The Ladybug and the (flower) power of a 70’s inspired dress

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There is a joy that only women can understand. This joy is called “finding your favorite dress at a ridiculous price during the sales”!

This is exactly the kind of joy that I felt at the beginning of the winter sales when I stepped into H&M and not only I found the long bomber that I told you about last week but also this beautiful flower dress: only one, my size, 7 euros! Can you understand the joy?

I first saw this adorable 70’s inspired long dress in beautiful autumn colors and with lovely frills on the shoulders on Internet and I decided to look for it in town. At the third H&M that I visited without finding it a lovely salesgirl told me “Listen, you will never find it again. It totally flied off the shelves in a few days”.

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I came back home very sad and I started to look for it on Ebay but, as usual when something  is very coveted, the prices went crazy! I gave up my search and I forgot about it until that day: I literally grabbed it and I left the shop with this wonder and my long bomber for 37 euros both…I couldn’t start my winter sales better than that!

To complete the hippy look I wore it with Carmens 70’s inspired camel ankle boots.

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The Ladybug and the 70’s Flower Power

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Is there anything that screams summer more than a flowery piece?

Look at the women magazines: every summer issue with the key pieces of the season have a floral trend since I was a young woman and started to be interested in women fashion (let’s say about thirty years ago!). The truth is that the power of a colorful flower piece is undeniable. This is why we called it Flower Power in the 70’s and we still love it!

Last year I remember buying this flowery palazzo pant from Dixie in a rainy afternoon just because I loved the colors and it made me think of summer! Also I knew that the 70’s were doing a comeback and the shape was very figure-flattering!

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I use them quite often and I brought them to Sicily for a simple yet retro inspired outfit, for a casual walk in the city center with friends.

I paired it with simple white vest from Mango, Swedish Hasbeens sandals, Michael Kors bucket bag and Africa wooden earrings from Harlem (courtesy of my dearest friend Simona).

PS: as you can see I’m totally relaxed when I am on holiday: natural hair and no make-up are my summer trademark!

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Mamma Mia! The Ladybug is a disco queen for a night!

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I love theatre but if I have to be honest I am not fond of musicals, especially in their translated versions (only English please!). Nevertheless sometimes I enjoy a good one: Jesus Christ Superstar was epic for example and I would have watched it over and over again!

When my friends proposed to see Mamma Mia!, finally arriving in Milan straight from the London West End after the great success all over the world, I couldn’t say no; the main reason? The ABBA soundtrack! Mamma Mia! was created after the idea of Judy Craymer who based it on the ABBA music, mixing their songs with a beautiful story full of true values (friendship, family, love) and happening in a Greek island. It was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band, involved in the development of the show from the beginning.

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No need to say that we spent the night singing out loud and taking pictures pretending to be the trio of the musical! We are a well packed trio of old ladies!!! The cast is amazing with great voices, the colors and beauty of the imaginary island are captivating and there is a lot of fun but the soundtrack makes it all! (My friend would say that the young boys too…she is a real Tanya!)

Anyway, if you want to live the same 70’s inspired experience I strongly recommend you to put on an ABBA cd (better a vinyl!) and the vintage magic is done! The Swedish group who was very popular during the 70’s inspired several musicals and movies and was considered one of the most successful band and best-selling artists ever, now you can just remember why! The musical includes such hits as Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, Thank You for the Music, Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes It All, Voulez-vous, SOS and of course Mamma Mia!

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The Ladybug on her first day back in Milan (summer holidays are nearly over)

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It is too hard to be back after summer holidays: I love being back in town but getting back to old life is just too much for me right now! Leaving the bed in the morning only to go to the beach is already an old memory and it is hard to get back to the ordinary life, but the good news is that the weather is still good, sometimes even warm and my holidays are not totally over, actually they WERE not totally over when I stepped out in this new summery outfit for my first Saturday morning in Milan!

I must confess that maybe my outfit was too summery for that Saturday morning on my way to the market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, because I got ill two days later – but I guess you don’t really care about that!!

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Anyway, not afraid of the fresh air and totally feeling like in my warm Sicily, I decided to wear this new dress from Please that I bought during the summer holidays. I have been looking for a fresh, colored festival dress for a while now but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, which is a colored long dress, not too open on the front or with thin straps because I never really feel at ease with that in town (don’t ask me why, I just don’t feel it!) and with a hint of 70’s inspiration.

