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 in Outlet-land: Good Shopping Tips for Shoe Lovers!

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I know that this post comes a bit late, but it’s never too late for some good tips on how to find beautiful designer accessories (especially shoes!) at very good price when you are on holiday on the Riviera Romagnola or maybe swinging at Summer Jumboree like I did last summer!

I announced this post last August (that’s why I am late), but the good outlets haven’t moved so you can easily find them if you go check them out.

When I was traveling to Summer Jamboree from Milan, I saw a billboard on the highway advertising the Sergio Rossi Factory Outlet in the area around Rimini: it was late, but I immediately went online to check when it was open. While surfing the web, I realized that the area between Emilia Romagna and Marche was full of great outlets, and it took a while to select those worth visiting while I was there.

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Sergio Rossi, for me, is the best: the prices were almost good and it was easy to find- not only some killer heels, but also regular black & brown shoes to use everyday for the office. It was a bit hard to find my size, but I managed to buy these lovely patent heels that are super comfortable and great quality for a very good price.

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If you are a fan of Giuseppe Zanotti and Pollini these two outlets are also worth a visit: Zanotti is maybe more a risqué style and also a bit more expensive, but if you prefer a classical style you can find Pollini (and Moschino) a few kilometers away! I was tempted by some over the knee stiletto heels at Zanotti, but I went for patent cream platform heels at Pollini (I know I was patent obsessed during these days!).

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If you go South in Marche you can find more interesting outlets like Prada-Miu Miu and Tods-Hogan. I am not a fan of the latter (too classical for me!), but Prada and Miu Miu are quite interesting- especially for accessories. I gave myself the gift of a black Miu Miu clutch for my birthday… And I was dying for more bags, shoes and sunglasses, but my limited budget stopped me!!

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If you check online you will easily find all the addresses with the days/time that they are open. But believe me, if you are in the area, and the weather is not excellent (not that you really need an excuse… though it was mine), and you like designer pieces, and you cannot afford exaggerated prices… this area is like a paradise for fashion lovers!

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The Ladybug Hears the Whisper of Beachfront Property in Milan: The Opening of Bisbigli’s Flagship Store

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I have a broken finger, I am working like a redheaded step-child and I have been the most tired girl in the world over the last two weeks (could I get my hour back from the Spring time change?), so believe me… I am not in the mood for shopping, parties and events. BUT when I was invited to the opening of the first Bisbigli flagship store in Milan on the beautiful corso Venezia (53), I felt that I couldn’t miss it!

MISS BISBIGLI

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If you know Bisbigli you’ll probably know why I am saying that, but if you don’t let me tell you a bit more about this brand: the brand is part of the Linclalor Group, internationally known since the ’60s for their quality collections of lingerie, nightwear and beachwear. The Bisbigli collections are an explosion of colors and flowers with a retro flavor of polka-dots, seventies accents and paisley patterns for men and women.

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The strategic opening in Milan, on one of the most fashionable streets of the town, is not a coincidence: the brand is gaining more and more success due to their elevated quality at affordable prices and for their fantasy and originality!

The beachwear is to-die-for.  The aqua and orange lines are definitely my favorites!

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Bisbigli presented four different lines for SS 2014: “Miss Bisbigli” (my favorite one!), with tons of colors, flowers, hearts, peace symbols, a kind of romantic and retro style that I appreciated a lot; “Bisbigli Lounge,” a knitwear collection for women to use 24/24h from work wear to casual wear; “H.J.T. Underwear Donna,” a pastel toned lingerie line inspired by the shades of Tiffany & Co. color; “Bisbigli nella Notte,” a glamorous nightwear collection perfect for the daytime; and the easy to wear “H.J.T. Underwear Man” mens collection.

I also enjoyed the simple yet cheeky ambiance with DJ live set, models wearing the collections along with the classy and colorful shop-ware.

For more information on the collections or for the store locator you can visit the site www.bisbigli.com

For the occasion I wore a Max & Co blue cape coat, Topshop butterflies shirt, Zara midi skirt, Moschino booties, the funny handmade ball of wool fascinator by Federica Ricciardi and of course my denim bag from Bisbigli!

Photo Credit: Elena Pittitto from The Little Dreamer (my partner for the party!)

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The Ladybug’s Incredible Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of the Vintage Workshop® in Milan

Ladybug-3946I was lying on a Ligurian beach a few weeks ago when I received an email that made me almost fall off of my towel… it was from one of the most one of a kind events in the world, the Vintage Workshop®. Not only was I kindly invited to attend the event to be held in Milan from September 11th through the 13th, but I was given the exclusivity to photograph and get a behind the scenes look of one of the most private events of the vintage scene!

