The Ladybug can get married or go to the grocery store with almost the same outfit!

Question of the day: are there clothes made only for certain occasions? We often call them with the name of the right occasion to wear them: bridal dress, cocktail dress, prom dress etc. but shall we really stick to these labels?

I personally don’t think so: I am the queen of mix and match, wear it as you feel it, and I love playing with fashion along with my mood and I want to have fun when I get dressed; I also want to respect my personality and I feel really sad when I am given a dress code or a suitable event for what I am wearing.

For this reason I often buy pieces that can easily be worn in different occasions and accessorized in different ways, dressed up or dressed down, depending on your mood, on how you feel or what you want to express.

The Sartorial Vintage Jacket (an amazing upcycled piece created by Madame Ilary with Le Fie Studio starting from vintage blazers) is a great example of what I mean. One day I saw this wonderful white piece at Madame Ilary showroom: a very rare vintage white smoking blazer with fantastic silk puff sleeves and flower. I immediately said “I could get married with it!”.  And I definitely would. But at that exact moment I didn’t have to get married and I just needed to go to the grocery store for my weekly food shopping, and I wore it like that: with a pair of grey vintage Levi’s, an handmade viscose pussybow shirt from Madame Ilary (as well as the lurex turban) and a pair of second hand Ash sneakers.

Basically I realized that with the same jacket I could get married (with a white silk slip dress for example!) or go to the grocery store with the exact outfit that I was wearing that day!

Isn’t it amazing?

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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 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 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’s weapon against the heat: vintage fashion!

Spending summer in a city far away from the seaside can be very hard sometimes.

Milan is one of the hottest Italian cities in summer and the heat can be unbearable without relief for weeks; the stuffiness is almost constant in July and you need tangible weapons against this heat, especially when you have to go around in the hottest hours of the day.

I found my personal weapon in vintage clothes! When the heat becomes unbearable I say goodbye to synthetics and I only wear cotton and linen fibers as they are a real barrier for the body, especially if they are vintage. The reason is simple: fibers were produced in a different way in the past and the difference is not only visible or touchable, it is very clear in this warm weather. They are less aggressive and it is easy to let the body breathe when wearing them: green light for these pieces then when the season is too hot as they are a true relief compared to the synthetic fibers!

These pictures were taken during one of the hottest days since the beginning of summer: I had some meetings in town and I really needed something easy and fresh to resist the heat of that day!

Then I wore my vintage white linen embroidered blouse from Freja Vintage (I found it on Vinted): this piece is not only fresh and pleasant on the skin, it is also incredibly beautiful! I love the deep embroidery on the neck that makes it really old style and sexy at the same time!

I wore a pair of large silky handmade black trousers from Madame Ilary (my passe-partout trousers!) and my super Marni fluffy orange sandals (best sample sale find ever!), perfect piece to add color and jap style to a simple outfit!

I completed the outfit with a vintage Cartier shoulder bag from Gray Vintage and my favorite vintage pendant necklace from Live In Vintage in Milan. Rings are vintage + eye ring from Crazy Pig Designs in London.

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The Ladybug brings back the frock coat (tailcoat) and makes it feminine

When I showed how to style a vintage frock coat (tailcoat) on Instagram for the first time, I received a lot of comments that made me realize how incredible this piece still is in the current common imagination, although it is very rare to see it worn, except for specific ceremonies, and almost uniquely by men.

Nevertheless I feel that this is such an iconic piece also for women, especially when we think of Marlene Dietrich who used to wear it with a top hat and who made this type of coat wearable also by women who wanted to re-create her masculine style in the same feminine way.

But if we look at the story of this piece we can see that it was not a glamourous piece at all! The frock coat (which is originally from the French redingote) was born at the end of the 18th century for a typical countryside wear: it was in leather or wool and was inspired from military coats, with more or less the same shape that we know nowadays and it was conceived as a comfortable and functional piece. It was Lord Brummel (the first real dandy) who started using in as a glamourous piece, in navy blue with a large white tie at the beginning of the 19th century.

