The Ladybug dreaming of a vintage outfit during the Quarantine

The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (3)

This is the first post that I write during the quarantine. The Covid-19 is spreading around the world and my country was one of the first ones to start the fight against the virus, the first one in Europe. In a few weeks we lost our normal lives and we had to start a forced quarantine to stop the virus from spreading more.

It was a shock for all of us: no friends, no work, no parties, no concerts, no yoga, no dance etc. etc. We are allowed to go out only for urgent and primary matters, like pharmacy and food. Bars, restaurants, shops, gym clubs, everything is closed.

It is a sacrifice but I am sure that if we keep doing it all together we will win and go back to our normal lives soon. For me it meant that I had to renounce to many things but as I am always a positive person, I decided to make the most of this new spare time that I have at home by doing many things that I usually have no time to do: cooking (a lot!), continue my dance and yoga classes online, meditate with my group every day for 30 minutes, reading, watching movies and TV series that were on my list for such a long time! We always complain that we have no time to do this or to do that, we don’t have time to enjoy time with ourselves: now that we have it I guess that we should take advantage of it!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Bilbao Vintage dress (4)

It is also a good moment for me to write and update my blog with some new posts, also to give you something to read in your spare time! I decided to share this set for two reasons:

  1. The “Blessing for all mural”: I really felt it! We all need blessings in our lives but now more than ever I wanted to dedicate a special warm blessing to my country and to my people. We are strong, we can make it! We will be ok!
  2. The wonderful 80s vintage dress that I am wearing here was bought in Spain, in Bilbao exactly, at the Flamingo Kilo Shop, a famous franchising with many shops in Spain that sells most of their vintage clothes by kilo. I paid it around 9 euros and it always makes me think of this lovely weekend that I spent in Bilbao with one of my best friends last year. Well, we had another great weekend planned in Spain last week but we had to postpone it for now because of this situation. This is another blessing for ourselves: hoping that we will go back to our wanderlust adventures soon!

Vintage doctor bag is from Sculture da Indossare Vintage, blue ankle boots are from Ouigal.

PS: As Italian I know that we are a great country and great people in hard times, so I am sure that all this will end soon and we will be back to our normal but beautiful lives. Don’t take life for granted: be grateful for everything we have, every single day, also after the quarantine! Let’s make it another life lesson!

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The Ladybug’s passion for charity markets and bargain prices!

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I have been buying vintage and second hand for almost 20 years but there is nothing, and I say NOTHING, that can beat a charity market if you want to buy the best things for incredible bargain prices!

Since I live in Milan I am a charity market addict, you know those markets that happens once a year, where the rich ladies in town open their wardrobe and donate their amazing vintage designer pieces for a good cause? Well, they are definitely my favorite ones!

Not easy to find or to get into this “charity market lobby” but when you find one, make sure to subscribe to their newsletter and to find them for the next event (usually the best ones are just before Christmas) because that’s where the best bargains happen!

Last year I was invited to one of these amazing events by a friend of mine and I got out of there super happy about my finds (even more about their price!) and about the fact that all the earnings of the event went to a charity association. So: great vintage shopping + bargain prices + good cause, what can we ask more?

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It was at this event that I found this beautiful green and purple tartan skirt with its tiny purple belt from Valentino in mint conditions for only 20 euros! I loved the colors and the buttons on the front (it also has buttons on the back) and the price was too good to leave it there!

It looks like an 80s piece (maybe early 90s) and I paired it with a new & Other Stories frilled shirt that looks so 80s and that I found during the last days of sales in super promotion last year.

Black laced boots are new from Ouigal while all my hoops earrings are vintage.

PS: I know that now you are wondering what other bargains I got from that event but I promise that I will show them all in the next few blog posts!

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The Ladybug is as vain as…a peacock!

