The Ladybug’s Heavenly Trifecta: Mantova + Voglia di Vintage + Festival della Letteratura… YES!!!

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I decided a while ago to head to Mantova for one of the multiple editions of Voglia di Vintage, one of the most important vintage events in Italy. I didn’t know the city, it’s not too far and the event created a good occasion to do some vintage hunting.  Unfortunately, the stars never really aligned for me to get there… until recently.

As people usually say, “everything happens for a reason;” and the reason for me to wait that long was the combination two of my passions (traveling and vintage) just wasn’t enough… the Universe wanted for me to add another one of my biggest passions – literature – and to put them all together in the same town on the same weekend! Mantova is indeed not only a lovely little town with a lot of history, a beautiful city center, delicious food and a famous vintage fair; Mantova is also the perfect venue for one of the most important literature festivals in Italy that I’ve always wanted to visit, but never managed to get to.

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This is why I couldn’t deny the perfect invitation from all my passions in a same day: I decided to bring KNAGUI with me for this great adventure and I must confess that we had a lot of fun. The beauty of Mantova during these events is probably bigger than usual as it was full of people, different stalls of books, events, authors’ meetings in all the biggest places of the center and plenty of places to visit. We managed to go around all day and we enjoyed the festive atmosphere and the company of literature and vintage lovers from all over the country.

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We visited monuments, bought some books and, after a good lunch in an historical “Osteria”, we sat and digested in the beautiful atmosphere of Piazza Virgiliana where the fair was held. I love the idea of open air fairs, especially on such a beautiful sunny September day when it’s not too hot and you can enjoy the last sunrays while vintage shopping! Of course, there was some shopping beyond the books… a pair of vintage frames from Punti di Vista and a lovely handmade necklace inspired by Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea from Pamphlet, a handcraft artist from Mantova who makes beautiful handmade jewels.

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During this beautiful day I wore a colored vintage skirt from L Train Vintage in NYC, a striped Zara top, vintage bag and a pair of brogues I picked up from Shoegasm.  Now that I think about it, I guess I was in a New York State of Mind.

[photo credit: KNAGUI]

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The Ladybug, Some Good Old Friends, The Navigli and the Beautiful Antiques’ Market

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I can’t remember the last time I went for a walk along the canals of the Navigli and enjoyed the festive atmosphere of one of the most beautiful Antiques’ market that I’ve ever visited. The last time may very well have been a year ago, when I wrote this post about my great finds at the Market.

Strange that it’s been so long since this market takes place every last Sunday of the month and I truly adore it!

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So when my friend Silvia visited from Switzerland and asked me to go, I was very happy to organize a few hours on the Navigli. While there we had lunch with our friend Valentina (the amazing photographer of these pictures), and enjoyed the promenade among vintage and antiques’ stallers.

I didn’t buy anything (ok, maybe some vintage books for few euros at Il Libraccio), but I really enjoyed the day: simple things, good lunch, good friends, nice weather (almost a miracle during this season in Milan).

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I opted for a relaxed warm outfit: wearing a simple H&M denim dress (and golden lips necklace) and a warm brown fur aviator coat jacket by Fornarina.

I added my vintage touch by wearing my vintage “Texan” boots (a memory from my trip in NYC – I bought them at A Little Wicked on Houston Street) and a vintage handbag from a German vintage seller on Ebay!

[Photo Credit: Valentina Micheli]

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The Ladybug’s Pause for the Cause: NYC Charity Shops Review pt. 2 – “Goodwill Industries”

I’ve been telling you about the “amazingness” of experiencing thrift stores and charity shops.  And last week I began my review of the ones I visited in NYC with Housing Works.  Remember how I told you what a surprise for me to find this shop, even if I was prepared to find some specific thrift stores while I was there, because I didn’t know anything about it.

Well, one of charity shops I was looking for was a local Goodwill.  I was trying to find one when in all actuality: it found me! It happened on that Saturday morning after visiting (and shopping at!) the Chelsea Antiques Market: when I walked out, I found a big Goodwill store waiting for me to go in and have a look! Of course, that’s what I did!

