The Ladybug and a vintage outfit for a very busy day at work

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Office (1)

I’ve written a lot of times about my idea of vintage at work or at least how I wear vintage when I go to work. I cannot wear exactly what I want (for example I cannot hang around in turbans!) but I have the chance to work in a place where you can be yourself, without going too far of course!

That’s why I often wear vintage clothes at work, especially lovely dresses or jewelry that I collected from almost all over the world!

That particularly day when I woke up I realized that my agenda was full of meetings…a well charged day needs a vintage outfit!

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Office (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Office (4)

I decided to wear one of my favorite 70s vintage dresses that I bought in Brussels a few years ago in a lovely shop called Episode Vintage near the Grande Place. I wore it with a vintage 90s black short blazer (from my own personal collection of when I was a kid!) and a pair of black killer heels from 8 that I bought on Yoox.

I added two beautiful jewelry pieces: a peacock vintage brooch that I bought at A Rebours Vintage in Milan and a retro inspired ring with two small cameos from Alcozer & J, definitely one of my favorite rings ever.

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Office (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Office (5)

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The Ladybug goes back to the fairground

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (1)

Another outfit from my Sicilian summer, I can’t get enough of going through these summery outfits with the beautiful colors of my Sicily!

This time it was near another fairground in town, just along the sea in my hometown, Messina while enjoying an afternoon stroll.

I wore what I call my Carmen Miranda shirt, because of the prints on it: I bought in Frankfurt at Zara while I was there for a weekend in July.

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (3)

I paired it with my black handmade culottes by Heka Couture and my thrifted Topshop afro flats!

As I cannot go out without a turban I wore this beautiful handmade piece by Madame Ilary with an African print that I adore (as well as the shape of the turban, pretty African inspired too!).

My golden loops are – well, were as I lost one – vintage and my round Moroccan straw bag is still my favorite one from Maluan Maroquinerie on Etsy.

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fairgorund (4)

The Ladybug and a dream coming true: Gorée Island, Senegal

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (6)

If I have been dreaming of Africa for more than 20 years, I have been dreaming of visiting Gorée Island for at least 15 years.

It all started when I read an article on the House of Slaves in Gorée, one of the oldest houses on the island where the African slaves were imprisoned and sent to America by boat. It is now a museum showing the horrors of the slave trade throughout the Atlantic world.

If Gorée is a wonderful island with a lovely beach and beautiful colored houses, with an ancient fort and a lot of artists and tourists, the House of Slaves experience is completely dramatic and sad. I decided to start the tour of the island from there and it was so emotional.

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (13)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (4)

A part of me was happy of finally being there, another one was ashamed and destroyed about the horrors showed and I started crying on the “infamous door”, the door from which the slaves were put on the boats to travel in cruel conditions to America where they were sold as slaves.

The house is dramatically beautiful and tragic at the same time. It took me a while to start the tour of the island by walk after the visit. Today, when I think of that visit I still feel the same feeling of shame and rage, especially if I wonder what has really changed since then.

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (12)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (11)

I walked during all the afternoon throughout the island, I stopped to talk to a lot of people, to listen to the djembe players, to visit the fort and to stop by the artists communities all around the island. I enjoyed the breathtaking views, I bathed on the beautiful sea, I took a lot of pictures of the colored houses…I really needed all these things to recover from the visit to the House of Slaves.

The boats from Dakar to Gorée and the way back are very frequent and are also a beautiful way to enjoy the Senegalese life: many people living in Dakar work in Gorée and they travel every day. Opposite to what usually happens in Europe they enjoy a good talk with tourists and I personally enjoyed too. It is a way to know each other, in every possible way.

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Gorée Senegal (10)

The Ladybug and the African (Senegalese) Blues

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (15)

It took a while to write this blog post on my trip to Senegal last summer. It is hard for me to write about it because it was a life changing experience and even after 5 months it is still in my head and I feel the African blues every single day of my life. I want to go back and I know that I will but the urge sometimes is unbearable.

It was my first time in Africa: I have been dreaming of it for more than 20 years but I was so scared of my reaction that I postponed this trip forever until I decided that it was something that I had to do, a dream that I wanted to make come true.

I brought with me a notebook because I wanted to write down everything but I was so overwhelmed by all my emotions and feelings that I came back home with a blank notepad. Everything was impacting me beyond words and even now I am unable to express my feelings by words.

