The Ladybug is a vintage woman in red!

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In my last post I told you about my great vintage shopping session at the Pop Up Vintage Fair during my last weekend in London. One of the amazing gems that I found there was this wonderful vintage 60s red cape with silver double breasted buttons from Tilly’s Vintage, in wonderful conditions!

I have always wanted a 60s vintage cape and when I saw this one I just couldn’t resist: it was my very last purchase before running to the airport but it was too nice to leave it there!

It is hard to wear a cape in winter because it is too cold in Milan but autumn was perfect for this lovely piece that I wore for a Saturday afternoon birthday tea and cake at the delicious Pavé in Milan.

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I paired my beautiful cape with Cos black culottes and retro inspired L’Arianna black shoes plus some other vintage and handmade pieces: a vintage hooked handbag from Vintage Studium on Depop,  a beautiful blackamoor vintage brooch from Déja-vu Vintage and a handmade animal print turban from Madame Ilary.

I really love the elegance and this “diva feel” that you have when you wear such amazing vintage pieces: people look at you in the streets and they keep telling you how elegant you are, the elegance of another era they say. One of my favorite feelings!

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug follows her heart to…London!

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I am not new to pop-up trips, totally unplanned and decided in about 5 minutes so you shouldn’t be surprised if I tell you that this was exactly that type of trip! I am always ready for a London weekend: I have friends that I love to see when I am there and this city is always in my heart since my first trip there (when I was a kid!); it became a sort of second home since I spent my first year there.

Anyway, when I read on Internet about the first solo exhibit of the Senegalese photographer Omar Diop at the Autograph Gallery in Shoreditch (one of my favorite areas in London) I just opened my flights app and bought a flight to London immediately!

This is the second time that I do that this year, after my quick trip to Paris to see Malick Sidibé exhibit at the Fondation Cartier. This exhibit was definitely smaller in size but not less intense as it is a celebration of the African Diaspora and Black Resistance through portraits that are interpretations of events and black figures throughout history. And he is the first protagonist of this journey through African roots and culture around the world during many centuries of history: from Black Panthers to Senegalese “tirailleurs” to many other black portraits the two exhibits “Diaspora” and “Liberty” show the presence of Africa in European and American history. The power of this exhibit was immense and I was completely breathless at the end of the tour.

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After the exhibit we had a nice walk around Shoreditch in search of Banksy and other street artists work, then we headed to West Hampstead for a nice tour of charity shops and vintage shopping (one of the best areas of London for charity shopping!). As it was Halloween weekend we took advantage of the festive atmosphere to join the celebrations in Shoreditch where we met some friends for a lovely night out!

Our Sunday was completely dedicated to relax and to the best vintage experience that you can have in London: the Pop Up Vintage Fair! You know that this event is my favorite one in London because of the beautiful atmosphere, the best vintage dealers in town…and the best vintage women of the City: my wonderful friends Maxine (the event organizer and founder of Pop Up Vintage Fairs), the beautiful Salina, the adorable creative Daisy of Make Thrift London and, last but not least, I finally met for real my Italian twin Darling Le Glam…so incredibly sexy, sweet and beautiful lady!

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The tea, sweets, chatting and shopping session was hard…but I left super happy and with a very heavy bag of vintage coats (three amazing vintage pieces that I will show you soon!) and jewelry and lots of love from my adored friends! Thanks God I had a plane to catch or I would have bought so many more things! The Pop Up Vintage Fair is a vintage lover paradise! This time the event was in the beautiful Saint Stephen Church but if you want to visit it in one of its locations just check their site to see where they are and when!

One more tip: as you can see from some of my pictures I had the chance to stay in one of the most incredible hotels in town, the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch! I loved everything there: the spacious and elegant room and bathroom, the wonderful terrace with an awesome view of London skyline, the retro bowling room and the magnificent Jailhouse Bar for a superb cocktail before heading out for dinner! Modern, comfy, with the most caring and helpful staff, our stay in London couldn’t be better than that!

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The Ladybug sharing her vintage love for Andrea Odicini (at Opherty & Ciocci)

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I think that I have already shared my love for the Italian designer Andrea Odicini some time ago when I shared with you the beautiful vintage red dress that I wore for Opherty & Ciocci.