Goodwill Industries is not just a chain of charity shops around the States: they’ve been providing help, training, education and work to people with physical and mental disabilities since 1902. They do that through the donations that they receive and part of that funding and mission passes through their charity shops, of course.

When I got inside, I had the feeling of being in your average retail shop: everything was clean and orderly, and among tons of clothing and accessories you can easily find CDs and DVDs and even some pieces of furniture and art.

The most interesting part of the shop, for me, was the section of shoes: some very interesting and even rare pieces stood on their shelves… like these lovely studded Rochas ankle boots – what luck that they were my size!  I got them for only $12.99 USD!

I also liked a couple of dresses, but I shopped enough at the Chelsea Market for that day so I preferred to let them go.

I love the feeling of having found an amazing piece for a very low price.  And knowing that my money is going for a good cause makes the “reward” even better… thrift shoppers know what I mean!

Listen, if you have never tried the experience… do it! It’s….”priceless!”

The Ladybug’s a Little Rascal: My First Funny Autumn Outfit of 2012!

This is the truth: I love dressing funny! …Because I love having fun when I dress!

I’ve never been the kind of girl trying to match all the pieces of an outfit and I never complain about not having the perfect bag matching those shoes etc., because I really don’t care. Fashion and style for me are all about fun!

So; since it is still warm out there this early autumn, I decided to start this beautiful and colorful season off with a BANG! And it is all about strong pieces and red!

The key piece is probably this adorable vintage red leather skort from Eleven in the East Village (NYC) that I paired with a simple round collar white shirt from Zara and a lovely striped red and white bow tie that I found at Backstage Vintage in Milan.

To add a final touch of red, I’m wearing a pair of vintage eyeglasses that I found at the Chelsea Antiques Market in New York and my adored red lipstick, of course!

Oh… the shoes… they’re not red this time, but I love them anyway… a taupe Vic Matié heels that I got on sale last summer in Sicily!

[photo credit: KNAGUI]

The Ladybug’s Pause for the Cause: NYC Charity Shops Review pt. 1 – “Housing Works”

Ask me what one of my favorite inventions is and I’ll probably reply, “charity shops!”

For real! Just think about it for a minute because the idea is amazing: you can donate your clothes to charity entities like The Red Cross or your local church for those who can’t afford to buy clothes. By giving them to a charity shop, you’re recycling them to someone else who’s going to love them, take care of them and maybe recycle them again.  All of this invariably feels good because you know that you’ve contributed to a good cause. On the other side you can buy rarities owned by other people at reasonable prices, reuse them (maybe recycling them again!) knowing that your money is going to help people in need. Isn’t it great?

I still wonder why, in Italy, this hasn’t been developed as much as it should (there’s only one big charity shop in Milan, maybe two but I still haven’t found the second one!).  So for now, I can enjoy completely my tour of charity shops only abroad.

Before going to New York I thought that London was the capital of charity shops: you can really find them at every corner, and if you read this blog regularly- you might have read my post last March in which I told you about my London tour of charity shops with Daisy, but my disappointment was the fact that they are still quite expensive for charity shopping.

When in New York, of course, I started my hunt for thrift/charity stores and it wasn’t a complicated hunt since, almost like London, New York is full of charities! But let’s start the review from the one that I didn’t know nor expect: Housing Works.

I was heading home from a busy vintage shopping session in the East Village when, just as I rounded the corner, this beautiful thrift store got my attention. It was actually the first charity shop that I saw in New York. As many thrift stores in London, this shop really looked and smelled good: very clean and bright, with beautiful vintage furniture and amazing designer clothes and accessories mixed with more accessible labels and a lot of interesting vintage pieces. It looked pricey, but in the end I realized that it wasn’t at all… I might even say that I got here some of the best bargains of my whole vintage shopping life!

Don’t believe me? Here are some great examples: I walked out from the shop leaving there (for charity, of course!) 54 dollars. Here is what I got with it:

–      This absolutely amazing original ’60s Pucci headband for $20 (yes, 20 DOLLARS!!!),

–      This adorable ’80s hat from French designer Philippe Model for $30,

–      This cute white leather and golden cuff for $4,

I don’t know what you think, but if all charity shops are like that in New York… I suggest we all pay more attention to what’s around the corners!

