The Ladybug’s second “Star Wax” episode

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Last week I told you the story of my “Star Wax saga” (you can read it if you missed it in my last post, first “Star Wax” episode) and as I anticipated we used this beautiful African print fabric for a few pieces.

Among them a beautiful blazer that I wore for the rehearsal of La Boheme at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan a few weeks ago, handmade with love by Madame Ilary.

I was feeling incredibly 80s when I first wore it to try it, so I decided to create an 80s inspired look with genuine vintage accessories of the era.

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First of all I customized the blazer with an elasticated belt with a golden ribbon as a buckle, a vintage find from my Singapore trip a few years ago. Then I added original 80s golden clip earrings from an antiques fair in Sorrento many years ago.

I kept all the other pieces black and high street: Dixie culottes and Zara pointed ballet flats.

PS: there was also a very 80s inspired black bucket bag but I don’t know why I’m not wearing it in the pictures!!

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The Ladybug’s first “Star Wax” episode!

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If you are wondering what is the “Star Wax” saga, well let me tell you that this is just a joke with my friend Ilaria, founder of Heka Couture and Madame Ilary, the person who created the wax trousers and turban that I am wearing in this post.

As we bought this 6 yards of yellow African print wax fabric, we were deciding what to do with it and we started calling it the “star wax” because of the white stars on the fabric. We imagined to create a pair of trousers, a jacket and a turban, and we called this mini collection the “star wax saga” as a joke!

I was thinking of this joke while writing this post to show the first episode of the saga: these trousers and turban handmade by Ilaria, mixed with vintage pieces and high street.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Star Wax (5)

We were together when I first wore those two pieces: as it was a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon and we were heading to a garage market I decided to dare a mix of African print and stripes (top is from an old Zara collection).

As if it was not enough, I added vintage pieces to the outfit: a lovely vintage doctor bag that I bought during a special vintage event for buyers years ago here in Milan and a Nepalese statement necklace.

Final touch, my Casta and Dolly clogs from Arkivio Vintage!

PS: next episode of the Star Wax saga will be up on the blog soon!!

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The Ladybug is retro or vintage?

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Vintage or retro? What is the difference?

A vintage piece is an original piece from the past, a piece that had a life before ending in your hands, that resisted time and use, that traveled the world before finding place in your wardrobe.

A retro piece is totally new, made with new materials but reminding old styles for its shape or pattern.

I personally prefer original vintage but many of the “new” pieces of clothing that I have in my wardrobe are retro. Sometimes I just like to mix them up, just to give a vintage twist without wearing head-to-toe vintage.

That’s what I did a couple of weeks ago (before the heat invading Milan!) where I put together three retro pieces with a vintage one.

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Retro pieces:

          Although it looks absolutely vintage (the shape is based on a 40’s original pattern) the navy high waisted trousers with golden buttons are absolutely new. It is an handmade piece by Madame Ilary and definitely one of my favorite retro pieces!

          The pale pink shirt with fireflies is also new: it comes from Diffusione Tessile but its pattern and shape is absolutely retro inspired!

          Ankle boots: squared toe, moccasin ankle boots with golden chain…this pair of Marella boots are definitely inspired by the 60s, no doubt!

Vintage piece:

          Burberry original trench is one of my favorite vintage finds of the last few months! I was looking for one like this: men style but for women. I found it in a lovely vintage shop in Milan called Napoleone;

          Myself….an original piece from the 70s!!!

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The Ladybug is a White Hunter: finding Africa in Milan

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A few weeks ago I visited a great exhibit at FM Contemporary Art Center in Milan. I didn’t know about this very interesting space until I saw the flier of this event called “The White Hunter. African memories and representations” and I decided to have a look on a Saturday afternoon.

The exhibit started end of March during the Milan Art Week and it presented more than 150 works of contemporary artists (including my favorite African photographers Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibé) as well as pieces from anonymous traditional artists. The main topic is Africa just seen by different eyes and represented in many different ways. Maybe this is the reason why I couldn’t love it more!

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The black building hosting the exhibit and the calm space outside was perfect also for a short outfit shooting!

It was indeed the perfect occasion to wear my Madame Ilary African wax turban that I added to a very simple outfit: old boyfriend jeans from Topshop, frilled white shirt from Alexa Chung Archive Collection for M&S, simple Benetton black trench coat and Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers.

I also wore my new folk clutch bought at Archivio Vintage event a couple of days before!

