The Ladybug, her mum’s pictures and the long vest

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I could never get tired of watching my mum’s pictures from the 60’s and the 70’s: she was so stylish and fashionable that I keep looking at them and wonder “where are now all these amazing clothes?”

I can name all the pieces that she wore in her pictures that I wanted so badly: colored mini dresses, platform boots, denim flares, big sunglasses, optical dresses etc. I asked her about them many times and her painful answer is always the same: “I threw them away”! I comfort myself thinking that she was so tiny at the time that probably they wouldn’t fit me even if she would have kept them but I still daydream of some of her best pieces.

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One of these was a long orange leather vest from the 70’s: since I first saw it I started looking for a long vest in vintage shops and markets but it’s still really hard to find.

Last year I surrendered to a new high street long vest just because I really wanted one. This one is from Dixie, in grey tweed but it was longer and I decided to cut it a bit to better fit my figure.

I paired it with wool black culottes from Cos, Prada black turtleneck (outlet find!)  and Liu-Jo grey heeled boots.

Still, I keep looking for a vintage leather long vest so, in case you find it, just give me a hint!

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The Ladybug’s “friendly” weekend in Rome

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My weekend in Venice was not the only one out of town in March: I also spent a great weekend in Rome to visit my adorable friend Simona and with her my new bunch of friends in town.

The great thing about it is that each of them has their own special feature: for example one is a great runner, which makes sport an important part of the weekend, one is specialized in great restaurants and music selection in the car (yeah, you know who you are!) ensuring at least a great dinner and lot of singing especially on the way back home, one knows (and makes) the best cocktails so that drinking is covered as well and Simona is the perfect pair for running, drinking, eating with special bonus for shopping and art.

Art was indeed the first excuse for this trip: the exhibit on Henry Toulouse-Lautrec was at the Ara Pacis museum (it is still there until the 8th of May) and we planned a lovely visit on Sunday morning. It was my first Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and I was totally amazed by his art including posters, illustration and photographs. What I liked most about the exhibit was the way it managed to re-create the world in which the artist worked: the Paris of the Belle Epoque, the bohemian city of the late XIX century.  After the visit we walked to Piazza di Spagna, had a healthy stop for lunch at Ginger in via Borgognona and enjoyed some window shopping in this amazing city.

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I never get tired of walking in Rome: on Saturday (after a morning run with the girls and a classic dance class in the afternoon!) we headed to Campo de’ Fiori for a drink. It was a special occasion in Rome that day: the rugby match between Italy and Scotland turned the whole city into a great party venue. Handsome Scottish men in kilt were hanging around playing the bagpipes (it happened also in the restaurant where we ate later and it was AMAZING!), drinking beer and making it even easier than usual to chat and have fun with strangers in the streets! It was the funniest thing ever!

By the way, if you want to try a good restaurant in Rome we went to Casa Bleve, in the courtyard of wonderful XVIth century building in via del Teatro Valle where you can also visit the Roman ruins of an ancient wall, have a great quality dinner and be sure to find the perfect wine that goes with it.

(For the visit to Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit I wore Stefanel camel coat, Acne Studios jeans, Prada sweater, Lazzari brogues, Miu Miu bag and Momonì scarf).

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The Ladybug and a retro inspired outfit bought on sale!

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This is an outfit that I created end of January, beginning of February in one of these exciting moments just after your winter sales, when you have plenty of (plenty…well…a few) new things for half of their original price!

My goal was to create a simple outfit for everyday use but with a retro spin, using only new pieces but all of them were bought on sale or in outlet stores (as we are vintage lovers we take care of our wallet too, right?).

I decided to choose a statement piece, with a retro twist: the green circle skirt by Max&Co that I bought during this last winter sales. I fell in love with this skirt in winter but I decided to wait until the seasonal sale to grab it at a better price!

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When you wear a skirt like this you have to be careful with the pieces you put it together. I decided to play it safe and to use only black: a turtleneck sweater from Prada that I bought in their outlet store in Serravalle and a pair of new fantastic ankle boots with super high heels and super comfortable platform from L’Autre Chose that I bought during these last winter sales after a long wait!

By the way…did you notice that I went for 40’s curly hair? Since I finally learnt how to make retro curls with my curling tong I try to do it all the time…it is incredible how the hairdo can change completely the whole spirit of your outfit!