It starts its “career” as an elegant menswear piece only during the 19th century when it starts being worn by elegant men, at night, in black and with a white shirt changing a little bit its shape (shorter tails, tighter waist and collar). During the 20th century, especially after the Second World War it becomes the perfect piece for ceremonies and gala events even if mostly considered as a typical male jacket.

This is the reason why it is very hard to find a vintage frock jacket for women or at least that can fit a women body. This is also the reason why I have looked for it for so many years before finding my perfect frock coat. As I said on Instagram some time ago, it happened by chance and thanks to the precious help of Madame Ilary who found this perfect piece for me some time ago!

I know that it may feel hard to wear but believe me, it is not if you style it just like you would do with a normal blazer.

I am showing here two different alternatives to wear a vintage frock jacket:

  1. The easiest way, with a vintage Levi’s 501, a white tee and a pair of lovely handmade flats (from Le Funky Mama)
  2. The more difficult way (but really lovely in my humble opinion!), with a gingham black and white circle skirt (and its amazing tulle petticoat…what a piece! Both handmade from Madame Ilary), a white printed tee and a pair of statement sandals (these beige mules with feathers are gently provided by Madame Ilary herself).

Which one would you “dare” to wear?

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The Ladybug’s tribute to Africa (and Dakar) pt.2

Last week you found here my personal tribute to Africa and to my granny (who introduced me to this continent and made me love it since I was a kid) through an outfit that expressed all this love.

I prepared another one for you, very similar but with a more specific tribute to my second home, Senegal and Dakar in particular.

Let’s start with another tee from the same black-owned business that I introduced you to last week: Original X Creation. Their tees with African related quotes, graphics and subjects are amazing and it will be hard to pick one if you visit their online store on Afrikrea, my favorite fashion and accessories market-place for everything African-handmade.

I loved this tee because, even if it says “Somewhere in Africa” the image in the background can be only one place in Africa: Dakar! Do you recognize the typical “car rapide”, the colored public buses that I showed you more than once here? I loved this sweet wink to the Dakar lovers (or addicts!) and I also love that I can recognize them when I wear this tee!

I wore it with another skirt-turban combo created by Madame Ilary with this beautiful fabric that I bought in a Dakar market during my last visit, in November 2019 (actually my last trip abroad before the pandemic situation…). With the same fabric Naomi, the talented creator of Dogocolor, made a lovely pair of earrings that I am not wearing here.

Vintage touch: my 2000s yellow squared sandals that I got from Blondie Vintage (I love these sandals so much, their shape and color are so good!).

Big bold hoop earrings (another tribute to African women) are from Gogo Philip, rings are handmade from an amazing Neapolitan jewelry maker (you can find them at Madame Ilary showroom in Milan) and a Senegalese artist in Dakar.

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The Ladybug wearing Senegal sun: the yellow handmade broderie anglaise dress

Yellow is for sure my favorite color with purple (when I wear them together, which I love, I am in paradise!).

I think it depends on my sign – I am a proud Leo – as I have all the characteristics: sunny, love sunflowers, amber stone and of course, yellow!

When I was in Senegal last time I realized that many women were wearing handmade broderie anglaise dresses, especially in yellow and turquoise, so I decided to head to the market to buy some bold yellow fabric to bring to Italy and have a dress made for me by Madame Ilary.

I was also thinking of having it done by a local tailor (they are quick and really amazing!) but it was my last day in Dakar and I didn’t want to rush; I also knew that Madame Ilary would know exactly what to do with it!

In fact we decided to keep her Anna dress pattern to make this beautiful dress that is so simple yet so bold that I decided to wear it for my birthday celebrations last year!

As it was my special occasion I decided to wear it with an all-yellow outfit, adding my vintage 2K’s squared yellow sandals from Blondie Girl Vintage, one of my best buys last year!

I added a pair of bold vintage golden earrings from IZ Vintage (a lovely Turkish seller with great vintage jewelry) and statement rings from a Neapolitan artist which pieces are on sale at Madame Ilary showroom in Milan.

You see how many times I used the word bold? It was my birthday, I couldn’t wear anything but bold pieces!

