The Ladybug and the importance of being Angela

The Ladybug Chronicles Angela Davis (1)

April 2012. I was walking down the streets of Harlem with the biggest excitement caused by the place and all its legacies and meanings; I stopped by to talk to a lovely man selling tees representing people and moments of the African-American culture and history. “What’s your name?” – he asks. “Angela”. “Ah, Angela…like Angela Davis”! He didn’t have a tee with her of my size but he really made my day when he associated my name with hers! “Yes, Like Angela Davis” I said with a big smile.

He didn’t know (but I told him afterwards) that Angela Davis is the second person I am proud of wearing their name (the first one is my grandma) because she is one of the women that I admire most and a true inspiration for me. Sometimes, when I am feeling angry and upset about the political, social and cultural situation of my country I read again what she wrote to find again the force to fight.

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Many of my friends and family know about my love for Angela Davis, including Simona who told me about this beautiful artwork outside the bookstore Les Mots in Milan. We immediately head there to take some pictures and when I saw it, her smiling with her fist up, I immediately thought about her quote: “But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory”.

It was a coincidence but that day I wore a tee and canvas bag from the talented artist Massira Keita: a wonderful Parisian girl with African origins who makes the most beautiful drawings with an afro twist. When I saw the Syra design, a young woman with a wax turban I fell in love with the style and I got the tee and the bag (and the iPhone case!) that I wore here trying to re-create the same style on me (this was done on purpose, not a coincidence!): military jacket from an old Zara collection, black skinny jeans from Acne Studios, snake silver ankle boots from Divine Follie and wax headwrap from Grazia Ferrari (better known as Gracchia F!). The black round sunglasses were courtesy of Simona to complete the Syra look! I added a personal touch with my silver Nepalese necklace and loop earrings.

The Ladybug Chronicles Angela Davis (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Angela Davis (3)

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The Ladybug reveals the secret of the “combo” style

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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 third vintage dress in a row (+ a retro inspired surprise!)

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I have already showed you two of my new bargain vintage dresses from Humana Vintage in Milan, all bought during an incredible end-of-summer sales session. Here is the third one:  a lovely vintage piece, that again I can’t manage to date but that looks like an end of 70s dress, super casual and too cute to leave it there, also because it was priced only 5 euros! Hehe!

Humana Vintage always makes me happy and the great thing about it is that not only you buy a lot of lovely things for tiny prices so you don’t feel too guilty for buying new clothes, but it is also for a good cause! It is rare to find charity shops in Italy, while they are very popular in the UK for example, but I still hope to see more in the next few years, especially those selling vintage and not only second hand.

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I paired my new dress with two lovely bird brooches with a vintage vibe (although they are new) from Dresslily where I found so many retro inspired jewelry pieces that I couldn’t decide which one to get. Same thing when I wore them, in fact I decided to wear them both together as I really love to put some little pieces together for a bigger effect!

Also my bag is vintage and guess where it comes from? Yes, Humana Vintage again! It is a lovely piece from the 70s that I got some time ago because I literally fell in love with it while I was helping a friend buying a vintage bag. She couldn’t find her shoulder’s soul mate but I did!

Tan flat sandals are from Clarks, while the animal print tiny belt is from an old Topshop collection.

Photo Credit: Milena Molinari

The Ladybug Humana pale blue dress (5)

The Ladybug Humana pale blue dress (4)

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The Ladybug Humana pale blue dress (8)

The Ladybug goes green(er)

The Ladybug Chronicles Humana Green Dress (1)

I don’t know what’s happening lately but I am falling in love with green. It is one of these colors that I have underestimated for ages for some unknown reasons, that I wear rarely and that I immediately toss when it comes to make a color choice.

But lately something has happened between us, I buy more and more green and in the last few months I bought a lot of green accessories which is a big news for me!

Anyway I don’t think that when I saw this vintage silk dress at Humana Vintage in Milan I loved it just for its color; I really loved everything about it: the shape, the fabric, the print, how it fitted, the price (it was during one of the end of summer promotions and I got it for 5 euros!) and of course the green color!

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It was not in mint conditions, it had some stains but I loved it so much that I didn’t care and I also used for work more than once. I think it is from the 80s, that’s why I paired it with 80s golden earrings from Lullaby in Barcelona and with an 80s golden cuff that I bought at the Antiques fair in Sorrento many years ago.

Only modern piece, my adored Clarks gladiator sandals in which I spent almost all summer!

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

The Ladybug Chronicles A-line Wax Dress (3)

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 and the story of a floral vintage shirt

The Ladybug Chronicles Pink shirt (1)

There is a place in Milan where I go when I am tired, stressed and anxious: it is called Humana Vintage! I guess that most of you know the Humana shops all over the world and their concept. In Milan there is a beautiful little shop behind the Duomo Cathedral where you can find a lot of amazing vintage pieces at bargain prices, especially during their frequent flash sales and promotions.

I love spending a lot of time there trying to the find my perfect match in a huge amount of vintage clothes and accessories. When I leave (usually with tons of bags!) I feel relaxed, happy, brand new! It is better than a spa and it costs even less!

