Category: Secret Milan

Secret Milan – My Top Spots for Vintage Shopping

Ever since I started loving fashion I have loved vintage shopping.  I think it is the idea of not knowing what I am going to find before I enter the shop, and the surprise at finding an amazing piece that is perfect for me.  The thing I love most is that the items have their own story to tell and that by owning them, I am becoming part of their story and their history too.  I love to imagine what parties my vintage dresses have been worn to or what foreign cities my vintage jewellery might have once visited.  I started my vintage collection nearly ten years ago, and as well as the usual selection of Levi’s jeans and floral dresses, I also collect special pieces with a unique quality.  Whenever I travel I search for vintage shops and antique markets so I can take a special souvenir home with me.  The favorite pieces I have found are a crocodile-skin handbag I found at an Antiques market in Cape Town, a pocket-watch I found in Buenos Aires and a Dolce & Gabbana scarf I found here in Italy.  So as soon as I moved here, I went on a hunt for the best vintage shops in Milan. Here are my favorites…

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Cavalli e Nastri – This is a Milanese landmark for any fashion lover in the city.  ‘Cavalli e Nastri’ sell an amazing selection of high quality vintage pieces.  The price tag is a little high but the pieces are so special.  Think hand sewn sequin dresses, lace vintage wedding dresses, antique jewellery and vintage designer handbags.

Madame Pauline – I love this cute little boutique with lovely owners who are really passionate about vintage clothes.  They have the most amazing collection of vintage designer pieces, beautiful embroidered kimono’s and special jewellery.  All pieces have labels explaining which designer they are and what year they are from.

‘Lo Specchio de Alice’ –  Found in the cool Porta Ticinese neighborhood, this vintage shop has the BEST collection of Levi’s jeans, Dr Martins, baseball jackets and sportswear.  Think racks and racks of the stuff.  You need to be prepared to rummage but you can find the most amazing pieces and at really great prices.  I love getting vintage jeans and Adidas jackets here.

Groupies Vintage – In the same area as ‘Lo Specchio de Alice’, Groupies Vintage also sells a cool selection of urban vintage pieces with a great price tag.  Denim jackets, woolen jumpers, checked shirts, sports wear, Dr Martins and trench coats.  They also have their own line of customized pieces which is really cool if you want to find something a little different.

Sunday Antiques Market – Held on the last Sunday of every month along the Naviglio (canal) in the south of the city, this market is really amazing.  A mix of flea market and antique sellers, you can find anything from antique furniture, old records, street artists selling paintings and cheap vintage clothing to collectible designer pieces.  Even if you don’t buy anything its so much fun walking around and seeing all the crazy stuff on sale.  I love it here and if I have time I visit every month.

If you want to read about more places I love for shopping in Milan, check out my post ‘Shopping Guide – Exploring Milan’s Porta Ticinese District’… 

 

 

Secret Milan – Armani Silos Museum

This weekend my Mum was visiting from France and on the Saturday we spent the day in Milan visiting the new museum and exhibition space ‘Armani Silos‘.

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The museum opened earlier this year and I have been dying to go ever since, so it was a nice excuse to visit while somebody came to stay. The museum is located on Via Bergognone next to the Armani offices and was built inside an old granary mill. The exhibition covers four floors of the building which has been recreated in minimal black, white and concrete grey design.

The exhibition itself was absolutely amazing. Containing over six hundred outfits and two hundred accessories dating from 1980 to the present day, the exhibition is a beautiful archive showing the talent of Armani from over forty years of his career.

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In an unusual way, the exhibition is not set out in chronological order but grouped according to themes that have inspired Armani and define the brands aesthetic vision. They are named Daywear, Exoticism, Colour Schemes and Light. Exoticism was my favourite as outfits had subtle influences from ethnic cultures and contained vibrant patterns and strong colours. A style I always love!

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After spending several hours pouring over outfits in the museum and choosing our favourites using the Armani Silos app, we stopped for health drinks in the Armani Cafe on the bottom floor and looked at chic accessories in the museum gift shop. Afterwards we went into Porta Genova and had a couple of glasses of prosecco in the Mercato Metropolitano before heading home to get ready for our Halloween party!

