The Ladybugs returns where she left off (aka the Blue outfit)

The LadybugChronicles Blue Outfit (3)

When I checked my photo albums I realized that this was the last shooting that I did with Madame Ilary before the pandemic wave started. One week after this shooting we were highly recommended to stay at home and to work from home before the big lockdown. It was almost two months ago. It was still cold in Milan but sunny enough to warm our hearts and souls, ready for the spring to come.

Now spring is here and we cannot even enjoy it.

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The LadybugChronicles Blue Outfit (6)

I called it the blue outfit because that day I mixed some of my favorite pieces in different shades of blue:

  • Dark navy for my beautiful pompom sweater, a piece from Sézane archives that I grabbed just a few weeks before the Covid-19 emergency;
  • Classic blue for a very special vintage 60s coat that I bought during my first Vinokilo event in Milan, in December last year. When I put it on me it looked like it was just made for me and I got it for less than 30 euros!
  • Metallic blue for this pair of AMAZING Frida boots from Miss L Fire: I have been chasing them for a while because I loved the color and the vintage style…I still cannot believe that I put my hands on these wonderful boots!
  • Velvet navy for this old Madame Ilary handmade turban made of soft velvet with a plexi button, that she created for me years ago. I still remember that she gave it to me before a night at the theatre and I wore it immediately!
  • Navy denim for these lovely culottes-jeans, from an old Massimo Dutti collection;
  • Vintage navy for this cute vintage cross-body bag that I got during a super sale weekend in Turin at Humana Vintage.

Golden earrings are handmade from Metalica Creazioni.

This is where I left my life before Covid-19, I wish I can reboot from here, hopefully soon, with a new blue outfit. Prayers.

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The LadybugChronicles Blue Outfit (5)

The Ladybug love declaration to Catania (and to her granny)

The Ladybug Chronicles Catania (2)

Wearing green means wearing hope. I couldn’t find a better outfit to explain how hope is living inside of me these days: hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel; hope of living healthy and full lives; hope of enjoying the world again; hope of ending soon this war against the virus.

When I wore this outfit I couldn’t even imagine what was about to happen in a few weeks. I was enjoying some time at home with my family and celebrating my sister’s graduation in one of the most beautiful cities of the world: my beautiful vintage Catania.

I cannot explain the beauty of this city, the richness of its decadent buildings, the history, the cultural vibes…it is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have memories of Catania since I was a kid and I used to take the bus to Catania to spend time with my grandmother there: her world was so amazing to me. African prints, vintage pieces, homeware from the east of the world, she introduced me to a world that now is exactly mine.

The Ladybug Chronicles Catania (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Catania (3)

I think of her a lot when I am in town and I miss her so much but she still lives in me, in my way of dressing, in my African prints and in my many vintage pieces and homeware that I find during my travels.

That day I went for a total green outfit to share my hope with my sister, the hope that she will start a new life after her graduation, and that she will feel proud of what she did.

The beautiful green 50s coat is one of my best finds ever from London Vintage at the Pop up vintage fair in London almost one year and a half ago. I paired it with a more recent find: a velvet long dress that I found at the Vinokilo event in Milan in February.

Snake-print shoes are from Carmens (one of my best winter finds this year!) and the cute 50s velvet black bag with the golden chain is a vintage find from A Rebours Vintage in Milan. Golden bamboo and snake earrings are from Giovanni Raspini.

The Ladybug Chronicles Catania (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Catania (5)

The Ladybug has a vintage heart (dress)

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (1)

I need colors, I need love, I need air…I need smile, laughter, friends, kisses, hugs and all the things that I missed during this quarantine.

When I look at these old pictures taken by my colleague (who is such a bad photographer!) I still remember why I was laughing so hard (he was saying things that made me laugh and that I still remember but I can’t repeat here!) and I miss even the good times at work, because many of the people I work with are also my friends and I really enjoy spending time with them!

Today is the first day out, lockdown is over and I can’t wait to take pictures outside again and I decided to celebrate with this post!

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (3)

This shooting started with another lunch in the Isola Design district in Milan, on the way back to work, when I saw another colored mural that I liked! It was perfect for my vintage outfit of the day:

  • A red, white and navy heart dress from Humana Vintage in Milan…I bought it during the opening of the new store in town because I loved the pattern, the colors and the adorable heart-shaped buttons!
  • A very old vintage red patent belt that I bought many years ago in a second hand store in Capri during a little weekend there when I still lived in Sorrento;
  • An amazing pair of Monet vintage earrings that I ADORE that I found at A Rebours Vintage in Milan (Lisa – the shop owner – is one of the greatest collectors in town!).

Taupe caged boots are an old Jeffrey Campbell pair that I use all the time (you may have seen them on me more than once!) while rings are from El Rana Jewelry and Francesco Tramontano.

