The Ladybug has new visions, inspirations and a special view of Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (1)

Since the opening of the new “White Tower” – as we call it! – at the Fondazione Prada in Milan I’ve been trying to organize a visit with some friends, but due to the difficult timetable for us it took a while before we finally managed, less than a month ago!

Although I was not extremely impressed by the permanent exhibitions (most of them I have seen already during previous visits at the Fondazione, some floors I really didn’t like and I still prefer the permanent exhibits of the Golden Tower), I was totally amazed by the architecture and the view from this new building.

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (7)

The visit starts with a beautiful lift ride (in a huge pink lift with an incredible view of Milan) until the last floor of the Tower: from there you can walk all the way down passing by different exhibitions at each floor (including the beautiful Torre Restaurant). Some floors are worth the visit and I enjoyed a few artists and the huge windows from which you can really “feel” and not only see this ever changing town.

After the visit we couldn’t help having a walk in the internal open spaces of the Fondazione and an aperitivo in our favorite  Bar Luce designed by Wes Anderson.

I wore Heka Couture purple shantung culottes, with & Other Stories tee and sabots and Fulani earrings by Africaialha. 

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles White Tower Fondazione Prada (8)

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The Ladybug goes for the bronze medal

The Ladybug Chronicles Bronze set (1)

Bronze, gold, silver…how hard it is to wear these colors? I love them and I often wear golden or silver boots and other accessories but when it comes to clothing the story becomes quite hard.

Not that I use to move back from fashion challenges, I totally love to push it a bit when I can but this often means facing people comments or strange glances in the street! I’m quite used to that but every now and then it just gets on my nerves!

The Ladybug Chronicles Bronze set (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Bronze set (5)

I knew all this when I decided to buy and wear this amazing culottes and turban bronze combo from Heka Couture but I tested it for the first time in Paris where people were absolutely loving it! But Paris is Paris and Milan is Milan…but you know what? Who cares? “Let people stare at you and keep being fabulous”: this is what I say to myself when a glimpse of doubt crosses my mind!

So I wore my combo for work and then a movie date with a friend, matching it with Topshop pale blue shirt and Mango leather biker jacket.  I added killer black heels from 8 at Yoox, cameo ring from Alcozer & Co. and handmade earrings by Metalica Creazioni.

So what do you think? Fashion yay or nay?

The Ladybug Chronicles Bronze set (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Bronze set (4)

The Ladybug’s Spanish dress

The Ladybug Chronicles Madrid Vintage Dress (1)

When I was in Madrid last winter, I spent my first afternoon in town in Malasaña, one of my favorite areas (maybe my favorite one!) full of bars and vintage shops. I found there a little street, called Velarde, that I named the vintage street because there are tons of second hand, vintage and thrift shops one next to the other and I thought that Heaven must have a street like this!

The Ladybug Chronicles Madrid Vintage Dress (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Madrid Vintage Dress (5)

During my crazy shopping in this street, I found a lovely shop called Le Freak Olé where I got very nice pieces at bargain prices including this beautiful vintage dress! I loved the colors, the shape and the lovely neck and it became one of my favorite dresses in my wardrobe!

Here I am wearing it in all its glory, matching with military green tights and thrifted mud platform t-bar shoes from L’Autre Chose (on Depop).

Vintage earrings and retro inspired cameo ring from Alcozer.

The Ladybug Chronicles Madrid Vintage Dress (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Madrid Vintage Dress (4)

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)

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.

The Ladybug Chronicles Blackamoor brooch (2)

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’s first time in Barcelona

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (3)

I know, I know…you are wondering how it is possible that this was my first time in Barcelona! This is what people have been told me for ages when I candidly admitted that I never traveled to Barcelona or Venice! I felt a bit ashamed about that too, that’s why I went to Venice two years ago and, after a canceled trip (please don’t ask me more about that because even after years I’m still mad at someone for doing me this) and a few postponements, I finally spent a long weekend in Barcelona in April.

