Trip preparation can always be daunting. Going overseas for an extended stay is really challenging. How much should I bring? Will it be hot, cold? How many pairs of shoes will I need.


I planned my trip to Italy when peak tourist season is winding down but it’s still summer weather. I did not want to worry about bring clothes for 2 seasons but then again shopping for clothes in Milan is not a hardship;) I also had to plan around my host’s availability.


Neutral and versatile are my key words when packing for a trip.To beat the heat I have dresses and culottes. Jeans and a hoodie are good ideas for the plane because it gets cold on a long haul flight. Comfortable sandals and sneakers for exploring. Thin layers that can come off and on as needed.


I have fallen in love with packing cubes. They hold a ton and keep everything organized within the suitcase. They also make unpacking really easy. I did upgrade my ticket to allow for a second checked bag. More for way back…


Must haves for me are a lightweight cross-body bag and a backpack. This Coach bag is great for everyday and has lots of pockets to keep me organized. The Herschel backpack will hold my camera, water, guide book and any other essentials while touring around.



I have had to prep for 2 different portions of this trip.

  1. Milan Shopping
  2. Extended stay in Sicily

I wanted to experience outlet shopping – Italian Style and my cousins and I are deciding whether to go to Arese which is just outside Milan or Foxtown in Switzerland. We will also be going to Milan to visit Fondazione Prada which is a modern art museum funded by Prada. We will ofcourse also go shopping in Milan.

My cousin Elena and I will be flying to Sicily for a week. I’ve been reading up on the history of the island and I’m really looking forward to seeing Siracusa and Agrigento with its’ Valli dei Templi. For all this site seeing I have had to do a thorough cleaning and prep of my camera. Although my SLR is a few years old it takes amazing photos. Be sure to follow me on instagram @latonizzo and @modacarta. I’ll be using both accounts.


modacarta DOLL

I could not possibly leave without the star of this blog. I have created a fun, versatile wardrobe for her and I’m looking forward to shooting her in la bella Italia!


Arrivederci! a Presto!


Intersection 2 Fashion + Art

I love looking at the influence of art on fashion. An art form I enjoy is collage. Collage is art made from an assemblage of different forms to create a new whole. Many artists have experimented with this form such Matisse and Picasso.

What I like about collage is the layering of mixed media such as photography and paper to create the overall image.

An artist I follow on Instagram is Rebecca Coltorti (@rebeccacoltorti_art). She uses paint and photography to create her fashion images. Her work has been featured in Eclectic Magazine.


Prada’s FW2016 invite used collage as a sort of mood board and it was very representative of the collection with it’s mixed fabrics and use of large and mini bags as accessories.

I created the feature image of this post using a page from my botanical colouring book, and photographs of flowers and the doll. The doll’s maxi skirt is made from the same colouring book page. Her top is pleated tissue paper from a recent Zara online purchase. For more on Fashion and Art click here.


Back Story

I started modacarta as part of the course work at the University of Toronto. I am pursuing a certificate in Digital Marketing Strategy. I knew I wanted to blog about fashion but the challenge was how to differentiate my blog from the thousands of other fashion blogs. Inspiration came to me in the usual place, the subway. IMG_0579 IMG_1078I love fashion and I love working with paper. I decided to focus on fashion design and trends and then produce them in paper for a doll to illustrate them. I could then also incorporate my other passion into the blog – photography! Idea done and doll purchased!

Getting started was bumpy with some amateur-hour photo shoots but I got my groove on and gained some followers. At my day job, we partnered with our client for a major presentation to senior leaders about our processes. I took on the task of designing and producing the presentation (a ton of work!) and it was greatly appreciated and a huge success. My client showed this appreciation and admiration for my emerging blog by gifting me with 2 more dolls.

Part of the learning process for me was establishing the editorial calendar for posts and then throwing it out the window when something new was trending. There would be times, and there still are, where I have no ideas for future posts and then, like magic, something comes up!! Seasonal trends make up the bulk of the content as well as industry profiles. I enjoy interviewing people or researching a designer or photographer’s work.

IMG_0698When I interviewed Roxana from Beerox Brand, I showed her my blog and some of the doll photos and she told me you’re a designer! That was a huge compliment for me especially coming from a designer. I suppose it is true to a certain extent. The paper clothes have to be designed in order to be produced and shot for the blog. It is sometimes challenging to fit them to the doll. My design inspo comes from research on the trend/topic, or sometimes the patterns of the paper will dictate the design.

Traveling with the doll has been fun. I have been to New York and also outlet shopping in Michigan with the dolls. It adds a lot of fun to the blog and also makes great instagram posts.

I hope you enjoyed this backstage view into modacarta and I always want to hear from you so please send a comment.

Fashion Pit Crew

A Formula 1 driver needs a team behind him to win races. A fashionista also needs a team a highly skilled professionals to look tailored, extend clothing life and protect vintage possessions. This team is made up of a cobbler and a seamstress.

The Cobbler

IMG_1340This is not your local “shoe guy”. This is a leather craftsman -usually from Europe -who understands how shoes are constructed and can repair damage or make adjustments for the perfect fit.

What he can do for your shoe wardrobe:

  • Resole or re-heel – especially important for vintage shoes
  • Stretch for comfort and fit
  • Add non-slip bottoms for safety
  • Make skinny calf boots into wide calf boots
  • Re-colour or dye the leather to hide ware


Repair leather handbags, jackets or belts. Recondition leather that is dry.

The Seamstress

IMG_1353Unless you know how to sew, you need this lady in your life. A seamstress is highly skilled and able to tailor off the rack clothes for a perfect fit.

What she can do for your wardrobe:

  • Adjust the length of sleeves or pants
  • Take in or let out garments
  • Mend rips or stitching that has come undone
  • Restyle old garments, example removing sleeves on a jacket to create a vest.


If she can knit, she may be able to mend sweaters or other knitwear.

Coming up soon hand washing vs. dry cleaning. All you need to know.