When I found this dress it just felt perfect for me: I loved the warm colors, the deep V on the back and the ethnic and 70’s vibes; it was also on sale so I got it for a little price…could I ask for more?! I don’t think so!

I wore it with my Nike 4 & Other Stories white sneakers (my second feet!) , Miu Miu handbag and handmade beaded earrings from my auntie’s shop Soleiado in Lampedusa.

PS: Yes, my hair is shorter and curlier now! 🙂

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The Ladybug’s Sofia-sticated Vintage Photoshoot #3: The ’70s in Red

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Another from my photoshoot visit at Sofia Vintage in Como last December.

The theme of this outfit was [singing] “the lady in red from 19-70s…” lol. Yes, I jest, but once again Roberta Ciceri, the owner and founder of Sofia Vintage, knocked this styling out of the park with head-to-toe vintage clothes and accessories come from the ’70s.

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To find some of the greatest pieces I’ve ever seen or to humbly subscribe to her personal shopping tips, visit her wonderful vintage shop on via Vitani in Como.

The dress is to-die-for and so are the gloves… and the bag… and the hat… and the boots… and the shop… and the owner… and, and, and…!

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The Ladybug’s Lovebug and Her ’70s Office Outfit!

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Let me tell you… the people I work with are big fun! I love them because they not only make it fun and happy to work together every day, but they also are very supportive of my blog and are huge followers and fans! We share ideas and comments, we exchange opinions on fashion, vintage and – most importantly – they love sharing their personal vintage treasures from their closet with me.

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I am also proud of the fact that some of them decide to come in wearing vintage pieces every now and then, like my beautiful colleague Liliana did some weeks ago. I couldn’t help taking pictures of her and using her as a model for the blog. So today is her world premier: showing you a perfect vintage outfit that you can easily wear at work!

Not only she is an incredible beauty, but also she rocked her head-to-toe ’70s vintage outfit like Amy Adams in American Hustle!

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She is wearing an amazing vintage leather coat, with original jeans, platforms and python bag. I gave her my floppy hat to complete the look with Ray-bans and a wonderful high-wasted belt with triple buckle that I fell in love with.

Thank you, my friend, for your appearance and for being the “outside the box” woman that you are!

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The Ladybug says “Goodbye ’70s”: Visiting the Art Expo “Addio Anni 70”

When I arrived in Milan a few months ago I noticed an ad publicizing a very interesting expo: “ Addio Anni 70, Arte a Milano 1969-1980” (Goodbye ’70s. Art in Milan 1969-1980). Being very busy with work, moving and some other things- I forgot about it until a few days ago, when I realized in a few days it would end!

I decided to spend a Friday afternoon after work at the Palazzo Reale in Milan and let me tell you that I didn’t regret my choice! Not only because the Palazzo Reale is an amazing place to visit (I’ve never been there before!), but also because the expo was really worth every minute! Photographs, paintings, sculptures, books, newspapers, videos, posters of that era (really, every kind of art!) in Italy were exposed there. This was the kind of expo where you sit down every 5 minutes to check your iPhone to go online and look for more information about what you’re seeing.

Having been born in the ’70s, I really don’t know a lot about what happened in my country during that decade: first of all I was too young to remember, secondly at school we basically studied facts through the 2nd World War (as if our recent history doesn’t matter). And it’s a shame because art, especially in the ’70s, represented a lot of the social, cultural and historical backdrop of that period.

The violence and the fights for women’s rights, workers or sexuality were very well represented at the expo. The tragic and powerful events of those years are pictured as the cultural blossoming that made Milan the center of the political and cultural movements in Italy (for example there were pictures of Gabriel García Marquez or Andy Warhol visiting Milan).

I was particularly touched by the powerful presence of sex and sexuality in photographs, paintings and sculptures for example, or by the violence and anger of workers against the law of the money (I couldn’t help wondering what happened to the sons of those workers… I mean where have their ideals gone?).

It is not here the right place to discuss the political events of those years, but for me this expo was more a lesson of history and art than just an exposition of art.

