Tag: milano

How to Live Like a Milanese…

I have been living in Milan for nearly three years now, and although England is definitely still my home, I find it amazing to see how settled and homely Milan feels to me now.  I really noticed it on my recent trip home last month.  I was so excited to go home and had such strong feelings of being home when I arrived, but then when I got back to Milan a week later it felt like I was coming home too.  I found it so interested how both places can feel like home to me but in two very different ways, and it made me happy to think Milan has become my home away from home.

I started to think about all the little personalities traits and Milan-isms this city has for me that makes it different from home.  And though I am definitely still 100% English, I have noticed myself picking up on them and how they have become normal for me.  It reminds me how no two countries or even cities are the same which is why traveling is so exciting and eye opening for me.

how-to-live-like-a-milanese

(Photo from Pinterest.com)

Here are some of the things that make up the personality of Milan for me…

Saying Ciao A Lot.   Especially when speaking on the telephone, which Italians love to do.  When you want to end the conversation you have to say Ciao Ciao Ciao and then they say Ciao Ciao Ciao and it goes on for a little while.

Taking Regular Espresso Breaks.  Italians go for espresso several times a day and there are so many coffee shops all over Milan.  You order and drink it standing at the bar and are in and out really fast.  It’s a great pick me up when you are on the run.  Normally there are lots of people bustling to get to the front but the coffee people always seem to know who’s drink is who’s!

Becoming a Regular at Your Favorite Cafe or Restaurant.  If you keep going back to the same place and they get to know you they will greet you like family, bring you things to try from the kitchen and make you feel so welcome every time you stop by.

Having Good Shoes and Handbags is Essential.  Milanese girls always have beautiful shoes and handbags made of high quality leather.  Its a great way to transform a basic outfit into something elegant and chic.

Skipping Happy Hour For Aperitivo Instead.  Nearly every bar in Milan does Aperitvo in the evenings and its so good.  Order a Spritz or Prosecco and get served yummy snacks of olives, cheeses, salads, pasta and savory pastries with your drinks.

The Rules are Made to be Broken.  Italians follow the rules up until a point but they are very comfortable bending them when they need to and are totally fine with you doing the same.  Need to park in the middle of the road while you run into a store to pick something up – no problem.  Don’t have time to buy a ticket before you jump on the train – no problem.  Just flash them a smile and its always fine.

Dressing Stylish is a Priority.  In Milan everyone loves fashion and being stylish and chic is a major priority.  I love it because everyone of all generations always looks beautiful and you can get so much style inspiration from the people you see on the streets.

Taking your Dog Everywhere.  Milanese people love dogs and they bring there little dogs out with them everywhere they go.  In restaurants, cafes, on the trams – once I even saw people bringing their dogs around Ikea!!

Sushi is Everyone’s Favorite International Food.  Italians are really proud of their heritage and their food and don’t often eat the food of other cultures.  However the exception to this in Milan is Sushi which everyone loves and there are sushi places all over the city.

Picking up on these things makes me feel like I am starting to live a little more like the Milanese and makes me so happy Milan has become my second home.

What are your favorite differences about living abroad? Let me know in the comments below…

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

Must Have Fashion Items for Spring…

I love to see the new trends at the start of every season and I think it provides a great opportunity to experiment with your style and try something new.  A great way to do this is to choose some of the seasons key pieces and add those into your wardrobe for an easy, on-trend update.  You can mix them into your favorite outfits or use them to breath some life into your wardrobe staples.

Here is my lowdown of eight beautiful on trend pieces for Spring…

Continue reading “Must Have Fashion Items for Spring…”

Positive Vibes – Dream Big

Ever since I was young I have always thought it was important to dream big.  That’s why I took a year out and went traveling around South America with my best friends.  That’s why I did a study exchange to Milan.  That’s why I started my career as a Fashion Stylist.  And its something I always try to share and encourage through this blog.

We only live once so I think it’s really important to make sure our lives are as beautiful and exceptional as possible.  And a great way to do that is to dream big, visualize our ideas and work hard to achieve them!   Even the biggest of dreams is possible to achieve if you believe in yourself, have a plan and keep focused.

When I turned twenty I wrote a list of dreams I wanted to achieve before I turned thirty.  Some of those (like living abroad, starting my own business & traveling Sri Lanka I have done) but I have still got quite a few things I need to tick off.  So for today’s posts I thought I would share with you nine dreams I want to achieve.  I hope it gives you some inspiration and I invite you to share your dreams in the comments below…

IMG_6733.jpg

(traveling in colombia)

1 – Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ever since one of my friends did this in her gap year I have been fantasizing about climbing to the summit of this incredible mountain in Africa.  It is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and from the top you can see beautiful views over Tanzania.

2 – Travel around Columbia.

Even though I have visited a lot of South American countries I have never had the chance to go to Columbia yet.  Everything I hear about this place sounds amazing and I dream about spending a summer backpacking here.

3 – Become a Master at Cooking.

This is something I am always working on.  I love trying new foods and I think a great way to learn about a culture is through the food.  Whenever I travel I like to study the food and learn how to cook something special.

4 – Go to Coachella & Glastonbury.

Ok I know this is technically two dreams.  But as a huge lover of both fashion & music I have always wanted to live the bohemian dream at these two festivals.

5 – Work in New York.

New York is one of the most inspirational cities for fashion and in the future I would love to work regularly over there styling Editorials and Photo Shoots.

6 – Visit India.

The colours, the food, the people and the culture.  Everything about India fascinates me and I have always dreamed about making a big trip around this country.