The Ladybug Chronicles Peacock skirt (1)

You know what people tell me all the time? That I am vain! I am always very surprised when they say so because I don’t think that I am vain at all. I consider myself quite insecure and sometimes I am also my worst enemy. So I always ask to those who tell me that I am vain why they think that I am? What type of attitude that I have make them think that I am vain? And they say: because you are a blogger!  

Maybe being a blogger makes people think that you are vain but I am not that kind of blogger: I don’t post sexy pictures half naked or I don’t look at the camera with sensual eyes (usually I don’t look at the camera at all!). Still, exposing yourself is often perceived as a sign of vanity.

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Well, if people think so I don’t care but I wanted to joke about that with my usual irony: when Ilaria from Heka Couture showed me the new amazing peacock print that she got in different shades, I asked her a midi circle skirt with that print! Peacock is the vain animal and the print was just fantastic!

So here I am wearing my vanity skirt (it is also a huge skirt that really feels like the peacock feathers!) and making it turn as if I was a kid! As the skirt itself is quite “important” I wore it with simple black turtleneck sweater from Zara but I added a bit of color with my adored Ouigal blue ankle boots!

Last but not least I added my new handmade ginkgo earrings by Made in Camper, one of my last amazing discoveries from the Wunder Mrkt in Milan: I loved her handmade brass jewelry but I really had a crush on these earrings, also because I love ginkgo and in Japan I appreciated a lot its story and what it represents, a symbol of strength and rebirth.

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The Ladybug’s 40s fashion experiment

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This is a fashion experiment. Something that I tested to verify my theory based on which nothing in fashion is totally new but every “new” piece has a vision from the past, an inspiration from another era.

This experiment was an idea that I had when I saw this beautiful 80s vintage Luisa Spagnoli blazer from Opherty & Ciocci, a wonderful piece with has such a 40s shape that I thought: “What if I create a 40s inspired outfit with modern or 80s pieces?”

That’s what I did! I furtherly shaped the jacket (btw, if you can see the details of the fabric and buttons, they are amazing!) with a thrifted Dior Gaucho belt that I found in Capri many years ago in a luxury second hand shop when the Gaucho collection from Dior was just launched.

The color of the jacket was very similar to a pair of my favorite modern culottes from Please (I love them so much that I have them in two colors, camel and grey!) with a clear vintage twist that I realized how perfect they were together for my vintage experiment!

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Once the core of the outfit was done, I decided to be very careful with the accessories. First thing to add: a 40s inspired turban! Not so difficult for me considering the number of turbans that I have, but this handmade golden piece with leaf decoration from Madame Ilary is definitely one of the most 40s inspired pieces that has a place in my wardrobe!

I stayed on the same golden tones for the earrings, a vintage 80s statement pair that I found in Barcelona last year in one of the loveliest vintage shops in town, Lullaby.

Last but not least, as I am not a fan of 40s mid-wedges and mid-heels I decided to give the outfit a little color shake with this pair of amazing aqua heeled ankle Chelsea boots from Ouigal: this is my third pair of Ouigal shoes this year, I am madly in love with their style and they are incredibly comfortable.

So, what do you think of my fashion experiment? Successful or not?

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The Ladybug and the instant princess feeling!

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Sometimes it happens that you don’t need to think too much about what to wear and how to combine pieces. This usually happens when you wear a statement piece that says it all and the rest of your outfit almost doesn’t matter.

When you wear a piece like this you feel different, no matter what. I truly believe in the power of fashion. Someone one day said: “You can have it all if you dress for it!”. Or it was “You can have it all. Go dress for it”. Well, it doesn’t matter now, what matters is that getting dressed in a certain way, in line with who you are and who you want to be gives you a special and powerful energy.

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This amazing long skirt handmade by Ilaria (Heka Couture) is one of my powerful pieces. In soft Prince of Wales patterned wool, super long and perfectly fitting with its large pleats, this skirt is a dream and it can give the instant “princess feeling”!

I wore it for work with super simple black Benetton sweater (but I can also imagine it with a simple white shirt) but I added a bit of color with the aqua Ouigal ankle boots and a bit of vintage with the amazing IZ Vintage blackamoor golden earrings.

