The Ladybug on Spring, girlfriends and Herb Ritts

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (5)

Imagine the first Spring weekend (well, the one just before!), your girlfriends being in town for the Stramilano (Milanese run) the next day and many girlish things to do during the weekend. What is on the menu? Food, running, shopping, pictures, art and much more!

It was hard to put everything in a weekend program but we managed and we are very happy about it, even if on Monday we felt like we needed the whole week to recover from the last two days! But let’s be honest, the time spent with your friends is the best time ever whatever you decide to do but when you do all the things you love and they love, well it is priceless!

This is just the photo-story of a Saturday in Milan, from a healthy regenerating lunch at God Save the Food to the Herb Ritts exhibit at Palazzo della Ragione, from shopping in the city center (including our favorite Bivio shops) to a vintage glass of wine at the Sine Modus shop in Porta Venezia, ending with a delicious Russian dinner at La Veranda, my favorite Russian-Ukrainian place in town.

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (1)

Let me just add a few words on Herb Ritts exhibit “In equilibrio” at Palazzo della Ragione until the 5th of June: there is not much to add about this incredible photographer but believe me, the exhibit is absolutely worth a visit for the collection exposed of fashion and celebrities photographs (including one of my favorite Prince photograph and my adored Bill T. Jones series) but also to admire his incredible art of making powerful portraits.

This is basically how we prepared for the 10K run of the next day…not really healthy preparation I know but incredibly fun!

I wore Diffusione Tessile navy maxi coat, Penneys striped shirt, Met jeans, Traffic People headband, Valentino glasses, Miu Miu bag, Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers and Nars red lips courtesy of Simona!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (3)


The Ladybug’s Vintage Adventure in Berlin

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 05

Last Tuesday I told you about my trip to Berlin, but I deliberately didn’t mention my vintage tour of Berlin because this deserved a post of its own. I’ve heard many times that Berlin is the capital of vintage in Europe (a bit too risky a thought, lest we forget London?!) or at least in Germany, and I must admit that everything is vintage in Berlin. The vintage atmosphere is everywhere, there is something melancholically retro in the air that makes you breathe vintage from the very first moment your feet touch the ground! Vintage and second hand have their second home in Berlin for sure! I would have loved to have spent more time there to visit, for example, the huge Humana Vintage and Second hand store or many other shops that I easily found online, but my time was limited and in Germany Sundays are for relaxing and most of the shops are closed.

But I managed to find some interesting shops and tips for your quick weekend in Berlin.

First thing to do on Sunday morning (after a big brunch… Berlin is very famous for that!) is to head to Mauerpark: not only for the lovely quasi hipster area and for the nice park (wonderful if it happens on a sunny day, like when we were there!), but for the adorable Flea Market where you can find vintage clothing, antiques and collectable pieces along with handmade accessories and finger food! The Flohmarkt is very crowded on Sundays, but it is really worth a visit! I managed to find a vintage ’80s brooch (for 2 euros), two Prince vinyl records to add to my collection, a handmade wool headband (to keep my ears warm!) and a souvenir canvas bag of the market!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 06

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 07

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 08

During my Saturday afternoon tour I tried to do my best to visit a couple of vintage shops which wasn’t easy, especially because they were all quite far from the city center.

I managed to visit the famous Sing Blackbird vintage shop, considered by many the best vintage shop in town with a nice cafeteria with handmade cakes inside just to have a quick tea and cake while shopping! The shop is very nice indeed with very beautiful pieces and honest prices… such a shame that the dresses and shirts that I fell in love with didn’t fit me!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 02

Another crazy shop was Jumbo Second Hand, a must-see especially for the immensely huge, mind-blowing collection of vintage shoes! They have a great collection of vintage dresses too, and very affordable prices! But as it happens sometimes, there were so many great pieces that I couldn’t decide what should come home!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 01