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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 Emerses Herself in Anna Piaggi’s Hat-ology

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A few weeks ago I visited one of the most fashion irresistible expos of the year, on the last day as usual!

One year after her death, and at the end of the Milan Fashion week, Palazzo Morando opened the doors to the most insane, eclectic hat collections that I’ve ever seen: Anna Piaggi’s hat collection. In four petite displays that recreated her house, this accessory is fully represented and is quite possibly the staple that contributes to her status as an icon. It’s dubious how varied the form and style are throughout this exhibition. And it is almost inconceivable how many she had and how creative, crazy and foolish most of them are! Every piece has its own story, including the shoe-hat that Bill Cunningham donated to her… which is rumored now to have been stolen during the expo.

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She once said, “My hat is personal. It is what contains the soul, the feeling, the sensation that moves this little world around.”

They are only about 60 (…of the 900 she owned!) most of them created by the best designers such as Chanel, Prada and Dior just for her. This journey inside Anna Piaggi’s faux apartment, in the center of the Fashionable Milan, stimulates all of your senses… for example: the sound of her old Olivetti typewriter (Valentina) or the vignette Anne and Marcel, the pictures of her taken by her husband Alfa Castaldi, her piles of magazines, her vintage pieces… everything is perfectly put in place to teach us know more about this wonderful woman. Ivo Bisignano, one of the creators of the expo, also created all the awesome graphic pieces like the decorations and the amazing faux-covers.

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Maybe it was just too small to contain such an  extraordinary woman, or maybe a hat cannot say all there is to say her… but viewing this through the words of Shirley McLaine,  “Life is like a new hat. You don’t know if it suits you if you keep trying it on in front of your own mirror,”  I’d say this experience through her life was great and the work done was admirable… definitely one of my favorite expos of the year!

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The Ladybug Accepts the Call of Summer Jamboree 2013: Senigallia By Night

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For those of you who never heard about the Summer Jamboree, it is definitely the most important, famous and amazing Italian Festival of the American culture and music of the 1940s and ’50s. It started 13 years ago and year by year it attracts people from all over the world, all ages and cultures in a beautiful festive atmosphere which I enjoyed during that weekend.  Ten days of music, costumes, clothes, accessories from the ’50s… you almost have the feeling of living during that era.

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I was surprised by the massive amount of people walking around the streets of Senigallia on Saturday night, moving from a stage to another places in some of the central squares of the village to listen to the best Italian and International Americana artists, or dancing rock ‘n’ roll or just shopping vintage and retro clothing in the many stalls all along the lovely streets of the town. From neophytes to aficionados, everybody tried to honor the Festival by wearing something ’40s/’50s, rockabilly style! I was completely amazed by the crazy quantity of events, concerts, parties: Hawaiian inspired parties, Burlesque classes, vintage car expo and even a Johnny Cash expo!

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During the day, the beaches are full of adorable pin-ups in their ’50s bathing suits- enjoying the Adriatic sea and the town is a desert (only me visiting around apparently!), but when the night falls everything changes and that’s when the party begins! It is impossible to describe the amount of people invading the streets of the city center, but the atmosphere is magical! I also managed to buy some little things (a beautiful Laura Ashley dress at “Fermata d’autobus”  a lovely seller from Livorno  and a pair of vintage “’80s does ’50s” sunglasses from Punti di Vista… you will see them both worn here soon!). And for sure it was great to say cheers to my friend Marco from Opherty & Ciocci who brought some of his amazing stuff as well.

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I decided to KISS… “keep it simple & sexy,” yet inspired: I wore a simple one strap black body top by Topshop and a long black skirt from American Apparel; I added my new vintage Prada black sandals and then I went for a touch of red and a touch of retro! A vintage red clutch and a beautiful red orchid hair-clip that I picked up on Ebay! …Red lips (Armani… my new favorite lippy) and nails (Chanel Dragon) and a pair of amazing original glasses from the late ’40s found in Reggio Emilia from Tabatà Vintage.

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The Ladybug and the Chronicle of Compulsive Shopping at the… Outlet?

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Another sale season came upon us here in Italy earlier this month and I was looking forward to it, and I found it the weekend after the first sales. But finding myself in the middle of a mad battery of buying, I destroyed shopping snob cliché about myself. The cliché being that I’m not an outlet girl!

