The Ladybug reveals the secret of the “combo” style

The LadybugChronicles Golden Combo (3)

Since I know Ilaria from Madame Ilary I’ve been developing a strange addiction for what I call the “combo style”!  The combo style is the combination of a turban or headwrap with a skirt, culottes, trousers or even a dress of the same fabric and pattern. Usually when Ilaria sews something for me she asks: I have more fabric of this, do you want a turban too? And my answer is always yes!

I can wear the two pieces separately and mix them with other styles but I really have a thing for wearing them together! The only thing that you need to pay attention to when combining the patterns this way is to have a “neutral” piece between them, just not to overload your outfit with different pattern and colors.

In this case I used a beautiful vintage linen white shirt from the 70s that I bought at Humana Vintage for a few euros but it is one of my favorite pieces ever. The fabric is wonderful, candid and fresh and I have been dreaming of a shirt like this for ages! Also the little trimming on the top are adorable but you cannot really see them from these pictures.

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Regarding the combo, this was the first time that everything started from the turban and not the opposite: I got the turban first and even if I saw the culottes and I loved the golden palms pattern I only got the culottes many months later, when I saw them hanging in her show room and thought “Hey, they are perfect for my turban”!

I wore my outfit easy and comfy with flat gladiator sandals from Clarks and amazing jewelry:  brass shield and earrings are handmade from Metalica Creazioni, while the blackamoor brooch is a vintage piece from Déjà-vu Vintage.

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The Ladybug’s best recipe: vintage, handmade and African wax

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There are clothes in my wardrobe for which I have a special love. It happens that when I wear them I feel happy and really myself, but sometimes only by looking at them hanging in my closet they give me the good vibes of the memories that they bring with them.

This beautiful Heka Couture dress handmade with one of my favorite African print (personally picked up in a Dakar market…what a beautiful memory!) is one of these pieces that I love so much: the fabric, the shape (A-line with 3/4 sleeves) the colors, everything is just perfect!

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I wore it on my first Milanese weekend after the summer break (yes, I’m still tanned in these pics!) and I paired it with a beautiful handmade turban by Madame Ilary (one of my favorite turbans from my huge collection!) with a golden palm trees pattern and simple black heels (8 on Yoox).

I added my touch of vintage with my 90s silver hoops and my 60s bamboo bangles (from Ebay!). I completed my arm decoration with a fantastic handcrafted flower bracelet made of shells and raffia that Madame Ilary brought me from her summer holiday in Mallorca.   

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The Ladybug Chronicles A-line Wax Dress (1)

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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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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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 kno-kno-knocking on a vintage door…

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I’ve been passing by this door probably a million times in my life but when I really put my eyes on it last summer I fell in love with it!

The frame felt so vintage that I wanted some pictures there even if I wasn’t wearing anything vintage!

But I was wearing a piece that is very important to me: a typical Senegalese skirt that was offered to me by a friend of mine in Dakar before leaving her amazing country. I received so many fashion pieces there and I cherish them as if they were the most precious ones, and in some way they are as they are.

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I paired my beautiful skirt with a navy tee from Cos and navy Swedish Hasbeens sandals; but I also added another African touch, another handmade piece with wax fabric, but that I bought in Milan a few years ago (at the “Artigiano in Fiera” craft fair) : a pair of giant statement earrings!

Moroccan straw bag from Maluan Maroquinerie 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 tribute to Carmen Miranda

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My love and admiration for Carmen Miranda is something known. She is definitely one of my favorite icons from the past and a sort of inspiration for my daily outfits.

Her wonderful turbans and choice of bold colors and statement jewelry pieces gives me such a joy that I can feel when I wear my colored turbans and clothes and my favorite statement jewels!

My outfit today is a tribute to my adored Carmen Miranda.

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In my beautiful Sicily I was wearing a handmade African print playsuit with coordinated bow turban by Madame Ilary.