Last but not least maybe my favorite so far, Made in Berlin: two floors of vintage happiness and enthusiasm! Here again I got lost in their huge collection of shoes and bags and even more dresses and shirts at very honest prices. I took ten pieces (more not less) into my changing room, but again none of them fit me which left me very disappointed because the shop was worthy a massive buy! I will definitely go back on my next trip to Berlin, and I’m sure I’ll have my luck with sizing!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 04

The Ladybug Chronicles - Berlin Vintage 03

The Ladybug is a Vintage Bike Rider at the Tweed Ride in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 03

A few years ago in London I saw one of the most beautiful things in my life: hundreds of riders of vintage bikes amazingly dressed in impeccable vintage style all along the city center. I then found out that this very popular and famous event was very famous in London under the name, Tweed Run. Since then I tried, without succeeding, to participate in one of the London events, but I was never able to manage it.

Until now!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 01

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 02

During my summer holidays at home I found out about the Tweed Ride Italia: the concept was almost the same, but with a glimpse of Italian passion! I couldn’t imagine that there were enough people with this passion in Italy to create many events throughout the country, but I was wrong. I immediately contacted Ferruccio, the founder and the soul of the Tweed Ride, and he gave me the amazing news that the Tweed Ride was coming to Milan in September. It took me few minutes to check the site and subscribe to the event!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 04

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 05

I didn’t have a vintage bike. Well, there was my old bike which I picked up second hand not too long ago. I didn’t have time to make it nice like the others by decorating it with flowers and all, and I wasn’t prepared to go all out with gingham clothes and handmade cakes, but I had some clothes that could fit the event! The main sponsor of the event was Avirex, the famous clothing brand and indeed everything started and ended at one of their shops in Milan. From Piazza San Babila we rode all around the city center, the liberty area, the Navigli, the Montanelli park to end up in the amazing Avirex store in via Comelico with a huge space outside to share drinks and something to eat.  There was an award ceremony and a flashmob styled dance session showcasing some cool swing and charleston with the amazing guys of Non Solo Charleston!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 06

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 07

Maintaining the heart of vintage, Tweed Ride Italia was also a charity event- donating a part of our subscription fee to the non-profit organization ProAdamo which helps in research for prostate cancer and supports those affected by this form cancer and their families.

It is hard to explain how great it was and how it felt because I was so full of delight and surprised of finally participating… in my own country. And yes, maybe also the fact of sharing like passions for cycling with style and for vintage dressing, ’40s dancing and music in Piazza San Babila while waiting for the ride to start, seeing happy faces of everyone participating, smiles and the waves of the people looking at us and just the atmosphere individually and collectively take all the great words to describe my experience away from me and leave me with: “I really had the greatest time! Now I am just waiting for the next one!!”

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 08

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 09

The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 11

For my outfit… it isn’t actually vintage except for the ’40s bag that I found on Ebay, but I am wearing a J.Crew dress found for a ridiculous price at a charity shop in London, Topshop golden flats and an AMAZING turban handmade from my talented friend Ilaria (Madame Ilary). I added tons of fake and real pearls… but no diamonds!

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Tweed Ride 12


The Ladybug Shops Like It’s 1999: “Vintage – La Moda Che Vive Due Volte” in Reggio Emilia


I know I’ve been very quiet lately… but you know why? I have been crazy busy with some great events (oh yes, work too!) that I’ve barely had the time to write about them. But I am here and you will know all about it!

I left you in Belgioioso, end of April, for the Next Vintage event and I announced a series of vintage fairs that I was planning to attend. The weekend after, indeed, I was heading with some friends to the area of Reggio Emilia to spend a lovely weekend of sport, shopping and tourism!

Romagna Fiere (the organizer of the Forlì Vintage Fair that you may remember because I’ve been there a couple of times) decided to add some more dates to the regular fair in Forlì (probably one of the most famous Italian vintage fairs) and the first weekend of May Reggio Emilia was the center of Italian vintage and retro dealers.



If you’ve been, least once, to the Forlì vintage Fair- it is easy to recognize the familiar atmosphere and style, which I like a lot. The Fair is maybe more sober compared to others (where the location adds a lot to the event), but sometimes I like the typical fair event!

