The Ladybug is a vintage lady in the streets of Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (1)

Sometimes I really like dressing like a vintage lady: the way people look at me in the streets makes me laugh especially when I pair my vintage pieces with 40s inspired diva turbans. At that point they start staring at me. Honestly this type of reaction is typically Italian. When I used to live in Southern Italy it was even worse but I didn’t expect this also in Milan that is supposed to be the most open minded city in Italy.

When I travel abroad I use to wear my turbans and nobody seems disturbed or intrigued about that…so why should people care so much about what anyone is wearing?

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (5)

Anyway, I couldn’t care less, so I decided to wear my new 70s vintage dress from A rebours Vintage in Milan with my new handmade turban from Madame Ilary, vintage earrings and 60’s inspired Zara patent boots. I loved this mixed outfit and it made me feel like a real lady from another era walking by mistake in the crowded streets of “modern” Milan!

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage (4)

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The Ladybug and her love story with a Blackamoor special one!

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (1)

I must confess that I have had a very strange and complicated relationship with vintage jewelry. Even when I started dressing with vintage clothes and accessories I was not very keen on vintage jewels because they looked too old style for me. I felt old when I tried to wear them.

A few years ago, when I got a lot of weight and I didn’t want to buy clothes anymore because I didn’t like them on me, I started buying a lot of vintage accessories, from shoes to bags and…jewels! Thanks to a couple of my now favorite vintage jewelry providers (first of all my friend Valentina from Déjà Vu Vintage) I am now passionate about antiques and vintage pieces, especially brooches. During my first times of vintage jewelry passion I also discovered that I am madly deeply in love with what is called Blackamoor, referring to vintage pieces usually representing African topics and people. Although this type of jewelry is often considered having racist connotations because it is associated with colonialism and slavery, I personally appreciate the representation itself without this type of association with which I totally disagree, and I love wearing and collecting Blackamoor brooches and other type of sculpture or jewelry.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (5)

Like a few weeks ago, when I wore my newly added vintage brooch from Déjà Vu Vintage to my daily outfit and paired it with silver African inspired handmade earrings from Metalica Creazioni. When I saw this piece on Valentina’s Instagram I totally fell in love and I waited for her to come to Milan to finally make it mine!

When I travel abroad or visit vintage and antiques markets I always look for Blackamoor pieces and I do the same online (on Ebay for example) where I can find amazing pieces especially from American sellers.

I wore a 70s inspired double-breasted jacket from Zara with large burgundy culottes from Please and black silk shirt from & Other Stories. Black leather bag is from Coccinelle and vintage inspired ankle boots are from The Shoes of Pretty Box.

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (4)

The Ladybug adding curves to a Zara outfit

The Ladybug Chronicles Mixed Checks (1)

“You look like a Zara dummy, but with curves!”. This was a comment from a friend when he saw me dressed like this. I guess that for some reason he saw the dummy in the Zara shop, dressed exactly like this (honestly this is where I took  my inspiration for buying these two pieces and then wear them together!) and he realized when he saw me! But adding curves to an outfit was such a compliment for me!

After many years, not only I accept my curvy body but I definitely love it the way it is. I honestly prefer this outfit on me than on the Zara dummy, and so did my friend! This simple thing made me think about my complicated relationship with my body over the years: I still have my downs, there are still parts of my body that I don’t like every now and then, but it’s me, it’s the body that I have and that I have to take care of. How can I think that people will like it if I don’t do it first? It takes time and self-awareness but I’m glad that I am at this stage!

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One of the things that I hate most is when people try to tell me that I should dress in a way that suits my body: I shouldn’t wear long skirts as I’m not tall, I shouldn’t show my legs as they’re not thin and long, I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that. We often limit our creativity because of other people’s reactions. I am someone who takes things personally and it took a lot of time and strength not to take this kind of remarks on myself but now I often answer “So what?” or “Please keep these limitations for yourself” or I just laugh and turn my head on the other side. Most of times criticism comes from not acceptance of ourselves, so just leave this feeling to other people if they want to live with it!

Ah…the Zara dummy only wore this checked skirt and blouse together but I added matching Zara patent ankle boots and vintage earrings + Senegalese bracelets!

The Ladybug Chronicles Mixed Checks (3)

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The Ladybug and the joy of self-acceptance

The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (4)

This set of pictures was taken a few months ago, on one of my worse days. I was not in a bad mood, just you know, those days when your face looks old and tired, your hair is a mess, you feel fat and not well dressed (anyway whatever you put on you just feel awful on your body). We all have those days: there is no make-up, hairdresser or favorite clothes and accessories that can help!

Probably it was not the best day for shooting but my friend insisted and I said ok. When I saw the pictures I just decided to throw them away! Hey, I cannot post this!