It took a while for some friends of mine to convince me to visit the famous Serravalle Designer Outlet. Less than an hour outside of Milan, on a grey Saturday morning, we decided- it was the perfect day to spend at this nice outlet.

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I usually don’t go to outlets because I am not a fan of most of outlet’s brands. I hate making compulsory shopping with too many other compulsory shoppers and bla bla bla… but you know what? This was bullshit! I was happy as hell and I shopped no-stop for 8 amazing hours!!!

I know, I’m a woman after all!

Serravalle’s Outlet is a real little city with shops, bars and restaurants where you can find all the biggest designers and high street brands, from luxury to sportswear, clothing, accessories and home-ware… a real paradise for compulsive shoppers and shopaholics!

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I was a bit shy and out of place at first, but after I realized it was the Vintage Festival event that month, I immediately felt more comfortable and confident and immediately went into Prada, just to leave half of my pay there! It wasn’t very smart, but this is what they call compulsory shopping right?!

Now, let’s be serious: how can you resist Prada shoes at 50-70% off? I HAD to get these two amazing pair of sandals in navy suede and black leather!

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And what about these ’50s inspired shades still from Prada?

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Also, being the beginning of summer I couldn’t say “no” to this lovely swimsuit from Miss Bikini with retro lips!

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As you may imagine my biggest joy was finding A.N.G.E.L.O.’s temporary store in Serravalle! They were celebrating the vintage event at the outlet with a beautiful temporary store (where I spent a lot of time trying beautiful vintage clothing and bikinis!) and an iconic vintage expo with the “best of” their pieces related to a vintage icon. Of course, I also managed to buy a vintage polka dot shirt!

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No need to show you here all my swimming/fitness shopping as I don’t want to be monotonous, but believe me when I tell you that it was very hard to fit all our bags in the car nor was it easy to tell which bags belonged to whom at the end of the day! But there was a huge smile on my face when, albeit I was completely tired from the long day, I put everything neatly in my wardrobe!

I too was vintage themed in my outfit for the day. I got this beautiful vintage red and white striped dress on Ebay a few years ago and I paired it with retro inspired sandals from Les Lolitas, my new Balenciaga red handbag and a pair of vintage Yves Saint Laurent frames that I showed you when I got them in Reggio Emilia vintage fair a few months ago.

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The Ladybug in New York City: Day #2

If day #1 in New York was all about excitement and amazingness (my most frequent word was “Wow!”), then day #2 I was to be the beginning of me feeling at home. And this was to be achieved by… a little shopping! One of the things I loved about New York is that the most exciting thing to do there is live: visiting museums or monuments was a great experience, but walking down the streets and feeling the vibrant atmosphere was really unique. On my second day, I walked a lot: from Lower Manhattan to Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy. When you move from an area to another one you can feel the difference, it’s like changing cities every day and in some instances many times in a day.

My outfit for the day was very similar to the one of the day before: comfy Zara Pants, H&M grey t-shirt, same Topshop faux leather jacket, Zara handbag and Adidas sneakers. I just added a Twenty8Twelve scarf and my Marni for H&M earrings.

I was so happy to finally have some shopping time in American Apparel in Soho (my purchases will be featured in the next outfit posts!) and more than everything Madewell on the 5th Avenue- where I would have used my whole credit card limit!! As you can see I also found the Camilla and Marc Swimsuit featured on the New York Times that I shared on my Facebook page and that I loved so much but unfortunately the price hasn’t changed since then ($220 USD…definitely too much for a swimsuit, even if it was my soul mate!)

I also found a lovely shoe shop called Shoegasm where I bought a lovely pair of tan brogues (on sale!). They soon became my favorite shoes in New York!

Sex and the City lovers… does this place look familiar to you? Yes, it’s the Prada amazing shop in Soho where Carrie takes Berger!

Such a shame it was closed, but “A Second Chance” in Soho on Prince Street is an amazing designer resale boutique that carries the finest selection of luxury items from designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Pucci, Prada, Marni and Lanvin. The boutique specializes in new, pre-owned, and vintage Chanel handbags and jewelry. Maybe it was a good thing for my wallet to find it closed… and a big sign was the fact that I couldn’t get back to check it out!

The Ladybug’s Magic Carpet is a Red Carpet in Milan: My MFW day #1

After some great time, fun and shopping at the Vintage Fair in Forlì, my friend and I got on the car for a few hours ride to Milan. The Milan Fashion week was already on day #4 and I couldn’t resist the glossy world around the event!