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Heart Dress (4)


The Ladybug and the Little Prince “coincidence”

The Ladybug Chronicles Little Prince (4)

“Things always happen for a reason”. “Coincidences don’t exist”. How many times did we hear that? Sometimes we believe it is true, sometimes we don’t (depending basically on our mood) but I basically think that things really always happen for a reason.

This is a stupid but fitting example:

Lunch time with my photographer friend, in the Isola Design district in Milan, I am wearing one of my favorite vintage pieces that I found in Budapest last year in a lovely vintage shop called Szputnyik, and I feel super cute! When we head back to the office we see it: this amazing Little Prince mural that left us wide-mouthed! We didn’t know about it and we started taking pictures of this street art when my friend asked: “do you feel cute enough for me to take some pictures of you here?”.

The Ladybug Chronicles Little Prince (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Little Prince (5)

“Coincidence” or whatever it is made me feel super cute with my vintage dress (it has some Egyptian style pattern, with pyramids and palms + this sand color that made me crack!), my dark green 70s inspired Strategia platforms and my handmade brass earrings (80s inspired) by Metalica Creazioni.

Also my hair was pretty decent…was there a better moment to shoot there? Probably not…

That night when I came back home I looked for my Little Prince book (I have it French) because I thought it was a sign (not a coincidence…) and I opened it on this page:

C’est une folie de haïr toutes les roses parce que une épine vous a piqué, d’abandonner tous les rêves parce que l’un d’entre eux ne s’est pas réalisé, de renoncer à toutes les tentatives parce qu’on a échoué…c’est une folie de condamner toutes les amitiés parce qu’une d’elles vous a trahi, de ne croire plus en l’amour juste parce qu’un d’entre eux a été infidèle, de jeter toutes les chances d’être heureux juste parce que quelque chose n’est pas allée dans la bonne direction. Il y aura toujours une autre occasion, un autre ami, un autre amour, une force nouvelle. Pour chaque fin il y a toujours un nouvel départ.

So no, coincidence doesn’t exist. It was exactly what I needed to read.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Little Prince (2)

The Ladybug’s travel memories in one outfit!

The Ladybug Chronicles Peruvian Tunic (1)

As the quarantine continues I keep looking back at some of my outfit pictures and I keep choosing those where I am wearing something that keeps me close to my travel memories.

Knowing that I am not going to travel for a while and that I will need to postpone some of the trips planned during these months, it is very sad but there’s not much that we can do about it, except acting safely and hoping for the best!

The tunic that I am wearing here has a double travel memory: I bought it in Bilbao at the Upcycling Store, one of the most incredible vintage (and new) shops there! It was not in our to-visit list but we found it in the streets of the old city and we found a lot of things there! The shop owner has Italian origins and it was lovely to chat with her and to know a bit more about her story and why she was in Spain. The tunic immediately got my attention for how rare it was: a handmade Peruvian vintage piece with a cute embroidery on the front…I couldn’t resist! Also because at the time I was planning my trip to Peru…what a coincidence! I didn’t find anything like this in Peru that’s why I am very happy that I bought it in Spain!

The Ladybug Chronicles Peruvian Tunic (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Peruvian Tunic (5)

I wore it with a handmade turban from Madame Ilary that she created with another travel memory: a printed Japanese fabric that I bought in Tokyo in a street market two years ago!

Yellow snake print wedges are from Lunatica, rings are from Francesco Tramontano while earrings are handmade from an handcrafter in Sorrento (they are very old…almost vintage too!)

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The Ladybug dreaming of a vintage outfit during the Quarantine

The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (3)

This is the first post that I write during the quarantine. The Covid-19 is spreading around the world and my country was one of the first ones to start the fight against the virus, the first one in Europe. In a few weeks we lost our normal lives and we had to start a forced quarantine to stop the virus from spreading more.

It was a shock for all of us: no friends, no work, no parties, no concerts, no yoga, no dance etc. etc. We are allowed to go out only for urgent and primary matters, like pharmacy and food. Bars, restaurants, shops, gym clubs, everything is closed.

It is a sacrifice but I am sure that if we keep doing it all together we will win and go back to our normal lives soon. For me it meant that I had to renounce to many things but as I am always a positive person, I decided to make the most of this new spare time that I have at home by doing many things that I usually have no time to do: cooking (a lot!), continue my dance and yoga classes online, meditate with my group every day for 30 minutes, reading, watching movies and TV series that were on my list for such a long time! We always complain that we have no time to do this or to do that, we don’t have time to enjoy time with ourselves: now that we have it I guess that we should take advantage of it!

