The Ladybug’s third stop of the virtual tour of Messina: the beach

The Ladybug Chronicles Bayside (7)

The third and last stop (for now) of my virtual tour of my hometown Messina couldn’t be another place than the beach. I couldn’t realize how lucky I was to live in a town with a beautiful beach and clean turquoise sea in the city, until I moved to Northern Italy to start University in a city without the sea.

After many years I keep looking for the sea everywhere I go and I still dream of moving to a city close to the sea, which is definitely not the city where I live now!

In Messina, in summer you can go to the beach whenever you have time: lunchtime if you work, at 5pm when you finish work, spend all day there or just a few hours to get a fabulous tan, to swim or any other beach activity that comes to your mind. In winter there is no place more peaceful than the sea, where I go every time that I feel lost and anxious.

This is exactly what I did on that warm day of December: finding my inner peace in front of MY sea, in a little fishermen’s beach not far from where I live (10 minutes by walk!).

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I wore my favorite vintage black leather skirt from New Retro Vintage in Bucharest (my favorite vintage find of that trip!) and a Benetton turtle neck mustard sweater (one of my favorite colors lately). Simple outfit but with three accessories that I adore:

         i.            The amazing Bayside 84 vintage leather backpack that I have been looking for ages until I found my perfect match at the airport before flying back home. The leather is the softest ever and I love that you can wear it as a bag or as a backpack (I always use it as a backpack because I was seriously looking for a cute one like this!).

       ii.            The snake-printed clogs from L’Autre Chose: these are the cutest wooden clogs ever with warm wool inside and they are uber comfortable. I loved them since the beginning but I could only afford them during a sample sale in Milan a few months ago! Now we are almost inseparable!

      iii.            The huge handmade brass earrings from Metalica Creazioni: I love everything crafted by the amazing Francesca but those were just fantastic! I truly adore them!

Well, my virtual tour of Messina is over for now but I promise more stops in town when I’ll be back (hopefully soon)!

Watch this space!

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The Ladybug’s second stop of the virtual tour of Messina

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My second stop of the tour of my hometown Messina couldn’t be anywhere else than here: near the sea.

The pictures were taken at the Messina Fair building, just a few steps from my beautiful turquoise sea; such a shame that you couldn’t see it clearly as it was a cloudy day again but this is one of the most loved places in town, the place where everybody goes for a walk especially at night in summer to enjoy the fresh air and the scent of the sea. Now you see it empty but this is one of the most crowded areas of Messina, also because from here you can enjoy a great view on the Straight, on the other side of Italy and on the famous Statue of Mary built and dedicated to the town after the 1908 earthquake that destroyed the city.

I was walking there with my sister and we decided to take some pictures there even if the weather was not great…but I wore my turquoise wool vintage skirt from Humana Vintage that perfectly matched the sea!

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I got this little gem for 5 euros a few months ago and I am totally in love with it! I wore with a simple black jumper (from Benetton) and my new white ankle boots from Miss Selfridge at Asos. I’ve been struggling against my will to buy white ankle boots because I have always hated white shoes but when I found the perfect pair for a bargain price I just couldn’t resist! What do you think of white shoes trend lately? I must confess that even if I hate white shoes in general there are a couple of nice pieces that I definitely like. If I have to be honest the first pair that I saw where a bit too expensive for a pair of white boots that’s why I gave up until I saw those online! I mean, white boots are cool but spending too much money on them was not in my plans!

I added a polka-dot handmade turban from Madame Ilary (it’s my sister’s turban but I just got it for the shooting!) and handmade lovely cactus earring from Monica Pria. I told the story of these earrings on my social networks lately because they were a present of one of my best friends for Christmas. She told me that cactus represents strength and resilience and that’s what she wished me for the upcoming year…such a lovely present! All the jewelry created by Monica has “a purpose” that’s why I love it so much; I also went to see her during one of her markets to meet her and talk to her about her work (and to get a beautiful gratitude ring that I showed on Instagram some time ago!).

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The Ladybug welcomes you to Messina!

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Most of you following me for a while now know that I am living in Milan since 2012 but I am a proud Southern girl! I was born in Sicily, more precisely in Messina the first town that you meet when you cross the Straight coming from the “boot”.

Every time that I go home I take pictures there, so you may be used to the landscape and beauty of my hometown, but I decided this year to tell you a bit more about my city by taking pictures in the most famous and touristic places, as well as my favorite ones when I am there.

I started with a few places this past Christmas but I hope to show you more during my next visits!

