The Ladybug’s addiction: Manolo Blahnik – The Art of Shoes

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It was announced as the event of the year and I must say that Manolo Blahnik exhibit “The Art of Shoes” at Palazzo Morando in Milan was really “the event” of these first months of 2017.

It is the first big exhibition in Italy dedicated to the iconic shoe designer, a real not-to-miss event not only for shoe lovers but for all fashion and art addicts. I say art because I cannot “reduce” Manolo Blahnik to a shoe designer. He is a true artist as his shoes are real pieces of art and this exhibit just recognize his talent as a “shoe artist”. No surprise that the exhibit will move next to the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg!

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But while it is here in Milan (until the 9th of April) don’t miss the opportunity to visit The Art of Shoes where 212 shoes covering 45 years of Blahnik career are exposed along with 80 drawings. This is not only a celebration of shoes and fashion but also a celebration of Italian influence on Blahnik’s creations: classical sculpture, baroque age, Visconti movies, the corals of Sicily and much more.

You can find here vintage iconic shoes with more modern iconic pieces like the shoes created for Marie Antoinette movie directed by Sofia Coppola, the shoes worn by Carrie in Sex & The City and more iconic pieces celebrating the world (from Africa to Scotland, from Spain to the Far East), nature and plastic arts.

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The location Palazzo Morando is just perfect: art surrounding art, with the incredible permanent collection of the museum and the chance to visit with the same ticket a very interesting exhibit on the history of sequins “Ricami di Luce”.

I must be honest, I took hundreds of pictures during the exhibit and it was hard to choose my favorite pieces but I tried my best!

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The Ladybug’s big dream: Basquiat exhibit in Milan

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Six years ago one of the biggest European exhibits on Jean-Michel Basquiat opened in Paris, at the Museum of Modern Art. I was seriously thinking of getting a ticket to Paris just to see it but although my huge love and admiration for this incredible American artist, I never managed to see his art live. The first time that I saw a few of his paintings I was at Miart in Milan in 2013 but that’s nothing compared to the huge exhibit started at Mudec Museum this October and showing more than 100 works (from private collections) of the short but intense career of this amazing artist who died in 1988 at 27.

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He has been defined a writer, a graffiti artist, the symbol of the new African diaspora and a son of the African slavery but what I have always loved of Jean-Michel Basquiat powerful art is the way he put together his African roots and the energy of NYC suburbs. These two sides of his art are a huge part of this beautiful exhibit that will be in Milan until the end of February 2017 and I am thinking of going back to see it again before it ends.

The exhibit also shows his art as a bridge between different cultures and it is probably one of the biggest occasions to see Basquiat’s art in Europe or at least in Italy and I must say that it is absolutely worth the visit.

For the exhibit I wore a beige Please sweater, Topshop boyfriend jeans and Max&Co navy coat. I also wore my new clogs from Archivio Vintage and my new Bonne Maison colored socks with my Cavalli e Nastri vintage 70’s handbag.

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The Ladybug explores Japan in a vintage kimono

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Saturday afternoons that I love:  brunch, exhibit and movie with my best friends! I can’t really ask for more!

In preparation of our Deejay run we decided to feed our soul with art (but also with food!) and we dedicated our afternoon to see the beautiful exhibit dedicated to the Japanese artists Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro at Palazzo Reale in Milan.

This journey through the art, nature and culture of Japan was full of amazing moments: the beautiful landscapes of Hokusai (especially the ones dedicated to bridges and to Mount Fuji) made me feel the need of traveling to this amazing country that I’m dying to see.  So did the nature drawn by Hiroshige and the beautiful Japanese women described by Utumaro.

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The Great Wave of Kanagawa is definitely one of the most powerful pieces but it is hard to pick up your favorites among two hundreds “ukiyoe” prints that you can admire there.

As I was in a Japanese mood I thought it was the perfect day to wear my vintage kimono from Episode Vintage in Brussels paired with my new Frida tee by Vanna Vinci and mum jeans from Topshop.

I added my BFF heart chain from Black Heart Creatives , Superga shoes, Celine sunglasses and Michael Kors bucket bag.

If you want to visit the exhibit it will be in Milan until the 29th of January, I am sure that you will love it too !

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The Ladybug and the celebration of nature in a pair of shoes (aka Luisa Tratzi SS2017 preview)

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There are things that I don’t like to miss: the new movie from my favorite director, the new album from my favorite singer, the new book from my favorite writer, the new shoe collection from Luisa Tratzi!