The Ladybug Chronicles Pink shirt (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Pink shirt (2)

It is there, during a 50% off sales session, that I found this beautiful pink floral shirt. I loved the print immediately but only when I got home I realized that it was signed by Egon Von Furstenberg, Diane’s husband. I was curious and googled him, this is how I found out that he was a Swiss designer. I am always very happy when I get to know more about the story of the clothes that I wear, and it happens often when I buy from Humana that I pick a designer piece or a piece with  a specific story that I can learn.

I paired my pink shirt with a thrifted H&M navy pleated skirt and with tan pumps but I added another vintage touch: the beautiful 80s golden earrings that I bought in Barcelona in the beautiful Lullaby vintage shop!  

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The Ladybug Chronicles Pink shirt (5)

The Ladybug and the rainy (but colored) island life

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I don’t know what happened this year but since I arrived in Messina (my hometown in Sicily) mid-August, the weather started acting funny: not a single day with sunny weather but always cloudy and very changeable. One hour of rain, two hours of sun and so on for two whole 2 weeks.

We literally chased the sun but I couldn’t get more than two/three hours per day!

The problem is that when it rains and it is August the life on an island is pretty boring: I read a lot, worked on the blog (I made some changes, did you notice?) and on the online shop. I basically prepared my comeback to Milan and planned all the activities for September/October (not fun at all!).

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One of these rainy days I was out and about with my sister (ok we went for a Sicilian “granita”!) we passed by this murals and she told me that it was perfect for a shooting as I looked like in the Caribbean! She was right, it was fun and so, here I am, in Sicily but looking like the Caribbean!

I wore my new orange wax skirt handmade by Heka Couture with an African print fabric that I bought in Senegal with my grey tee from Damsels in Distress and a pair of Clarks black gladiator sandals (one of the comfiest pair of shoes ever!).

Afro inspired earrings are from Mango while the Ghanaian mini bolga bag was a great find from Sankofa Beads and Baskets on Etsy.

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The Ladybug 70s afro street style!

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I can call this set of photographs “the lazy ladybug” as I was so tired and it was so hot (it was one of the hottest days in Milan) that I didn’t even stand up to take the pictures!

A coffee after lunch at the Feltrinelli Foundation and five minutes of well-deserved shadow before heading back to work. While I was seating near the Foundation graffiti my friend took some pictures of a lazy me because she loved the afro style, she said!

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There is a bit of afro indeed: my afro inspired turban handmade by Madame Ilary, my Senegalese necklaces from Seyeyaram African Handmade and my many African jewels.

But I also added a 70s touch with my Massimo Dutti dark denim culottes and even more with my new amazing green shoes by Strategia bought during an incredible sample sale at their shop in Milan. Simple white tee ASOS.

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The Ladybug can hear the song of the African sea (in a seashell)

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Cowrie shells are such a trend right now, but I have always loved them for many reasons: they remind me of the sea which I still miss a lot and they have specific meanings in the African culture, being one of the many traditional symbols.

I was indeed in Africa, more specifically in Senegal on the Yoff beach, when I saw a woman on the beach selling this amazing statement cowrie necklace and I could help buying it even if I immediately imagined how I could wear it. “Wear it when you feel it, darling” – she said – “Don’t care about matching it with your clothes”. I loved her suggestion and I literally followed it when one morning I woke up with the urge of wearing the cowrie necklace!

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I wore it with a simple dark grey & Other Stories tee and with a vintage Benetton skirt from the 90s (it resisted for a long time in my wardrobe!).

Shoes are retro inspired sling-back kitten heels from Mango that I bought in Madrid last winter.

No need to say that I received lots of compliments for this wonderful necklace, including people asking in the streets where I got it from. I didn’t say that if they listened inside the shells they could hear the African sea singing a love song…

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The Ladybug from the 40s diva to the 50s pin-up

The Ladybug Chronicles Lullaby Dress (1)

Lately I showed you my vintage marine dress bought in Barcelona last spring but, as you may easily imagine, it was not my only vintage find in Barcelona!

When I arrived there, on the first day, I found one of my favorite vintage shops in town called Lullaby: just for you to understand how great this place was, I had to come back a second time to decide what to buy because I loved too many things and I decided that I would better think twice and choose only a few!

When I went back I bought, among other things (a leather 70s bag and a pair of 80s statement earrings!), also this beautiful vintage 50s dress that I loved from the first day: the pattern, the buttons and its pin-up shape!  

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I paired it with a wonderful pair of blackamoor 40s earrings from Déjà Vu (yes, she is my blackamoor jewelry provider!)…aren’t they adorable?

I also added a pair of military green ankle boots that I got a couple of weeks ago from a shoes sample sale (one of the hardest things to resist!) of the brand Strategia, here in Milan. They are not vintage but I think that they were nice with the outfit and I wanted to avoid the total vintage look!

PS: I know I was on my bad-hair day but I forgot to bring a turban! 

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The Ladybug Chronicles Lullaby Dress (5)

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