A few days ago I was cleaning my bin when I saw them and I said “Hey, stop blaming yourself for not being at your best. It happens! Just let it go and post these pictures! The dress is so cool and so is your smile!”.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (5)

Accepting myself in my bad days is still a hard task for me but I keep working on it and publishing these pictures is a way to fight my self-limitations which I try to do every day. It calms me down and give me a smile and I can feel a pure joy inside when I manage to take a little step towards my life free of self- limitations. Self-acceptance and self-esteem is probably the first step to reach and I am proud of making a step closer to this point by posting these pictures.

I was wearing a Zara dress that I bought on sale, after trying it a few times as it looked too stretchy for my body; but in the end I decided that to feel more comfortable I could wear it with a jacket, like I did here (velvet one from Massimo Dutti). Pointy ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at Merry Go Round in Milan, necklaces from & Other Stories and small loop earrings are vintage.

The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Lurex Dress (1)

The Ladybug on total black outfits and total black days

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (4)

I know that it’s strange to see me wearing head-to-toe black outfits but yes, I have my total black days too!

Sometimes it happens that I wake up moody and angry and that my early morning meditation is almost useless!

During these days you will see me wearing a lot of black (thanks God they are pretty rare!).

This outfit comes from one of those days: black yes, but still stylish!

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (3)

The velvet tunic dress with flower decorations (the only color that I’m wearing here!) comes from Zara: I loved the vintage inspiration and I got it for less than 15 euros during the winter sales. Same thing for the ankle boots that I found on sale this winter at The Shoes of Pretty Box: they looked so vintage and they were so comfortable that I imagined to wear them almost every day (which I actually did!) with almost every outfit!

I tried to compensate my total black outfit with golden jewelry. The big earrings are from & Other Stories while my brass bracelets have African roots: one comes from Senegal and the one with the shell is from the amazing Afrohemien.

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The Ladybug Chronicles velvet dress (2)

The Ladybug’s “Sweet Velveteen”

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (5)

That I am a huge fan of velvet is not big news right?

I can’t resist the charm of this soft fabric with such a vintage, glam and sophisticated feel. I have a few velvet pieces in my wardrobe but I couldn’t resist these two pictured here:

  • the first one is this beautiful velvet shirt, a vintage piece from Atos Lombardini that I found at Humana Vintage in Milan for a few euros during a sales session (I was super proud and happy for my bargain that day!);

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (4)

  • the second is this amazing handmade decorated headband from Madame Ilary: I still remember that I was in bed scrolling down my Instagram feeds when I saw it and immediately sent her a message telling her to consider it sold…to me! The color is so beautiful, and so are the soft fabric and the silver decorations!

I paired my “sweet velveteen” combo with checked culottes and patent ankle boots from Zara and vintage silver loop earrings.

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Velvet (2)

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The Ladybug plays matchy matchy in Sicily

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The “Giardino Corallo” is one of the historical places in town with a long and complicated story: music, theatre, cinema, artistic center, it represents a bit of my hometown history and I really wanted to take some pictures outside this place because I like the “vintage” feeling.

I didn’t know that just around the corner a piece of street art was also waiting to be photographed!

The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Coordinated (1)

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Coordinated (6)

It was one of hottest winter days of my Sicilian holiday (I didn’t need to wear a coat) and I wore a beautiful handmade coordinated culottes and turban by Heka Couture with a simple turtleneck Zara jumper.

Pointy ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at Merry Go Round in Milan, silver loop earrings are vintage and my new red lipstick is from Wycon Cosmetics!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Sicily Coordinated (3)

The Ladybug’s hardest “goodbye” to Sicily

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Of all the street art in my hometown (Messina in Sicily) this is definitely my second favorite. For this reason I wanted to take some pictures here before leaving Sicily after my winter holidays.

Every time that I go home there is this hardest moment, when I have to say goodbye, knowing that I won’t be back for many months. Even if I try to smile and be happy there’s clear melancholy in my eyes and when I am writing this post I can catch that feeling perfectly. The good news is that now it’s less time compared to January!

The Ladybug Chronicles Zara maxipull (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Zara maxipull (1)

For my last Sicilian day of winter I wore a Zara maxi sweater (that I bought at the airport in Milan before leaving…since they opened a Zara store there I can’t help buying something before leaving!) with my new AMAZING Levi’s grey denim jeans. I am in love with this high-waist denim, the color and the shape. It looks like a vintage one but I bought it a few weekend before Christmas in Milan and I wear it all the time! One of the greatest buy of 2017!

Pointy black ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at merry Go Round in Milan and sparkling electric blue and golden headband is from Madame Ilary. Golden loop earrings are from Mango.

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The Ladybug & Madame Ilary (finalmente insieme!) su Vintag!