7 – Work with a Women’s Support Charity.

As a girl who is building her own business I believe it is so important girls & women are empowered and have the support they need to achieve their dreams and make a positive impact on the world and I would love to work closely with a charity who advocates this.

8 – Write a Book.

As a Blogger and a passionate writer, having my own book published and being able to inspire others would be incredible.

9 – Shoot an Editorial for Vogue.

As a Fashion Stylist who works with lots of international magazines working with Vogue is the ultimate dream!

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

The Sartorialist Book Signing…

Yesterday I was lucky enough to meet Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist at his book signing in Milan.  I have long been a fan of his work and so was really excited when I heard he was coming to Milan yesterday.

IMG_2895

For those who are new to the fashion world, ten years ago fashion photographer Scott Schuman started a blog called The Sartorialist after feeling a strong disconnect between clothes he saw on the runway and what real people were wearing.  He travels around the world, mainly in Milan, New York, Paris and London, and searches the streets for people with unique personal style or that special wow-factor that separates them from the rest.  He photographs these people and posts the photos on his blog.  Some people he speaks to and shares their story, others he photographs from afar and captures their personal movements and emotions.  His work started off the now huge trend of Street Style and to appear on his blog is considered an honor in the fashion world.

IMG_2894

Yesterday’s book signing was for the launch of his third book ‘X’ which marks the past ten years of his career.  Alongside photographers of fashionista’s from around the globe, Schuman has also included a collection of photos of real people from India, Bhutan and Peru.  He focuses on their traditional style of clothing, the interesting colour combinations they wear and how people with supposedly nothing are still able to communicate their own scene of style.  Street Style has always been something very inspirational for my work, but I loved to see this more unusual set of photos mixed into the book.

FullSizeRender

The signing was perfectly timed to coincide with Milan’s men’s week and took place inside beautiful men’s wear shop Larusmiani on Via Montenapoleone.  I was lucky enough to be one of the first in the que and it was really amazing to meet a photographer who has inspired my work for such a long time.  Scott Schuman was really nice and enthusiastic to meet each person and so interesting to talk to.  It was such an incredible experience to meet him and I am in love with my new signed book.

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

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…

Milan's Top Spots for Vintage Shopping.jpg

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’… 

 

 

Unique Places to Visit in Northern Italy

I have been living in Italy now for three years, and every year I spend here I discover new and exciting thing about this magical and enchanting country.

I started off my experience here much like everyone else and my travel list was to be expected – Rome, Venice, Florence, Vatican City.  These places were undeniably amazing, but sharing the experience of seeing the Sistine Chapel shared with 50 other tourists or waiting over an hour in line to see Venice cathedral makes the experience a little less special.  The longer I have lived in Italy the more I have discovered the real gems of this country are the places less known of, that you have to search to find, or that involve a degree of adventure.  It’s in these moments that you see the real Italy.  The Italy with a big heart and amazing food that welcomes you in like a long lost family member.

If you want to experience a little of that (and why wouldn’t you?!) then here are my favorite unique places to travel in Northern Italy.  Maybe you can try and squeeze some in on your next visit to Milan, Venice or Florence…

Unique Places to Visit in Northern Italy

Parma.

The region of Parma is known for its incredible food – specifically it’s hams, cheeses and olive oil.  The best time to visit is in November when the Fall food festivals are in full swing and you can combine a morning of city site seeing with a local foodie festival.  We combined our visit with ‘November Pork’ a festival which celebrates food from local farms including cheeses, home-made pastas, wine and of course ham, salami and pork.

IMG_1654

IMG_1663

Lake Como.

Located only an hour from Milan on the train, Lake Como is a perfect place to escape from the city and pass a day relaxing by the water.  Take a boat ride on the lake to visit the old villa’s and mansion’s of old Italian aristocracy or get lost walking around one of the little villages dotted along the lake’s edge.

Verona

Arguably one of the more touristy locations, Verona is definitely still worth a visit.  Take a local bike or walking tour around the city and take in the mix of ancient roman architecture and renaissance art dotted around the city center.  Visit the Amphitheater and Juliette’s (of Romeo & Juliette) balcony and then finish your day at a open air restaurant in one of the cites beautiful plazas.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.45.50

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.46.04

Lake Garda.

Located between Verona & Venice, Lake Garda is a beautiful, tranquil spot with little villages lining to shore of the lake.  Two places worth visiting are Peschiera del Garda and Sirmione where you can spend a day walking around their quiet streets, taking boat rides on the lake and eating seafood in sunny plazas.

Alba.

Another place to visit during the Fall, Alba comes alive through the month of November for the International Truffle Festival.  Plan your visit so you can spend a day exploring the exhibition, tasting the truffles and visiting local deli’s and wine stores.  Then finish up by visiting vineyards and farm based restaurants in the surrounding countryside to experience truffle eating at its best.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.51.26.png

Torino.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, Torino is an elegant and characteristic city 120km north of Milan.  The city has a more local feel but still offers lots of museums, churches, restaurants and sunny plazas so you can get your culture fix.  Strolling around the city and exploring its piazza’s and cobbled streets is a fun way to spend a day out of Milan.

Are you planning a trip to Northern Italy? Let me know where you are thinking about going in the comments below…

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

 

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‘.

image

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.

image

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!

image

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!

Like what you read… Don’t forget to follow me on Blog Lovin!

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…

image9

(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.

image8

(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.

image4

(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’.

image6

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.

image5

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.

image3

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.

image2

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.

Like what you read… Don’t forget to follow me on Blog Lovin!