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (2)

My trip to Dakar in Senegal was a kind of test for my reaction, just for your understanding: I was tempted to stay there for the rest of my life and for the first time in my life I tried to postpone my ticket to go back to Italy. Also when I came back to Italy I suffered a lot: I missed everything from food to people, perfumes and familiar noises, the call for worship, the rhythm of mbalax, the wolof, the laughs, the constant happiness of those days, the kindness of people. I finally understood why they call it the country of “Teranga”, hospitality.

I had the chance to live with a Senegalese family (who is now my second family) in Dakar and I decided to visit the town and its surroundings during my stay. I leave the tour of the country from North to South for my next trip.

Dakar is a town full of life night and day: it is noisy and crowded but irresistible at the same time. It is easy to meet people, to talk to everyone and to enjoy the beaches, the rhythm and the food almost everywhere!  On some days I just wandered in the streets of Dakar without destination using taxis or the famous colored buses: the Medina, the Almadies area, Place de l’Indépendance, the Corniche, the beautiful beach of Yoff, the amazing markets of Sandaga, Kermel, Tilène, the mosques, the Museums and Galleries (my favorite ones were the Galérie Antenna and the IFAN museum).

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (11)

I started my tour with a special visit to the African Renaissance monument and the museum where you can also admire a wonderful view of the town, especially if you walk down the hill until the beach.

The surroundings of Dakar are also breathtaking: I will write a dedicated post to Gorée Island, which was for me a very special experience but I took the boat a second time to head to Ngor Island from the amazing Ngor beach. As it was August the island was pretty crowded on the beach side but if you walk to the rocky side of the island you will be surprised by the awesomeness of the views and maybe for the first time you will be completely alone.

I also headed by bus (this was a bit more complicated trip!) to the Pink Lake (Lac Retba) where I toured the lake on a pirogue…but unfortunately that day the lake wasn’t as pink as I imagined. Its salt content is very high which gives it its pink color but only in particular weather conditions.

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (10)

So if you are not afraid of the African Blues (believe me, it’s the hardest thing) just book a flight to this amazing country and live it fully, breathe the love and buy all the amazing things that you can buy there (wax fabrics, African handmade jewels, colored baskets). Eat the best plates of the Senegalese cuisine (mafé, thieboudienne), the juicy mangoes or drink the bissap, the ginger and the buoy (the fruit of the baobab tree) and enjoy the incredible nature (you can see the most beautiful baobab trees and animals).

It can be a life changing experience especially if you decide to live it like locals: staying in small B&B instead of fancy hotels, going around by bus or shared taxis, walking, talking to people, basically enjoy the real Senegalese life.

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (12)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (14)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dakar Senegal (13)

The Ladybug’s tribute to Carmen Miranda

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (3)

My love and admiration for Carmen Miranda is something known. She is definitely one of my favorite icons from the past and a sort of inspiration for my daily outfits.

Her wonderful turbans and choice of bold colors and statement jewelry pieces gives me such a joy that I can feel when I wear my colored turbans and clothes and my favorite statement jewels!

My outfit today is a tribute to my adored Carmen Miranda.

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (2)

In my beautiful Sicily I was wearing a handmade African print playsuit with coordinated bow turban by Madame Ilary.

I added vintage 80s loop earrings from a vintage market and thrifted Topshop afro inspired sandals with my Moroccan round straw bag from Maluan Maroquinerie on Etsy.

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (1)

The Ladybug’s less obvious reason to hate winter

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (2)

I hate winter, really. For a thousand of reasons that may be more or less obvious (the cold, the rain, the grey weather etc. etc.) but there is one that is a bit less obvious: I hate it because I cannot wear my adored wax fabrics! Every now and then when it is not too cold I still wear some headwrap or turban but I miss my colored dresses, skirts, culottes…I just need these bold colors in my life!

These pictures were taken in October, the weather was still good in Milan and I was enjoying a stroll in Parco Sempione with my friend when we decided that the sun and the nature were offering a perfect frame for a quick shooting session!

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (3)

I was wearing my wide leg trousers handmade by Heka Couture: the African fabric we bought online because we loved the print so much (we also got it in yellow!). I wore them with a white tee from Asos and a 90s inspired Mango denim jacket (I loved the vintage vibe when I saw it in the shop at the train station in Naples!).

On my jacket I added some of my favorite pins at the moment: some African inspired pins from My Filibo that I found on Afrikrea marketplace and the lovely body positive pins “Love your cellulite” from The Triangular Prism on Etsy.

I also wore my Fulani earrings from Africaialha on Etsy and wooden clogs from Casta & Dolly at Archivio Vintage in Milan.

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Wax Wide Leg trousers and pins (7)

The Ladybug has the earth colors of Sicily

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (1)

Sicily is my earth. Sicily is my heart.

