The Ladybug is a vintage lady in the streets of Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (1)

Sometimes I really like dressing like a vintage lady: the way people look at me in the streets makes me laugh especially when I pair my vintage pieces with 40s inspired diva turbans. At that point they start staring at me. Honestly this type of reaction is typically Italian. When I used to live in Southern Italy it was even worse but I didn’t expect this also in Milan that is supposed to be the most open minded city in Italy.

When I travel abroad I use to wear my turbans and nobody seems disturbed or intrigued about that…so why should people care so much about what anyone is wearing?

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (5)

Anyway, I couldn’t care less, so I decided to wear my new 70s vintage dress from A rebours Vintage in Milan with my new handmade turban from Madame Ilary, vintage earrings and 60’s inspired Zara patent boots. I loved this mixed outfit and it made me feel like a real lady from another era walking by mistake in the crowded streets of “modern” Milan!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (4)

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The Ladybug and her love story with a Blackamoor special one!

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (1)

I must confess that I have had a very strange and complicated relationship with vintage jewelry. Even when I started dressing with vintage clothes and accessories I was not very keen on vintage jewels because they looked too old style for me. I felt old when I tried to wear them.

A few years ago, when I got a lot of weight and I didn’t want to buy clothes anymore because I didn’t like them on me, I started buying a lot of vintage accessories, from shoes to bags and…jewels! Thanks to a couple of my now favorite vintage jewelry providers (first of all my friend Valentina from Déjà Vu Vintage) I am now passionate about antiques and vintage pieces, especially brooches. During my first times of vintage jewelry passion I also discovered that I am madly deeply in love with what is called Blackamoor, referring to vintage pieces usually representing African topics and people. Although this type of jewelry is often considered having racist connotations because it is associated with colonialism and slavery, I personally appreciate the representation itself without this type of association with which I totally disagree, and I love wearing and collecting Blackamoor brooches and other type of sculpture or jewelry.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (5)

Like a few weeks ago, when I wore my newly added vintage brooch from Déjà Vu Vintage to my daily outfit and paired it with silver African inspired handmade earrings from Metalica Creazioni. When I saw this piece on Valentina’s Instagram I totally fell in love and I waited for her to come to Milan to finally make it mine!

When I travel abroad or visit vintage and antiques markets I always look for Blackamoor pieces and I do the same online (on Ebay for example) where I can find amazing pieces especially from American sellers.

I wore a 70s inspired double-breasted jacket from Zara with large burgundy culottes from Please and black silk shirt from & Other Stories. Black leather bag is from Coccinelle and vintage inspired ankle boots are from The Shoes of Pretty Box.

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (4)

The Ladybug’s first time in Barcelona

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (3)

I know, I know…you are wondering how it is possible that this was my first time in Barcelona! This is what people have been told me for ages when I candidly admitted that I never traveled to Barcelona or Venice! I felt a bit ashamed about that too, that’s why I went to Venice two years ago and, after a canceled trip (please don’t ask me more about that because even after years I’m still mad at someone for doing me this) and a few postponements, I finally spent a long weekend in Barcelona in April.

Although I’m not a fan of highly tourist-packed cities (which may explain why it took me almost 40 years to visit Barcelona and Venice!) I couldn’t resist the incredible charm of this town. It’s so one-of-a-kind, there’s nothing similar in the world. Gaudí left his awesome and rich heritage to this city and Barcelona is still living of it but it is also paying tribute to his most famous artist, like all the thousands of tourists visiting La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Parc Güell. We can say that, like Rome for different reasons, Barcelona is an open air museum. Even in its most crowded and touristic place – La Rambla – you can find a piece of art, a Miró mosaic that almost no one sees but that is the only thing that I liked there (exception made for the Boquería Market but only if you visit it at its opening at 8.30 am like I did on a Monday!).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (8)

Being my first time there I had a very typical Barcelona trip with a little exception: first thing that we did when we arrived was to visit the Raval, one of the best areas for vintage shopping in Barcelona! There I found one of my favorite vintage shops, Lullaby (where I bought vintage jewelry, dresses and a bag but only when I came back for the second time…too many things there before I decided what to get!) among many other cheap shops where it was so easy to get fab vintage bargains!