As I loved that one so much I thought that I could wear another vintage dress from Odicini, considering that Opherty & Ciocci has some great pieces of this amazing Genoese designer on their site.

So here I am with another great vintage piece, this time it is a striped cream and navy dress with sculpture buttons and amazing cuffs. What I love in his fashion is the incredible attention to detail, the volumes and shapes, there is a great difference between vintage fashion and vintage designer fashion!

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This outfit is 100% vintage and mostly from Opherty & Ciocci, not only the dress but also the amazing vintage Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses, also available on their website.

The electric blue vintage 80s shoes are from Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn (one of my favorite vintage shops in the area, I really wish I can go back one day!) and the blue vintage 80s earrings are from Love Vintage store in Barcelona.

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug and a her new love for 80s vintage short-sleeved blazers!

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Short-sleeved blazers are so vintage that they never came back on trend after their best moment in the 80s and beginning of the 90s! This means that if you want to find a short sleeved blazer the only way to go for it is finding it in a thrift store or vintage shop.

I haven’t thought about them for a while after my 90s period, but when I saw them at Humana Vintage in Milan I couldn’t resist them: they were colored, with padded shoulders, long with jeweled buttons! I got two (a green one and a red one) as they were in a special summer promotion at 5 euros each!

As usual, one of my friend asked how can you style them? Well, in many ways I answered!

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I decided to start with a dressed down outfit, perfect for an end of summer Sunday morning in Milan, with my vintage green piece that I mixed with Dixie black culottes and 90s inspired huge sneakers from Dixie. I decided to make it a bit more feminine by adding a tiny black belt to give more focus on the waist, that I bought in Osaka during my last summer Japan trip.

I added another vintage piece with my adored hooked vintage bag from Vintage Studium on Depop (I told you about it in my last post!) a retro inspired cactus brooch from Erstwilder (remember, my favorite Australian brooches with a retro twist!) and vintage golden loop earrings found on Depop.

What do you think? Can you go for this vintage trend right now?

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The Ladybug’s best vintage find in Milan: the Après-Coup bistrot

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I still remember when a friend of mine sent me a link on my phone to a post from a Milanese blog announcing the opening of a new “vintage” bistrot in town called Après-coup in the Porta Romana area. It took me a while before I could finally go there for a Saturday lunch with my friends but calling this place just a vintage bistrot is very limiting.

Après-coup is a (delicious) restaurant and (innovative) cocktail bar, a theatre, an art gallery, a place where you can really enjoy the good things of life with your friends but also learn something and appreciate the wonderful vintage décor dating from the past century in a venue that feels more like a beautiful home than a restaurant or a bar. It has a very intimate twist that it is difficult to find anywhere else in Milan.

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Food and drinks are amazing and pricing is very fair. Incredibly welcoming and qualified staff, very friendly and helpful, it is already one of my favorite places in town!

I took a couple of pictures to show you the place, but its perfect position, the lovely space outside in front of the Teatro della Contraddizione makes it perfect for a dinner/cocktail/theatre night out!

For the Saturday lunch at Après-coup I wore a vintage polka dot top from Humana Vintage mixed with Dixie black culottes and Mango black leather jacket. I also mixed handmade (with a beautiful turban from Madame Ilary and brass earrings from Metalica), vintage (with the beautiful hooked bag from Vintage Studium that I found on Ebay after years of hunting for that specific type of bag!) and modern (with my new Vans white sneakers found in Tokyo last summer, with the French colors, just like my vintage top!).

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The Ladybug and the story of a Senegalese baobab

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In the last few years I developed a high attention to symbols. When I talk about symbols I mean objects and shapes that means something to me or that have a special power on my feelings and emotions.

One of the most powerful symbols in my life is the tree: it can connect me to the power of nature, it reminds me of the importance of having solid and robust roots, it makes me think of resilience and adaptability when I think of its foliage. I feel protected and solid at the same time when I think about this symbol, which may explain why I love its representation.

