The Ladybug’s Hell Design Week

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For those of you who have been following my blog for while it is now a fact that the Design Week in Milan is my favorite event/time of the year!

I love the international atmosphere and even if the installations in town are not always at their best, I can’t help loving the people and the mood of these days.

But this year it was the worst Design Week since I live in Milan: I was sick during the whole week and I could only get out quickly on Sunday to have a look around in some of my favorite spots but I was a bit disappointed. So I’m just sharing a few pictures of my “Design Day”.

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As it was a sunny day I first headed to the Blue Velvet market in Sant’Ambrogio where my friend Madame Ilary was selling her turbans.

We enjoyed the sun and the swing dancers, then I moved to Rossana Orlandi showroom in the same area, probably the best thing that I saw during the Design Week, especially in the beautiful area outside.

From there I headed to Marni showroom as last year I was in love with their installations for the event. I cannot say the same this year: the theme to present their outdoor design pieces made in Colombia was the Playland. Colored sand and playful children were everywhere and it was a bit of a mess although the overall idea was pretty cool.

I wore Acne Studios black jeans, Primark striped tee and my new vintage Burberry’s trench from Napoleone Vintage. I added white sneakers by & Other Stories, vintage bag from Cavalli e Nastri, Madame Ilary crochet headband, Metalica Creazioni brass loops and Valentino sunglasses.

I finished the day with the worst thing a girl can see in the street while peacefully enjoying the day and the sun: her ex with his new girl.

Design week over.

Sick again.

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The Ladybug’s Milan Design Week in a Few Pictures!

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My favorite time of the year in Milan comes in April. Hard to describe how everything changes in town: winter is just a memory, we say goodbye to tights, Spring blossoms on the trees and the streets are full of life again! This last part is mostly due to Milano Design Week (and the Fuorisalone) which brings to town stylish people from all over the world and creates thousands of events almost everywhere: you can literally have a drink at every corner while admiring installations and decorations and while getting lost in the mass of people enjoying the fresh spring nights!

There are books… or I should say encyclopedias with the list of all the events happening during the week and I always get lost on the third page of them because I would like to go and see a lot of stuff, but I rationally know that I won’t have time for almost any of it. So I try to put together a mini personal list just to not miss the essentials (well, my essentials!).

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My Milano Design Week started magically at the opening of the Elita Design Week Festival with one of the best concerts ever: Benjamin Clementine was in town for the first time in concert in Italy and I couldn’t miss the event! So my friend and I decided to bravely face the crowd of the first day (for this we needed a good beer!) and we immersed in the pure magic of Mr. Clementine’s voice and piano. Funny thing is that I heard about him not more than a week before and when I found his music on Youtube I was completely blown away. Not enough apparently, because when I left the theatre after his concert I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears: he was just AMAZING! Not bad for the start, right?

During one of my lunchtimes, I headed with my friends to the Brera Design Districts to meet my friend Roberta who was in town with a temporary installation for Gloook, The Eco-friendly Design for Homeware, with the most innovative use of paper… I mentioned it before (remember the opening of their store in Como?). I loved the greens and blues that decorated the installation: paper bees, deer, lemon trees, floral wallpaper and paper pieces everywhere (you can find more on www.gloook.it).

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On Saturday morning I decided to head to the city center to follow the Elita crew for the Extras’mall edition at the former Diurno Hotel in Piazza Duomo: the space was great (definitely worth a visit) and the market was full of handmade artists (even if quite small compared to the usual Elita’s events for Sunday Park). Among them I found Grazia, who makes beautiful headbands with African prints that can be worn as turbans or just headscarves (of course I stepped out with one of them on my head!).

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Last but not least, I took the occasion of a special installation at L’Arabesque Bookstore, Shop and Café to visit this beautiful retro space in Milan. The occasion was a special event during Design Week called “L’appartamento” (The Apartment) where an original apartment from the ’60s was re-created inside the shop with original furniture from that era. Unfortunately, my phone died by the time I got inside, but I did take a pic of one of the beautiful windows of this shop that is really worth a visit (can you see the amazing hats and retro bag? Well, they’re just some of the wonderful things that you can find inside!).

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The Ladybug in Milano-land: Pinocchio’s Personal Tour of Fuorisalone During the Salone del Mobile

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As announced last week: April is, for sure, a very interesting month in Milan- when the entire city warms up after a long and cold winter.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise for you to know that I too am coming out of hybernation and am nearly delerious sometimes from lack of sleep because I’m living the moment and taking it all in, even if I still need and love my beauty sleep.

If the first week of the month was all about contemporary art, museums and galleries, it lived only to set the stage for the second week, which is the most important one.  A week when every night and in nearly every area of town there’s a blossoming of parties, expos and a lot of people around from all over the world…

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The “Salone del Mobile” week, it’s one of the most loved events in Milan! The main event is the Furniture Fair. It’s one of the biggest in the world and brings the latest creations and “news” about design, furniture and what I call “home-art” in general to Milan! But, if all this stays in the big Fair area, what happens in town is even more interesting. Milan becomes a furniture fair in all its areas: Tortona is full open air design expos and parties all around, and even other areas are now becoming more and more “design-forward!” Furniture shops stay open until late and they offer special views of their insides and often free drinks! There are expos and design-related events everyday almost everywhere for a week. The entire world is represented, so it’s a great time to get out, have fun and meet new people. Especially since everyone, and I do mean everyone, floods the streets to see what happens outside the Fair for what’s come to be better known as “Fuori Salone,” literally meaning outside the fair. I must say that I didn’t go inside the Fair, but what I saw outside was really awesome!

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One of the events of the Fuori Salone was organized by the Marc by Marc Jacobs shop in Brera (still one of my favorite spots in Milan), where Danish artist and designer Nina Tolstrup in collaboration with 19 Geek Street and Marc Jacobs, presented her expo Ricreare: Life After Catwalk to celebrate Marc by Marc Jacobs official launch of the Re Imagined collection. It is a wonderful chair and furniture collection created with fabrics of previous Marc by Marc Jacobs’ collections as exposed in the shop windows.

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What I loved about it was the central importance given to the values of craft, up-cycling and sustainability: “Re Imagined is a project born out of an understanding of the importance of resourcefulness. It builds upon the designer’s interest in usefulness and re-using the existing, and speaks of her ability to see potential in the overlooked and forgotten.” (more at www.re-imagined.co.uk)

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