The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (4)

It is also a good moment for me to write and update my blog with some new posts, also to give you something to read in your spare time! I decided to share this set for two reasons:

  1. The “Blessing for all mural”: I really felt it! We all need blessings in our lives but now more than ever I wanted to dedicate a special warm blessing to my country and to my people. We are strong, we can make it! We will be ok!
  2. The wonderful 80s vintage dress that I am wearing here was bought in Spain, in Bilbao exactly, at the Flamingo Kilo Shop, a famous franchising with many shops in Spain that sells most of their vintage clothes by kilo. I paid it around 9 euros and it always makes me think of this lovely weekend that I spent in Bilbao with one of my best friends last year. Well, we had another great weekend planned in Spain last week but we had to postpone it for now because of this situation. This is another blessing for ourselves: hoping that we will go back to our wanderlust adventures soon!

Vintage doctor bag is from Sculture da Indossare Vintage, blue ankle boots are from Ouigal.

PS: As Italian I know that we are a great country and great people in hard times, so I am sure that all this will end soon and we will be back to our normal but beautiful lives. Don’t take life for granted: be grateful for everything we have, every single day, also after the quarantine! Let’s make it another life lesson!

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The Ladybug with another Madame Ilary total outfit

The Ladybug Chronicles Total Madame Ilary Outfit (4)

You know that Ilaria, the founder of Madame Ilary, is a very good friend of mine.

We met longtime ago, I was just landed in Milan and I was at the theatre to watch my friends play when I met this girl, who was the costume and scene designer. We immediately fell in love with each other style (we were both wearing vintage!) and she asked if I wanted to see her amazing turbans.

Since then we have grown a lot: I focused more on my blogger work and she created her own handmade fashion label with an amazing show room in Milan. Most of the things that I wear are made by her and I am lucky enough to see the collections on the making and to serve her as a model every now and then.

I really love going out with her to select new fabrics and accessories or to buy vintage buttons and trimmings to add to her pieces. It helped me a lot to understand more about the crafter work and it gave me new notions of fashion design and fabrics in general.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Total Madame Ilary Outfit (5)

When we made this photoshoot she was launching her first handmade sweater collections: a very simple yet stylish knitted piece with puff sleeves and shoulder pads that comes in many different colors.

I picked the black one to pair it with her beautiful wine 50s inspired skirt with a sort of Aztec print that I adore and that I wanted also for a coordinated turban (I have a pair of trousers and a turban with the same print but in olive green!) .

Earrings are handmade by Metalica and shoes are from Francesco Milano on Yoox.

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The Ladybug e un improvviso colpo di fulmine: Gauche Caviar a Milano

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Avete presente i colpi di fulmine? Ecco non so se capita anche a voi ma io non li ho solo per le persone (a dire il vero, ne ho sempre meno per le persone!) ma mi capita di avere il cosiddetto colpo di fulmine anche per dei luoghi, soprattutto quando viaggio, delle opere d’arte, degli oggetti (ad esempio le scarpe e i turbanti!), dei libri che mi colpiscono già dalla copertina.

Il colpo di fulmine ce lo ricordiamo sempre, anche a distanza di tempo. Infatti, la sera in cui ho provato l’irresistibile desiderio di entrare in un posto che mi attirava a sé in maniera incredibile me la ricordo bene.

Stavo raggiungendo degli amici a cena un sabato sera e mentre camminavo per strada mi ha colpito un piccolo locale che non avevo mai visto prima in quella zona. Pareti color ottanio piene di foto e poster di icone di stile e dell’arte, sgabelli e divano in velluto a tono, specchi antichi alle pareti, una libreria e strumenti musicali a vista…tutto in quel posto mi chiamava e mi incuriosiva da matti. Mi sentivo come attirata da una calamita. Leggo fuori che il posto si chiama Gauche Caviar e a quel punto, niente può più fermarmi e sono già dentro, nonostante i miei amici siano già ad attendermi al ristorante!

Mi accoglie subito il sorriso della splendida Marta (che indossa un abito meraviglioso!) che insieme al compagno Stefano ha “donato” alla città questo posto stupendo solo qualche mese fa. Le spiego che sono rimasta ipnotizzata dal loro locale e che mi piacerebbe tornarci per scoprirlo e magari farci qualche foto.

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La settimana dopo sono già lì a scoprire questo locale così “cozy” da avere l’idea di essere entrati in casa di qualcuno, e in un certo senso un po’ è così perché sia Marta che Stefano ci hanno messo la loro vita, la loro storia, le loro passioni. Anche il bagno è una vera chicca (vi consiglio di entrarci anche solo per lavarvi le mani!): carta da parati colorata e tantissime foto personali scattate durante viaggi e momenti importanti, c’è un po’ anche la storia di Gauche Caviar, del perché è nato (in una foto della donna che ha ispirato Marta e Stefano).