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The Ladybug in Baby Blue and Baby Pink

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Every night before going to sleep I try to decide what I am going to wear the next day. Basically I do it, I don’t try. But when I wake up in the morning, most of the times I change my mind. And mostly these changes depend on the weather (and on how much I could sleep at  night!). I see grey (outside and inside!): I dress in black. I see the sun: I take out all the colors of my closet and I mix them with no fear!

That day I felt the sun; more inside than outside actually, but before leaving the house I decided to switch my Burberry beige trench with this colored pink coat from Zara and I am pretty happy that I did it because the colorful outfit put me in a great mood (it was Monday, don’t forget!).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Denim Dress (3)

I started the outfit with this new & Other Stories denim dress that I bought online last month and I decided that I wanted to pair it with my adored Madame Cosette velvet boots (by the way, did I tell you that I decided to wear velvet shoes this summer? I love velvet too much to use it only in winter!). 

Tights were necessary that day…not only because it was quite fresh but also because my white legs are really awful so I won’t show them until I get a good tan or my new Collistar bb cream for legs!!

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The Ladybug is PrePPy in vintage!

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Who doesn’t like a bit of preppy style every now and then?

I must confess that I’m not a fan of preppy but I have a couple of cool preppy pieces and today I decided to wear them all together! When I looked at myself in the mirror I really felt like a preparation school girl (except for my wrinkles!).

Basically I’m wearing vintage/thrift head-to-toe (I’d better say head-to-ankle as shoes are not vintage!): let’s start from my navy double-breasted blazer with golden buttons, a real vintage thrifted piece and also one of my favorite bargains ever. I found it in NYC at the Salvation Army and I paid it only 6.99 dollars! I still wear this jacket a lot with many different styles and it is one of my wardrobe favorites!

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I paired the jacket with a vintage tartan skirt from A.N.G.E.L.O.: I bought it years ago during the Vintage Week event in Milan, as at the time I had a thing with vintage tartan. I sold most of my vintage tartan pieces since then but I still keep this one!

The bow shirt is an old find form a vintage/retro store in Naples and the shoes are from Lazzari.

The straw bag is another vintage piece that I adore: I bought it many years ago from Opherty & Ciocci during a vintage fair in Italy as I really love straw bags (I think I need more of them in my life actually!) and 70’s long horizontal bags; so two things that I love in the same bag!

PS: I also chose a typical brownstone building in Milan for this set of pictures, just to fit the whole preppy thing!!

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The Ladybug found many treasures in the vintage archives: Arkivio Vintage Showroom in Milan, the second round!

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Dear fellow vintage lovers, you may have seen on my Instagram that last week I went again to the Arkivio Vintage event where my friend Ilaria (founder of Madame Ilary and Heka Couture) was presenting her new 2017SS collection. I am always happy when she is selling at this event because it is one of my favorite events in town for two very important reasons.

First one, the atmosphere: it always feels like going to Susan’s (the founder of Arkivio Vintage) house with your friends! The hospitality is top and you always meet a lot of people and start chatting with everyone (sellers and customers) while sipping wine and eating biscuits as if you were at a party with your friends. We try things, take pictures, make a lot of noise and – major bonus – buy a lot of beautiful things!

And here we go to the second reason why I love Arkivio Vintage events: you can find so many great things, not only handmade pieces (which you know that I love a lot because I adore the “unique” pieces made with love by handcrafters) but also real gems from really interesting emerging brands.

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Last time I told you about the Bonne Maison socks for example and the beautiful wooden clogs by Casta e Dolly, this time I discovered Fleurs Coquines and Isole e Vulcani swimwear as well as the beautiful bags by Daf Design. I am still in love with Arkivio Vintage own bags and I think that sooner or later I will get myself one!

This time I got this beautiful folk clutch that I adore (the book is a present from Ilaria and I can’t wait to start reading Elsa Schiaparelli biography!) and I am waiting for the next event to find more wonderful pieces in this adorable showroom in via Morosini 27 in Milan.

If you want to go to the next events (and maybe find me there!) you can check Arkivio Showroom Facebook page. See you there! PS: I was wearing a vintage preppy blazer, Zara culottes, Madame Ilary turban, Madame Cosette velvet boots and African necklaces.

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The Ladybug, a black wall, a white door and Kandiskij’s Russian inspiration

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Last weekend I was hanging around with a friend of mine: we had a lovely lunch in one of my favorite places in Milan, the restaurant Orto,  we had a long chat in their lovely garden (it’s not properly a garden but you are surrounded by plants and it feels like a garden!) and the weather was so good that we took a long walk after lunch.