This season again, during the Milan Fashion Week, Luisa Tratzi was in town with her temporary shop in via Solferino and with a preview of her new Spring-Summer 2017 collection.

I’ve been quite bored about shoes in general lately: I browse shoe shops in town and online but it seems like nothing excites me anymore. I always look for something funny, girlish, sexy yet comfortable but nothing has really inspired me lately.

When I was going to meet Luisa to see her new collection I was wondering with what she would surprise me this time because she knows how to revamp my love for shoes, but this time she really went beyond any expectation!

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Luisa Tratzi SS 2017 collection was a celebration of the earth, an invitation to travel and to enjoy our mother nature:  camel shoes with patterns that make you dream of the African desert downs; turquoise and deep blue sandals with textured waves that bring your mind to the beautiful Caribbean sea; golden shoes with the brightness of the sun in a summer day; peach, yellow and pink sandals with the taste of a fruit basket and the smell of blossomed flowers!  Feminine shapes and stiletto heels with a new entry: lace-less soft sneakers in the tones of pastel pink and pale blue!

The creativity of Luisa is endless and it always goes with her incredible attention to detail, the quality coming from the handmade production and – as usual – the choice of the best materials (especially soft leather, patent and suede).

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I couldn’t resist trying some of my favorite pieces, starting from the camel and golden pointy shoes (they reminded me of the Sahara sandy hills) and the yellow sandal-boots (definitely my favorite color and a new shade for Luisa!).

What was a preview of a new collection quickly turned into a shoe party: what else when two women in love with shoes come together in a cloudy afternoon in the center of Milan?!

If you want to know more about Luisa Tratzi, where to buy her creations or directly buy some pieces of her current collection you can visit www.luizatratzi.it

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The Ladybug kissed Ben Harper and she liked it!

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It was end of the nineties when I first heard a song written by Ben Harper.

As most of his fans it was a friend of mine at the University who introduced me to his music. I still remember it was “Roses from my friend”. No surprise if I tell you that this is still one of my favorite songs ever.

Since then I started buying all his music. The date of each new cd release from him was written on my calendar and I start my excitement for every upcoming album a couple of months before! I saw him in concert six times in Italy and in France, my last concert being one of my favorite at the summer arena in Assago where he made an hour singing solo with his guitar: I have never been so thrilled during a concert. It was so emotional that I started crying! It felt like people stopped breathing not to disturb that moment.

A few months ago he was in Milan to present his new album with The Innocent Criminals “Call it what it is” at the Feltrinelli and I thought it was a good idea to listen to him live and maybe to get an autographed copy. He played his music for more than an hour, it was so great to see him a few steps from me…it was the first time (even if in Naples I had the chance to be in first row during his concert!).

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After a long queue I finally managed to talk to him for a few minutes while he autographed my cd: I couldn’t help telling him how great his last concert in Milan was and how emotional it felt.

Then I started all these things, you know: “I’ve been following you for ages” “I am a huge fan of you” “I saw you in concert everywhere” and all the stupid things that you say when you meet your music icon! Although I felt totally stupid he was fun, nice and so kind that I couldn’t stop myself from asking him if I could just hug and kiss him…which I did!

I felt like a 12-year-old girl meeting Simon Le Bon (ok, nowadays I should say Justin Bieber…I am still a vintage girl after all!) and I went back home saying “I kissed Ben Harper, I kissed Ben Harper, I kissed Ben Harper”.

For those who are wondering, yes he is still hot as hell!!

(First photo courtesy of Feltrinelli).

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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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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 finds relief in Escher’s geometries

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Milan is too hot to do anything these days. It is hard to go out running or walking and when I cannot reach the beach I need to find a way to reduce my pain caused by the awful heat.

The only way to do it is finding a nice place with air conditioning, like a museum! Thanks God there’s always a good exhibition to visit (there are a few actually!) then I called my friend to reach me for what became more than a simple visit, but a real interactive experience: the Escher exhibit at Palazzo Reale.

I have always loved this artist, especially how his art was involved in fashion and music industry (one of my favorite pieces ever is the so-called Escher dress by British designer Matthew Williamson for example!) but it was the first time that I visited an exhibit dedicated to his work.

