The Ladybug’s hardest “goodbye” to Sicily

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Of all the street art in my hometown (Messina in Sicily) this is definitely my second favorite. For this reason I wanted to take some pictures here before leaving Sicily after my winter holidays.

Every time that I go home there is this hardest moment, when I have to say goodbye, knowing that I won’t be back for many months. Even if I try to smile and be happy there’s clear melancholy in my eyes and when I am writing this post I can catch that feeling perfectly. The good news is that now it’s less time compared to January!

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For my last Sicilian day of winter I wore a Zara maxi sweater (that I bought at the airport in Milan before leaving…since they opened a Zara store there I can’t help buying something before leaving!) with my new AMAZING Levi’s grey denim jeans. I am in love with this high-waist denim, the color and the shape. It looks like a vintage one but I bought it a few weekend before Christmas in Milan and I wear it all the time! One of the greatest buy of 2017!

Pointy black ankle boots are from Francesco Milano at merry Go Round in Milan and sparkling electric blue and golden headband is from Madame Ilary. Golden loop earrings are from Mango.

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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 has the earth colors of Sicily

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Sicily is my earth. Sicily is my heart.

I left this wonderful land many years ago (exactly 23) to travel the world and to find a better life up north but this beautiful island is still in my heart and it is still my earth.

I love this set of pics because it has some of the beautiful colors of my Sicily, I call them the colors of my earth. It also has the colors of my second earth, Africa. But they are not so different in the end!

On my way to the beach this summer I stopped by this dark red building to take some pictures because I thought it really suited my whole beach outfit!

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I was wearing a Zara large sand playsuit (I bought it on sale last summer, without even trying it just because I loved it and it was so cheap!) and a Madame Ilary handmade turban made with one of my favorite African wax fabrics.

I also wore my adored African necklace from Afrohemien and a beautiful leather necklace from Diffusione Tessile that makes me think of the beautiful colors of my “roots”.

As usual I wore my Birkenstock sandals and my Moroccan round straw bag from Maluan on Etsy.

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The Ladybug is ready for a very Sicilian Market

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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.

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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!

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The Ladybug’s Sicilian Arabesque

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Sicily, again.

I called this set Sicilian Arabesque as one of the things that I still love from my homeland is the Arab influence on everything: on food, on our physical traits, on architecture, on nature, on language…their influence is everywhere.

When I saw this building it made me think of this, although it is probably not an original Arab building, but I just stopped the car and asked my sister to take a few pictures of me!

We were on the way back from the beach so I was wearing a typical beach outfit (but I added lipstick, just for the pictures!!).

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I wore a handmade Heka Couture harem pants (just to stay on topic!) made with African wax fabric and a Ink your travel tee (I love this new brand that makes travel themed clothes and accessories for globetrotters!).

Round Moroccan straw bag (on topic again!) is from Etsy, Birkenstock sandals and Mango African inspired necklace.

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The Ladybug and a pinky Sicilian sunset

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Honestly this year it is harder than usual to get into the winter mood: maybe I was just hit by winter on my way back from Sri Lanka and I still cannot stand the idea of wearing coats and tights but I think that I will keep posting summer outfits for a while!

Also because I have so much still to share from my summer, starting from my wonderful trip to Senegal and some nice views and outfits from my homeland, Sicily.

This set of pictures was taken during my first day at home in Sicily: while enjoying a walk with my sister along the sea we realized that there was a wonderful pink sunset that perfectly matched my off shoulder top from Topshop!

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As usual when I am at home I was super relaxed and my outfit just mirrored the idea; I paired the top with loose jeans from Zara and super cool accessories:  the round straw Moroccan bag was my summer favorite as I wore it almost every day, it is an Etsy find (btw Etsy is my new addiction!); earrings are from Zara (I bought them at the airport on the way back home just to celebrate the new opening of a Zara store in Malpensa airport!) and shoes are Birkenstock’s (another summer favorite: I basically wore these every day in Senegal and in Sicily!).

