Mondays, Maggie Muses: Venice Beach

Venice Beach PierWe just got back from a warm sunny weekend in Venice Beach, CA. We were there to help a friend celebrate a milestone birthday. It was the perfect opportunity for friends to gather from around the country and enjoy some of what SoCal has to offer. Being a native Californian, it had been awhile since I visited my home state. I was not sure what to expect and I was pleasantly delighted the minute we arrived at this beach town.

Venice Beach

We had so much fun! Venice, or as my skater husband likes to call it “Dogtown”, was charming, eccentric, laid back and exciting all at the same time. From its crazy boardwalk, friendly natives, quaint canals and infamous shopping street, Abbot Kinney, it was the perfect mix of beach town and city life. So, if you ever happen to be in LA, go visit Venice Beach and enjoy the sun!

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.

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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.

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a mini travel guide to the navigli, milan

Alzaia Naviglio Grande

I just recently returned from my bi-yearly buying trip to Milan. I stay in what I like to think is a non-Milan neighborhood called the Navigli. When most people think of Milan, they think of chic shopping on Via Monte Napoleone, gazing the glass tiles of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II or touring the majestic and iconic Duomo. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do these things too. But I am most at home in the Navigli district. And though it’s mostly known for its late night activities. I like to experience it in the late afternoons and early evenings before the crowds of twenty-somethings take over the neighborhood bars.

Being a small business owner myself, I like to support small local businesses, whether I am Seattle or in another city. The Navigli is a neighborhood of hard working small establishments that are offering independent goods and experiences. Here is a very small guide on what to see, drink and eat while visiting this burrow of Milan.The easiest way to get there is to take Milan’s “Metropolitana” subway. Take the green line towards Abbiategrasso/Assago and get off at Porta Genova.

Map of Navigli

Start off your visit with a late lunch or an afternoon coffee at one of the many cafes along the Naviglio Grande. I particularly like to have lunch at L’Altro Luca e Andrea. A small cafe with delicious homemade pasta. Weather permitting, sit outside where you can watch the locals sipping their espressos or taking afternoon strolls.

When you finish lunch, walk along the Naviglio Grande. Ripa di Porta Ticinese and Alzaia Naviglio Grande are the two main roads in the Navigli. Pop into the bookstores, vintage furniture and clothing shops that flank both sides of the canal.

If you happen to be there during the flea market, you have hit the jackpot! Both sides of the canal are filled with over 400 vendors selling their antique and vintage collections. A must see occurrence that happens every last Sunday of the month.

The adjoining streets to the Naviglio Grande have some fun little independent designer shops and boutiques too. Along Via Corsico, a new discovery for me was a small little gallery shop called Brandstorming. This little shop features local artists who use found objects and recycled materials to create unique jewelry and gifts.

If you have room in your suitcase, check out and do not miss La Vineria on Via Casale. A wine distillery that makes and bottles there own wine blends. They also bottle olive oil which is my favorite thing to bring home. No room in your suitcases? You can still buy a bottle of wine and drink it in front of the shop. Feel like having a little treat? The Gelateria Orso Bianco up and across the street has wonderful organic frozen treats.

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Women Can Wear Boy Shoes Too…….

…….or how to wear oxfords, loafers and monkstraps and still look like a girl. This post is inspired by customers we see in the shop who say, “I can’t wear these! I look like a boy.” Not true we say!

With all the men’s inspired fashion of the past 3 seasons, it is kind of hard to not get into this tailored trend. You can still look stylish without wearing lady like heels or pumps. Wearing a boyish shoe is just as easy as wearing your boots. It’s all about balancing the menswear shoes with some feminine pieces and accessories. I have illustrated some looks inspired by street fashion as examples of how to wear the “taken from the boys” shoes.

Oxfords are the most basic and easiest style to wear. Pair yours with relaxed trousers, a feminine top and a brightly colored coat. The lace-up style helps balance the look from being too girlie. They also work well with a floral dress. Try a layered look with a collared shirt and a safari style jacket.

Oxford_ Gidigio_GB49210

A loafer is a sleek alternative for a basic skimmer flat. We think they look fab with just about anything. Skinny black jeans, a tailored shirt and a crew neck sweater is casual but still smart looking. Balance a flouncy skirt with a moto jacket and a pair of slipper mocs. Loafers also work well with tights when the weather gets to be a little brisk.

loafer_lili_mill_5815

Monkstraps in general are a traditional style for men, but that doesn’t mean the ladies can’t wear them too. Pair them with skinny jeans, a brightly colored blouse and a double breasted jacket. For a modern look, pair them with a long dress and a classic camel coat. The shoes are a clean, modern and an unexpected look with skirts or dresses.

monkstrap_resoul_cher

Wear all of these trends with feminine jewelry and accessories to complete your look. A great handbag always helps too. So give those boots in your wardrobe the break they deserve. Opt for an oxford, loafer or monkstrap the next time you reach into your closet. You’ll look fabulous and still look like a girl. Really!

All shoe styles available at resoul.com.

Mondays, Maggie Muses: Inky Hues

Happy first day of September everyone and happy Labor Day to those of you in the USA! With Fall just around the corner, I’m in the mood for the darker colors of black, gray, and aubergine. Hues of ink like shades that will inspire my autumnal color palette. Maybe it’s because I am in the mood for something more serious or maybe I just want the rain to come back?

 

 

 

 

At the moment I am in Italy and I hope to share some images from Milan in the very near future. Have a great week ~ Maggie

Mondays, Maggie Muses: Color Mood, Neutrals + Metallics

Maybe it’s because I have been working on our SS15 collection of re-souL shoes,  but I have been feeling neutrals and metallics lately for one of my color palettes. I love basic black, gray, buff and white with  gold, silver or copper metallics. Clean and simple with just a hint of bling. Color combinations that will compliment most everything for spring and summer wardrobes.

neutrals + metallics

neutrals + metallics

neutrals + metallics

What do you think? Are you feeling them too? Happy Monday and hope you have a great week!

Links:

Art and Article Sumi Washi Envelope Set | Native Line Wall Hangings 
Design by Georgiana Paraschiv  | Necklace by Tiro Tiro
Wallpaper by TroveCollage by Matt Wisniewski