The Ladybug puts the roof on fire!

The Ladybug Chronicles Corso Como 10 (8)

There are places where I run when I need beauty (this is what I call beauty-therapy!). It used to be the seaside when I lived close to the sea, but in Milan I had to find new places. One of them is the rooftop of the beautiful building 10 Corso Como: I go up there to relax, to chill in the beauty of its design décor, while admiring the old Milanese houses contrasting the new skyline of Piazza Gae Aulenti. I also love taking pictures there, as in a few meters you have many different backdrops and background sets for your pictures! It is an infinite source of inspiration!

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This time I was wearing a 80s vintage dress that I found for a few euros at Humana Vintage in Milan years ago, paired with one of my favorite Madame Ilary turbans ever: a light purple softturban with a crystal decoration that I adore. I was skeptical at the beginning because I didn’t know really how to wear it but I found out that it is easier than I thought!

I added my Jeffrey Campbell mud caged ankle boots and a tiny handmade belt to better shape the waist.

Earrings are vintage while necklaces are from & Other Stories.

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug from the 40s diva to the 50s pin-up

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Lately I showed you my vintage marine dress bought in Barcelona last spring but, as you may easily imagine, it was not my only vintage find in Barcelona!

When I arrived there, on the first day, I found one of my favorite vintage shops in town called Lullaby: just for you to understand how great this place was, I had to come back a second time to decide what to buy because I loved too many things and I decided that I would better think twice and choose only a few!

When I went back I bought, among other things (a leather 70s bag and a pair of 80s statement earrings!), also this beautiful vintage 50s dress that I loved from the first day: the pattern, the buttons and its pin-up shape!  

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I paired it with a wonderful pair of blackamoor 40s earrings from Déjà Vu (yes, she is my blackamoor jewelry provider!)…aren’t they adorable?

I also added a pair of military green ankle boots that I got a couple of weeks ago from a shoes sample sale (one of the hardest things to resist!) of the brand Strategia, here in Milan. They are not vintage but I think that they were nice with the outfit and I wanted to avoid the total vintage look!

PS: I know I was on my bad-hair day but I forgot to bring a turban! 

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The Ladybug is a 40s vintage diva

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Some of my favorite pieces ever are pictured in these photographs that represent me a lot:

   The turban: my favorite clothing piece, a sign of my personality. I’m not surprised when people recognize me in the street just because I’m wearing a turban!  Vintage inspired piece that makes me feel like a diva (and helps me in my bad-hair days!), this headband is a handmade one by Madame Ilary in a color and style that I adore!

   The matching palazzo pants: same beautiful color and fabric, another 40s inspired piece (handmade by Madame Ilary on an original vintage pattern) that I wear a lot (alternatively you’ll see me wearing culottes!) 

–   The vintage 40s Blackamoor necklace: I told you some time ago about my big passion for vintage Blackamoor jewelry, well this is my favorite piece of all times! It is such a rare piece that only DéJà Vu Vintagepedia could have a wonderful piece like this. Pure vintage love!

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  The perfect white tee: It took ages to find the perfect one to match all my colored prints but when I found it at 7 euros on Asos I bought it in every color and I wear it with almost everything!

  The mud cage ankle boots: I realized that I wear these Jeffrey Campbell open toe caged boots at least 3 or 4 times a week! They are almost broken but I guess that when I won’t be able to wear them anymore I’ll buy a new pair exactly like this!

  The red lipstick: what 40s diva wouldn’t wear a red lipstick? I have tons in every shade of red and from different make-up labels but this very simple (and cheap) one from Kiko is still one of my favorites!

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The Ladybug’s outfit celebrates a vintage shopping session in Barcelona!

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I love wearing vintage summer dresses, especially when they bring memories of my trips!

This vintage marine dress was definitely one of my best finds abroad: it comes from a vintage shop in Barcelona called Flamingo Vintage Kilo, selling mostly American vintage pieces with the kilo formula. It was a very nice shop, full of incredible gems at bargain prices. I fell in love with this one because of its very flattering shape and because I am a fan of marine dresses! I got it for only 10 euros and I was so happy about it that I couldn’t wear for summer to finally wear it! It is an original 50s piece from the States and I couldn’t be happier with it!