If you are in Messina you must start from the most iconic place in town, also probably one of the most famous: the Cathedral. This beautiful church has a long and complicated history and it represents the real heart of my hometown, with its beautiful place and fountain, it is definitely our favorite place in town.

It is very famous because of its Tower Bell and Astronomical Clock, a very complex system with many allegorical meanings distributed on different levels, it is the only astronomical clock in Italy and the biggest and more complex in the world. Every day at 12 pm for 12 minutes you can admire the emotional (at least for me it is an emotion every time that I see it!) mechanism moving with the sound of the bells and finishing with the lion roar. The whole tower is full of symbols and I am always quite surprised when I realize that many tourists come to visit it and so few fellow citizens are aware of the complex meanings behind this gem.

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Anyway, as almost every time that I go home I couldn’t help spending  my 12 minutes there at 12 pm (I do that all the time!) and I took some pictures there to show you how it looks like, while also showing you a little outfit!

Although it was a cloudy day, the temperature was quite warm and I didn’t even need a coat with this amazing rust jumper with large sleeves from Ottod’Ame. I saw it in their shop in Florence during my last visit but I decided to wait for the Black Friday sale to get it, also because I was just buying the little round bag that I wear here as a belt bag! I love this tiny bag so much: it can be worn in three different ways (belt bag, hand bag or shoulder bag with its cute golden chain) and it is the most comfortable little bag ever! Perfect for nights out, concerts or wherever you need to bring only a few things without carrying your big bag…one of my best buys ever!

I am pairing my new Ottod’Ame set with a vintage black leather skirt from New Retro Vintage, a lovely vintage shop in Bucharest old town  where I found my perfect midi leather skirt during my last visit in October last year!

My black laced boots are from Ouigal and my handmade brass statement earrings are from Metalica Creazioni.

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The Ladybug vintage blue(s)

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Blue is definitely one of my favorite winter colors this year: I didn’t realize until I put together this outfit and I became aware of the fact that I have so many blue pieces in different shades mostly bought this winter! I’m not really surprised about that as it is such a “flexible” color that it is easy to adapt with many others if you are bold enough to try interesting mixes, with yellow for example or with rust.

This time I just decided to put together different shades of blue starting from my new beautiful vintage striped silk shirt that I got from Opherty & Ciocci. I honestly have a thing for vintage shirts as I use them a loth both for work and on my free time and I seriously think that vintage shirts have shapes, colors and patterns that are so hard to find in modern times.

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When I saw this shirt I fell in love with its shade of blue and with the light stripe contrast. When I received it and I tried it I was also completely fond of its shape and silk softness! The first thing that I thought was to pair it with my Jil Sander amazing skirt that I found last year at a sample sale for an incredible price!

They look perfect together! But as I didn’t feel blue enough I added my adored Ouigal blue ankle boots, one of my favorite pair of shoes ever!

All the other accessories pictured here are vintage and available on Opherty & Ciocci site: from the wonderful vintage burgundy clutch to the handmade earrings and brooch in perfect retro style (the cameo brooch is to die-for!). 

Women blue skirt

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The Ladybug is a chameleon in the park

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There is a new park in Milan: they call it “la Biblioteca degli Alberi” (the Trees Library)  and I really love to take pictures here because of the contrast with the modern skyline and because of the beautiful light that there is here during some hours of the day.

I didn’t realize that I perfectly matched the colors of the park until I saw the pictures on my phone screen! It was funny but not completely wrong as I remember that when I got dressed that day I was specifically needing to be more in contact with my mother earth. I couldn’t do it in a better way: taking pictures in the nature dressed like…nature!

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I was staying super cozy in my new Zara teddy coat (maybe the best selling at Zara as I see it almost everywhere!)  and in my new mustard turtleneck wool sweater from Benetton. I love this color in winter because I love to mix it with light blue and rust even if in this case I paired with military green. I have a special love for these 4.10 trousers because I love their fabric (super soft wool) and their shape but more than ever I love the fact that they are ethically made, in Italy. A piece of slow fashion and an example of amazing design, quality and respect of the environment and of people’s work. I really wish one day we could all afford more pieces like that.

My 90s inspired sneakers are from Dixie and my black bag is from Coccinelle. Handmade brass earrings are from Metalica Creazioni.

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The Ladybug’s chronicles of a perfect vintage Sunday morning in Milan

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There are days that are just perfect: there is nothing special going on, but you feel alive and true to yourself and it gives you such a powerful energy and vibration.