I must confess that I had the most stylish guru in Milan to guide me through the interesting labyrinth of a city on fashion lockdown.  In two days we visited, shopped and took a lot of pictures. We also ruined our feet, stylishly mingling about in 12 cm heels!!

Funny thing is, no sooner than we put our soles down on via Montenapoleone we spotted Anna Dello Russo (in a Ferragamo dress, see picture below). The streets were full of celebrities and bloggers (they are everywhere, aren’t they?!?), and normal people with great taste and style (for my best of street style in Milan stay tuned!).

After a long walk through via Montenapoleaone and via della Spiga toward the Duomo, we stopped for lunch at the Excelsior Store. Inside, we also had an interesting tour. The Excelsior Store is an unique concept store in Milan: created by the Coin Group it mixes up luxury fashion, food and design. This immense store, the former Excelsior cinema, is situated a few meters from the Duomo: 7 floors and 4000 mq, where Jean Nouvel, the architect, stated a new all encompassing concept of luxury shopping: clothing, accessories, beauty, jewels, design, only the best brands around and a lot of emerging international brands (Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Philip Lim, Proenza Schouler and many others). But it is also a new food concept, where the products are organic and of greatest quality that employs the best of Italian culinary culture by giving attention to detail at the highest level.

After a tour of the Excelsior Store (you really feel as if you’re experiencing a different world when you are inside!), we decided to move to Brera for an aperitivo (it was all about Japanese at Wasabi!). But before that and after a full immersion in the Milan trendy side, I needed to get back to some vintage… that’s why we headed to Cavalli & Nastri, probably the most famous vintage shop in Milan. Actually, I should say shops because the Cavalli & Nastri brand has three venues in Milan. We chose via Brera’s store since it is probably the smaller and maybe youngest (not for age, just for style) of the three. Cavalli & Nastri is very representative of the vintage Milan style: absolutely classy and chic, it is possible to find here the most amazing designers finds; Pucci, Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès just near Roberta di Camerino ’80s bags! From the beginning of the century until the ’80s it is possible to find here the rarest pieces like in a big grandmother closet where you feel like a baby again!

The girls in the shop allowed me to take some pictures around that I want to share them with you to give you some of the magic atmosphere that I could breathe there.

A few more pics of my Day #1

My new obsession: Miu Miu glitter shoes!

Prada retro window!

The Ladybug stands for the fabulous 40’s: Miu Miu F/W 2011 campaign

 
 
Even if I’m a vintage lover and an original retro piece puts me in an excited and euphoric state of mind, I’m also a fashion addict and I stay posted on what’s coming down the latest runways. The fashion weeks are like a religion for me and I follow them day by day! I have many favorite designers, even if only a few of them can really turn me on! Miu Miu is on top of the list! Maybe because I’m Italian or just because they have the cutest vintage inspired pieces, but when I see a Miu Miu shop my heart beats louder! This is why when the first pictures of the F/W campaign came out, I was very excited. But I got even more excited when I saw what it was about!
If the ’40s inspired “retro-chic” look dominated the 2011 F/W catwalks, than this spirit was best resurrected on the Miu Miu runway: strong shouldered tea-dresses, amazing prints, waist-cinching pencil skirts and draped crepe blouses paired with sequin heels and crimson lipstick… All of these things really made me fall further in love with this house!
The spirit of the catwalk was completely re-created on the advertising campaign by Bruce Weber thanks to Hailee Steinfeld, a young American actress who is absolutely gorgeous as a retro model, although the critiques Miu Miu received from the fashion industry were not favorable. Hailee is just fourteen and Miu Miu has been accused of using such a young model because, probably, the women who can afford to buy designer clothing don’t feel they can relate to such a young model.
 
If you want my opinion, all this criticism seems a bit overrated: Lindsay Lohan, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhall, Katie Holmes all represented the label and none of them (with the exception of Kirsten Dunst, see picture above) managed to represent it so well. Even if it’s still a very
expensive brand, Miu Miu is the younger and hipper line of Prada and Hailee doesn’t look like a child trying to be grown playing dressed up.
In 2007 Dakota Fanning (aged 14) also appeared in a Marc Jacobs campaign provoking the same wave of strong criticism.
You can judge for yourself from these pictures (sorry, I know there are quite a few, but I couldn’t choose my favorites because I love them all!) and share your comments here.