Mondays, Maggie Muses: Artist Paolo Ventura

A few weeks ago I had posted about a visit to the shop Nonostante Marras in Milan, Italy. Along with the many things they sell in their boutique, they regularly feature local artists. Back in February I was introduced to artist/photographer Paolo Ventura. Boy, was I smitten.

This Italian born photographer creates scenes that are rich, dreamy and sometimes surreal. He does this by creating miniature sets into which he then places realistic dolls and props ~ then he photographs them. The result is part fantasy, part realism. They are captivating images that take you right into his nostalgic world.

His painstaking attention to detail is what makes them so charming. Ventura creates every detail from start to finish. He chooses the costumes (sometimes designing them himself), makes or sources the props and paints the dioramas. He also becomes part of the picture, putting himself in costumes and posing in front of the camera.


Influenced a little by his father (a children’s author) and inspired by stories of WW2 told by his grandmother, he creates an imaginary world that almost seems real. What makes his work more interesting to me is his ability to tell stories. The photographs draw you in and let you decide as the viewer what the narrative might be in his pictures. I especially like his Short Stories series, where a story unfolds frame by frame. Here are some of my favorites.



Part of the series The Napoleonic Soldier






From Behind the Wall Series



From Behind the Walls Series







Part of the Winter Stories Collection



 All images via and property of Paolo Ventura.


Mondays, Maggie Muses: A Visit to Nonostante Marras

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, away from the city center, away from the Brera, the Duomo, and the hustle and bustle of a typical downtown corridor lies a magical and wondrous place. Antonio Marras has created a place full of old world charm and whimsy. It is called Nonostante Marras. Translated as “despite Marras”, this shop is where Antonio showcases his RTW clothing line. But the experience is so much more than shopping a typical designer boutique.

entrance antonio marras

nonostante marras exterior


Its humble entry leads you to an open courtyard filled with plants and if you wander for a little bit you will see Snow White and the seven dwarfs standing guard. Glance past the old factory windows, and you get excited at the thought to see what lies inside.

nonostante marras

nonostante marras

nonostante marras

“Picture a house without walls, but trees.
Sofas, rugs, pillows, walls full of drawings, paintings and books everywhere. Voices, noises and laughter. A place where one reads, paints, listen’s to music, draws, photographs, writes while rummaging through clothes and drinking coffee.
So close, yet so far away from town. You enter a gate and you walk into someone’ universe. Nonostante Marras, an open space in which to meet, converse and exchange ideas. An exhibition space where people, art, books, clothes and accessories speak the same language….” Antonio Marras

nonostante marras chandeliers

nonostante marras book tower

You enter into a large room that has giant chandeliers made of petticoats and bicycle rims hanging from the tall ceilings. The shop has large old windows which let light into its space. A tower of drawers in the center holds books, magazines and newspapers. Vintage suitcases, ceramics, photographs, and accessories can be found and meticulously displayed throughout the boutique. A chaotic yet harmonious accumulation of things that have been abandoned, lost and forgotten come to life in a whimsical way to create a playful and  a time worn environment.


During the month of February, art by local artist Paolo Ventura was featured. His art and photography based on the old and nostalgic was a seamless fit. (More about Paolo Ventura here)

I always like to seek and find independent designers and boutiques. I leave inspired and ready to try something new in our own shop. So, if you happen to be in Milan, go visit Nonostante Marras. You will not be disappointed!


via Cola di Rienzo 8
20144 Milano, ITALY
tel +39 0276280991

Open Tues. – Sat. 10-7

Pairs: Inspiration + Shoes

Things that seem like they shouldn’t go together, yet somehow they do.

Pairs, Inspirations + Shoes + Coclico Mind

Happy Friday! Have a beautiful weekend.

Shoe Mood: Mellow Yellow



yellow mood board

Moma 33506 Dandelion Oxford


Happy Friday everyone! This week’s color mood board is inspired by this excellent shoe we just received at the shop. Tell me. is it not just a complete welcome dose of color for these grey days? Moma 33506 oxford can be found here.  Image credits starting from the top, clockwise; egg (unknown), Xiao Wen Ju by photographer Tim Walker, Bloom by Lidewig Edelkoort, Banana photo by Bobby Doherty, “Emanations” by Tobias Tovera. Have a lovely weekend!

our re-souL manifesto

Hello! It’s been awhile since we’ve posted on our blog. Between holiday sales, clearance sales and just trying to get our head around the idea of 2015, we have neglected this space for a bit, but we’re back! So, happy new year everyone!

We are so grateful for our re-souL community. Thank you for supporting us through the last 12 years! We look forward to 2015 with excitement and optimism and hope you’ll join us. We have lots of fun things planned this year, so stay tuned!

Did you know that we have a manifesto? These are things we have always believed in from the onset when we opened our shoe shop, but only seemed even more appropriate when we decided to design our own shoe collection. So in the spirit of starting the new year on the right foot, so to speak, we thought we would share them with you.

re-souL shoes mantra

If you love shoes as much as we do and want to see what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend! Go Hawks!!!!