This is what happened on that Sunday morning. I had a meeting with Ilaria on the Navigli in Milan to join the group for the Day against violence on women, and then to have a quick tour on the Naviglio Grande for the usual Antiques and Vintage market every last Sunday of the month.

Here I had a meeting with my wonderful vintage jewelry provider Valentina from Déjà Vu Vintage who had two beautiful surprises for me: first of all she was with the beautiful Laura from Oggetti Smarriti that I haven’t seen in a while and seeing her made me really happy; second, I found a wonderful vintage golden and wooden brooch and I was super happy about my new amazing find!

Last but not least, after a good chat with these beautiful ladies, Ilaria and I had a quick lunch at the Mag Café, definitely one of my favorite bars in town, that I love for its very vintage atmosphere and décor!

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Vintage was the word of the day, that’s maybe why I felt so hype and excited, like in my real element.

And vintage was also part of my outfit of the day: it was indeed the perfect occasion to wear my wonderful green vintage coat from London Vintage, a wonderful lady that I met at the Pop Up Vintage Fair in London during my last visit end of October.  I have been looking for a colored vintage coat with fur collar for years but I couldn’t find my perfect match until I tried on this one: everything was just made for me! The incredible color, the shape, the collar, the mint conditions…I was so excited when I tried it that I knew immediately that it was mine! When I asked my friends at the fair where to find what I was looking for, they all answered: at London Vintage, and brought me to one of the most amazing stalls with great vintage pieces (especially coats!). They were right, Mr. Coat was waiting for me!

I wore it with a vintage inspired circle skirt handmade by Madame Ilary with an amazing pattern that she used also to create the beautiful coordinated turban.

The black turtleneck sweater is from Zara, the retro inspired black shoes are from L’Arianna and the golden hoops are vintage.

Last special piece of the day: the tiny round Ottod’Ame bag that you can wear in three different ways. I found it in Florence during my last trip and I couldn’t leave the shop without this lovely bag! You will see it in other outfits and you will find out other ways to wear it!

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The Ladybug’s perfect compromise to wear vintage at the office: the vintage blazer!

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You know already that I am not new to wearing vintage at the office! Sometimes I just wear one piece of clothing, accessories or jewelry mixed with high street fashion or thrifted designer, sometimes I try to add more pieces because I know now that my colleagues are pretty used to my vintage outfits!

This time I started with a classical vintage Armani blazer from Opherty & Ciocci that was the perfect compromise between vintage (a wonderful designer piece in mint conditions!) and smart office wear. I fell in love with this beauty and I am buying more and more designer vintage blazers because I can use them at the office or dressed down with jeans and sneakers in my spare time! The shape of the blazer is amazing and so is the fabric, this is the reason why I didn’t want to have it in a boring smart outfit so I decided to use a bit my imagination and I paired it with warm tones of the rust corduroy culottes from Zara and the sporty denim shirt from H&M.

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As vintage pieces are never enough I added this 70s velvet clutch with geometric pattern (an Italian gem from Opherty & Ciocci’s amazing vintage bags collection!), a beautiful handmade retro inspired owl brooch (also available on Opherty & Ciocci website) and a pair of vintage silver earrings from my own family collection (they were gifted from my grandmother to my mum and from my mum to me!).

Las but not least, I added these 60s inspired brown ankle boots that I got from Marella two years ago during the winter sales and that I still love as when I saw them on the shop window for the first time!

Would you wear this outfit at the office? Maybe on a casual Friday?! 

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug on Depop and vintage finds

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It has been about a year now since I started using new platforms to sell my vintage and second hand finds other than Ebay. I have been an Ebay seller for many years but I needed something different, with different rules and lower fees. I was studying Depop and Vintag and I realized that they were interesting options with better prices and less stress than Ebay.

I started my Vintag shop only for vintage pieces and my Depop account to sell almost everything, from vintage to second hand. On both platforms I buy and sell and I have a few favorite sellers. One of them on Depop is Tiziana from Vintage Afropicks that I also met a couple of times in Milan at the East Market. She has very interesting vintage pieces because they are often rare and honestly priced. The only problem is that many of them are sold super quickly (or are too small for me!).

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This time I was lucky enough to find this vintage dark red cape and to buy it before anyone else did! This loden cape is super warm and I found out that it is also perfect when you wear large blazers or sweaters!

Today I wore it with Zara prince of  Wales culottes and black turtleneck sweater and paired it with black laced ankle boots from Ouigal and handmade Coco headwrap from Madame Ilary.