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IT: Cosa c’è di nuovo su Vintag questo mese? Io e Madame Ilary! Beh da sole ci siamo da un po’ ormai, io con il mio spazio vintage theladybugchronicles, Madame Ilary con i suoi turbanti in stile vintage ispirati alle dive degli anni 30 e 40 (user: madameilary). La vera novità è che ci siamo insieme!

Qualche mese fa, chiacchierando nel suo showroom a Milano abbiamo avuto l’idea di creare qualcosa insieme, qualcosa che mettesse insieme le nostre passioni: il vintage, la moda, i viaggi, la sartoria, i tessuti wax africani e le decorazioni etniche e vintage. Davanti a un bicchiere di vino e a un pacchetto di taralli pugliesi è nata la nostra nuova collezione (sì, lo so, non è molto romantico ma è la verità!): una capsule collection di giubbini e gilet rigorosamente vintage (che siamo andate a scovare personalmente!) dal taglio un po’ oversize con modelli della fine degli anni 70  e degli anni 80 che abbiamo voluto decorare a mano con tessuti wax africani (alcuni recuperati personalmente in Senegal durante il mio ultimo viaggio la scorsa estate) e con passamanerie etniche e vintage (scelte da Madame Ilary o recuperate dal suo vastissimo repertorio personale ricco di meraviglie d’altri tempi!).

Il denim ricamato è ormai un classico ma volevamo dargli un appeal diverso, che ci rappresentasse e al tempo stesso portasse una ventata di novità. Accostare decorazioni e passamanerie vintage ai coloratissimi wax africani è stata sicuramente la nostra idea più azzardata ma riuscitissima!

Eravamo un po’ titubanti all’inizio: certo l’investimento non era esorbitante (un po’ di più in termini di tempo ed energie) e siamo partite con sei pezzi (quattro giubbini e due gilet) per vedere che effetto facessero.  Abbiamo presentato la nostra collezione durante il Fuorisalone milanese nello showroom di Madame Ilary a Milano e abbiamo messo i pezzi in vendita su Vintag, pubblicizzandoli un po’ anche sui nostri canali social. Vorrei farveli “conoscere” uno ad uno, perché ognuno di loro porta con sé un pezzo di storia, di un viaggio, di un ricordo.

Il primo pezzo che abbiamo creato è stato questo bellissimo gilet in denim scuro fine anni 70 (già di per sé ormai abbastanza difficile da trovare) che abbiamo decorato con un tessuto wax acquistato in Senegal e con passamanerie dorate che potete trovare anche su alcuni turbanti di Madame Ilary. Qui è indossato con turbante di paillettes (in vendita su Vintag) e gonna in shantung di seta sempre creati da Ilaria.

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (1)

Il secondo pezzo è invece un giubbino di jeans vintage anni 80 decorato con passamanerie dorate (tanto care a Ilaria!) e con un tessuto wax colorato che mi è stato regalato in Senegal e con cui Ilaria ha creato anche un bellissimo turbante che praticamente ho tenuto in testa per tre giorni consecutivi mentre ero a Barcellona. Con questo stesso tessuto abbiamo anche creato il giubbino che vedete nella foto sotto, in questo caso mixando il wax africano con le passamanerie indiane (regalatami da un’amica dopo un bellissimo viaggio in India e anche queste utilizzate per il bellissimo turbante di cui sopra!), sempre su un giubbino vintage originale degli anni 80. Anche in queste foto indosso gonna-pantalone, gonna lunga e turbanti creati da Madame Ilary.

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (7)

Rimanendo in tema di passamanerie indiane, anch’esse cortesemente offerte da Federica che le ha comprate per me in India qualche mese fa, abbiamo realizzato un secondo gilet vintage (fine anni 70, inizi anni 80) con coloratissimi pon pon dal gusto etnico (pantaloni culottes e maxi turbante Madame Ilary).

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (10)

Un po’ meno oversize, bellissimo lavaggio e sempre rigorosamente vintage è questo pezzo della collezione che abbiamo decorato con un tessuto wax africano che adoro (anche questo acquistato in Senegal con le mie manine!) abbinandolo con borchiette argentate e una passamaneria sfrangiata che ci è sembrata perfetta per questo modello!

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (5)

Infine, abbiamo deciso di aggiungere un pezzo in denim vintage bianco, un po’ più difficile da trovare ma sicuramente d’effetto poiché ci abbiamo cucito sopra un wax africano fuxia e giallo (una bomba, regalatomi da amici senegalesi di ritorno da un loro viaggio a casa) e delle passamanerie in legno colorate in tinta così come i nostri adorati pon pon.

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Con nostra grande soddisfazione questi pezzi hanno avuto un grande successo tanto che ne rimangono in vendita solo due (li trovate sul mio spazio theladybugchronicles su Vintag) e abbiamo ricevuto diverse richieste per crearne ulteriori su misura con colori e fantasie personalizzate per cui…continuate a seguirci su Vintag o contattateci tramite i messaggi privati dell’app se anche voi ne volete uno su misura!

