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


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

Creepy fashion

Brace yourself for the ultimate in organic fashion.

It’s recycled, it’s different, it’s full of personality: it’s creepy fashion.

Clothes and accessories aren’t necessarily made out of fabric. There’s leather, metallic fibres, paper, PVC, and many synthetic fibres.

The search for the unexpected is not new to the industry, but when is it that designers cross the imaginary line of the acceptable?

A few days ago I came across this ring.

rabbit vertebrae ring

I was immediately intrigued by the organic look and shape, which I thought to be something between a mushroom and a one-of-a-kind stone. But nope: we are looking at a ring flaunting a rabbit vertebrae.

Would you feel comfortable wearing it? Is it or isn’t it creepy? If deboning, cooking, and eating rabbit is fine, why not recycling bones and converting them into unusual pieces of jewellery?Available here.

Far less subtle is this other ring, featuring a coyote’s claw.


It’s a nail we’re talking about. A nail that has been taken out of a dead animal to be polished and carefully incorporated into a ring – dangerous to wear to say the least. From Bone Jewellery on Etsy.

Moving into human territory, let me tell you about this jacket.

chest_hair jacket $3900

The garment is the result of the work of ten designers, commissioned by a dairy products brand, and was used for a promotional campaign. The interesting thing here is that it’s made of male chest hair. What else?! It’s about time we moved past animal fur and into human locks.

This piece is certainly natural and respectful of animals, but would you wear it? Sexy or ticklish?

Indeed expensive, as it was sold at auction for $6,800.

My styling tip: spray your favourite man’s cologne on it.

Dulcis in fundo, here comes the fairy.

human tooth pendant necklace

Always wondered what the tooth fairy did with all those teeth? Apparently she’s into DIY jewellery, as this quirky neckpiece demonstrates: human teeth of all shapes and sizes are coated in a preservative varnish and than transformed into a pendant.

How would you feel about carrying around your neck somebody else’s tooth? If you fancy the idea, this pendant is just around $20 on Etsy. But expect some creepy looks.

Enough now. I think I’m going to keep my white gold ring on, wrap myself in a woollen cardigan, and wear my brass and paper New York necklace.

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.