Although I’m not a fan of highly tourist-packed cities (which may explain why it took me almost 40 years to visit Barcelona and Venice!) I couldn’t resist the incredible charm of this town. It’s so one-of-a-kind, there’s nothing similar in the world. Gaudí left his awesome and rich heritage to this city and Barcelona is still living of it but it is also paying tribute to his most famous artist, like all the thousands of tourists visiting La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Parc Güell. We can say that, like Rome for different reasons, Barcelona is an open air museum. Even in its most crowded and touristic place – La Rambla – you can find a piece of art, a Miró mosaic that almost no one sees but that is the only thing that I liked there (exception made for the Boquería Market but only if you visit it at its opening at 8.30 am like I did on a Monday!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (15)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (8)

Being my first time there I had a very typical Barcelona trip with a little exception: first thing that we did when we arrived was to visit the Raval, one of the best areas for vintage shopping in Barcelona! There I found one of my favorite vintage shops, Lullaby (where I bought vintage jewelry, dresses and a bag but only when I came back for the second time…too many things there before I decided what to get!) among many other cheap shops where it was so easy to get fab vintage bargains!

It is only on the day after that I started a serious tour of the city from the Barcelona famous flea market El Mercat dels Encants Vells where we loved the atmosphere and I got some interesting African bargains; and then the Sagrada Familia, one of the most breathtaking monuments that I ever seen in my life: I still remember this feeling that I have in front of incredible monuments. They literally take my breath away: it happened in Manhattan when I got out of the metro station and I felt my head turning around because of the incredible skyline and buildings; but it also happened in Moscow in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and in the Red Square or in Saint Petersburg when I saw the Church of the Savior on Blood.

After a quick lunch I headed to the Parc Güell, one of the biggest Gaudí’s fantasy creations: I got lost in this amazing park and I took so many pictures that my phone battery almost died there (thanks God I always bring a charger with me!). Such a shame that it was a cloudy day but at least we didn’t get the rain!

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (6)

When you start with Gaudí in Barcelona you may feel like you can’t get enough: that’s why after visiting the Pacr Güell I immediately headed to Casa Batlló first, then La Pedrera, two very different pieces of art but still coming from the same incredible mind. I had the chance to visit both of them and all that I could say was: Wow! I was completely speechless and I started thinking “why did it take so long for me to come here?” I was missing to many incredible things!

Although it was such a busy day I made time for another vintage shop in town: Love Vintage! This was the temple of vintage denim – but not only! – and the prices were so good that I couldn’t help adding new items to my vintage wardrobe: finally I got a vintage Levi’s 501 exactly as I wanted it, a pair of Balenciaga vintage heels and a pair of vintage earrings, all this for around 60 euros! Vintage shopping in Barcelona was so good! Also I added non-vintage items taking advantage of the lowest prices in Mango (I found out in Madrid that it is cheaper than in Italy!) by buying some new interesting pieces of their new collection!

Even if I was almost destroyed by the tour I couldn’t help enjoyingBarcelona nightlife: sangria and tapas were our main food and drink of the whole weekend and I couldn’t be any happier! By the way, at the end of this post I will give you some hints of my best tapas bar in Barcelona (at least those that I tried and I liked a lot!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (11)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (10)

On Sunday morning I got up early and took the Funicular to visit the amazing Miró museum and to enjoy a different area of Barcelona, very calm and peaceful with beautiful views and this great museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists and hosting also very interesting exhibits dedicated to the bees and to Japanese portraits artists. I decided then to head to Barceloneta to have a nice walk on the sea side and to see what I miss in Milan every day: the sea. The weather was still cloudy and I couldn’t enjoy the real summer atmosphere there, but seeing the sea was enough for me at the moment!

Then it was time to get lost in the Barri Gotic tiny streets, visiting the Cathedral and enjoying the little antiques market in the city center as well as the few open shops (like the vintage kilo shop Pink Flamingos, an American vintage shopwith incredible pieces at very affordable prices where I bought a marine dress for 15 euros!) and the Rambla. I finished the tour at the beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana, maybe less famous than the other modernist buildings in town but still one of my favorites.

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (12)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (14)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (13)

Last thing that I did before leaving on the day after was visiting the Boquería Market on a Monday morning without the usual crowd of the day: I had breakfast there in the morning and I really enjoyed watching the market getting started! I had lovely chats with the market sellers and I loved this relaxed atmosphere that I was going to miss badly once in Milan!

