The Ladybug’s Hell Design Week

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For those of you who have been following my blog for while it is now a fact that the Design Week in Milan is my favorite event/time of the year!

I love the international atmosphere and even if the installations in town are not always at their best, I can’t help loving the people and the mood of these days.

But this year it was the worst Design Week since I live in Milan: I was sick during the whole week and I could only get out quickly on Sunday to have a look around in some of my favorite spots but I was a bit disappointed. So I’m just sharing a few pictures of my “Design Day”.

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As it was a sunny day I first headed to the Blue Velvet market in Sant’Ambrogio where my friend Madame Ilary was selling her turbans.

We enjoyed the sun and the swing dancers, then I moved to Rossana Orlandi showroom in the same area, probably the best thing that I saw during the Design Week, especially in the beautiful area outside.

From there I headed to Marni showroom as last year I was in love with their installations for the event. I cannot say the same this year: the theme to present their outdoor design pieces made in Colombia was the Playland. Colored sand and playful children were everywhere and it was a bit of a mess although the overall idea was pretty cool.

I wore Acne Studios black jeans, Primark striped tee and my new vintage Burberry’s trench from Napoleone Vintage. I added white sneakers by & Other Stories, vintage bag from Cavalli e Nastri, Madame Ilary crochet headband, Metalica Creazioni brass loops and Valentino sunglasses.

I finished the day with the worst thing a girl can see in the street while peacefully enjoying the day and the sun: her ex with his new girl.

Design week over.

Sick again.

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The Ladybug goes 40’s for NYE

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Hello there! I was wondering how many of you just came back home from your first day at work after the long Christmas holidays?

Well, I did and I thought that I needed a last glimpse of Christmas before dismissing the idea of lovely winter holidays with family and friends until next year! So please forgive me if you can see Christmas trees and holiday outfits…I promise that this is my last one!

I love spending New Year’s Eve at home with my family and my closest friends, that’s why I decided for a festive outfit that I can still wear for a night out in Milan with a retro touch!

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I wore for the first time this beautiful retro inspired thrifted black overall from Max&Co with large trousers and deep V-neck with a wonderful 40’s inspired velvet turban by Madame Ilary. I really couldn’t resist to pair them for this outfit as I thought that they were just perfect together!

Shoes are grey heeled ankle boots from Liu-Jo (oldies), lipstick is my favorite NARS’ Mysterious Red!

What do you think?

Happy Monday girls…and stay retro, always!

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The Ladybug’s best discovery of 2015: Heka Couture!

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You know I love collaborations because they always mean double talent (when there is talent on both sides!) or at least double creativity and double effort. If you think about that many successful brands are created by couples: Dolce & Gabbana, Viktor and Rolf, Marchesa, Peter Pilotto, Proenza Schouler, DSquared2 and many others.

I don’t want to fly too high but some time ago I was introduced by my friend Ilaria, founder of Madame Ilary, to Gemma Vernò, founder of Gemma Vernò Hats, one of the greatest milliners that I have met so far.

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I love their work and I am a huge fan of their incredible handmade pieces, so you can imagine my joy when Ilaria told me that they were about to launch a new brand together with only handmade pieces and the best Italian quality regarding fabrics and cuts. The new brand is called Heka Couture and it was launched during the Milan Fashion Week at the Eivissa store in Milan with a lovely party where, together with Gemma and Ilaria, Eivissa’s owner Laura and my friend Simona we played the models wearing our favorite pieces from Heka Couture.

I try to show you as much pieces as possible but the collection includes hats, turbans, jabots, collars, culottes, waistcoats, dresses, jackets, skirts and trousers to die for! The shades are basically grey and black with some white every now and there, just to face the upcoming winter season in perfect style.

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The cuts are vintage inspired (one of the reasons why I loved them so much!) but the shapes are always essential; the use of top quality fabrics like lace and velvet add a sophisticated touch.

We tried to style some of our favorite pieces like the lace collar, the long waistcoat and the incredible hats and turbans, the coordinated tops and downs and the wonderful long dress worn by Laura.

Simona and I also wore a skirt and a bow jabot from Madame Ilary; I added Dixie black culottes, 8 brogues and Zara white shirt.

You can find Heka Couture on Facebook (you can contact Gemma and Ilaria privately) or at some pop-up events in Milan that I will definitely mention on my Facebook page! So follow us both there 😉

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The Ladybug’s outfit for a shopping day (the only one!) in Sicily

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I must confess that when I am on holiday in Sicily I bring with me super light suitcase: only swimsuits, flip flops, sun creams, sundresses, running shoes and clothes and maybe a dress or two in case I decide to do something different that going to the beach, running or relaxing at home. This is my real way to relax: I go out and do things eleven months a year and when I am on holiday I go in a total relax mood that doesn’t need any makeup or heeled shoes and dressing up.