It was an occasion to meet old and new friends: I finally met with Laura from Oggetti Smarriti (one of my favorite vintage eyewear sellers), and with the guys from L’Opposto in Forlì (it was time for my sweet college memories!) and with the amazing hat artist of Stondo from Florence. But I met some new friends and made some good discoveries like: Tabata’, Magnifica Preda or the Silk Ribbon Sisters, an awesome and funny group of burlesque performers with a love for history, cabaret, dance and beauty!


Let me say that I was particularly in the mood for shopping that Sunday… especially because this was the eyewear edition and you know how much I love glasses!

Punti di Vista proposed a very interesting expo on the history of eyewear, presenting some wonderful pieces by decades and I was, as usual, amazed by the ’50s and ’60s frames.

In addition to this beautiful handmade straw hat from Stondo Firenze, I got 4 pair of glasses!!



From L’Opposto, I picked up these vintage inspired frames


and found an amazing Yves Saint Laurent piece from  the ’80s sold by Oggetti Smarriti


and what about these pure 1950s beauties from Tabata’?


It’s obvious my shopping day theme song was “Insatiable” by Prince because I continued my spree during our city tour in the center of Reggio Emilia There I found a quaint vintage shop (“Un altro giro di giostra”) with a lovely owner (Ledi) where I got this TO-DIE-FOR navy leather handbag.



Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Solange is Following the ’80s Brick Road…


I planned to do an outfit post for this edition of SSw/K, but all of that changed last night.

Yesterday I was spending a nice day with the kids, cleaning out my studio office when I received a call from one of the finest vocalist/performers I have the privilege of calling my friend, Melissa Musiq.  Melissa was in town to do background vocals for an artist who was going to perform that night at the 35 Denton Music Festival.  I didn’t have anything else planned, so I said, “for sure, I’ll come out. Who are you hitting with?” “Solange,” she replies, “and this is my first night on the gig.”

A big “wow” came out of my mouth.  Not because it was Solange… I mean Lissa has done bax for Chrissette Michelle, Josh Groban, Jessie J. and so many more… but because it was Solange.  You see, just a week or two ago I found her new single & video and sent it to The Ladybug.  She and I shared and delighted in the look of the video and sound of the record- Losing You.

The festival was rained out, so all the stages were moved to indoor venues.  Her show was moved from Stage One to this warehouse spot called The Hive.  Set to perform at 8pm, at no fault of her own, she didn’t hit the state ’til a little after 10, but she and her band made it very much worth the wait.
TLC_8292If Beyonce is the instant chart topping single with a bullet, Solange is the undeniable B-side that surprises the charts because it gets all the house parties going – and slowing.

Vintage dressed with a look that’s very tomorrow, Solange sizzled on stage.  Her vocals were superb and the crowd seemed to follow the dancing ball as they never missed a lyric.
TLC_8272I enjoyed her performance to much that I went on iTunes as soon as I got in the care and downloaded the album, “True.”  It feels like an album of great records finally released from a label’s vault.  It’s funky, sweaty, sensuous and reminds me of the Prince & Cameo records they used to play on Philadelphia’s Power 99FM in the mid-eights.

Speaking of Illadelph, a funny thing happened when we met at the venue.  Melissa introduced Solange and I, and she said, “I remember you!”  Honestly, I was taken aback and like, ‘yeah right,’ but she continued, “you’re a manager from Philly, right? My dad introduced us a couple years ago.”  Indeed, I remembered, but I would have never thought she’d have.

All in all, if you’ve not been a fan or know nothing about Solange, I suggest you check out this album.  And I hope my girl Melissa lands a permanent spot on this gig… Not only because she really wants it, but because I’d like to introduce my boss and stylist to Ms. Musiq have have her set her wardrobe and look.

[singing] Oh yes, I’m the great connector…

See you “next Sunday.”

[photo credit: KNAGUI]