The Ladybug is a storyteller: the legend of the giants Mata and Grifone

The Ladybug Chronicles Mata & Grifone (1)

A few weeks ago, while walking down the streets of Messina I stopped by the two big statues of the giants Mata and Grifone riding their horses.

The two huge statues are exposed in the central square of Messina (Piazza Unione Europea) in front of the City Hall a couple of weeks a year, usually after mid-August (after parading for a couple of days) until the end of the month, to allow tourists and citizens to take pictures of them and to celebrate the legendary founders of the city.

I have always loved their legend since I was a child because it was the celebration of an interracial and interreligious couple! They still represent to my eyes the symbol of an open town, open to migrants, strangers and whoever approaches our sea. Unfortunately this is not how the things are going lately in my town and in my country in general, that’s why I wanted to remember this story and to tell it to the world: to remind that we all come from “mixed” ancestors, we have no idea of what type of blood runs into our veins, and we should be proud of it.

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The legend says indeed that people from Messina come from this mixed couple: her name was Marta, she was from Camaro, one of the area of the city, beautiful and tall girl, daughter of a local landlord falling in love with a dark skin big pirate during the Saracen invasions of Sicily around 970 AD. The pirate was called Hassas Ibn-Hammar but he had to change his name and religion (he was of course Muslim) to marry Marta. His name then became Grifo (exaggerated to Grifone due to his size) while her name was changed in dialect to Mata. They founded then Messina by populating it with a lot of descendants!

This post and pictures are my tribute to them, to my legendary ancestors representing peace and connection between different cultures, races and religions. This is how proud I am to be from Messina.

For my yearly tribute I wore a vintage floral shirt from Humana Vintage Milano, Topshop denim shorts and Japanese white flats. Ghanaian bolga bag is from Sankofa Beads and Baskets on Etsy, while round sunglasses are from Valentino.

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The Ladybug is a Birthday girl!

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18th of August 2018: it is my birthday and I turned 42!

Still super excited after my amazing trip to Japan, I spent my birthday in total relax in Sicily in my hometown with my friends and family, surrounded by love and laughter, I couldn’t celebrate it in a better way!

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For this special birthday I decided to wear a special dress: it is a long African printed wax dress handmade by Madame Ilary with a fabric that I bought in Senegal during my trip last year. I really felt like an African princess, which I really needed considering the age!!

I added a Ghanaian bolga small straw bag that I bought on Etsy and a pair of loop earrings by Mango.

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The Ladybug’s golden shine!

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Last summer during the very last days of seasonal sales (usually during the same days of my birthday!) I decided to treat myself with a last birthday present (the biggest one being my trip to Senegal!): a pair of amazing pointy golden boots from Dune London with killer heels at a super reduced price!

I was a bit scared because I read many different opinions on these shoes but when I received them and started using them regularly I was very satisfied with my new babies!

They for sure look good but they are also super comfortable as I can wear them all day without having my feet sore. Some people complained about the material (also on my Instagram) and the fact that the zips broke very easily but at the moment I am pretty satisfied and I used them quite a lot.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Golden Boots (1)

I also like the fact that I can wear them during summer or winter, night and day, causal and dressed up, they fit every outfit and they add a glowing touch that I like a lot.

This time I wore them casual (…very casual!) with an oversize clear blue shirt from Topshop (another summer bargain at the very end of the seasonal sales!) and a pair of skinny black jeans from Acne Studios.

Another golden touch: my adored Fulani earrings from Africaialha on Etsy.

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The Ladybug and the importance of knowing Ulysses!

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This was one of the funniest photo sessions ever!

I like when we take pictures and people just stare at you trying to understand why you are such a poser, sometimes people just ask or make comments (usually nice ones!) and it is lovely to take some time to talk to them and share opinions on the backdrop or best pose; but this time we laughed as mad when we realized what was happening!

My sister and I were in Messina, my hometown, and I liked that door so much that I wanted to take my pictures there: the area is very popular during summer because it is quite crowded of people going to the beach but basically it is an old fishermenarea with a lot of small houses just near the sea where people still enjoy playing cards or having a chat sitting outside their houses.

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At some point during the shooting we realized that many people were almost surrounding us basically trying to understand who I was (maybe a famous TV starlet!?). My sister was a bit worried, like “Why are they all staring at us?” so I decided to reassure everyone saying that I was nobody (like Ulysses!) , just a little poser!

This seemed to calm everybody down but when we left we started laughing as hell!

I was wearing my beautiful handmade African wax top by Heka Couture and a vintage inspired jeans that I got from Zara during the summer sales. The striped turban is from Madame Ilary.

Moroccan round straw bag from Maluan Maroquinerie on Etsy, vintage loops and Birkenstock sandals, as usual!

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The Ladybug’s less obvious reason to hate winter

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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!

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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.

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The Ladybug has the earth colors of Sicily

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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!

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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.

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The Ladybug’s Sicilian Arabesque

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Sicily, again.

I called this set Sicilian Arabesque as one of the things that I still love from my homeland is the Arab influence on everything: on food, on our physical traits, on architecture, on nature, on language…their influence is everywhere.

When I saw this building it made me think of this, although it is probably not an original Arab building, but I just stopped the car and asked my sister to take a few pictures of me!

We were on the way back from the beach so I was wearing a typical beach outfit (but I added lipstick, just for the pictures!!).

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I wore a handmade Heka Couture harem pants (just to stay on topic!) made with African wax fabric and a Ink your travel tee (I love this new brand that makes travel themed clothes and accessories for globetrotters!).

Round Moroccan straw bag (on topic again!) is from Etsy, Birkenstock sandals and Mango African inspired necklace.

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The Ladybug’s summer favorite: wax bomber jacket and mules!

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This is one of my favorite outfits ever! It is not the outfit itself but this jacket is just one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe!

It took so long before I could get my hands on it, maybe this is another reason why I love it so much…I bought it on Etsy from a shop called Protect Talibés: all the products are handmade with African wax in Senegal and when I saw this bomber jacket with the fans I just died! I bought it immediately but I received it months later due to the fact that the postal service was incredibly slow and on top of that it was made for me which took a couple of weeks before sending it.

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When it arrived I was all excited: beautiful fit and wonderful fabric, I just couldn’t wait to wear it, even if in Milan there were more than 30 degrees! Fortunately in Munich it was fresh enough to wear it in July so, here I am, just after a long workday (my tired face says it all!!) but just before a good dinner in Munchner Freiheit and of course a good Bavarian beer!

I wore this amazing piece with black tee from Asos and black culottes from Dixie. I added my favorite black mules of this summer from & Other Stories and my African handmade necklace.

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