I added vintage 80s loop earrings from a vintage market and thrifted Topshop afro inspired sandals with my Moroccan round straw bag from Maluan Maroquinerie on Etsy.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Carmen Miranda (1)

The Ladybug’s retro fun at Archivio Vintage

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Christmas is coming and the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift has already started: this is the time of the year when I start looking for markets, fairs and events to find something original possibly handmade to offer to my friends and family. I must say that Milan is the perfect city for that: during the weekends you can find all sort of event but I am always surprised when I find something new that I didn’t know about.

It is the case of Archivio Vintage at Arkivio Showroom: my friend Ilaria, who is also a seller at this kind of events always has a good eye to find the greatest ones. This is one of the reasons why I went to see her exposing at this event and once again she wasn’t wrong! I was so happy about my find that I wanted to share it with you!

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Archivio Vintage was born as a seller of handmade pouches with vintage and modern fabrics. Now you can find there beautiful handmade bags and clogs and original vintage pieces (especially bags) along with pieces like French Bonne Maison socks (my favorite ones!). Susan, the creator of Archivio Vintage, also organizes lovely events at the Arkivio Showroom, putting together some of the best handcrafters: clothes, shoes, jewels and accessories all completely handmade! It is the perfect place to support local business and handcrafters while getting very rare pieces for yourself and your loved ones!

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Of course it was also the occasion to see live Heka Couture 2016-2017 winter collection, one of the best so far: velvet pieces and turbans, big bows and volumes…we couldn’t help trying our favorite pieces like the navy velvet jumpsuit (my favorite piece) or the animal print top and skirt with matching suspenders; the big 50’s circle skirt and of course, the greatest turbans!

No need to say we didn’t leave with empty hands!  

If you want to know more about Archivio Vintage events you can follow them on Facebook (archiviovintage) or on their website http://www.archiviovintage.it

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The Ladybug’s Vintage tour of Dublin

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Dublin is a city full of vintage: beautiful Georgian buildings with colored doors, Victorian pubs full of history like the Palace Bar or The Long Hall, famous writers, old lighthouses on the cliffs. You can breathe vintage everywhere in Dublin, and the city is full of vintage and antiques shops, local vintage and handmade markets to check out if you are around.

First of all there is a regular Flea Market in Dublin that takes place on the last Sunday of every month in The Co-op on Newmarket square but I couldn’t visit it as it didn’t fit my dates. I spoke with some local vintage lovers who told me that it is easy to find cool bargains there and that it is worth a visit. If you love vintage also check the Pure Vintage Fair to know their dates because I’ve been told great things about this event. Don’t forget also to check Smithfield Market Fair with regular events in Dublin: I had the chance to visit their Valentines’ Market Fair and I loved it! It was well packed but the stalls (mostly vintage and handmade) were lovely and I couldn’t resist buying a few items.

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When in Smithfield Square don’t forget to head to Dublin Vintage Factory, one of the most famous vintage shops in Dublin. It is quite small but I am sure that you will find your bargain like I did: a black velvet playsuit for ten euros during their vintage kilo sale.

Speaking of great vintage shops one of my favorites was Harlequin in Castle Market: two floors of great vintage clothing and accessories full of bargains! This is exactly the kind of shop that I love: full of things everywhere and with this sweet atmosphere that only true vintage shops can have…definitely a must visit (consider spending some time in there!).

A few steps away, in Drury Street, you can find Om Diva, a lovely colorful shop with vintage clothing mixed with designer, accessories and quirky jewellery. I had the chance to get their 10 euro-dress-offer and I got a lovely vintage dotted dress (but I would have bought at least 5 if only they fitted!!).

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Other interesting addresses: Tola Vintage in Upper Fownes, one of the most interesting areas in Dublin (don’t forget to check online their kilo sales, maybe you get the chance to find them when you are there – I didn’t unfortunately!); Nine Crows in Lower Ormond Quay one of the quirkiest vintage spaces around!

If you are in Dublin during the weekend, head to a small pop-up store called A store is born, opening only on Saturdays, that is worth a visit for its wonderful selection of night velvet or sequined gowns and silk kimonos.

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Other shops that I couldn’t visit but strongly recommended from local vintage lovers: Lucy’s Lounge, Jenny Vander (I saw the window in Drury Street and it looked amazing!), Tahiti Vintage and The Third Policeman.