I don’t know if it was a coincidence but that day was a really wonderful day!

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The Ladybug vintage blue(s)

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Blue is definitely one of my favorite winter colors this year: I didn’t realize until I put together this outfit and I became aware of the fact that I have so many blue pieces in different shades mostly bought this winter! I’m not really surprised about that as it is such a “flexible” color that it is easy to adapt with many others if you are bold enough to try interesting mixes, with yellow for example or with rust.

This time I just decided to put together different shades of blue starting from my new beautiful vintage striped silk shirt that I got from Opherty & Ciocci. I honestly have a thing for vintage shirts as I use them a loth both for work and on my free time and I seriously think that vintage shirts have shapes, colors and patterns that are so hard to find in modern times.

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When I saw this shirt I fell in love with its shade of blue and with the light stripe contrast. When I received it and I tried it I was also completely fond of its shape and silk softness! The first thing that I thought was to pair it with my Jil Sander amazing skirt that I found last year at a sample sale for an incredible price!

They look perfect together! But as I didn’t feel blue enough I added my adored Ouigal blue ankle boots, one of my favorite pair of shoes ever!

All the other accessories pictured here are vintage and available on Opherty & Ciocci site: from the wonderful vintage burgundy clutch to the handmade earrings and brooch in perfect retro style (the cameo brooch is to die-for!). 

Women blue skirt

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The Ladybug’s three outfits challenge with Zaful

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Do you remember when I offered you a discount code for Zaful site last November?

Well, I used the discount code too and I found it quite hard to pick up only a few items on their site! I got lost in teddy coats, bomber jackets, lovely skirts and sweaters, tons of retro inspired accessories that I needed days to decide what to buy from them! To make my final decision I followed one criteria: what do I need? Or, better said, what do I want to buy? I knew I wanted a dungaree and a leopard print skirt so I went straight for them. The crazy thing is that there are so many adorable things on their site that I ended up buying two dungarees, the exact animal print skirt that I was dreaming of and a lovely silky scarf with the loveliest print!

(By the way, at the end of this post there is another surprise for you! )

I decided to create three different outfits with these pieces, let me know which one you prefer and what is your favorite piece!

1.       The romantic pinky outfit

I must confess that I have a passion for dungarees but also that I always feel a bit ashamed when I wear one: am I too old for a dungaree? When I got this black dungaree from Zaful I really didn’t know how to wear it and make it look “for not very young anymore” girls! While thinking on how to do that, I decided that I wouldn’t care less; even worse that I would have worn with pinky colors and make it very young because I am not 20 anymore but hey! I am not 80 anyway!! So I matched with a vintage pussybow dotted shirt from Aramayo Vintage in Madrid and with an adorable silky scarf with printed pink flamingos from Zaful again. I am totally in love with the scarf and I am often wearing it on my head as well as on my neck.

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2.       The leopard lady outfit

When I saw this animal print silky skirt I knew that it was going to be mine: it has the exact print that I have been looking for for ages and it is so soft that you can easily wear it bare legs in summer or with tights  in winter like I am doing here. It is elasticated at waist which makes it pretty adaptable to different sizes and it is a bit longer on the back which makes me love it even more! I used it at work with a total black outfit (Zara sweater, Francesco Milano ankle boots and statement earrings from Gogo Philip).

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3.       The grown-up dungaree outfit

For my second dungaree I decided to play it safe. This is a military green corduroy piece from Zaful again, that I changed a little bit because I removed the buttons to make knots on the top! It is soft and very easy to use, especially when you decide that this time you would make it look more “grown-up”! In fact I wore it with a silk & Other Stories shirt, a Mango black blazer and Ouigal laced ankle boots. Too serious? I added big Gogo Philip hoops (the same of the pinky outfit!) and a fun Basquiat pin from Ex Child Genius!