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As I was celebrating my beautiful first trip to Barcelona I decided to wear it with a pair of 80s vintage earrings that I found in another beautiful shop in this town: it is called Love Vintage and I found there many interesting pieces at great prices (I also got a pair of vintage Levi’s 501 and a stunning pair of Balenciaga 80s pumps for 20 euros each).

Only shoes are not vintage, they are mud caged ankle boots from Jeffrey Campbell (I think that they are the shoes that I wear most as I almost destroyed them!).

PS: I wore this outfit for work, would you wear it to your office or is it “too much vintage”?

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The Ladybug and the Valencian perspectives

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My last trip to Valencia was a typical example of erroneous judgement. I was not supposed to participate to this trip because I had the feeling (don’t ask me why!) that Valencia was the typical Spanish town on the sea, full of tourists and touristic attractions and poor of art and history. I was then convinced by my friends who wanted to go there to visit the “Oceanografic” and in the end I decided to join them for a long weekend.

I am now super thankful because Valencia was completely different from what I expected: a vibrant town full of life, art and history (I found there a few of my favorite Liberty buildings in the world!) and, guess what? Also full of vintage!!

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Once arrived in town as usual I immediately headed to the “vintage” area of Ruzafa while waiting for my friends to arrive. Ruzafa is a beautiful area and I enjoyed an amazing walk and a very interesting vintage tour. One of the best vintage shops in Valencia is here (Madame Mim)  as well as the cute Petticoat Vintage (where I bought a 70s scarf for 5 euros!) and Trinity Vintage (where I found a lovely vintage kimono with Japanese print for 15 euros).  After a quick walk in the Eixample area to admire the beautiful buildings and some interesting non-vintage shops I headed back to Ruzafa for a drink with my friends before dinner. If you want to try something typical but a bit strong taste the famous “Agua de Valencia” which is made with vermouth and orange juice but don’t forget to eat something with it! The drink is delicious but also quite strong for soft drinkers!

My second favorite area of Valencia was El Barrio del Carmen: a lively area full of art and artists, bars, street art, vintage and some interesting shops. One of the most famous vintage shops of Valencia  (La Vespa Roja) is in this area (the shop deserves a visit, especially for the lovely cheap dresses and 80s jewelry) and I also found a very interesting African shop (Tamala) for those who love wax prints and African jewelry. As well as Ruzafa, El Carmen is an area where the best that you can do is wandering and get lost in its streets. You will enjoy the atmosphere, people, art and be sure that there will be a surprise around every corner!

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If Ruzafa and El Carmen will show you an unconventional Valencia, you can find the most conventional one in the city center, while visiting Plaza del Ayuntamiento, La Llotja de la Seda, the Old Town. Let me just give you some hints on my favorite buildings in town: the station Estació del Nord is such a beauty, not only from the outside but also from the inside. You will find it on your way from the center to Ruzafa, so make sure you have a visit inside as this building is really amazing! Same Liberty style you will find in the Central Market of Valencia, a great historical market with incredible architecture and a beautiful square that you cannot miss (Plaza del Mercado).  Last but not least, I fell in love with the amazing building hosting the National Museum González Martí: I didn’t visit the inside as I was not interested in the museum but from every single corner this building is breathtaking (make sure you see all the facades!).

Just another quick hint: if you are shopping in the Eixample area, there is a wonderful Liberty building in Calle de Pizarro with fantastic decorations and doors!