A few last tips: if you love retro inspired pieces for modern pinups just have a look at Retroshop Dublin in George’s Street Arcade; thrift lovers, you can’t miss Siopaella in Crow Street and Temple Lane…the best designer at fair prices! For charity shop lovers, you will always find a bargain at Oxfam in Lower George Street (or Oxfam Books in Parliament Street).

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The Ladybug and her hat addiction at Studio Zeta (with Heka Couture)

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One of the many things that I love about Milan are the little markets that you can find almost every weekend: from food to flowers, to clothes and accessories, especially the vintage and handmade markets. A few weeks ago I was invited to the Studio Zeta showroom event, not really a market but a sort of exhibition of creatives in this beautiful fashion showroom that every now and then opens its doors to different kind of crafters and designers for a weekend.

The location is lovely and the selection of sellers and exposers is always accurate: it is definitely a place to spend a Saturday afternoon with your girlfriends knowing that you will for sure buy something!

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I was invited by Gemma and Ilaria, founders of Heka Couture, as it was their first time there, exposing their new collection of hats, turbans and many other beautiful things: coats, jackets, skirts, dresses, trousers, culottes, jabots, collars, everything absolutely handcrafted and with incredible choice of patterns and materials. I was madly in love with their new turbans, hats and headbands (I bought one, of course, but I could have done worse!) and it was hard to leave all those pieces there because most of them were incredibly awesome! The 30’s inspired berets or the golden turban, the maxi bow collar or the striped turban with bow were among my favorite pieces. I also loved the golden waistcoat and skirt, the fancy hooded coat and a beautiful dress that made me think of Erdem or the old Matthew Williamson for the wonderful sketched pattern.

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But Studio Zeta event was also about vintage: my friend Laura from Italian Vintage Suite was there with her beautiful vintage pieces and a special corner was dedicated to get free vintage hairstyling. Plus, lot of jewels and fashion designers, live performance and a special area for kids’ fun and wine tasting!

I wore Heka Couture lace jabot, Dixie black culottes, Max & Co black coat, Maison Momonì folk clutch, 8 pointed brogues and & Other Stories glitter socks. Of course I also tried all my favorite headpieces exposed!!

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The Ladybug’s best discovery of 2015: Heka Couture!

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You know I love collaborations because they always mean double talent (when there is talent on both sides!) or at least double creativity and double effort. If you think about that many successful brands are created by couples: Dolce & Gabbana, Viktor and Rolf, Marchesa, Peter Pilotto, Proenza Schouler, DSquared2 and many others.

I don’t want to fly too high but some time ago I was introduced by my friend Ilaria, founder of Madame Ilary, to Gemma Vernò, founder of Gemma Vernò Hats, one of the greatest milliners that I have met so far.

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I love their work and I am a huge fan of their incredible handmade pieces, so you can imagine my joy when Ilaria told me that they were about to launch a new brand together with only handmade pieces and the best Italian quality regarding fabrics and cuts. The new brand is called Heka Couture and it was launched during the Milan Fashion Week at the Eivissa store in Milan with a lovely party where, together with Gemma and Ilaria, Eivissa’s owner Laura and my friend Simona we played the models wearing our favorite pieces from Heka Couture.

I try to show you as much pieces as possible but the collection includes hats, turbans, jabots, collars, culottes, waistcoats, dresses, jackets, skirts and trousers to die for! The shades are basically grey and black with some white every now and there, just to face the upcoming winter season in perfect style.

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The cuts are vintage inspired (one of the reasons why I loved them so much!) but the shapes are always essential; the use of top quality fabrics like lace and velvet add a sophisticated touch.

We tried to style some of our favorite pieces like the lace collar, the long waistcoat and the incredible hats and turbans, the coordinated tops and downs and the wonderful long dress worn by Laura.

Simona and I also wore a skirt and a bow jabot from Madame Ilary; I added Dixie black culottes, 8 brogues and Zara white shirt.

You can find Heka Couture on Facebook (you can contact Gemma and Ilaria privately) or at some pop-up events in Milan that I will definitely mention on my Facebook page! So follow us both there 😉

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The Ladybug Chronicles Heka Couture (7)