The Ladybug on how to wear a vintage Indian dress hippy-but-not-too-hippy style! (Part 2)

Another vintage Indian dress, another “hippy buy not too hippy” outfit, another colored corner of Cagliari (I am madly in love with this little square and its adorable colored houses).

The beautiful Indian vintage dress in soft gauze with lovely quilted details and purple shades, comes from Delphine Vintage in Milan and it is perfect to show you a big deal of caftans and Indian dresses: they are ideals for layering! Being a fan of layering my clothes I think that this is one of the advantages (and maybe also one of the reasons why I love them so much) of this type of clothes. Also, in winter their possibilities of layering are almost infinite!

As it was still quite warm in Cagliari in September I went for a soft layering, adding only handmade large soft viscose navy pants from Madame Ilary and I loved this easy chic style so much!

I added the exact same accessories that I used for the first outfit with the other Indian dress: sequined flat shoes from Colors of California, vintage Cartier cross-body bag from Grey Vintage Shop and my vintage and handmade Indian silver rings!

What do you think of this second idea? Which outfit did you prefer?

You can see the first outfit here!

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The Ladybug on how to wear a vintage Indian dress hippy-but-not-too-hippy style!

Another vintage piece that is often underestimated in its uses is the Indian dress: very popular in the 70s when the ethnic pieces had a massive come back not only in the hippy community. This is the reason why nowadays the image of the Indian floral dress is often linked with the idea of the hippy style.

Starting from the point that I adore the hippy style (I love to style my vintage Indian dresses with flowers in my head, wooden clogs and sandals and leather cross-body bags!) and therefore I have nothing against it, I just would love to share in how many other different ways it is possible to wear this amazing ethnic piece.

Today I want to show you one of them (spoiler: I will show you another one next week!) with a beautiful vintage Indian floral dress that I found at Live In Vintage in Milan last spring. I loved its style and colors and I decided to add it to my ethnic collection and to wear it the last time during my visit in Cagliari in September for a lovely afternoon out with my friends.

I decided to leave a bit of its hippy style (just a little bit!) but mixed it with pieces that helped dissolving the 70s vibe (just a little bit!):

  • A vintage Cartier cross-body bag from Grey Vintage Shop
  • A pair of sequined flat sandals from Colors of California
  • Big golden Fulani earrings and vintage Indian jewelry

What do you think of my Indian vintage dress not too hippy but still a bit hippy because I love that?!

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The Ladybug has a few ideas on how to wear a vintage white caftan

Last week we discussed about vintage caftans and I tried to show you how easy it is to incorporate them in your daily outfits all the time, without considering them just as beachwear.

So I decided to keep offering ideas on how to wear this beautiful piece, mixed with other vintage (or not) pieces and I started from a beautiful yet simple vintage white embroidered caftan that I bought from Roses & Vintage last summer. I have to say that Silvia often has this type of vintage finds and I regularly follow her Instagram stories to spot caftans and boho tunics!

This is my first white caftan: probably a Moroccan piece in soft and fresh cotton, short sleeved, with a lovely embroidery around the neck. It was the perfect simple piece with an ethnic twist that I was looking for!

I tried then two different outfits to show how easy it is to wear it in town:

  • Outfit 1. I paired the vintage caftan with a statement vintage piece that I deeply love: the silk Chinese tunic that I found from ND Second during a vintage fair in Milan. Superb vintage piece, in the softest silk ever, great colors and embroideries, I almost died when I saw it. I love how this two pieces match, basically because the caftan is very simple and it can easily complement such a stunning piece!
  • Outfit 2. Completely different mood, I paired the vintage caftan with a wonderful handmade piece from Madame Ilary. A Japanese inspired green and silver fabric for this short sleeved cape-coat that is such a beauty! I couldn’t help adding a vintage lady touch with the 40s inspired black turban (also from Madame Ilary).

Common pieces for both outfits: the vintage 80s earrings from Live In Vintage in Milan, the white sequined flats from Colors of California, the amazing henna work of Laura Mehndi on my hands!

Now I want to ask you again: do you really believe that caftans are for covering swimsuits at the beach?!

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The Ladybug will make you change your mind on vintage caftans

Originating in Asia, the caftan has been worn by a number of cultures around the world for thousands of years. Though the caftan is of ancient Mesopotamian (modern-day Iraq) origin, it has been used by many West and Southwest Asian ethnic groups. It may be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton, and may be worn with a sash. Popular during the time of the Ottoman Empire, detailed and elaborately designed garments were given to ambassadors and other important guests at the Topkapi Palace. Variations of the caftan were inherited by cultures throughout Asia and were worn by individuals in Russia (North Asia, Eastern Europe and formerly Central Asia), Southwest Asia and Northern Africa (…) In some cultures, the kaftan has served as a symbol of royalty”.

Now, I wonder: how come that we Europeans consider it as a piece to wear at the beach as as swimsuit cover? NO WAY!