We walked to the Mudec museum and we decided to step in to see the Kandinskij exhibit even if both of us had already seen the beautiful exhibit dedicated to the artist four years at Palazzo Reale. Maybe it was the fact that we adored that past exhibit but we didn’t enjoy the visit very much.

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The exhibit was dedicated to the story of its so-called “genius period”, leading to the birth of abstraction. Most of the works come from Russian museums such as the Hermitage and “they trace the development of Kandinskij’s visual imagery, deeply rooted in Russian tradition, and of his inescapable path towards abstraction”. It is also a journey across the Russian visual sources from which he took most of his inspiration.

The thing is that the exhibit is quite small with few interesting pieces from the artist, not even comparable with the one held in Palazzo Reale in 2013.

Anyway, it was also a good day to take some pictures so here they are!

Even if the weather was good it was still a bit chilly, that’s why I wore my flowery Barbour (a limited edition that I found in an outlet years ago!) on my Victorian style frill shirt from Alexa Chung’s Archive second collection for M&S. I added black skinny jeans from Acne Studios and comfy shoes for the long walk (Nike white sneakers at & Other Stories).

Last touches: Sine Modus headband, Cavalli & Nastri 70’s vintage bag and vintage silver earrings!

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The Ladybug is all about milk!

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I’ve been looking for a good face daily cream for the last few months as I don’t seem to find the one for me. The thing is that I’m probably asking too much and I don’t want to spend a fortune, which makes it a bit complicated. I found out that it is not necessarily true that expensive creams works better than cheaper ones so I better search on a wider price range! The thing is that my skin is getting old (like me! Sad truth!) and I need a bit of firming action, nourishment, hydration and good texture. Let’s be honest: our face skin is the business card of our beauty and wealth, so it needs particular attention.

While struggling with my perfect face cream search, I was invited to a beauty event organized by Arborea, a Sardinian milk producer, to present their new beauty products line Nisia, natural and dermatologically tested, made with their own milk, produced under the Sardinian sun and in front of their wonderful sea!

I was very intrigued, after all even Cleopatra used milk to have a brighter and hydrated skin!

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The line includes five products for skin beauty: moisturizer face cream and body milk, nourishing face and hands cream, anti-aging face serum.  They all feature L5, a specific formula containing all the characteristics of Arborea milk and 5 natural sugars to strengthen the action. L5 helps fighting against free radicals and maintaining our skin moisturized and nourished.

I decided to test the Nourishing anti-age face cream for two weeks and here is what happened: my little wrinkles are still there but my skin is overall brighter, softer and more compacted when I touch it. The texture is very light and makes it perfect under makeup as it doesn’t feel heavy on your face.

If you want to try too, you can find Nisia products online at www.nisia.store

The Ladybug About Keith Haring Art

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When I saw the advert of the upcoming Keith Haring exhibit in Milan I couldn’t help thinking of my last (and first) Keith Haring exhibit. I was in New York in 2012 and I was staying in Brooklyn in a B&B. I found there the flyer of Keith Haring exhibition at Brooklyn Museum and I felt so happy and grateful to have the chance to see his art for the first time in New York! I enjoyed that exhibit so much that I could never forget it! It’s definitely in “my best memories ever” archive!

The good feelings came to my mind immediately and I wasn’t sure if going or not as I didn’t want to ruin my Brooklyn memories. I decided to have a look anyway and it was a great decision! The exhibit that I saw in 2012 was more focused on Keith Haring adverts and drawings in New York subway stations and even if I found a few here in Milan the exhibit was basically different.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Keith Haring (1)

110 of Keith Haring works were exposed, from public and private collections from all over the world. Some of them were shown in Italy for the very first time. The exhibition tries to create a link between Keith Haring works and their source of inspiration: from classical art to pre-Columbian art, from American Indian and Pacific masks to his favorite artists, such as Pollock and Klee.

His colorful pieces are a joy for the eye but very often pain and frustration for the world lie behind them. I have always loved his art and I was happy to discover that some of my favorite pieces of him were exposed there.

The exhibit will be in Milan at Palazzo Reale until 18th of June 2017, so don’t miss your chance to discover (or re-discover, as it was my case!) this incredibly talented artist-activist. 

For the exhibit I wore ASOS black dungaree, Topshop palm shirt and an almost vintage leather jacket! I paired with Madame Cosette velvet ankle boots and Michael Kors Bucket bag.

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