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Secret Milan – Shopping in Milan’s ‘Porta Ticinese’ District…

One of my favourite things about living in Milan is that the city has so many different neighbourhoods for shopping.  From the ultra-chic Via Montenapoleone, to the artsy boutiques in Brera, and the high-street stores in San Babila.  There are so many cool districts to explore and amazing shops to discover.

Last week I decided to head down to the south of the city and check out the cool/underground street Porta Ticinese.  This is my favourite neighbourhood for shopping in Milan, so I try to head down here as often as I can.  Porta Ticinese is a collection of vintage shops, cool foodie places and urban boutiques. Lots of the shops here are pop-up’s and the collections sold are limited edition, so every time you visit you never know what cool things you might find.

The street starts in a piazza lined with old Roman Columns and runs all the way down to the two long canals of Porta Genova.  When visiting, I love to start at the piazza and finish up on the canals for a bite to eat – post shopping.

Last week I found so many cool clothes and new things going on here and so I have decided to share my discoveries with you.  Hopefully when you visit you will love it as much as me…

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(colourful bikini’s at Individuals)

For Fashion

Cetang. Recently opened concept store Cetang sells a cute selection of clothing and jewellery from cool, young designers.  The shop is all white and decorated with pretty green plants so even just walking around is relaxing and fun.

Everyday Milano.  This new store has an ‘& Other Stories’ type vibe with an on-trend, fashionable collection at really good prices.  I think its great for when you want to buy something high-street but don’t want to end up wearing the same dress as everybody else.

Individuals. A little bit past Porta Ticinese street but definitely worth the walk if you love bikinis like me.  The swimwear is handmade by the shop owner out of brightly coloured and patterned fabrics. They also have a really cute collection on lingerie and leotards.  

For Vintage

Lo Specchio di Alice. This vintage shop sells an amazing selection of Levi jeans, baseball jackets, Dr Martins and has a beautiful collection of vintage bags.  I almost always buy something when I pass by because they always have cool finds and the prices are really great.

Groupies. Located right at the start of Porta Ticinese, this vintage shop is amazing for finding unique and eccentric pieces without a crazy price-tag.  The girls that run the store are super nice and always want to show off the newest stuff they have in.

Serendeepity. Check out the first floor for a super cool selection of magazines, books and vinyl records and then head downstairs to find a curated collection of vintages dresses, suits, coats and accessories.

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(graphic street art near the canals)

For Accessories

Yobe. For super stylish eyewear check out the selection of frames at Yobe.  Their selection of sunglasses and reading glasses are so cool and sold in amazing colours and shapes.  You can even get your eyes tested on site to find your perfect pair of frames.

Stiu Shoes. Absolutely my favourite shop in the whole of Milan! Every time I go in here I have to stop myself from buying the whole store! The shoes are all locally produced from Italian leather and are made in classic styles but with a modern twist.  Think summer sandals with a chunky platform or winter boots in metallic shades. So cool!

Cult.  Another really cool place if you love shoes as much as me! Cult sells a cool collection of masculine style flats like lace up boots and chunky brogues.  Great pieces for when you want to rock the androgynous look while being stylish and comfortable.

For Food

I Love Vegetarian. For healthy smoothies and organic snacks this place is the perfect pit-stop.

Natural Bakery. Found down a little side street this bakery sells an amazing selection or organic breads, cakes and pastries.  Grab some yummy treats to take away and then have a little picnic in the nearby park.  I love the spinach and ricotta rolls the most.

Darsena Harbour Food Market.  At the end of the Porta Ticinese street is the newly renovated Darsena Harbour.  It is really pretty to stroll around and sit by the water but also has a really amazing little food market.  Find stalls selling fresh meats and fish, grab a stool and watch the stall owner’s cook up your food right in front of you.  It’s really fun to share lots of small dishes and try lots of Italian food.