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Another area that is worth the visit for its incredible modern architecture is the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. The buildings that are part of this center are all white with outstanding architecture (I took tons of pictures there!) and you can also visit them inside as they host the Oceanografic, the Hemisferic, the Science Museum and the Art Palace Reina Sofia . If you want to visit them all you may spend your whole day here but there is a special price ticket if you want to save money while visiting all the buildings!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Valencia (9)

Let’s now talk about food: when you are in Valencia you cannot miss the real typical Valencian paella! We ate very good ones at Casa Roberto and Navarro. As we talked about the Agua de Valencia earlier, let me also add something not alcoholic that you should try there: people from Valencia like enjoying a break drinking fresh “horxata” (barley water) with soft bread cakes called “fartons”. The best horxata e  fartons that you can find in Valencia are those from the historical Chocolatería Santa Catalina.

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The Ladybug and her struggle with romanticism

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I’m not a romantic person. Better said, I’m not anymore a romantic person. Maybe my past love experiences turned me into a cynic lady but when someone starts talking love to me I immediately feel suspicious. You know, after years of disappointing guys of every type, style, race and nationality I decided that the only person I sincerely trust is myself!

That said, sometimes (quite rarely) I truly enjoy romantic reads or romantic outfits.

All started with a romantic cream blouse that I bought at Oysho this winter but I’ve never worn it until a few weeks ago! When I bought it I loved the vintage style with the little crochet and frill but I realized that I’m not good at wearing this style!

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I decided then to pair it with my military green Zara chinos (I’ve been looking for a cute military green pants for ages but finally this season Zara made one for me!) and my “Zara meets Chanel” shoes. Just a short mention for this amazing shoes from Zara: I saw them online on a Friday afternoon and I really loved them because they made me think of a Chanel model that I definitely cannot afford. They were just listed and I decided to buy them by the next day. One day after all the sizes were sold-out! As I understood that if I really wanted them I had to speed up I immediately used the store locator to find a pair in my size in Milan where I finally found them (after some struggling though). Statement earrings are also from Zara, during a little shopping session in Sofia!

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The Ladybug has new visions, inspirations and a special view of Milan

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Since the opening of the new “White Tower” – as we call it! – at the Fondazione Prada in Milan I’ve been trying to organize a visit with some friends, but due to the difficult timetable for us it took a while before we finally managed, less than a month ago!

Although I was not extremely impressed by the permanent exhibitions (most of them I have seen already during previous visits at the Fondazione, some floors I really didn’t like and I still prefer the permanent exhibits of the Golden Tower), I was totally amazed by the architecture and the view from this new building.

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The visit starts with a beautiful lift ride (in a huge pink lift with an incredible view of Milan) until the last floor of the Tower: from there you can walk all the way down passing by different exhibitions at each floor (including the beautiful Torre Restaurant). Some floors are worth the visit and I enjoyed a few artists and the huge windows from which you can really “feel” and not only see this ever changing town.

After the visit we couldn’t help having a walk in the internal open spaces of the Fondazione and an aperitivo in our favorite  Bar Luce designed by Wes Anderson.

I wore Heka Couture purple shantung culottes, with & Other Stories tee and sabots and Fulani earrings by Africaialha. 

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The Ladybug is still in the shadow but very close to the light…

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One day my friend Ilaria (the artistic mind behind Madame Ilary and Heka Couture brands) called me to say that she created a tee that I would have loved. She didn’t say more and invited me to her showroom to see it in person. When I arrived there I recognized it among many others: the “girl-with-a-turban” black tee was indeed perfect for me!

How to wear it then if not with a turban? Better if from Madame Ilary spring collection in soft navy lurex that matched perfectly my new Zara striped lurex skirt!

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As I wore it on a Saturday morning I made it casual with white sneakers from Nike at & Other Stories, Michael Kors black bucket bag and my afro comb brass necklace from Afrohemien.

PS: I really like the shadow/light effects of this set of pictures, it represented a lot the situation where I found myself when they were taken. Still in the shadow but very close to the light…

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The Ladybug wandering in Sofia

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My last trip to Sofia was just perfect! It was decided many months ago during a lunch with my friends when one of them (living in Milan but from Sofia) asked us to join her for a weekend in her native town. Flights were very cheap at the time so we booked the trip.