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More than 200 works were exposed in six different sections going from his roots to his love for Italy (especially Southern Italy!) and the discovery of geometric art in Spain. What I love more about his art is that it challenges the viewer and his ability to “read” his work, to find new images in images, to discover new paths from the visible paths. A large part of the exhibit was also dedicated to his huge influence on comics, advertising, music and films during the 20th century…but I couldn’t see the Matthew Williamson dress!

You can visit the exhibit until the 22nd of January 2017.

I wore Topshop mom jeans, Please golden tee, Zara laced shoes and vintage 70’s bag from Foxy Brown Vintage. I added my new handmade turban from Heka Couture and handmade silver Nepalese double necklace. ..I was totally in my “Princess of Persia mood”!

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The Ladybug on how to start the day with great energy (and sleep for the next two days!)

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When a friend of mine had the idea, I was very skeptical: as I missed the 5.30 morning run in Milan because I was still recovering for surgery and couldn’t run for about a month we had a second occasion to do an early morning run, the Breakfast Run organized by RDS (one of the most famous Italian radio stations) starting at 5.45 am.

I said ok anyway as I was curious about the experience, but I regretted it immediately that Friday morning when my wake-up call rang at 4.30 am!! I used to run at 7 am when I was in Dublin but 5.45 was too much for my old soul!

Somehow they brought my body and soul totally asleep to the Arco della Pace, the weather was awful and you could read on my face that I needed to sleep! I couldn’t even think that after that I needed to run back home, get quickly showered and dressed for the office instead of going back to bed and sleep!

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But something happened when I started running my 5K in a wonderful town, almost empty and showing its beauty in the first morning lights. Incredibly the sun showed up, I felt a lot of energy and I finished my run with my best time on a 5K! We also enjoyed an healthy breakfast offered by the event team and I can say that I started my day full of positive energy and ready for a long day at work.

I started thinking that I should do that more often, but after lunch I started yawning and that same night I went to bed early and totally destroyed! I also spent the whole weekend sleeping and trying not to fall asleep when I went out so I guess that this is cool if you do it once but the early morning routine is definitely not for me!

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A Ladybug’s vintage aperitivo in Milan

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I don’t know if it’s just me or if it happens to you too but my weekends always start with a phone call from (or to) a friend saying: What are your plans for today?

Once we realize that we are free and that we have time to spend together we start checking online what’s on in town, trying to find the event that will be perfect for our couple of hours of chatting and – possibly – drinking! It can be a market, an exhibit, a shop opening, a lecture, a concert.

Milan is a town full of events of every kind and it is almost impossible not to find what you are looking for, it is just a bit harder than anywhere else due to the large offer. But when you have a lovely place (Frida bar in the Isola district) organizing a vintage event (Let’s Vintage) with special offers and bargains it is easier to pick up the perfect event that makes everybody happy!

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It was indeed the perfect occasion to drink my favorite ice tea in town (Hanoi!) and to grab vintage bargains for really ridiculous prices.

It was also the perfect occasion to wear my new thrifted palazzo pant from Mary Portas charity shop in Edinburgh (never worn, still with tags, only 4 quid!), my new favorite fringed leather jacket from IL2L at Your Shores, Michael Kors bucket bag, Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers and Céline sunglasses.

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The Ladybug is feeling so “Goude”

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One of the best exhibits that I have visited in the past few years: this is how I can define the “So Far So Goude” exhibit at the PAC in Milan. Really amazing work from the curator (the installation made it even better) and from this talented artist that I didn’t know really well but that I appreciated during these hours spent at the PAC.

Over 230 photographs illustrated the world of Jean-Paul Goude, graphic artist, designer, photographer and film director, a man who deeply influenced our iconographic imagination in the recent decades. Most of the pictures exposed are part of our cultural background, we all know them but maybe not many people know that they all come from the same hand and eye.

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I didn’t even know he was the man behind Grace Jones best photographs and videos (he was also her husband) or behind the amazing Naomi Campbell photographs that I’ve been loving for ages.

What I loved about his work was the joy and playfulness, the colours and life. He approached nudity and sex with such a playful eye that there’s never vulgarity in his art…it’s just plain straightforward sparkling life!

I think that the best thing that I can do is trying to show you some of my favourite photographs and drawings (believe me it was hard to pick only a few) . Drawings are an important part of the exhibit and they often represent the starting point for photographs and videos.

For the exhibit I wore Imperial dress and Tosca Blu ankle boots.

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