There are just two occasions when I need to get dressed properly during my summer holidays: my birthday party and a last summer sales session at home usually with my sister in our favorite shops in town.

This is when we made this little shooting during a little break in our shopping session!

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I wore a Mango dark orange tunic dress with an handmade African knotted headband handmade by Madame Ilary with an old African fabric that I had at home (it was an envelope bag for an Asos Africa dress that I bought many years ago!), Nike for & Other Stories white sneakers (the only pair of shoes that I brought with me!), Valentino round frames and Miu Miu bag.

I’ve been told by a girl in a shop that I looked like a 60’s girl…best compliment of the day!

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The Ladybug and her journey through African art in Milan

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I remember that I was waiting for the train in the subway in Milan when I saw the poster of the newly opened MUDEC museum (Museum of Cultures) and of their opening exhibition “Africa, la terra degli spiriti”. My love for African culture and my curiosity for the new museum got immediately my attention even if it took me a while before finding the time to enjoy this experience, which happened about a month ago. I should have posted this earlier because the exhibition ended the 30th of August but for those of you who missed it I can tell you that it was really a shame because the exhibit was totally amazing!

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270 pieces of African plastic art were exposed, exploring the peculiar connection between humans and spirits in African art. The atmosphere of the place was magic, the sound and the music incredible which made this visit feel more like an exotic fairytale than just an exhibition visit.

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For the occasion I couldn’t help wearing my beautiful handmade African skirt made by Madame Ilary with original African fabric mixed with the retro style of a circle skirt! I love this skirt so much because I think it says a lot about me and what I love. I wanted for it to be “the statement piece” of this outfit and this is the reason why I paired it with total black: a simple t-shirt from Cos and a pair of décolleté from 8 (that I replaced with Lolita Milano flats when my feet couldn’t walk anymore!!).

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The Ladybug’s tips if you cannot (always) wear vintage at work!

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When you are a vintage addicted but you work in a corporate office it is not easy to wear vintage every day. I do my best by adding a vintage accessory or piece mixed with designer or high street pieces, but lately I am rediscovering the sweet taste of handmade pieces with a retro touch.

I might start to share more outfits of this kind with retro inspired pieces usable for your 9 to 5 work just to add some ideas to solve your vintage everyday dilemma in front of the mirror with a wardrobe full of vintage pieces but none of them is suitable for work! I know we are mostly on holiday right now but that dilemma is there, waiting for us the same exact day we will need to go back to work!

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Because my question is: why should we delete our own personality during the day, five days a week? I am a vintage gal but I respect my job, so here is the first of my retro inspired pieces that you can use at work.

The handmade skirt with big pleat in the middle is a perfect example: it is a piece that we can easily find in the late 60’s but that had its greatest moments in the 70’s and again in the 80’s. I loved the way it fitted the curvy bodies because it caresses the curves but the big pleat gives a kind of feeling of elevation and slenderness.

I picked up this handmade grey model created by Madame Ilary and I paired it with a simple with shirt by Cos (white, black grey and navy simple shirts are a must in the wardrobe to pair with statement vintage and retro pieces!), a pair of beige pointy heeled shoes by Les Lolitas Milano (just to add some more slenderness!) and a colorful beaded African necklace by Moschino to give an ethnic colored summer touch.

The black 80’s inspired bucket bag is Michael Kors and the diva black sunglasses are Celine.

More ideas soon on the blog in the meanwhile let me know what you think!

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The Ladybug’s happy Summer Jamboree 2015

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What more can be said about Senigallia Summer Jamboree?

I guess that if you follow my blog and if you love vintage, wherever you live in the world, you know everything about it! For me is the impossible-to-miss summer event: I love so much the atmosphere that I spend the winter months daydreaming of my so desired few days in Senigallia! I can call it my second home now as, after three consecutive years I know the place quite well and I already have my little favorites (my beach, my restaurants, my friends, my beer). Still I can’t get enough of my favorite vintage event in Italy: the live music and dancing all along the city center, the crowd of vintage people, the happy and relaxed atmosphere, the pinups at the beach, the vintage cars, everything makes you feel like living in another place and another era and you know how much I love the 40’s and 50’s! Themed parties, burlesque shows, live concerts on different stages, dance classes and an incredible vintage markets with the best vintage retailers where you can also get your vintage hairdo or makeup!

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I love getting dressed for the event, walking and meeting all my favorite vintage sellers and friends, sipping a beer and trying some swing and rock and roll steps (even if I am still not able to dance!) and just enjoying the priceless atmosphere!

This year I could only spend one day at the Summer Jamboree but I lived it all from the beach time (in a vintage style with a 40’s inspired Frida Querida one piece) to the night out wearing a special outfit especially created for me for the event by the fabulous Madame Ilary who made my beautiful high waisted navy trousers with golden buttons paired with navy asymmetric turban decorated with pearls.

