Made In Italy Part 2: Vintage Finds

Much of my time in Mantua ended up being focused on vintage fashion, largely by accident. So for my second post I thought I'd share with you some of what I found and ideas on how to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe.

On one occasion I happily stumbled across a vintage fair in the heart of the city. Located in the beautiful Piazza Virgiliana, 'Voglia di Vintage' boasted a huge range of wonderful pieces to be uncovered on an array of stalls scattered amongst fountains and foliage.

I'll admit, when it comes to vintage, I can be very picky. I think one can often fall into the trap of being seduced by a 'vintage' item just because it's labeled as that, rather than because its actually lovely. Vintage should be unusual, different, cool and of lasting quality. Which is why my rule is to only buy something if I would still buy it if it was brand new today. As a result, I don't have a huge amount of vintage in my wardrobe. And, with vintage fairs and shops being nearly as common as Starbucks these days, standards really can vary. Nonetheless, it's always worth browsing them in case of spotting something truly special.

Which was why 'Voglia di Vintage' was so great. Because the sellers evidently shared a similar attitude: it was clear that every piece on sale had been carefully picked to maintain the highest of standards. Stunning, unique items were everywhere so, whether or not they were of personal taste, they had to be admired. Here are some of my favourite pieces:
The classic Burberry trench is given a 20s vibe with fringing around the hem

Gorgeous Prada heels. Opt for snakeskin for a fresh alternative to the nude heel.


Striking statement necklaces stand out best when worn with a plain white blouse

If you're hesitant about vintage clothing, start by venturing into experimenting with accessories. A handbag or briefcase will add quirk and individuality to an outfit without appearing too 'try-hard'. Alternatively, vintage fairs are fantastic for finding unusual sunglasses that will differentiate you from the crowd.

On a separate occasion I discovered a wonderful vintage jewellery shop (owned by the second lady featured in the street style post). Evocative of some of the vintage flee market shops in Paris, 'La Vie en Rose' was filled to the brim with exquisite vintage jewellery (mostly costume). And, despite the name, it primarily sold Italian pieces both by unknown and known names such as Miu Miu and Carlos Zini (as well as the occasional French one such as Chanel and YSL thrown in). There were also the odd beautiful dress and pairs of shoes, and I was particularly fond of the handbags made out of vintage cigar boxes.

From top right clockwise: Inside the La Vie en Rose shop featuring a blue gown by Martina Loatelli called 'A love of the Past'; removable dual signed brooch; enamel and gold parrot bracelet by Carlos Zini, signed; rare 1970s necklace signed Eugene, New York (credit of all photos: La Vie en Rose)

Jewellery featuring sea motifs on sale in La Vie en Rose (photo credit: La Vie en Rose)

Jewellery like this speaks for itself, so it's the perfect accompaniment for the most minimalist of outfits. To avoid it being too dominating, choose between wearing just one large prominent item, or a few smaller ones. And avant-garde jewellery doesn't need to be reserved for the evening or special occasions, especially when its costume jewellery, since you don't need to worry so much about what happens to it. I'm a firm advocator of making the most out of everything you own so, when appropriate, a striking item can look fantastic juxtaposed against a casual outfit or even make a strong and bold statement in the work place when paired with tailoring.

In the end I couldn't resist these breath-taking earrings:

Signed 'Ace' clip on earrings by Carlos Zini (as seen on Instagram)
Onyx and coral earrings, Made in Italy

Overall, La Vie en Rose was a truly special shop, and there were hundreds more pieces equally worth showcasing here. You can view more spectacular items here on the Facebook page. And, if like me, you just have to own a piece you can contact La Vie en Rose at:

La Vie en Rose

Via Pescheria 10



+39 371 130 5444


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