Ok, I am a vintage caftan lover, I totally die when I see a vintage elaborated piece from somewhere faraway in the world but when people say: you can wear it at the beach, I die twice!!

For me this magnificent piece, better if vintage, is a sort of art that can be worn exactly everywhere (ok, also at the beach!) and reducing it to a beach piece is not recognizing its value and multiple opportunities to style it. Winter, summer, autumn, spring, the caftan is perfect all year long!

I found this wonderful Indian vintage piece in white gauze from Vintage Afropicks selection (Tiziana knows very well what I die-for!) and I couldn’t help wearing it at the first occasion last summer: a Sunday lunch at the Jewish neighbour in Milan. I decided to wear it in town with a very casual outfit: as it is quite transparent I wore it with a white organic cotton tee and a pair of C17 vintage jeans from Inimitable Vintage. I added a sparkling piece (my Colors of California sequined flats) and a wonderful handmade in Italy mini bucket bag from PS Red Whale.

All my silver jewels are vintage Indian and my henna hand decoration was made from the amazing Laura Mehndi.

What do you think? No more caftans for the beach right?!

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The Ladybug Vanity dress: wearing peacock wax for your birthday

Peacocks are legendarily famous as vain animals: they love showing off their beauty! Wearing a peacock print has a very similar effect on those who wear it, have you noticed?

I am a huge fan of this print, possibly because I am vain too but I think that it actually depends on my love for the two colors together (patrol green and purple).

When I found this beautiful rare peacock wax print on Etsy I didn’t think twice: I got to have it! I immediately ordered 3 yards not knowing yet what to do with it! I have to say that it is very rare to find the peacock print in this color: usually they are in blue or pink (I have a few yards like that) but this…a real gem!

When I received from Nigeria I was the happiest girl in the world and I knew immediately what to do with it: a simple yet beautiful dress.

And there was only one person to make it exactly the way I wanted it to be: Madame Ilary!

We went for a long egg dress, round collar and short sleeves, without any cut just to show how beautiful this print could be! When it was ready I immediately fell for it and I decided to celebrate my own birthday with this dress as a sort of self-dedication! Yes, vain that I am!!

I wore it simple with sequined flat sandals (those in which I lived all summer!) and handmade headwrap (from Madame Ilary again). I added my favorite vintage Cartier bag from Grey Vintage Shop and a pair of handmade octopus statement earrings from a Neapolitan artist also found in Madame Ilary shop in Milan.

What do you think of my birthday outfit? Did I reach the “self-celebration through outfit” goal?

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The Ladybug wearing a touch of vintage sartorial kente

Even if Vinokilo is not one of my favorite vintage events, I have to say that when I can I try to have a look at their events in Milan because, if I am good enough in hunting the gem, sometimes I also find it!

In particular I have a close look at their ethnic vintage dresses because it happened a couple of times that I found lovely Indian, Chinese and even African pieces there.

The dress that I am wearing for my usual visit at the Duomo of Messina last summer (I love this place and I go to see it every time that I am back home) is one of those finds: it is a very unusual dress, sartorially made with a printed cotton imitating the patterns of traditional kente! Not comparable with the original pieces, not even with the printed kente-inspired wax, but still rare enough to catch my attention!

I also love the sleeves and the fact that it was clearly handmade convinced me to make it mine: considering the kilo sale I got it really cheap.

I wore it with my new Cult platform studded sandals (I think that I have already told you how happy I was when I found out that this brand is still producing shoes with the same vibe of the late 80s-early 90s when I first discovered it!) found during a store final sale in Sicily for around 15 euros and with two of my iconic pieces: Gucci squared black frames and Cartier vintage cross-body bag. I finished the outfit with an African wax headwrap and oval earrings, handmade with love in Rome and they are a lovely present from my friend Simona for my last birthday.

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The Ladybug feels a bit nostalgic of the 90s (just a little bit!)

Don’t you feel sometimes this desire of a flower 90s dress like those worn by Brenda and Kelly in Beverly Hills 90210? I have to be honest, I was born in the 70s, enjoyed the 80s as a kid and I was a teen in the 90s but that decade, fashion-wise, was not my favorite at all. The only thing that I keep loving about that era are the lovely flower dress, often worn on a simple white shirt! Kelly in particular was my style icon (way before SJP in Sex & The City and – I must confess – still today!).

In the last few years, as the 90s made their comeback, I started buying a couple of vintage pieces that reminded me of my youth, especially that Kelly/Brenda style that I enjoyed so much at the time. One of them is this cute long flower black dress completely buttoned that made these two girls pop into my mind as soon as I saw it! It was during a Vinokilo sale in Milan and it was hanging alone among men denim jackets (probably out of place!): it felt like it was waiting there to recall my memories!

But you know that I love matching different styles then I added only another 90s inspired piece (a pair of black Cult studded wedges – btw, do you remember this iconic shoe brand from the 90s? I found out that they still produces shoes with the same vibe) and I paired this 90s style with a touch of African flavor!