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If you liked my outfits and you want to prepare for the perfect Valentine date you can find a lot of Valentine’s day outfit ideas, free shipping code and Valentine’s flash sales here

Also, if you use the codes ZFACTION  or ZFMOVE at the check-out you will have 15% off discount on your order!

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

The Ladybug explores the visual archives of the Black Image Corporation (in a very vintage location in Milan)

The Ladybug Chronicles Black Image Corporation (2)

I have been curious of visiting the Osservatorio Prada in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan for ages, until I found the perfect exhibit to visit there: The Black Image Corporation by Theaster Gates.

It is a very interesting project that shows part of the incredible Johnson Publishing Company archives with many images representing the “image” of the contemporary African American identity. The images come from the monthly magazine Ebony for example or the weekly magazine Jet from the 40s and the 50s: they both gave voice to the black Americans after the World War and promoted black celebrities as well as cultural discussion. In particular the exhibit focused on the work of two black photographers: Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton with particular attention to the creation of the “black female icon”.

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Everything is placed on the two floors on top of this beautiful building: the Osservatorio is located above the central octagon, at the level of the glass and iron dome that covers the arcades, realized by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867 that looks so French but is absolutely Milanese. Also the beautiful wooden floors are original from the previous structure bombed during the World War II.

It is a place that deserves a visit especially if you do it on a calm sunny morning like we did with the beautiful light filtered by the dome first and then by the glass façade.

I wore a pair of prince of wales culottes and black turtle neck sweater from Zara with my new pair of AMAZING black laced boots from Ouigal. They are my favorite piece at the moment and actually my third pair of shoes from them! Yes, I am totally addicted but who wouldn’t be? They are just mind-blowing!!

My headwrap is the new Coco wrap from Madame Ilary in black and prince of wales with side tassel while my handmade brass earrings are from Metalica Creazioni. Black leather bag is from Coccinelle.

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The Ladybug’s good excuse for a weekend in Florence: Marina Abramovic exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi

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When I first heard of Marina Abramovich exhibit “The Cleaner” in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi I was over excited because, even if I knew that she wouldn’t be there, I was very curious to see what it was about. The good thing is that my friends were super excited too so we quickly decided to organize a nice weekend all together in Florence to see the exhibit, going around, shopping and eating ribollita and all the good things from the Tuscan cuisine!

The weekend was amazing and so was the exhibit. I read that Marina Abramovic herself took care of the exhibit with videos, photographs and live performance from her disciples during the day. It was one of the most emotional and with greatest impact that I have ever visited. Many of her more or less famous performances are shown in photos or videos, a journey across her work, art and life in the last few decades.

If you want to know more about The Cleaner you can find more info on the site of the Palazzo Strozzi as the exhibit ended on the 20th of January.

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But Marina Abramovic was not the only excuse for me to spend a weekend in Florence. One of the things that I absolutely needed to do in Florence was eating at the Libreria Brac, a lovely bookshop with the most exquisite vegetarian cuisine. Many friends told me about this lovely place so I needed to go and to “taste” it: it was absolutely over my expectations and if you are in Florence make sure you stop there for lunch or dinner but book your table first. Another place that we loved for dinner was La Cantinetta just near the Cathedral while for an easy aperitivo before dinner and a view on the Ponte Vecchio just nearby you can go at Volume for a good Tuscan red wine and bruschetta!

Last but not least, Florence was the occasion to hug my beautiful friend Sabrina that I haven’t met for the last six years. If you are in Florence don’t forget to say “Hi!” to her in her adorable vintage shop in via dei Pilastri 32, Lady Jane B Vintage: she is the most amazing woman that you will meet in Florence and her shop is exactly like she is!

Vintage blue coat from a charity sample sale in Milan; Vintage bag Lullaby Barcelona; Vintage headscarf Humana Vintage; Vintage peacock brooch on Ebay; Shoes Ouigal; Mustard sweater Marella; Handmade brass earrings Metalica Creazioni.

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