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I added a striped Dixie top, my Swedish Hasbeens clogs-sandals and my genuine 40’s vintage straw bag from Vintage Galerija in Ljubljana.

As for the last picture, if you look attentively at the mirror you can see one of the most original ideas that I discovered at the Summer Jamboree this year, at my friend Marco from Opherty & Ciocci incredible stall: it is made from a vintage Spalding wooden tennis racket! I loved the idea and I will definitely steal it as I have one of this rare rackets at home!

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The Ladybug’s first “marketing” experience: East Market Milano with Madame Ilary

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In the last two years I have been asked tons of times why I didn’t start selling “for real” instead of only selling my vintage and thrifted goods online. I have been asked if I wanted to open a shop or if I thought of selling during vintage markets and events. My answer is yes! I still dream of having a vintage shop or of having enough space in my house to keep all my vintage and thrifted collection in a storage room and to bring it around during the weekends and selling it at funny markets all around Italy.

Still, as I’m not working on it for the next future, I am keeping open my Ebay shop (btw feel free to have a look at it whenever you want – you can find the direct link in the Contact page) and I am enjoying the online selling which allows you sometimes to start new virtual friendships all over the world!

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At the same time, when my friend Ilaria from Madame Ilary asked me to share a stall with her at the East Market in Milan I couldn’t say no, for many different reason: first of all it was a “first” for both and I really wanted to make this experience with her as we often talked about that; it was a way to test our business and see how it worked “in the street”; secondly the place was really perfect: the area of Lambrate where the market takes place is vibrant and full of life lately and I thought it was perfect for our “launch”; last but not least, the East Market is for sure one of my favorite markets in Milan: full of interesting people, street food, flower market and a beautiful area outside to eat, drink and chat.

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I wasn’t wrong as we enjoyed the experience pretty much and we had a lot of fun even if we felt like the beginners of the market as most of stallers were way more experienced than us! Still it was the occasion to meet new people, to find old friends (like my beloved Francesca from Metalica who had a stall not far from us!) and to sell some vintage accessories and the wonderful handmade turbans made by Ilaria. The atmosphere was really interesting, a lot of people of different age, interests and style, a kind of potpourri that I appreciated a lot, definitely a great experience!

This means that you better watch out as you will probably see me around again in a market near you…in the meanwhile keep having a look at my Ebay shop!

I wore Dixie black culottes, Topshop white shirt, vintage bag by Frendo Vintage, New Balance sneakers, Nepalese silver necklace and handmade African turban by Madame Ilary.

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The Ladybug is Proud to Announce the Madame Ilary for Sofia Vintage Collaboration!

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What happens when two women that you love, admire and support (both in life and work) combine their amazingness? Well; in my opinion, an awesome result which I’ll prove in this post!

So let’s start from the beginning: Ilaria, founder of Madame Ilary, is my beautiful friend that I met last year during a theatre piece for which she was making costumes (yes, she is a talented costume designer!). We immediately felt the connection and she asked me if I was interested in seeing some of her handmade headpieces (turbans in particular). I accepted immediately, and a few weeks later I was at her studio where she showed me her amazing creations. I fell in love with her and with her talent- and, I’ll have you know, I now wear her turbans and her creations in general almost every day! She just doesn’t stop surprising me with her talent and creativity! Roberta is the wonderful owner of one of the most beautiful vintage shops I’ve ever visited, Sofia Vintage in Como. I met her last year too, at the opening of her shop and there again I felt that “something!” She’s a Leo, incredible vintage lover and expert, huge traveler… we shared too many things in common to let this new friendship go! Her second home, Sofia Vintage, is exactly the shop of my dreams and I love every single piece that she picked!

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I share with them a lot of passion, willingness, strength, ambition and hidden dreams- which made us good friends. So it was almost natural that Ilaria’s and Roberta’s paths through me would sooner or later cross. Fortunately this happened quite quickly (a few months ago) and it ended with a beautiful collection created by Madame Ilary for Sofia Vintage with an incredible retro touch. I had the chance to have a little preview of this amazing spring-summer collection, now available at Sofia Vintage, and I was completely blown away by the incredible patterns and style of the midi circle skirts, the amazing turbans and other pieces that I can’t reveal right now, but you’ll soon see here!

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As for me, in the middle of this amazingness, I had the chance to model some pieces of this first collection! I was completely at ease in these circle skirts paired with knot turbans, vintage clutches and hats. And I can’t wait to show you the new pieces coming soon!

When Italian handmade quality meets vintage and retro style, when style meets creativity, when vintage meets handcraft, when talent meets originality… this is what can happen!

Good luck to my beautiful friends and to this new incredible collaboration that starts with the of best promises!

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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.