I left this wonderful land many years ago (exactly 23) to travel the world and to find a better life up north but this beautiful island is still in my heart and it is still my earth.

I love this set of pics because it has some of the beautiful colors of my Sicily, I call them the colors of my earth. It also has the colors of my second earth, Africa. But they are not so different in the end!

On my way to the beach this summer I stopped by this dark red building to take some pictures because I thought it really suited my whole beach outfit!

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (5)

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (2)

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The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (3)

I was wearing a Zara large sand playsuit (I bought it on sale last summer, without even trying it just because I loved it and it was so cheap!) and a Madame Ilary handmade turban made with one of my favorite African wax fabrics.

I also wore my adored African necklace from Afrohemien and a beautiful leather necklace from Diffusione Tessile that makes me think of the beautiful colors of my “roots”.

As usual I wore my Birkenstock sandals and my Moroccan round straw bag from Maluan on Etsy.

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (7)

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (4)

The Ladybug Cronicles Earth Colours (8)

The Ladybug’s love and hate for autumn

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (2)

I have a strange love/hate affair with autumn: I am deeply in love with its colors, the dead leaves, the cozy clothes, a new season beginning and a lot of plans for the upcoming winter. Other things that I love: the red wine, the chestnuts, the pumpkins.

On the other hand it is the end of summer and it is always hard for me to accept that my second favorite season is over! I always feel like I didn’t enjoy it enough and that I didn’t wear all the clothes that I wanted to wear!

Anyway, one of the things that I do often when autumn is starting is to dress with its same colors: I wear camel, brown, blue, dark green, all the colors that make me feel like “it’s autumn time”!

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (6)

This is what happened when I took these pictures: it was mid-September not officially autumn yet, but the weather was a bit chilly in Milan and I wore this beautiful vintage suede long skirt, a present that I received from my friend Carmen when I visited her in Frankfurt last July.

I paired with a camel toned bag from Coccinelle and burgundy leather clogs from Casta & Dolly (from Archivio Vintage in Milan). I completed my shades of autumn with a burgundy lipstick from Nyx.

On the other side there is blue, like my denim shirt with tiny tie on the neck from Max & Co (I bought it during the summer sales!) and like the stone on my vintage silver loops.

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fall Colors (4)

The Ladybug’s anti-winter cure: the blue shades of Sicily

The Ladybug Chronicles Nubian playsuit (3) -

I cannot stand the freezing weather these days…seriously I hate going around dressed like an onion with two/three layers of clothes. I guess I am one of those people who cannot be very stylish when it is that cold! I do my best but when I try a bit harder I get a cold…I should just give up and get warm!

One of the things that I do to feel warmer is watching my summer pictures and try to feel again the sun on my face, I look at that bold colors and I immediately get better.

This is one of the sets that I use against the winter blues!

It feels like Greece but it is my beautiful hometown, Messina in Sicily. I was going to the beach with my sister and we stopped by this blue building to use it as a backdrop for the pictures!

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I was wearing a beautiful playsuit from Nubian Collection, one of my favorite “afro-prints-style” providers, that I paired with a wonderful handmade turban by Madame Ilary with an African wax printed fabric.

To complete the style I wore my adored vintage golden loops that I lost (actually I lost only one) about a month ago…I loved them so much and it is so hard to find exactly the same or same style.

My everyday pieces of this summer: Maluan Maroquinerie Moroccan round straw bag from Etsy and Birkenstock flat sandals.

(Lipstick is one of my new ones from the organic line Al Verde at DM that I bought in Munich in July. I don’t usually wear dark pink but in summer when my face is quite tanned I really love the glowing effect!).

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The Ladybug is ready for a very Sicilian Market

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (2)

There is something that I do every time that I go back home: I just go to the local market.  There is something in Sicilian markets that I cannot find anywhere else, especially here in Milan: I love wandering and observing people speaking my dialect (a dialect that I think that I forgot but it is not true!), fruits and vegetables that really tastes like fruits and vegetables, colors and smells that are so typical and that remind me of when I was a kid.

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (4)

While waiting for my next trip, I am sharing my outfit from last visit to the market during my last summer holidays.

I wore beautiful handmade culottes made by Heka Couture with amazing African wax print paired with Cos white tee.

I also wore two vintage pieces: a beautiful African necklace that I found at Tricia Leonard vintage in Munich and a red straw basket bag, a personal buy from my trip to Guadeloupe in the 90s.

Birkenstocks at my feet…as every day during my summer holidays!

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicilian Market (6)