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The Ladybug’s outfit for a shopping day (the only one!) in Sicily

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I must confess that when I am on holiday in Sicily I bring with me super light suitcase: only swimsuits, flip flops, sun creams, sundresses, running shoes and clothes and maybe a dress or two in case I decide to do something different that going to the beach, running or relaxing at home. This is my real way to relax: I go out and do things eleven months a year and when I am on holiday I go in a total relax mood that doesn’t need any makeup or heeled shoes and dressing up.

There are just two occasions when I need to get dressed properly during my summer holidays: my birthday party and a last summer sales session at home usually with my sister in our favorite shops in town.

This is when we made this little shooting during a little break in our shopping session!

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I wore a Mango dark orange tunic dress with an handmade African knotted headband handmade by Madame Ilary with an old African fabric that I had at home (it was an envelope bag for an Asos Africa dress that I bought many years ago!), Nike for & Other Stories white sneakers (the only pair of shoes that I brought with me!), Valentino round frames and Miu Miu bag.

I’ve been told by a girl in a shop that I looked like a 60’s girl…best compliment of the day!

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Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Three is the Magic Number

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On the eve of The Ladybug Chronicles’ third anniversary, I found myself a bit nostalgic.  So I connected my HD and began to sift through photos I’d taken of the Boss Lady.  I was filled with warm memories and smiles, remembering the conversations that brought this blog to life and the things we’ve both learned on this journey.

While doing this, I realized I’d done something that my beloved Ladybug has done on several occasions: found photos that were intended to be posted that were left dormant in some lost folder.  I’ll share three…
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This first outfit has four pieces.  First the coat, it was a gift that was presented just because I liked it.  We found it at a vintage shop when we visited Milano to search for an apartment.  I didn’t get it that day, but all of us in the store agreed it was made for me.  I mean, look at those details!!!  Inside there’s a stamp signifying it was in service in 1960. It’s a piece from the Orobica division of the Alpina Monterosa which were stationed in South Tyrol west. Later that year I was surprised with it.  I wore it all tour last year and sadly lost one of my stars, but it’s still one of my prized pieces.

Then there are these AMAZING vintage frames which I believe were her first gift to me. I love them so much that I only wear them occasionally.  Under the coat I’m wearing a sweater with an asymmetrical zipper I picked up at Sisley in Sicily in January 2013.  We liked it so much and said, if it fits (because I nearly never find anything that fits me in Italy), I had to buy it. Well, there it is.
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The third piece is this Missoni bow tie. And I topped it off with this vintage cap she got me at Humana Vintage in Milano after passing on one that I really wanted, but couldn’t find again. I think all the pieces fit together so well that day. BTW, these photos were taken by The Ladybug.

The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Aug2014 06The second outfit brings in a pair of pants you’ve seen before.  I got them when we went to NYC.  Here, I put them with a shirt we found in a store in Sorrento that I had to add to my collection of T-Shirts; I love the vintage patch on the sleeve.  I added this vintage Dolce & Gabbana denim bag that I picked up at BIVIO in Milano this past winter.  And I just noticed that my sunglasses are also D&G. Funny! …Swatch Watch…The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Aug2014 07
Last but certainly not least, I had to take a photo for the 20th anniversary of being a brother in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  My line brothers and I are putting things together to celebrate our crossing the sands on the S.S. Seven Apes of Rage through Theta Alpha Chapter, Fall 1994.  For the photo, I pulled a knit tie that I got from my grandfather’s collection after he passed away.  I took this one and wore it to his funeral.  It was from Montgomery Ward.  It means a lot to me.
The Ladybug Chronicles - SSwK Aug2014 05So there you have it…  I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Early Anniversary, TLC.  I love being a part of this great entity.

See you “next” Sunday.


The Ladybug Goes All the Way Back to Her Fashion Roots in Sicily: Visiting the Sicilian Fashion Expo

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My love and passion for vintage fashion never rests, not even when I am trying to rest my body and mind, aka winter break in Sicily!