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(cute floating cafes in the Darsena Harbour)

And there you have it my friends… My guide to shopping in Porta Ticinese.  Let me know what cool places your discover there in the comments below…

For more of my european shopping guides check out my Guide to Amsterdam’s Nine Streets…

Secret Milan – Slow Food at Mercato Metropolitano

We are still feeling a little bit in holiday mode over here in Milan right now, so this weekend when it was sunny and warm, we decided to make the most of the nice weather and spend the day in the city.

Since the coming of the Expo, Milan has received a bit of a make-over and lots of the urban areas have been reconstructed and made into public zones, parks and shopping areas.  On Sunday we decided to head over to Porta Genova, in the South of the city, to check out the new slow food market ‘Mercato Metropolitano’.

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The market is located alongside the railway tracks and built-in and out of the old bridges and railway arches.  In an area around 15,000 sqm, the market has a collection of interesting stalls set up by local producers and street food establishments, both emerging and from known cafes around Milan.  The concept of the market supports small businesses from the Milan area and the use of organic or locally grown ingredients.

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Walking around the market was a fun experience in itself.  Stalls are brightly decorated and have an interesting selection of food to try, both international and typical foods from the different Italian regions.  The chill-out sofas dotted around the market are made from upcycled vegetable crates and recycled pots growing herbs and flowers gives the place an urban-garden feel.

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Inside the railway arches there is an organic supermarket selling a huge selection of fruits and vegetables, biological wines and beers and freshly made bread and pasta.  There are slow-food related games and activities for children to play, giant-sized football tables and even an open-air cinema where film screenings and seminars are held around the topic of sustainable foods.

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The market is open everyday for a late breakfast, lunch or dinner and I highly recommend you passing by.  It is so much fun and a great place to try lots of yummy Italian food.

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Secret Milan – 10 Corso Como Concept Store

As I have mentioned before, in January I wrote a list of places in Milan I wanted to visit this year and as the months have gone by I have slowly been working my way through this list.  I don’t always write about where I have visited on here, but the list includes restaurants, bars, museums, shops and interesting sights around the city.

The beautiful concept store 10 Corso Como has been on this list for a while, and last week I was finally able to visit as it was the location of a photo shoot I Assisted on.  Of course when I visited for the shoot I didn’t have any time to check everything out as I was so busy.  So this Saturday I went back to the shop and took my time exploring.

The boutique is located on the famous Milanese fashion street Corso Como, and set back in a shaded and leafy courtyard.  Inside there is a restaurant, rooftop bar, book & design shop and of course, the fashion shop itself.  The boutique sells unique and special pieces from a mix of established designers such as Kenzo, Saint Laurent & Comme des Garcons and from new, up & coming designers both Italian and international.  Working in Styling it is the perfect place to come when looking for rare and individual pieces.  But even if you don’t want to buy, it is lovely to spend a morning here, browsing through the artsy books and getting some inspiration from the amazing fashion pieces.

And for some in-the-know Milan advise – they also have an outlet store located just around the corner. Here you can find a treasure-trove style shop, filled with beautiful & exclusive pieces for amazing prices.

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(photo taken from pinterest.com)

For more about places I love to shop in Milan see my post about the Antonio Marras Concept Store

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Secret Milan – The Antonio Marras Concept Store

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This week I visited the Antonio Marras Concept store on Via Cola di Rienzo in Milan.

I love Antonio Marras and have wanted to visit this place since reading about it. As I mentioned before I have recently written a list of things I want to visit around Milan and this place was top of that list.

The store is located inside a converted factory and stepping inside felt like entering into a magical world. Just like the designs of Antonio Marras the shop is beautiful, creative, pretty and full of fantasy.

As well as the incredible clothes there is vintage teacups, playful wall paintings, antique furniture, candles, ceramics and a floor to ceiling circular book shelf with art books piled high (my dream!)

Everything together creates such a beautiful atmosphere and the more you look around the more beautiful details you will discover. The perfect way to spend a morning in Milan. You will leave feeling truly inspired.

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