African wax headband is an handmade gift from Madame Ilary (I love the green and tangerine print) while the Fulani earrings are handmade in Africa.

This match will definitely remove a bit of the 90s vibe but it is still there and I liked it. Also, I was going to meet Marica and Faburama, founders and creators of Kanö – Sartoria Sociale in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (near my hometown) and I really wanted to wear some African pieces to honor them!

What do you think of this very personal match? Yay or nay?

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The Ladybug plays “Slip dress & the City”

The slip dress may be considered the “it- piece” of this spring-summer but as you know I hate it-pieces and trends, then I would say in my words that the slip dress is one of the best vintage investments that you could do, especially if you choose a pure silk piece.

In my hunt for the perfect vintage slip dress I found my +1 in this black vintage Malizia silk dress from my adored Jo, Josephine de Vintage. For those who don’t know Malizia, it was one of my favorite brands when I was a young girl in the 80s: Malizia was part of La Perla group and proposed nightwear and swimwear for the young girls of the time. I had some cute bikinis and pajamas and the quality was simply top, still La Perla in the end!

When Jo proposed this piece from a vintage 80s deadstock in pure silk I couldn’t be happier: the perfect piece for my collection! The silk is amazing, so soft and pleasant I couldn’t imagine a better slip dress, to be honest!

As I received the dress when I was still in Milan and I really wanted to wear it, I decided to go for a city version of the dress. In my dreams I imagined it for a sunset drink on the beach, on a tanned skin, with flat sandals and African brass jewelry but this image didn’t fit my Milanese experience, especially on a Saturday morning when meeting my friends for a guided tour of the Liberty buildings in Porta Venezia!

This is why I went for a different idea: I wore it with an organic cotton white tee and a pair of comfy fluffy Japan-inspired sandals from Marni, everything paired with a vintage Gucci Ophidia bag.

What do you think of this version?

Fun (?) fact: I forgot to put this dress in my suitcase for my summer holidays then I had to say goodbye to my sunset drink with this dress 😦

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The Ladybug and the power of a vintage linen shirt

I wasn’t looking for a new vintage linen shirt. I love them so much, I have a few that I adore and when I already have something I usually don’t buy similar pieces. Usually. At least until I saw it.

Vintage linen shirts have such a power: not only they are fresh in summer and they are so delicate that they can make every outfit look romantic and old style; many times they have embroideries that can move a vintage lover to tears!!

And I was moved to tears when, while visiting for the first time “Pourquoi Moi” a fantastic vintage shop in Milan, I saw it: in a delicate pale pink, with these sort of big “revers” and lovely sort of arabesque embroideries, so rare and unique that I really couldn’t resist it!

And I couldn’t resist to wear it the day later, a Sunday morning while getting ready for a lunch at Lubar, a Sicilian restaurant in the heart of Milan. I wore it super simple, with a vintage jeans that is also a great find. This super pale denim comes from C-17 one of the most famous denim brands of the 80s and it is a find from my beautiful friend Suzie, owner of the online shop Inimitable Vintage in France.

Also the raffia shoes are coming from France: they are from Sézane and I was surprised of how comfy they are, not only super cute!

My turban is handmade from Madame Ilary with a fabric and trimming from Syria that I bought in Jordan some years ago.

Gucci bag is vintage as well as the gold medallion from Live in Vintage in Milan.

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The Ladybug first class: Ethnic Vintage for beginners

I think that you already know about my huge passion for ethnic vintage: I can do everything for a vintage Mexican blouse, a Dashiki, an Indian dress, a Moroccan caftan or an African bubu!

But many of you ask me how to style these pieces as they may seem difficult to wear and to pair; for this reason I decided to start with a very easy recipe to wear ethnic vintage, starting from a very rare vintage piece: the Mexican blouse from Vintage Afropicks.

Here is my recipe:

  • Choose an ethnic vintage piece with high visual impact, reflecting the handcrafted work of a community. This first step is definitely the most difficult one: finding a real, quality vintage ethnic piece like this one is very rare and the copies are very well-spread unfortunately. It takes time and a bit of luck! I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends selling great pieces who always think of me (like Tiziana from Vintage Afropicks for this blouse!)
  • Wear it with a pass-partout piece, very easy to pair. A pair of wide black trousers with high waist from the French brand Rouje are perfect for this!
  • Add some fun: I added an handmade turban from Madame Ilary with colors similar to those of the blouse but with a different pattern which creates a sort of mix and match very easy to manage and a wax print Rolls Royce (Fleurs de Mariage) handmade espadrilles from La Brousse;
  • Finish with classics to give a final equilibrium: a vintage Cartier bag from Grey Vintage Shop and an old medallion from Live In Vintage in Milan that reminds of the old Mexican medallions, then perfect with the blouse!

This is a super easy fashion recipe that I use very often and that I can suggest to those who want to add ethnic vintage pieces to their outfits.

In the next weeks I will suggest new ideas for more intermediate and advanced students!!

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