September shoe shopping: 10 end-of-season investments full of personality

It’s the end of summer and I’m not ready to let it go. This will be my first full winter in Switzerland and I’m afraid it will be freezing snowy never-ending cold. Especially after spending the last 8 winters in Australia…

I’m looking now at shoes: something on sale or under $300, but not too summery, so that it can be worn in the next few months, but still be great for next year.

These are my favourite 10, full of personality and available to buy now online.


KI6? WHO ARE YOU? décolleté, €159 on

11077091go_14_fDolce e Gabbana white pumps with black stars, €257 on

44929432dq_14_fGianbattista Valli, hot pink and silver ballet flats, €124 on


Bill Blass sutton embellished loafers, $194 on


Dsquared2 green décolleté with gold leaf, €230 on


Kate Spade go glitter taxi flats, $278 on


Charlotte Olympia printed high-top sneakers, €233 on



Steve Madden Pampered Pewter Heeled Shoes, $86 on


Ted Baker Savveniers multicolor pumps, £139.99 on


Just Cavalli ankle boots, $159 on


Academy Awards 2014 – My Oscars fashion

The Oscars night is more of an Oscars morning, if you live in Australia.

Hollywood’s Sunday night is Sydney’s Monday morning, so the best you can do is to keep an eye on a website covering the event: the arrivals on the red carpet, the show, and the winners. Unless, of course, you plan on catching the replay on TV, in which case you need to stay away from it all.

And then there’s the fashion. It’s the moment for designers and stylists to shine. Who cares about the actors, when we can comment on every single choice of outfit like a panel of experts!

Well, it’s easy to judge somebody else’s job, but how would I go?

Find here the two looks I’ve created for the night. And don’t even worry about the price tags:  when it’s for the Oscars, it’s all borrowed!


Best Female Actress in a Leading Role:

Oscars outfit in black and gold by StylingNotes

Aurelie Bidermann gold cuff bracelet; Jason Wu gown; Giuseppe Zanotti heels; Hedone Romane earrings.



Best Female Actress in a Supporting Role:

Oscars look red and gold by StylingNotes

Kennet Jay Lane ring; Bottega Veneta clutch; Gianbattista Valli gown, Casadei heels.

September: magnolia look



This look was inspired by the beautiful magnolia trees in bloom in my neighborhood.

An all-natural palette of green, white and pink, combined with layered textures and simple tailoring.


elena scarmagnan

Flavio Castellani tweed crop jacket with chain detail; Topshop tank top; Zara light-quilted skirt; vintage green suede bag; Il Laccio heels.

An Australian in Italy – chronicle of a shopping holiday


A trip to Italy is for me like diving in a second life, where everything is familiar and doesn’t require much effort.

Every time I go back to my home country I seem to realise something new – which confirms the theory that you need to distance yourself from something to really see it.

Lessons I’ve learnt this time include:

Italians really are a bit crazy and unpredictable behind the wheel – including those grandmas driving at 25km per hour no matter what, and the younger ones who don’t see any problem in overtaking 3 cars at a time;

Italian families are so close together that everyone gets a say on any topic –  whether your latest purchase was worth the money, where you should go for dinner and where you should park your car before going to the theatre;

something must have seriously changed in my style if some Italian shop assistants spoke to me in English as I entered their shops.

My holiday in Italy also implies meeting friends for dinner and drinks, catching up with local culture and music, and enjoying the beautiful urban landscape that I miss so much: villas, castles, Roman monuments, and all the ancient details that make such a gorgeous scenery.

And, of course, there’s the fashion, and the shopping opportunities I make sure I don’t miss.

Here’s what inspired me this year, and what I bought.

garden door

Door to a public garden in Torri del Benaco

Il Laccio leather sandals

Il Laccio leather sandals


House with staircase in Verona


Boats at Bardolino port

White cotton tank, TFR cropped jeans, Diesel scarf.

White cotton tank, TFR cropped jeans, Diesel scarf.


On a private beach in Riccione, sunbeds are aligned and ready for the next morning

Kontatto maxidress

Kontatto maxidress


My cone of “bacio” ice crem, at Gelateria Patagonia


Walking over the beautiful Castelvecchio bridge in Verona

Neoprene clutch (at Il Laccio Verona), Zara maxiskirt

Neoprene clutch (at Il Laccio Verona), Zara maxiskirt


Opera props stored in front of the Arena of Verona

Flavio Castellani jacket; Il Laccio high-heel sandals

Flavio Castellani jacket; Il Laccio high-heel sandals


Sunset on a private soccer field

Shoes in Vogue

Ah, the joy of unwrapping American Vogue and flipping through the magazine as if it was a 600-courses degustation meal!

It used to bother me that the first 200 pages are ads, but now I see it like a sneak pick into all the major fashion houses collections – and most pictures are a work of art anyway.

It’s a paper runway, and this time the shoes had all of my attention.

Yes, this is the best of the best. Yes, these shoes come with a 4-digits price. But before you know it, similar designs will be available in affordable versions and become mainstream.

You’d better pick your favourite now…

Floral fest

A delicate floral touch is feminine, chic, and always flattering.

In the past few days, during my usual rounds of research on the net, I couldn’t resist the charme of beautiful floral fabrics and beaded jewellery, so I put together this ensemble of delicate flowers. I hope you’ll like it.


Floral fest fashion by Styling Notes


Amaro Dreaming of butterflies necklace $180; Floral bouquet blue and teal enamel stretch ring $28; Farrah bracelet $100; Michal Negrin aqua, green and pink crystal necklace $720; Asos Pilgrim floral ring $45; Michal Negrin  blue crystal earrings $63; Dondup silk blazer $573; Asos bird Doorknocker earrings $36; Christian Dior flip flops $298; Jeffrey Campbell wedge $175.

Got the blues?

If you’re feeling blue, no worries – I’ve got exactly what you need!

Whether you feel like aqua, turquoise or electric blue, you are spoiled for choice right now.

If you want you blues to stand out, pair them with neutrals (white, grey and beige) or a rich chocolate brown (for the lighter shades of blue).

Whatever hemisphere you’re in, the colour of the water will revitalise your day both in spring and in autumn. Feel free to abuse!

all things blue from Styling Notes for a fresh look

Tory Burch chain and leather triple-wrap bracelet $125; blagger nail polish from Butter $15; Bad Habit shell top $59;  Lee straight twilight rinse jeans $149; Casadei sling-backs $435; Coccinelle shopper handbag EUR225; Elle Macpherson The Impressionist balconette bra $65; Elle Macpherson Quaint Revolution g-string $20; Giuliano Fujiware eyewear.