Being there with someone who is from there was just great, probably also one of the key factors to let us love and enjoy Sofia in its full magic. We did so many things, enjoyed secret places and ate the best food following our “tour guide” tips and advices.

Second key success factor was the company: it was the first time that I traveled with this group of friends all together but the company was perfect and we enjoyed every single moment together.

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And then Sofia: some people told me that they didn’t love it too much but I literally adored it! We arrived on a Friday at lunch time and from the first lunch on the rooftop of the former Soviet archive I was in love! We enjoyed a stroll in the city center visiting the famous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the beautiful parks full of green and the best kept secret of Sofia, the Russian Church, where people go to leave their prayers and wishes to Saint Seraphim (which we all did, of course!). We wandered in Sofia the whole afternoon but it was only on Saturday morning that we took a serious tour of the city with the Sofia Free Walking tour. It was such a great tour and we enjoyed so much that we booked a Sofia Communist tour for our Sunday afternoon. If it ever happens that you visit Sofia I truly suggest you have a tour with these guys: they are free or very cheap and what you learn is not written in any guide. They are all lead by young people from Sofia and they really manage to make you feel their love for their hometown!

We basically toured the town, with or without guide, by walk even if taxis are very cheap in case you need them. Also food is very cheap, even in the best restaurants (I’ll give you some hints on the best places to eat in Sofia at the end of this post, as usual).  Vintage lovers will be a bit disappointed though, as Sofia is not very vintage, I would say it is not vintage at all. A part for the small flea market near Alexander Nevsky Cathedral where you can almost find soviet memorabilia there is no space for vintage shopping in Sofia, even if, as I like to say, Sofia itself is such a vintage town, full of memories from its past; when you discover it you feel like being in a vintage journey and there are many places that will remind you this when you walk around its streets.

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But Sofia is also a very young town, full of bars, parties and places to meet, drink, talk and enjoy life, especially in summer when people get out of their houses after the very cold winter and enjoy the warmth and the sun.

The most vintage place that I found in Sofia was also my favorite building in town: the Central Mineral Baths; hopefully when you will be there they will be finally re-open and you can fully enjoy this wonderful place.

As for eating Bulgarian food was really delicious: there are many things that you should try from the parsley balls to the traditional salad with goat cheese, from traditional yogurt to spiced bread, from soups to French fries with goat cheese. I had the chance to eat in some incredible typical Bulgarian restaurants and they were all great (and not expensive at all). First on my list was Raketa, a post-communist restaurant that I loved so much for the food and the décor; second on top was Moma,  a typical Bulgarian restaurant, very stylish and with a traditional local decoration that I loved so much. A bit more modern but still very nice places to eat were Made in Home (a little vintage style) and The Little Things a two-floor house where every room was painted and decorated in a different color and with a lovely garden outside.

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The Ladybug’s last addiction: the 50s straw bag

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When I received this wonderful 50s vintage straw bag, bought from Frida Vintage on Vintag, I couldn’t wait to wear it! The first occasion was a Saturday lunch with my friends in Milan where I showed off my new amazing bag with a certain pride! It is really an amazing piece!

During our lunch and shopping session in Porta Venezia area I received so many compliments and people asking for it (and for my Madame Ilary turban) that I spent most of my time telling people where I found the bag and the turban, what is Vintag and where my friend has her show room in Milan!

A part from that, we tried an Eritrean restaurant called Warsà (honestly one of the best Eritrean restaurants I’ve ever tried and you know that I tried a lot around the world!) followed by a shopping session at the Bivio (second hand store) and at I love Vintage in the best company ever: could I ask for more?

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For my relaxing Saturday I wore a thrifted Sonic Youth tee from a London charity shop (I can’t remember which one), Fontana Design black culottes at Archivio Vintage, as well as my Casta & Dolly wooden clogsand one of the vintage denim jackets from my collection with Madame Ilary.

As you know my vintage beloved bag is from Frida Vintage on Vintag and my beautiful turban is from Madame Ilary. Loop earrings are from Mango.

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