Of course, being a fashion lover, I spent some more time in front of Alfa Castaldi photographs. Alfa Castaldi was a famous photographer of Vogue Italy and let me tell you that thanks to his work during the ’70s, he managed to give the status of art to fashion photography. This “Nudo di Marina à la Klimt” was definitely one of my favorite photographs of the whole expo.

“Goodbye ’70s” is probably one of the best and more interesting expositions I’ve visited lately: there was a bit of sadness in looking at that era and realizing that we have gone in a completely different direction. I can’t say, from my perspective, at what point we became stunted from growing from the better of that era… but I’m a nostalgic, you should know that!

The Ladybug’s Menage a Trois: 3 Ways to Wear Alexa Chung’s Gold Lace Blouse for Madewell!

Let me tell you a story: I’ve never hidden my enormous love for Alexa Chung and my consideration of her as one of my modern style icons. When she first signed a collection for Madewell (a collection that I LOVE!) I wasn’t blogging yet, but I remember writing to Madewell’s site to complain (or I’d say to cry!) about the fact that they didn’t ship to Europe, which was apparently a big problem for fashionistas all over the old continent! I understand their policies so I decided to move on and try to avoid seeing the same pieces on Ebay being sold for three times the original price! Last September when Alexa’s second collection for Madewell launched, I was a one-month old blogger, I shared the new pieces here and we discussed and compared them with the first collection! I also told you that our American correspondent KNAGUI has been sent on a mission to find my favorite piece from the collection: the gold lace blouse. This is what happened: the new collection had to be launched on the 21st of September and that same day KNAGUI had to fly to Italy for concerts and clinics but, he found the sweetest ladies at the Madewell’s Highland Park Mall shop in Dallas (Alicia and Liz, the store manager) who treated the order as an online order and shipped it to him. When KNAGUI got back home, he found the lovely package and sent it straight to me in Italy! It took some work and time, but when I received the lace blouse I was absolutely happy with it and thanked Alicia, Liz and of course KNAGUI for their kindness and diligence! As you can imagine, I’m now wearing it and have actually found that this is one of the most versatile pieces of my wardrobe: you can wear it dressed up or down, night or day, so I decided to share here three looks that I’m going to call: “The ’70s inspired”, “The Festival” and “The Ladylike” just to give you an idea of how many different looks you can create with it!

“The ’70s inspired” is definitely my favorite: I paired the blouse with a vintage high-waisted denim short, Jeffrey Campbell’s Foxy wedge-platforms, dark tights and grey socks! I also added some vintage amber rings, original ’70s jewellery!

I wore “The Festival” outfit for a party and the pictures all come from that night! (PS: Don’t be offended if I used a bottle of Southern Comfort and always drink responsibly, as I do). I’m using the lace blouse again with shorts, but this time they’re vintage velvet black shorts and a khaki parka from H&M. I added platform shoes from Zara (yes, very similar to the famous ones by Marni!) and a vintage long necklace.

“The Ladylike” outfit is probably the look where I didn’t wear vintage- but I tried to create a soft vintage effect! I paired the gold lace blouse here with a simple black Zara pencil skirt, and brown laced booties from Dolce & Gabbana (a real bargain, 50 euros in a shop that was clearing out!). I added my retro inspired Givenchy frames, gold Topshop earrings and Chanel red lips!

The Ladybug’s ’70s Inspired Look

For me there’s nothing better than wearing vintage: the feeling of being unique and different is stronger than any trend or fashion diktat! But sometimes I love the retro-inspired clothes and accessories that you can find in the high street shops or online!! It was a grey and lazy Sunday afternoon, I was cold and bored and of course I was curing my boredom online, to be more precise on Whistles’ online shop! I saw this adorable navy square dot midi dress paired with this navy felt hat and I just fell in love! Let me say that I rarely spend more than 100 euros for an outfit and this dress/hat was way more expensive than that, but the dress was 30% off so I decided that sometimes I can give myself a special treat, don’t you think? Tonight I decided to wear the exact combination of the navy hat and dress and I added a ’70s inspired Costume National camel boots and some original vintage ’70s bangles from Cavalli & Nastri (one of the loveliest vintage Boutiques in Milan). Oh I forgot….I’m going to a ’70s inspired party tonight… Dig that!