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The Ladybug on Senegal meeting Mexico passing through Italy, sartorially

Sometimes when I describe my style I use the word “ethnic”. The reason is the fact that I love to mix my European clothes with more traditional clothing that I buy during my travels.

I mix African boubous with denim, I wear South American tunics with vintage jackets, I can even wear traditional Ghanaian blouses with 90s joggers…and these are just examples. As my passion for the world’s traditional clothing is part of my own personal style I always spontaneously integrate it in my daily outfits, even in form of jewels or accessories.

The skirt that I am wearing here is an example of how I also love mixing different traditional styles from all over the world. I bought this wax fabric in Senegal during my last visit and I brought it to Madame Ilary to create a skirt. We both came to the decision of making it a maxi skirt, Mexican style, using the pattern that she created for her Frida skirt, also adding fringes and pompoms. I think that the result is amazing and this “Senegal meets Mexico” skirt is definitely one of my favorite ones!

As it is a sort of statement piece, I decided to wear it with a lovely tee hand-embroidered by the fabulous Joderie. I remember that one day I was watching Josephine de Vintage Instagram stories and she shared this adorable tee with two-lemons embroidered as well as the message “Limoniamo” (a fun pun in Italian). I then contacted her on Instagram and she created it for me…I really adore this tee, so fun and easy to wear, I wear it all the time!

My vintage Gucci Ophidia was a personal gift for my birthday last year, I found it on Depop after a loooong search, but I totally adore it, another passe-partout piece (we have already discussed about vintage bags on Instagram lately, didn’t we?). Same thing for my very old thrifted Miu Miu golden gladiator sandals that you may know very well now!!

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The Ladybug cherry picking her favorite pieces from Madame Ilary Spring Collection

It’s spring time which means for me an incredible desire of getting dressed nicely and go out, buy some new clothes and make some changes in my wardrobe! Is it like this for you too?

The last two springs, considering the situation, this desire has grown strong: with the first sunny and warm days my first idea was to head up to Madame Ilary show room in Milan and find some new pieces for my spring wardrobe! You know, those pieces who will stay there forever and that you will always love!

For this reason I cherry picked some of my favorite pieces of the new Madame Ilary collection to show you and to add to my wishlist!

My total crush was on the Sartorial Vintage Jackets, an upcycling project that I have already showed you here: vintage blazers and jackets upcycled with a sartorial touch that I adored, created in collaboration with Le Fie Studio. Here I am with my second favorite piece, the navy blazer with bows on the shoulders and brocade decorations…pure love!

But I also fell in love with some new pieces from her most famous culottes and trousers Marlene: the polka-dot culottes in bronze faux leather are perfect for everyday wearing with sneakers but may also be worn dressed up with a silk shirt and high heels! The Marlene trousers are probably the most loved piece from Madame Ilary and maybe her most wanted piece: here I decided to wear a silky cherry version that is perfect for every occasion…and the color is just amazing!

I also fell for a couple of tops that are perfect for this season:

  • Complete crush on the club collar pinstripe shirt: menswear perfectly adapted to womenswear! This shirt was created for Monsieur but I find it amazing also for Madame…what do you think?
  • Tees and sweatshirts are pieces of streetwear that are perfect for the current situation: smart working solutions and casual wear are definitely aligned with the ways we changed our way of dressing in the last year; on the other hand I deeply feel that being casual should not mean being shabby! For this reason I loved the hand-painted tee dedicated to Anna Piaggi and the black sweatshirt “Madame Danse Seule” (Madame dances alone), a sweatshirt with a message!

Last but not least, I added an accessory that I totally loved because it is possible to wear it in many different ways: the bandana “Bandame”: available in different sizes and colors you can wear it as a scarf, a shawl, a pareo and of course as an headwrap in many different ways!

What do you think of my personal selection? One of the things that I realized while shooting these pieces is that all of them can be easily mixed with each other or with your personal wardrobe pieces, which is also the basic idea of a capsule sustainable wardrobe!

Total outfits: Madame Ilary

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