A few days after my arrival in Sicily, I was reading the newspaper and my eye got caught by a very small article in the events out of town area. It was announcing a brief expo during Christmas holidays called “La moda Siciliana dal 1860 al 1950” (Sicilian Fashion from 1860 to 1950), reuniting the best vintage pieces from the Museum of Sicilian Costume and Fashion of Mirto, in the village of Sant’Agata di Militello.

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It was a good idea and an occasion to spend a day out with family and friends, visiting a village that we’ve never seen before and to take some pics at the expo. Of course we decided wait until KNAGUI came to see us in Sicily.

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It was a beautiful day at beginning of January when we headed to Sant’Agata di Militello to visit the lovely town square, Cathedral and the Medieval Castle where the expo was held (with included amazing view on the sea!). I was really amazed by the oldest pieces exposed, mainly for two reasons: first of all the amazing condition of those great pieces- mostly donated or lent by local collectors. Secondly, I was shocked by the tininess of the dresses, especially those form the end of the XIX century, which tells us a lot about the body evolution in the last two centuries.  The maniacal attention to details was the leitmotif of all the pieces and as they were shown in a castle, the visitor could have the feeling of being in a scene of Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard,” a beautiful novel (and then a movie) chronicling of life and society in Sicily during the Risorgimento.

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For the day I wore a Max&Co gray and black striped wool jumper and American Apparel gray pocket skirt. I added the Isabel Marant for H&M canvas bag – that KNAGUI saved for me from his incursion in the shop during the launch of the collection – and a pair of my own ’90s sandals from Parentesi that strangely still fit my small feet!

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Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits!

The Ladybug Chronicles-3292Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a bald Gui walks into a barbershop hoping to get a kiss from a princess…

The Ladybug Chronicles-3286Believe it or not, this isn’t a joke; well, at least not entirely, anyway.

The Ladybug Chronicles-3325After a great tour and the most awesome New Year’s celebration (spent watching Star Wars Marathon on Sky-TV in Sicily), I found myself back in Milano producing new music and working hard for TLC.

The Ladybug Chronicles-3326One of the evening appointments the Ladybug scheduled brought me to Milan’s man cave of relaxation, I’m talking about the bad ass Bullfrog- found in the motorcycle district.  Now you might have already heard about it briefly on the Bullfrog’s blog or on Icon, but as they say: “there are two sides to every story.”

The Ladybug Chronicles-3302Bullfrog is situated in a very manly and vintage quarter of the city.  It matches well with its surroundings while also maintaining a level of privacy by being tucked away.  The barbershop’s position wasn’t haphazard, but getting this den was coincidental and it’s founder, Romano Brida,  orchestrated his dreams, passion and business savy to give an incredible gift to his “brotherhood.”

The Ladybug Chronicles-3303I enjoyed a ritualistic shave of my head and face: the hot towel, the emulsified shaving cream, the light massage of someone else performing this bi-daily grooming that I do, but with a straight razor and having it closed with a cool towel and cleaning…

The Ladybug Chronicles-3315It took me back to when I was a very young boy sitting in Leon’s Barbershop watching my grandfather and other older gentlemen getting a shave and haircut.  There were more chairs at Leon’s, which at the time was right across the street from the big Plymouth dealership on South George, and the conversations were different, but the laughs, camaraderie and “men only” vibe was the same.

The Ladybug Chronicles-3308With its two chairs and close quarters, Bullfrog feels like a tattoo parlor. Romano and I discussed this along with other details about the history of the Barber, his chicago styled shop and why it’s so important to take this 40 minutes to an hour for yourself.

The Ladybug Chronicles-3324…And like moths to a flame, all the Princesses are attracted because when you step foot out of the door, you look and feel like a King!

You can get the whole story when you check out the two-part interview on TV-TLC.

The Ladybug Chronicles-3295See you “next Sunday.”