When I traveled to Senegal a few years ago my idea of the tree symbol stepped to a next level: it was the first time that I saw real baobabs and I felt something strong in front of these amazing trees. They represent this amazing country and I realized that their foliage creates a sort of open arms shape that I fell in love with (maybe it’s the representation of the famous teranga!).

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I decided that during one of my next trips to Africa I will get a baobab tattoo and that I needed this tree in my life (although the baobab seeds seller in Goré told me that it is pretty hard to plant them and make them live in Europe). As I cannot get a real one I decided to go for a brooch for now! When I saw this one from Erstwilder in their Africa collection, I bought it straight away.

I wear it very often, not only because I love it, but also because it has a very therapeutic effect on me especially when I am a bit sad or have low energy. It was the case when I took these pictures during a beautiful autumn day in Milan and I know that my face says it all. My friend Simona, when she was taking these pictures in Parco Sempione told me: “it is so hard to take pictures of you when you are feeling low” and she was right, my face looked different and my smile a bit forced but I could feel the power of my baobab!

It was a Friday afternoon, that’s why my outfit was pretty casual, still absolutely vintage!

My yellow 80s jacket and flower top is from Humana Vintage, jeans are from Mango and 90s inspired sneakers from Dixie. Golden loops are vintage too and I bought them on Depop.

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The Ladybug and her very first time…with an Hermès vintage scarf!

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As you may know I recently became the official ambassador of Opherty & Ciocci, an institution when it comes to vintage fashion in Italy and all over the world. I say officially because a long lasting friendship and work reciprocal admiration link me to Marco and his family. We have met for the first time when I started my blog in 2011 at the Forlì vintage fair and since then I have been a big supporter of their brand (and of course a customer!).

I am very happy and proud about this collaboration, also because I have the chance to wear amazing vintage pieces and to style them together with Opherty & Ciocci, always creating something new and fresh starting from their amazing vintage collection.

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The shooting that you are seeing here was one of my favorite ones since we began this collaboration, especially because I am wearing one of the most iconic pieces from Opherty & Ciocci, the vintage silk Hermès scarf. Every time that I meet them at some vintage event, or when I surf their amazing site (www.ophertyciocci.com if you want to have a look!) I see incredible vintage pieces from the biggest designers: Gucci, Chanel, Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Armani, Dior and many others and I have been dreaming for years of wearing one of the iconic Gucci bamboo bags, or Hermès handbags and silk scarves. When Marco told me that he was sending me a vintage Hermès scarf to wear as a headscarf like I use to I nearly fainted. Nothing compared to the moment I took it out of the bag and put it on my head! It felt like putting a crown! I was really feeling like a queen!

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The Hermès scarf deserved a great location, that’s why we headed to the Rotonda della Besana to take some pictures of the outfit where, as you can see, I didn’t stop smiling for a second!

The Hermès headscarf was not the only amazing vintage piece from Opherty & Ciocci that I am wearing here. The red vintage Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses and the lemon vintage pleated shirt also come from them and they are all available on their site!

I added a retro inspired rust midi skirt that I bought from Uniqlo during my trip to Japan, a vintage handbag from Humana Vintage and a pair of 70s inspired leather clogs from the Italian brand Casta & Dolly at Archivio Vintage in Milan.

The golden loops are also a vintage find, this time from Depop.

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug on how to wear a vintage kimono at the office

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When I traveled to Japan last summer I finally got the chance to buy a couple of vintage kimonos.  This piece has always been iconic for me: the kimono has an oriental vibe that feels like wearing history and culture from another world; it is incredibly fashionable and stylish and it can add the “great touch” to any outfit, even the most boring one! I had a couple of vintage kimonos in my wardrobe, mostly bought during my vintage trips in Europe, more precisely in Brussels and Madrid but the chance to buy a vintage kimono in Japan was priceless!

As I told you during my Japanese chronicles, I found a couple of beautiful vintage shops in Kyoto and Tokyo where I bought three kimonos, one of them is the one pictured here, a beautiful vintage piece that I found in the most incredible vintage kimonos shop that I saw in Kyoto (I bought two pieces there). Kimonos are quite pricey in Japan, that’s why buying a vintage piece can be the best option also for those who are not that much into vintage! The prices for vintage kimonos are fair (this was around 30 euros) and the most pricey ones are real pieces of art (the second one that I got there was indeed more expensive but it was an hand-painted silk piece that stole my heart at first sight!)