Anyway, you have the vintage addresses for your vintage shopping in Barcelona (honestly I found great quality and bargain prices!) now let me give you a couple of hints for good tapas bars or at least those that I tried and I loved while there. Casa Lolea was definitely my favorite place near the Palau de la Música Catalana: amazing homemade sangria and delicious tapas (best patatas bravas ever!). In the same area, just in front of my favorite building I had super tasty tapas and red wine at Tosca.

(Navy coat Max&Co, Turban Madame Ilary, Shoes Marella, Striped sweaters Zara, Grey jeans Levi’s, Mom Jeans Topshop, Bag Vintage).

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (17)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barcelona (16)

The Ladybug on love (and ghosting) in Paris

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (3)

It is easy to talk about love after a fabulous weekend in Paris: usually when we think of Paris we imagine romantic dinners and walks under the Eiffel Tower, French kisses and romance like in a fairytale.

It was almost my case as my weekend in Paris was full of love…at least that’s what I thought!

Love was the reason why I flew to Paris in February: love for Malick Sidibé art and photography. I read that the Cartier Foundation dedicated an exhibit to this amazing Malian artist who passed away in 2016 and I wanted to see it so badly. Love was also the guy who said: why don’t we go and spend a weekend there so that we can visit the exhibit and have a nice trip together? I couldn’t be happier than that.

The weekend was indeed full of love and warmth (except for the weather as, even if the sky was blue and the sun was out, it was probably one of the coldest weekends in Paris in the last 20 years, at least this is what Parisians told us). A Sicilian is never at ease in the cold but Paris is too beautiful for not enjoying it fully.

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (2)

Indeed we started our weekend from the Malick Sidibé’s exhibit: not only a collection of his amazing black and white African portraits but more a celebration of his art and his career that we enjoyed in the middle of black and white pictures, pastel walls and African music. I was amazed and so happy that I couldn’t believe that all these things were really happening: my favorite artist, my favorite town and my favorite man in the world all together!

Speaking of favorite people, after the excitement of photography we moved towards another type of excitement: fashion! Direction: the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. It is a small museum but it contains many of the iconic YSL pieces (like the Mondrian dress!), videos and photographs and it is possible to visit his atelier and studio where he created his pieces of art. Again it was such an experience!

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (4)

We spent the evening in the Quartier Latin, eating and drinking in lovely brasseries and cafés, enjoying the little street of Paris and eating Senegalese food (at the Senegalese restaurant La Pointe des Almadies) with my University room-mate and her family living in Paris.

The second day was dedicated to Montmartre, where we were staying: starting from the Sacré Coeur, getting lost in the beautiful streets with a little hint of vintage (I couldn’t help visiting my favorite shop in Paris, Chez Poupoule in Montmartre, even if I had to settle for some windows watching and a picture as it was closed).

It is hard for me now to go through these pictures and memories because many of them has faded away. My love (or at least what I thought he was) went missing since a few weeks after this trip and I experienced for the first time in my life what ghosting means and that it really exists (I thought that men disappearing when everything was going extremely well was just an urban legend…well it’s not!). Was it too good to be true? Are men really scared when things are getting too well? I don’t know, but as long as I define myself a strong woman with a luminous inside light I decided to overcome my fears and sadness by writing this post, going through these memories. Maybe it will help to let my light guide me towards my true other luminous soul.

(Coat vintage Valentino; turban and culottes Madame Ilary; Shoes Marella; Beret, bag and earrings vintage; Striped jumper Zara)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (10)

The Ladybug Chronicles Paris (7)

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?!

The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles More Love sweater (2)

 

The Ladybug stays warm and cozy

The Ladybug Chronicles Warm and Cozy (2)

As the temperatures get lower it is time to stay warm and cozy in our favorite winter pieces.

Soft and warm scarves and sweaters are on top of my list especially since I live in Milan! I can get out without gloves or hats in winter but I cannot make it without a scarf!

The Ladybug Chronicles Warm and Cozy (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Warm and Cozy (3)

The checked one I am wearing here is from Momonì and it is possibly one of my favorite winter scarves as it is incredibly warm and soft. I wore it on a navy jumper from & Other Stories and denim culottes from Massimo Dutti.

Camel ankle boots are from Carmens and handmade brass earrings are from Metalica Creazioni.

The Ladybug Chronicles Warm and Cozy (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Warm and Cozy (1)

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)