It is only on the day after that I started a serious tour of the city from the Barcelona famous flea market El Mercat dels Encants Vells where we loved the atmosphere and I got some interesting African bargains; and then the Sagrada Familia, one of the most breathtaking monuments that I ever seen in my life: I still remember this feeling that I have in front of incredible monuments. They literally take my breath away: it happened in Manhattan when I got out of the metro station and I felt my head turning around because of the incredible skyline and buildings; but it also happened in Moscow in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and in the Red Square or in Saint Petersburg when I saw the Church of the Savior on Blood.

After a quick lunch I headed to the Parc Güell, one of the biggest Gaudí’s fantasy creations: I got lost in this amazing park and I took so many pictures that my phone battery almost died there (thanks God I always bring a charger with me!). Such a shame that it was a cloudy day but at least we didn’t get the rain!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (6)

When you start with Gaudí in Barcelona you may feel like you can’t get enough: that’s why after visiting the Pacr Güell I immediately headed to Casa Batlló first, then La Pedrera, two very different pieces of art but still coming from the same incredible mind. I had the chance to visit both of them and all that I could say was: Wow! I was completely speechless and I started thinking “why did it take so long for me to come here?” I was missing to many incredible things!

Although it was such a busy day I made time for another vintage shop in town: Love Vintage! This was the temple of vintage denim – but not only! – and the prices were so good that I couldn’t help adding new items to my vintage wardrobe: finally I got a vintage Levi’s 501 exactly as I wanted it, a pair of Balenciaga vintage heels and a pair of vintage earrings, all this for around 60 euros! Vintage shopping in Barcelona was so good! Also I added non-vintage items taking advantage of the lowest prices in Mango (I found out in Madrid that it is cheaper than in Italy!) by buying some new interesting pieces of their new collection!

Even if I was almost destroyed by the tour I couldn’t help enjoyingBarcelona nightlife: sangria and tapas were our main food and drink of the whole weekend and I couldn’t be any happier! By the way, at the end of this post I will give you some hints of my best tapas bar in Barcelona (at least those that I tried and I liked a lot!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (11)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (10)

On Sunday morning I got up early and took the Funicular to visit the amazing Miró museum and to enjoy a different area of Barcelona, very calm and peaceful with beautiful views and this great museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists and hosting also very interesting exhibits dedicated to the bees and to Japanese portraits artists. I decided then to head to Barceloneta to have a nice walk on the sea side and to see what I miss in Milan every day: the sea. The weather was still cloudy and I couldn’t enjoy the real summer atmosphere there, but seeing the sea was enough for me at the moment!

Then it was time to get lost in the Barri Gotic tiny streets, visiting the Cathedral and enjoying the little antiques market in the city center as well as the few open shops (like the vintage kilo shop Pink Flamingos, an American vintage shopwith incredible pieces at very affordable prices where I bought a marine dress for 15 euros!) and the Rambla. I finished the tour at the beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana, maybe less famous than the other modernist buildings in town but still one of my favorites.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (13)

Last thing that I did before leaving on the day after was visiting the Boquería Market on a Monday morning without the usual crowd of the day: I had breakfast there in the morning and I really enjoyed watching the market getting started! I had lovely chats with the market sellers and I loved this relaxed atmosphere that I was going to miss badly once in Milan!

Anyway, you have the vintage addresses for your vintage shopping in Barcelona (honestly I found great quality and bargain prices!) now let me give you a couple of hints for good tapas bars or at least those that I tried and I loved while there. Casa Lolea was definitely my favorite place near the Palau de la Música Catalana: amazing homemade sangria and delicious tapas (best patatas bravas ever!). In the same area, just in front of my favorite building I had super tasty tapas and red wine at Tosca.

(Navy coat Max&Co, Turban Madame Ilary, Shoes Marella, Striped sweaters Zara, Grey jeans Levi’s, Mom Jeans Topshop, Bag Vintage).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (16)

The Ladybug adding curves to a Zara outfit

The Ladybug Chronicles Mixed Checks (1)

“You look like a Zara dummy, but with curves!”. This was a comment from a friend when he saw me dressed like this. I guess that for some reason he saw the dummy in the Zara shop, dressed exactly like this (honestly this is where I took  my inspiration for buying these two pieces and then wear them together!) and he realized when he saw me! But adding curves to an outfit was such a compliment for me!

