers London’s Call Again: 1st Stop, Pop Up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 05My trip to London is now a regular date on my agenda. London has always been one of my top destinations, but now I have a lot more reasons to go there every chance I can. Aside from my very well known long love affair with the city, I’ve been blessed with beloved friends Daisy, Salina and Maxine who live there and I really need to see them as often as possible. We always have great times together and we always complain of how little time that we have every time we meet. Plus many things have happened in their lives lately, AND – let me tell you – they know the best vintage shops and coolest places in town!The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 02

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 01After a quick tour at Alfies Vintage Market (one of the most famous antiques markets in town) where I had the chance to see Daisy’s new space (we’ll talk about that again soon) and a quick stop at Deborah Woolf Vintage (beautiful shop where I found a beautiful African dress and a lovely charming owner), and after a beautiful flower headpiece for 2.5 pounds from the one and only in Old Spitalfield- Daisy and I finally got ready for the Meeting. We decided to head to Old Spitalfields Market where our lovely Maxine was all busy with one of the dates for the Pop Up Vintage Fairs, which I consider my favorite fair in London… and I must not be the only one because for the second year in a row they’ve won the The Vintage Guide to London’s Best Vintage Fair Award.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 03The Vintage stallers join here with the market’s regular staller for a multi colored and sparkling party where you can find handcraft, vintage, antiques in a beautiful frame of lovely shops and restaurants (like Collectif…. that was up for a sample sale that day!).The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 09

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 07The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 10We had a great lunch and some cupcakes and we spent a lot of time chatting with the sellers and enjoying the market with my adorable friends.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 08When the market closed, Daisy and I moved to Dalston, at the Dalston Street Feast, a beautiful night market where we enjoyed the best food from all over the world, beer, laughter and gin! We finished the night at a lovely bar full of vintage and antiques surprises in Dalston called Farr’s School of Dancing- WOW!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 04For the day I wore a vintage red dress from Humana Vintage, studded boots from Strategia, messenger bag from Max&Co and my beautiful flower garland from poppydaisy.comThe Ladybug Chronicles - Pop Up Vintage 2 06

The Ladybug Shares Her “Just-For-Me” ’70s Outfit Shoot

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Don’t ask me why, but I found it hard to release these pictures to the public: they were “mine” and I loved them so much… maybe it was the dress, the hat or just the lovely atmosphere of the day. Some time ago KNAGUI and I walked past this street art and decided to stop for a couple of pictures, even though it was quite windy!

I’m also particularly in love with all the things that I coordinated to put this outfit together: in part because they came from some lovely trips and partly because I just love them for being really good pieces!

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First the dress: it’s a wonderful long silky vintage dress in amazing condition from the late ’70s- I consider it one of my favorite pieces ever. I got in London last year when my friends took me to Retromania, a vintage charity shop that I fell in love with for their wonderful pieces at generally affordable prices.  I love the material, the colors, the shape… everything about this dress makes me feel good!

The hat is a vintage find from Humana Vintage in Milan: it is a bit small, but I liked it so much for the color and the feathers that I decided to buy it anyway (the price was very tempting too!).

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Hard2Share70s 07

The shoes are Jeffrey Campbell (purchased in Naples some years ago) and the lovely Chanel necklace is a find from a quaint vintage shop in Florence, Boutique Nadine, that I discovered during a beautiful walk along the Arno river, a few years ago.

[Photo Credit: KNAGUI]

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