Gusto, eleganza e raffinatezza retrò sono l’elemento distintivo di questo posto, insieme all’accoglienza delicata e appassionata dei suoi creatori che amano raccontare questo posto che sicuramente non ha eguali in città. E’ il posto perfetto per sorseggiare un bicchiere di vino, un cocktail o una cedrata (io adoro la cedrata!) prima o dopo aver visto un film al cinema, al ritorno dal lavoro prima di andare a casa dopo una dura giornata, anche da soli. Parlando con Marta mi ha colpito molto una sua frase: “Volevo creare un posto dove anche una donna da sola può trovarsi a suo agio”. Sicuramente ci è riuscita, perché l’accoglienza è decisamente uno dei punti forti di Gauche Caviar.

So di avervi incuriosito, quindi vi dico anche dove si trova: in via Vicenza, zona Cinque Giornate a Milano.

Per il primo shooting ho scelto un outfit vintage + handamde: tunica con ricami dorati vintage marocchina scovata al Mercatone dell’Antiquariato sul Naviglio Grande quest’estate, borsetta vintage anni 40 trovata a Lubiana nel bellissimo negozio Divas Vintage, turbante in raso e decorazioni giordane handmade by Madame Ilary, orecchini in bronzo Metalica e sandali ricamati Anniel.

Vi riparlerò di Guache Caviar presto con un nuovo outfit vintage!

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug Chronicles Gauche Caviar 1 (4)

The Ladybug returns to the scene of crime (Gauche Caviar in Milan)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gauche Caviar 2 (1)

A couple of weeks ago I shared my first shooting in one of my favorite bars in Milan, Gauche Caviar.

The post was in Italian but I guess that you have easily imagined how much I love this place that really felt like home to me. One thing that I didn’t mention in my Italian post but that I will mention here is the music that you can listen to at Gauche Caviar: if you are a jazz lover and if you love retro music this place is not only fabulous to sip a good glass of wine or a cocktail but it is also perfect to listen to great music as a background for your conversation or just for your thoughts if you are alone.

If you live in Milan or just pass by for a quick visit, I really suggest you spend some time here as it is really worth the visit and easy to reach as it is in near the central Piazza Cinque Giornate.

The Ladybug Chronicles Gauche Caviar 2 (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gauche Caviar 2 (2)

This is then my second post at Gauche Caviar and I went for another vintage and handmade outfit with a retro vibe that really fits the place.

It all started with this beautiful silk shirt with a ruffle on the collar and precious details that I purchased from the adorable Josephine Vintage. She is selling on Depop and Vintag incredible pieces from the past, many of them are designer’s, and she quickly became one of my favorite online vintage sellers. I paired it with black and white roses silky pants handmade by Madame Ilary: these are a very glamourous version of her Marlene trousers and I always feel so elegant when I wear them! Same for the beautiful handmade turban with a brocade fabric and vintage trimming that I keep for the “special occasions”!

Embroidered sandals are from Anniel while golden bamboo earrings are from Giovanni Raspini (I received this pair of earrings as a gift from my colleagues for my last birthday and I was going to cry for how happy I was!) .

Last but not least, a special mention for the amazing 40s velvet bag with golden chain that I got from A Rebours Vintage in Milan during my last visit. I loved it at first sight and it is incredible how such a small accessory can make every outfit great! This is the power of vintage pieces…I will never get tired of learning and praising this!

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

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The Ladybug Chronicles Gauche Caviar 2 (5)

The Ladybug and her Sisters of Afrika (SOA)

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During my last trip to Senegal I decided to spend the last day to a good shopping session in Dakar: we made some of the most important markets to buy Senegalese wax prints and jewels, African homeware and food!

I also decided to visit one of the most interesting stores in Dakar, Sisters of Afrika. I have been following them for a while on Instagram and I loved their prints and shapes so I decided to buy one at the source, in their atelier in Dakar! I didn’t know that much about the brand but I had the chance to find the lovely Khadija who told me a bit about their story and I found it so amazing that I decided to share it with you.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find Hélène Daba, who founded the brand in 2013 in Dakar, but the way she created Sisters of Afrika with her sisters and the incredible blossoming of colors got me addicted immediately. Their slogan is: Par des Femmes, Pour des Femmes (by Women for Women) and the use of traditional African prints such as Bogolan and Thioup (Tye & Dye) mixed with more modern and local shapes made me fall in love!

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (11)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (10)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (5)

The brand is very international, proof is the number of customers all around the world, but also very respectful of what “made in Africa “ means: traditionally handmade prints, quality of the fabrics, incredible artistry of the local handcrafters. Sisters of Afrika puts together my favorite things: ethical sources and handwork, African tradition and colorful and flattering shapes!

If you want to know more about the brand I am showing here some more pictures of their collections but you can visit their site to know more and see more pieces or to buy your favorite ones:

As for me I was going to buy both dresses I’m pictured in here but in the end I went for the long Thioup green and orange dress and I can’t wait for spring to proudly wear it!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sisters of Afrika (9)

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