After many years, not only I accept my curvy body but I definitely love it the way it is. I honestly prefer this outfit on me than on the Zara dummy, and so did my friend! This simple thing made me think about my complicated relationship with my body over the years: I still have my downs, there are still parts of my body that I don’t like every now and then, but it’s me, it’s the body that I have and that I have to take care of. How can I think that people will like it if I don’t do it first? It takes time and self-awareness but I’m glad that I am at this stage!

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One of the things that I hate most is when people try to tell me that I should dress in a way that suits my body: I shouldn’t wear long skirts as I’m not tall, I shouldn’t show my legs as they’re not thin and long, I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that. We often limit our creativity because of other people’s reactions. I am someone who takes things personally and it took a lot of time and strength not to take this kind of remarks on myself but now I often answer “So what?” or “Please keep these limitations for yourself” or I just laugh and turn my head on the other side. Most of times criticism comes from not acceptance of ourselves, so just leave this feeling to other people if they want to live with it!

Ah…the Zara dummy only wore this checked skirt and blouse together but I added matching Zara patent ankle boots and vintage earrings + Senegalese bracelets!

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The Ladybug and the joy of self-acceptance

The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (4)

This set of pictures was taken a few months ago, on one of my worse days. I was not in a bad mood, just you know, those days when your face looks old and tired, your hair is a mess, you feel fat and not well dressed (anyway whatever you put on you just feel awful on your body). We all have those days: there is no make-up, hairdresser or favorite clothes and accessories that can help!

Probably it was not the best day for shooting but my friend insisted and I said ok. When I saw the pictures I just decided to throw them away! Hey, I cannot post this!

A few days ago I was cleaning my bin when I saw them and I said “Hey, stop blaming yourself for not being at your best. It happens! Just let it go and post these pictures! The dress is so cool and so is your smile!”.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (5)

Accepting myself in my bad days is still a hard task for me but I keep working on it and publishing these pictures is a way to fight my self-limitations which I try to do every day. It calms me down and give me a smile and I can feel a pure joy inside when I manage to take a little step towards my life free of self- limitations. Self-acceptance and self-esteem is probably the first step to reach and I am proud of making a step closer to this point by posting these pictures.

I was wearing a Zara dress that I bought on sale, after trying it a few times as it looked too stretchy for my body; but in the end I decided that to feel more comfortable I could wear it with a jacket, like I did here (velvet one from Massimo Dutti). Pointy ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at Merry Go Round in Milan, necklaces from & Other Stories and small loop earrings are vintage.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (1)

The Ladybug on total black outfits and total black days

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (4)

I know that it’s strange to see me wearing head-to-toe black outfits but yes, I have my total black days too!

Sometimes it happens that I wake up moody and angry and that my early morning meditation is almost useless!

During these days you will see me wearing a lot of black (thanks God they are pretty rare!).

This outfit comes from one of those days: black yes, but still stylish!

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (3)

The velvet tunic dress with flower decorations (the only color that I’m wearing here!) comes from Zara: I loved the vintage inspiration and I got it for less than 15 euros during the winter sales. Same thing for the ankle boots that I found on sale this winter at The Shoes of Pretty Box: they looked so vintage and they were so comfortable that I imagined to wear them almost every day (which I actually did!) with almost every outfit!

I tried to compensate my total black outfit with golden jewelry. The big earrings are from & Other Stories while my brass bracelets have African roots: one comes from Senegal and the one with the shell is from the amazing Afrohemien.

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The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (2)

The Ladybug on love (and ghosting) in Paris

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It is easy to talk about love after a fabulous weekend in Paris: usually when we think of Paris we imagine romantic dinners and walks under the Eiffel Tower, French kisses and romance like in a fairytale.

It was almost my case as my weekend in Paris was full of love…at least that’s what I thought!

Love was the reason why I flew to Paris in February: love for Malick Sidibé art and photography. I read that the Cartier Foundation dedicated an exhibit to this amazing Malian artist who passed away in 2016 and I wanted to see it so badly. Love was also the guy who said: why don’t we go and spend a weekend there so that we can visit the exhibit and have a nice trip together? I couldn’t be happier than that.

The weekend was indeed full of love and warmth (except for the weather as, even if the sky was blue and the sun was out, it was probably one of the coldest weekends in Paris in the last 20 years, at least this is what Parisians told us). A Sicilian is never at ease in the cold but Paris is too beautiful for not enjoying it fully.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (1)

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Indeed we started our weekend from the Malick Sidibé’s exhibit: not only a collection of his amazing black and white African portraits but more a celebration of his art and his career that we enjoyed in the middle of black and white pictures, pastel walls and African music. I was amazed and so happy that I couldn’t believe that all these things were really happening: my favorite artist, my favorite town and my favorite man in the world all together!