 

EN: What’s new on Vintag this month? Madame Ilary and I! I mean, we have been there for a while now, personally with my vintage space theladybugchronicles, Madame Ilary with her beautiful turbans inspired by the 30s and 40s divas (user: madameilary). The big news is that we are there together!

A few months ago, we were chatting in her showroom in Milan and we had the idea of creating something together, something that would put together our biggest passions: vintage, fashion, travels, couture, African wax and vintage and ethnic decorations. This is how our collection was born, while drinking wine and eating biscuits (I know, it’s not very romantic but it’s how it really happened!): a capsule collection of vintage denim jackets and vests (that we selected personally) with a kind of oversized flare, from the end of the 70s and the 80s, that we decorated by hand with African wax fabrics (mostly bought during my trip to Senegal last summer) and with ethnic and vintage trimmings (selected by Madame Ilary or found in her huge personal archive full of timeless wonders!).

Decorated denim is now a classic but we wanted to give it a different twist, that would represent us but that could bring something new to the table. Mixing vintage trimmings and super colored African fabrics was a bit risky but it was a success!

We were a bit reluctant at the beginning: the investment was not too big (maybe a bit in terms of time and energy) and we decided to start with six pieces (four jackets and two vests) to see how it could go. We presented our first collection during the Design Week events in Milan in Madame Ilary showroom and we put our pieces on sale on Vintag, sharing them also on our social media. I would love to introduce each one of them to you because they all have a story, a memory, a travel to tell.

The first piece that we created is this beautiful dark denim vest from the end of the 70s (quite hard to find) that we decorated with a wax fabric that I personally bought in Senegal and with golden trimmings that you can also find on some Madame Ilary turbans. Here I wore it with sequined turban (on sale on Vintag) and silk skirt created by Ilaria.

The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (2)

The second piece is a vintage 80s denim jacket decorated with golden trims (so loved by Ilaria!) and a colored wax fabric that I received as a present in Senegal. With this same fabric Ilaria created a wonderful turban that I wore basically everyday while on holiday in Barcelona! With this same wax fabric we created also the denim jacket in the picture below, but in this case we mixed African wax and Indian trims (a present from a friend of mine on holiday in India that we also use for the above-mentioned turban!) on a vintage 80s jacket. In these pictures I wear culottes, long skirt and turbans from Madame Ilary.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Madame Ilary Vintag (8)

Speaking of Indian trims (courtesy of Federica who bought them for me in India a few months ago!) we created another vintage vest – end of the 70s, beginning of the 80s – with colored pompom with an ethnic feel (culottes and maxi turban Madame Ilary).

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A bit less oversize, with a beautiful wash and rigorously vintage, this piece was decorated with an African wax fabric that I love (personally bought in Senegal!) and paired with little silver studs and fringes that we found perfect for this mix!

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Last but not least we decided to add a vintage white denim piece, a bit hard to find but with a great effect because we decorated it with an African fuchsia and yellow wax (a great fabric, a present from Senegalese friends) and wooden colored pearls and pompoms.

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With our greatest satisfaction this collection was a success and only two pieces are still on sale (you can find them on Vintag in my space theladybugchronicles) and we received a lot of requests for creating customized ones with specific colors and decorations so…keep following us on Vintag or contact us through private message on the app if you want your tailored one!

The Ladybug’s message to the world: “More Love, please!”

 

The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (4)

One day I was walking with my friend in Milan and we were talking men…basically complaining about them! We both didn’t feel loved, for different reasons and of course by different men! While expressing our need to be loved we stopped in front of a clothes shop for the same reason: we saw this sweater screaming “More Love” from the shop window and we started laughing because of this strange coincidence…but coincidence doesn’t exist so we decided that we had to have that sweater!

15 minutes later we had both a version of it: pale blue for her, military green for me!

The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (3)

I brought it home for my Christmas holidays and I wore it on the 1st of January (just to wish more love for myself – and to myself – in 2018!); so now two things: you can say from my face that I haven’t slept at all that night…I was totally asleep and I think I had my eyes shut in all the pictures that we took that day! I’ m sorry but I hope you understand! Second thing: it may seem strange that on the 1st of January it was that sunny and warm that I didn’t need to wear a coat, but hey…it was in Sicily!

While waiting for sun and warmness here in Milan, I decided to post this old outfit wearing my favorite “More Love” sweater, my new Mango cropped jeans and Zara patent eggplant ankle boots (very 60s style!). I am also wearing my handmade pink flamingo earring…a Christmas present from the same lovely friend who has the same “More Love” sweater…another coincidence?!

PS: When you don’t feel loved, try to love yourself…who can love you better and more than that?!

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The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (2)