PS: Spoiler alert… what I found in during the next few days was even more exciting!!

Grazing in the Grass is a Gas! The Ladybug Digs the Greener Dresses on the Other Side… of the Ocean.

It is probably the last few days (maybe weeks?) of summer so I decided to enjoy as much as I can all my colored vintage dresses!

Maybe you will remember this lovely long buttoned green dress that I got at the Chelsea Market for only $10 dollars… Today I decided to wear it simple with a pair of Topshop buckled wedges from last season and a lovely vintage necklace that I bought in Brooklyn at Deacon’s Closet… by the way… I haven’t told you about Brooklyn yet?!?!

I really need a reminder about that…I  promise to do it very soon because Brooklyn was the most amazing discovery I had in New York!!

Stay tuned Love Bugs and enjoy the last summery sunshine!

photo credit: KNAGUI

The Ladybug’s Artsy Day in NYC: A Comfy Outfit to Crisscross Museums and the City

I always considered London, Paris and Rome as the more artsy towns in the world. I’ve visited the best museums and just walking down the streets feels like living the “art.”

I am a huge fan of museums and visual art in general and I have a special love for painting and photography. This is why I arrived in New York with a list full of museums to visit. I couldn’t make it to all of them because of the lack of time, but I booked a special day to visit two of in particular… and maybe the most important: the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) and the Guggenheim. It was a long and hard day as they’re huge museums and there is so much to see, but I also found some time to breathe some good air in the Central Park before coming back home completely mashed!

The MoMa has probably been one of the most amazing art experiences of my life: I saw paintings that I’ve only seen in books so far.  And the most exciting thing about museums in New York is that there is no protection between the painting and your eyes.  You can really touch it with your eyes and more surprisingly, you can take pictures (really amazing for an European museums visitor!). I could take pictures of Van Goghs’, Monets’, Gauguins’, Warhols’, etc… and BECOME art by being photographed in the middle of these art pieces…

I was slightly disappointed by the Guggenheim: the building architecture was absolutely amazing and I loved the spiral form, but the expos weren’t really interesting except for some cool photography.  And unlike the MoMA, they had a few more restrictions on taking pictures.

Of course, to get ready for that kind of tour I needed a comfy outfit to go with! I’m still wearing my jogging pants from Zara (this time in black!) with a tiger print shirt from Zara too; Topshop faux leather tan jacket, Zara scarf and handbag and my favorite colored Adidas sneakers!

Enjoying a spring sunset at the Central Park

Outside the Guggenheim with some essentials: sneakers, water, big strawberry muffin, New York metro newspaper!

I know I don’t have to suggest for you to visit the museums when you’re in New York, but… visit the museums when you’re in New York.  There are great ones in every borough… especially Brooklyn (wink & a smile).

Mirror Mirror On the Wall… The Ladybug Reflects & Celebrates: Happy 1st Anniversary TLC!

Dear LuvBugs,

It’s been exactly one year since my first post on this blog… can you believe it?

When I started The Ladybug Chronicles: I was a bit scared and confused because I didn’t know where I was going with it.

12 months later it’s time for me to see where we’ve been: and the truth is… we’ve come very far!!! Literally and virtually!

I’m not going to list the titles, interviews or the material we’ve covered because it’s all right there… on the right side of your screen to go through as often as you want.  I only want to take a little pause and thank you from the depth of my heart for your constant support and encouragement and for being the – best – readers – EVER!

A special thanks to KNAGUI for being an amazing writer and for bringing us new and passionate stories every “next” Sunday!

Happy 1st Anniversary The Ladybug Chronicles and Happy Birthday to you LuvBugs!

Now c’mon and ease on down Memory Lane with me through this celebratory video:


The Ladybug is Raised to the Rank of Viscountess in the House of Field

Patricia Field has been the fierce stylist of the most stylish TV series and movies: not only SATC but also Ugly Betty, Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Devil Wears Prada just to mention a few. She represents the bold style of New York.

As I mentioned in my last post about the Sex & the City tour in New York, we only passed by the iconic stylist of the both the TV series and the movies’ shop: Patricia Field on Bowery Street.