I added to this cape a vintage Nina Simone brooch (that’s how they called it!) that I bought at the Lipscani Antiques fair in Bucharest a few months ago. Brass earrings are handmade from Metalica Creazioni.

If you are curious about my Ebay, Depop and Vintag online shops just look for theladybugchronicles as a user on each of them!

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The Ladybug’s three outfits challenge with Zaful

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Do you remember when I offered you a discount code for Zaful site last November?

Well, I used the discount code too and I found it quite hard to pick up only a few items on their site! I got lost in teddy coats, bomber jackets, lovely skirts and sweaters, tons of retro inspired accessories that I needed days to decide what to buy from them! To make my final decision I followed one criteria: what do I need? Or, better said, what do I want to buy? I knew I wanted a dungaree and a leopard print skirt so I went straight for them. The crazy thing is that there are so many adorable things on their site that I ended up buying two dungarees, the exact animal print skirt that I was dreaming of and a lovely silky scarf with the loveliest print!

(By the way, at the end of this post there is another surprise for you! )

I decided to create three different outfits with these pieces, let me know which one you prefer and what is your favorite piece!

1.       The romantic pinky outfit

I must confess that I have a passion for dungarees but also that I always feel a bit ashamed when I wear one: am I too old for a dungaree? When I got this black dungaree from Zaful I really didn’t know how to wear it and make it look “for not very young anymore” girls! While thinking on how to do that, I decided that I wouldn’t care less; even worse that I would have worn with pinky colors and make it very young because I am not 20 anymore but hey! I am not 80 anyway!! So I matched with a vintage pussybow dotted shirt from Aramayo Vintage in Madrid and with an adorable silky scarf with printed pink flamingos from Zaful again. I am totally in love with the scarf and I am often wearing it on my head as well as on my neck.

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2.       The leopard lady outfit

When I saw this animal print silky skirt I knew that it was going to be mine: it has the exact print that I have been looking for for ages and it is so soft that you can easily wear it bare legs in summer or with tights  in winter like I am doing here. It is elasticated at waist which makes it pretty adaptable to different sizes and it is a bit longer on the back which makes me love it even more! I used it at work with a total black outfit (Zara sweater, Francesco Milano ankle boots and statement earrings from Gogo Philip).

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3.       The grown-up dungaree outfit

For my second dungaree I decided to play it safe. This is a military green corduroy piece from Zaful again, that I changed a little bit because I removed the buttons to make knots on the top! It is soft and very easy to use, especially when you decide that this time you would make it look more “grown-up”! In fact I wore it with a silk & Other Stories shirt, a Mango black blazer and Ouigal laced ankle boots. Too serious? I added big Gogo Philip hoops (the same of the pinky outfit!) and a fun Basquiat pin from Ex Child Genius!

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If you liked my outfits and you want to prepare for the perfect Valentine date you can find a lot of Valentine’s day outfit ideas, free shipping code and Valentine’s flash sales here

Also, if you use the codes ZFACTION  or ZFMOVE at the check-out you will have 15% off discount on your order!

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

The Ladybug explores the visual archives of the Black Image Corporation (in a very vintage location in Milan)

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I have been curious of visiting the Osservatorio Prada in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan for ages, until I found the perfect exhibit to visit there: The Black Image Corporation by Theaster Gates.

It is a very interesting project that shows part of the incredible Johnson Publishing Company archives with many images representing the “image” of the contemporary African American identity. The images come from the monthly magazine Ebony for example or the weekly magazine Jet from the 40s and the 50s: they both gave voice to the black Americans after the World War and promoted black celebrities as well as cultural discussion. In particular the exhibit focused on the work of two black photographers: Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton with particular attention to the creation of the “black female icon”.

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Everything is placed on the two floors on top of this beautiful building: the Osservatorio is located above the central octagon, at the level of the glass and iron dome that covers the arcades, realized by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867 that looks so French but is absolutely Milanese. Also the beautiful wooden floors are original from the previous structure bombed during the World War II.

It is a place that deserves a visit especially if you do it on a calm sunny morning like we did with the beautiful light filtered by the dome first and then by the glass façade.

I wore a pair of prince of wales culottes and black turtle neck sweater from Zara with my new pair of AMAZING black laced boots from Ouigal. They are my favorite piece at the moment and actually my third pair of shoes from them! Yes, I am totally addicted but who wouldn’t be? They are just mind-blowing!!

My headwrap is the new Coco wrap from Madame Ilary in black and prince of wales with side tassel while my handmade brass earrings are from Metalica Creazioni. Black leather bag is from Coccinelle.

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