Ladybug-3934My adored Angela Eupani, from Sculptures to Wear, is the beautiful mind behind the event which takes place twice a year in Milan. Just a few weeks before the crowds arrive for the “Intertex Milano,” “Ready to Show” and “MIFF” (Milan International Fast Fashion) Fashion catwalks to be held in the same location (the beautiful Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan), Angela masterfully sets the atmosphere with Fashion’s classic, unique and most treasured vintage pieces. The idea of the Vintage Workshop® is to offer to the fashion professional, as well as private vintage lovers, the possibility to find the best selection of quality and luxury vintage mostly coming from private collectors and vintage hunters and from everywhere in the world! The pieces I found there are incredibly rare and one of a kind: I couldn’t stop staring at some incredible boots and handbags that I completely fell in love with.

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Ladybug-3921The concept is simple: vintage amateurs can buy or rent the pieces for private use (like I did with this wonderful tan leather handbag!), designers may use it as inspiration for the new collections… solidifying the “extracted truth” that fashion doesn’t create anymore- but recycles what’s already been created from the most intensely creative years of fashion (namely ’60s, ’70s and ’80s).

Ladybug-3936This explains, in my opinion, why vintage purists don’t accept ’90s era fashion as vintage: their overall consensus is creative experimentation became an endangered species after the Chicxulub Impact of ’80s fashion. After that decade, everything has been a continuous recreation from the past eras, and the recapitulation prevails to this day. I don’t agree 100% with this dismal characterization, but I accept part of it: if it is true that most of what is created in fashion nowadays takes inspiration from the past, it is also true that the effort to create something different, even if with retro inspiration, is still very high and the results are really remarkable- especially with French couturiers.

Ladybug-3922As a vintage lover, I felt like I was in paradise in the midst of the most beautiful clothing and accessories from the ’20s to the ’80s. And Angela’s incredible knowledge of the history of those pieces left me completely stunned. It was a sort of journey through the history of unique pieces, like this amazing Yves Saint suit or Moschino ensemble, or this wonderful Roberta di Camerino dress and belt.

Ladybug-3896I fell in love with most of the shoes and bags featured there and I took the occasion to take some pictures with my favorite pieces (at least those that I could take pictures of!).

Ladybug-3909I felt like Alice in Wonderland for an afternoon and I’m very humbled, honored and excited to share all this great exclusive with you, Lovebugs!

Ladybug-3912Ladybug-207The Vintage Workshop® for luxury fashion will return on the 8th and 9th of October in Bologna. It will be a special event focusing on vintage leather accessories with a special fashion exhibition and show for the 2014-2015 collection. Don’t miss it out!

The Ladybug’s Disneyland in NYC: A Guided Tour Through Century 21

I often use the word “Disneyland” to define the places where I could not only spend hours, but I would keep coming back every day and spend more time than the day before: they can be museums, landscapes, shops and some other kind of places I’d better not define here (even if you use your imagination only a few people in the world really know what I’m talking about!).

I recently found out that a few of these places are in New York! We’ll soon talk about all of them, but for now let’s start with Century 21 Discount Stores.

The first time I heard of it was many years ago during an episode of Sex And The City.

Since then, I knew I needed to go the first chance I had to visit New York! I was so surprised to find it listed as an attraction of Downtown in my Lonely Planet’s guide when I was planning my trip!

Century 21 is basically a big outlet store: immense floors of men and women shoes, bags, clothes and every other kind of accessory from designer to high street- usually marked at about 60% off the retail price. Of course, you probably won’t find the lastest Missoni prêt-à-porter, but you can still grab a wonderful Moschino or Chloé or Vivienne Westwood dress for less than 300 dollars! All the best designers are there and the prices are beyond worth a visit. I spent a few hours inside and honestly, I’m thankful for the fact that I visited it on my first day there while I still had some apprehension of spending too much!!! Remember, I was in New York to buy the best vintage in town… it wasn’t a good idea to spend $500 at my first stop and it not even be vintage!

So, for as crazy as it may sound- I only got a lovely pair of Michael Kors tortoise sunglasses. They were less than 25 dollars! I was so tempted by a pair of Marc Jacobs sunglasses, a Missoni dress, a few Jean Paul Gautier pieces, a Chloé shirt and so much more, but I resisted the temptation so I could be less restrained in the other Disneylands waiting for me in the Big Apple!

The funny thing is I was looking for the store, but found it by chance: I decided to visit Ground Zero.  9-11 was such a painful memory, so this moment was a very emotional experience for me. I remember stopping by just to take a minute to feel my emotions flowing and say a prayer. I was brought to tears by all these feelings and at one point I barely realized anything else around me.

It was only when I turned away to leave and dry my tears that I found it; standing just in front of me and its big red lights were telling me: “Come in Honey; I’ll dry your tears!”

I immediately got excited and just as KNAGUI promised, his “twin” arrived on time, ready to take my camera and follow me around inside the store (I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it because it could never be done here in Italy, but as he so sweetly said, “This is America, Baby… I got this!”  I guess we looked professional based on a comment that was made. I won’t say more. Take a look at the video and share your comments! Hope you like it! Enjoy!


If you want to know more about the store, visit their site: www.c21stores.com