Speaking of favorite people, after the excitement of photography we moved towards another type of excitement: fashion! Direction: the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. It is a small museum but it contains many of the iconic YSL pieces (like the Mondrian dress!), videos and photographs and it is possible to visit his atelier and studio where he created his pieces of art. Again it was such an experience!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (4)

We spent the evening in the Quartier Latin, eating and drinking in lovely brasseries and cafés, enjoying the little street of Paris and eating Senegalese food (at the Senegalese restaurant La Pointe des Almadies) with my University room-mate and her family living in Paris.

The second day was dedicated to Montmartre, where we were staying: starting from the Sacré Coeur, getting lost in the beautiful streets with a little hint of vintage (I couldn’t help visiting my favorite shop in Paris, Chez Poupoule in Montmartre, even if I had to settle for some windows watching and a picture as it was closed).

It is hard for me now to go through these pictures and memories because many of them has faded away. My love (or at least what I thought he was) went missing since a few weeks after this trip and I experienced for the first time in my life what ghosting means and that it really exists (I thought that men disappearing when everything was going extremely well was just an urban legend…well it’s not!). Was it too good to be true? Are men really scared when things are getting too well? I don’t know, but as long as I define myself a strong woman with a luminous inside light I decided to overcome my fears and sadness by writing this post, going through these memories. Maybe it will help to let my light guide me towards my true other luminous soul.

(Coat vintage Valentino; turban and culottes Madame Ilary; Shoes Marella; Beret, bag and earrings vintage; Striped jumper Zara)

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The Ladybug’s “Sweet Velveteen”

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (5)

That I am a huge fan of velvet is not big news right?

I can’t resist the charm of this soft fabric with such a vintage, glam and sophisticated feel. I have a few velvet pieces in my wardrobe but I couldn’t resist these two pictured here:

  • the first one is this beautiful velvet shirt, a vintage piece from Atos Lombardini that I found at Humana Vintage in Milan for a few euros during a sales session (I was super proud and happy for my bargain that day!);

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (4)

  • the second is this amazing handmade decorated headband from Madame Ilary: I still remember that I was in bed scrolling down my Instagram feeds when I saw it and immediately sent her a message telling her to consider it sold…to me! The color is so beautiful, and so are the soft fabric and the silver decorations!

I paired my “sweet velveteen” combo with checked culottes and patent ankle boots from Zara and vintage silver loop earrings.

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The Ladybug plays matchy matchy in Sicily

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The “Giardino Corallo” is one of the historical places in town with a long and complicated story: music, theatre, cinema, artistic center, it represents a bit of my hometown history and I really wanted to take some pictures outside this place because I like the “vintage” feeling.

I didn’t know that just around the corner a piece of street art was also waiting to be photographed!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Coordinated (6)

It was one of hottest winter days of my Sicilian holiday (I didn’t need to wear a coat) and I wore a beautiful handmade coordinated culottes and turban by Heka Couture with a simple turtleneck Zara jumper.

Pointy ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at Merry Go Round in Milan, silver loop earrings are vintage and my new red lipstick is from Wycon Cosmetics!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Coordinated (3)

The Ladybug’s hardest “goodbye” to Sicily

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Of all the street art in my hometown (Messina in Sicily) this is definitely my second favorite. For this reason I wanted to take some pictures here before leaving Sicily after my winter holidays.

Every time that I go home there is this hardest moment, when I have to say goodbye, knowing that I won’t be back for many months. Even if I try to smile and be happy there’s clear melancholy in my eyes and when I am writing this post I can catch that feeling perfectly. The good news is that now it’s less time compared to January!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Zara maxipull (1)

For my last Sicilian day of winter I wore a Zara maxi sweater (that I bought at the airport in Milan before leaving…since they opened a Zara store there I can’t help buying something before leaving!) with my new AMAZING Levi’s grey denim jeans. I am in love with this high-waist denim, the color and the shape. It looks like a vintage one but I bought it a few weekend before Christmas in Milan and I wear it all the time! One of the greatest buy of 2017!

Pointy black ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at merry Go Round in Milan and sparkling electric blue and golden headband is from Madame Ilary. Golden loop earrings are from Mango.

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