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My friends were asking me why I was buying kimonos as it was such a difficult piece to wear! Difficult? At all! It is a very versatile piece, quite easy to wear, with almost everything, both dressed-up and dressed-down. I answered that it was so easy to wear that I could also wear it at the office! They were not convinced so I accepted the challenge and once I came back home I prepared this easy look to wear at the office. No need to say that they admitted my victory!

No jokes, the outfit was simple yet stylish for the office, I just wore something very “smart” (an handmade white shirt and black Dixie culottes) and put my pale blue kimono instead of a boring blazer! That’s all! I added a tiny vintage belt that I bought in a lovely vintage shop in Osaka and, as I like it to push it a little bit I paired with golden accessories: a pair of Dune London golden ankle boots, brass earrings and ring from Metalica Creazioni.

My colleagues were impressed and they loved the outfit, what do you think? Would you wear it at work?

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The Ladybug and the importance of being Angela

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April 2012. I was walking down the streets of Harlem with the biggest excitement caused by the place and all its legacies and meanings; I stopped by to talk to a lovely man selling tees representing people and moments of the African-American culture and history. “What’s your name?” – he asks. “Angela”. “Ah, Angela…like Angela Davis”! He didn’t have a tee with her of my size but he really made my day when he associated my name with hers! “Yes, Like Angela Davis” I said with a big smile.

He didn’t know (but I told him afterwards) that Angela Davis is the second person I am proud of wearing their name (the first one is my grandma) because she is one of the women that I admire most and a true inspiration for me. Sometimes, when I am feeling angry and upset about the political, social and cultural situation of my country I read again what she wrote to find again the force to fight.

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Many of my friends and family know about my love for Angela Davis, including Simona who told me about this beautiful artwork outside the bookstore Les Mots in Milan. We immediately head there to take some pictures and when I saw it, her smiling with her fist up, I immediately thought about her quote: “But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory”.

It was a coincidence but that day I wore a tee and canvas bag from the talented artist Massira Keita: a wonderful Parisian girl with African origins who makes the most beautiful drawings with an afro twist. When I saw the Syra design, a young woman with a wax turban I fell in love with the style and I got the tee and the bag (and the iPhone case!) that I wore here trying to re-create the same style on me (this was done on purpose, not a coincidence!): military jacket from an old Zara collection, black skinny jeans from Acne Studios, snake silver ankle boots from Divine Follie and wax headwrap from Grazia Ferrari (better known as Gracchia F!). The black round sunglasses were courtesy of Simona to complete the Syra look! I added a personal touch with my silver Nepalese necklace and loop earrings.

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The Ladybug reveals the secret of the “combo” style

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Since I know Ilaria from Madame Ilary I’ve been developing a strange addiction for what I call the “combo style”!  The combo style is the combination of a turban or headwrap with a skirt, culottes, trousers or even a dress of the same fabric and pattern. Usually when Ilaria sews something for me she asks: I have more fabric of this, do you want a turban too? And my answer is always yes!

I can wear the two pieces separately and mix them with other styles but I really have a thing for wearing them together! The only thing that you need to pay attention to when combining the patterns this way is to have a “neutral” piece between them, just not to overload your outfit with different pattern and colors.

In this case I used a beautiful vintage linen white shirt from the 70s that I bought at Humana Vintage for a few euros but it is one of my favorite pieces ever. The fabric is wonderful, candid and fresh and I have been dreaming of a shirt like this for ages! Also the little trimming on the top are adorable but you cannot really see them from these pictures.

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Regarding the combo, this was the first time that everything started from the turban and not the opposite: I got the turban first and even if I saw the culottes and I loved the golden palms pattern I only got the culottes many months later, when I saw them hanging in her show room and thought “Hey, they are perfect for my turban”!

I wore my outfit easy and comfy with flat gladiator sandals from Clarks and amazing jewelry:  brass shield and earrings are handmade from Metalica Creazioni, while the blackamoor brooch is a vintage piece from Déjà-vu Vintage.

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