But passing by was not good enough for me, considering that I’ve been wanting to visit her New York shop for about ten years! Patricia Field represents, for me, the joy of getting dressed and styling ourselves or the others- the boldness of being who we are without fear or inhibitions in showing that we’re not average and don’t fit in the crowd but we stand out courageously. Through her styling, she taught me to mix and match: to wear what makes me feel good, not to be afraid of colors, eccentricity and sexy. I learned from her that nothing will fit me better than an outfit that gives me joy because I enjoyed creating it.

When I hear people complaining about not finding the perfect shoes that match their bag, or stressing about how to get dressed- I always remember her lesson: stress, complaint, matching and sadness are not allowed when it comes to “style.” Let blossom the person that you are… whoever you are!

I was amazed when I finally found her shop on Bowery Street (the new one, on the same street, was still “work in progress”) because of all the wonder there! It really felt like a place where you could be free to be who you were. People who worked there represented very well this concept: no uniforms but real amazing people expressing their real personalites. The shop was conceived, in part, as a disco club and indeed it was a party of colors, eccentric and sexy objects, amazing prints and a lot of inspiration for your creativity!

You can see (and buy!) most of her stuff directly from the site:

I couldn’t leave without taking some pictures, making some purchases (a skull bracelet and a big iconic canvas bag that I love – I loved it more when it saved me from paying $275.00 at the airport on my way back to Italy!) and looking for Patricia! They told she wasn’t there, but with a wink and a smile- alluded that she was styling her new shop just a few doors down!

I look foward to returning to the new store for fresh inspiration with new friends (KNAGUI would some day like to organize TLC Vintage Vacations… for now he’s processed the paperwork to trademark the name), and a coveted meeting with Ms. Field.

The Ladybug Lives in a Wickedly Global Community: Yes, I Met Sammy Davis!

Nearly one year ago I started The Ladybug Chronicles blog (don’t worry there will be proper celebration!) and I was totally unaware of what was going to happen and how this was going to change my life.

I don’t mean economically or practically because I still have my job and earn the same money- I mean more intrinsically. Yes, many things have changed in this last year even if everything still looks the same.

The Ladybug Chronicles opened me up to the world (as if it was needed!!) just by sitting at my table and typing on my computer- like I’m doing now!

A few weeks ago somebody asked me how vintage changed my life: well; to answer your question, this is how it’s changed my life! There are tons of people all over the world that share my same passion and most of them are amazing! They’ve taught and continue to teach me a bunch of things.  And in a certain way, they have inspired me to plan trips just to meet them (like my last trip to London) or to include them in my itinerary (like the recent trips to Florence & New York). Vintage has also introduced me to the real meaning of “6 degrees of separation” by constantly putting new people in my path.  Many of them have or will become friends with whom I share life, lessons, smiles and thoughts. This is a gift, probably the most precious gift, that The Ladybug Chronicles offered to me.

The person who asked me this question and with whom I’ve shared in the reality of my response with is… Sammy!

I simply say Sammy because I’m pretty sure most of you know exactly who I am talking about.

Sammy Davis is the lovely vintage writer of Sammy Davis Vintage ( expert of vintage style and fashion and manager of the adorable boutique “A little Wicked” on Houston Street in New York City.

Well before starting my own, I’d been an avid reader of her blog. There I find great information on vintage clothing and inspiration on wearing vintage and thrift finds, and when I decided to contact her and share my thoughts and passion about vintage- I found her to be well-disposed and quite the Guru.

A few months after initiating these friendly correspondences; I was in New York, and stopped by the shop for this culminative meeting we’ve been talking about since we first connected!

We did a lot of chatting. She styled me is some amazing vintage outfits… and of course, I bought some great vintage stuff!
(See above my “try before you buy” pic of the lovely vintage red dress from Saks 5th Avenue I posted about wearing to my friend’s wedding and these amazing tan cowboy boots below)

But the greatest moment I shared with Sammy was when we chilled outside of the store for a nice chat on vintage, New York and thrifting.

…And there’s even better news… it was all caught on film! – or digital …what would you call that?  Anyway, enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the moment!