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 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 travels to Spain but staying in Sicily: plunging into the colors of Borgo Parrini

During our last lockdown, while scrolling on my Instagram feed I saw a picture that took my attention: colored yellow, white and blue houses that looked like Spanish or Tunisian. I liked at the point that I checked the geotag to understand where this lovely place was placed and, big surprise! It was located in Sicily!!

I couldn’t believe my eyes and I immediately googled the place: Borgo Parrini, between Palermo and Trapani, that was a real revelation for me! I added in my “Places to visit” list and I had the chance to go there a few months later, during my summer holidays.

But first, let me tell you more about this place: this small village near Partinico (also called the secret Barcelona) was founded in the XVII century by the Jesuits but it is now an almost abandoned village where only around 20 people still live. One of them was the entrepreneur Giuseppe Gaglio who, with the help of some other citizens decided to initiate a restoration of the abandoned houses to re-give life to his beloved village. He called Sicilian artists to recreate a Barcelona/Gaudi inspired village with mosaics, majolica and colored glass, bright facades and an explosion of colorful flowering plants.

The project started in the late 1990s and it took almost 25 years.

The life of the “Borgo” immediately changed since loads of tourists from all over the world started visiting this renovated village, pretty much loved for its colors and dreamy atmosphere.

It is more and more usual nowadays to use some “marketing ideas” to bring back to life many of the abandoned Italian villages and I must say that I think it is a great idea to restore our architectural and historical heritage and to give them a new life. And if this means also giving them a new life in terms of economy by bringing tourists and give space to more entrepreneurs, why not? Today in Borgo Parrini you can find a few pizzerias and a couple of bars and shops which was absolutely unthinkable a few decades earlier.

You can reach the village by car and it takes about an hour to visit (you can also enter the renovated houses for a few euros) and you can have a quick lunch/dinner and even enjoy the pomegranate “granita” handmade by a lovely resident who sells it on the main street leading to the center of the village!

It is better to go during the day to enjoy the bright colors and to take very nice pictures, but it seems that it is very suggestive also at night, coming back from a day at the beach or even in Christmas with its lovely decorations and a living nativity scene.

You can have an idea of how it looks like from my pictures but believe me, you’ll love it in real life!

I wore a vintage caftan found at Vinokilo in Milan with handmade turban (Mara Seyeyaram), a neoprene bag (Geometric Bag) and a pair of sequined flat sandals from Colors of California. Also, the lovely turban earrings come from Kano Sartoria Sociale in Sicily.

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The Ladybug and the power of a vintage linen shirt

I wasn’t looking for a new vintage linen shirt. I love them so much, I have a few that I adore and when I already have something I usually don’t buy similar pieces. Usually. At least until I saw it.

Vintage linen shirts have such a power: not only they are fresh in summer and they are so delicate that they can make every outfit look romantic and old style; many times they have embroideries that can move a vintage lover to tears!!

And I was moved to tears when, while visiting for the first time “Pourquoi Moi” a fantastic vintage shop in Milan, I saw it: in a delicate pale pink, with these sort of big “revers” and lovely sort of arabesque embroideries, so rare and unique that I really couldn’t resist it!

And I couldn’t resist to wear it the day later, a Sunday morning while getting ready for a lunch at Lubar, a Sicilian restaurant in the heart of Milan. I wore it super simple, with a vintage jeans that is also a great find. This super pale denim comes from C-17 one of the most famous denim brands of the 80s and it is a find from my beautiful friend Suzie, owner of the online shop Inimitable Vintage in France.

Also the raffia shoes are coming from France: they are from Sézane and I was surprised of how comfy they are, not only super cute!

My turban is handmade from Madame Ilary with a fabric and trimming from Syria that I bought in Jordan some years ago.

Gucci bag is vintage as well as the gold medallion from Live in Vintage in Milan.

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The Ladybug first class: Ethnic Vintage for beginners

I think that you already know about my huge passion for ethnic vintage: I can do everything for a vintage Mexican blouse, a Dashiki, an Indian dress, a Moroccan caftan or an African bubu!

But many of you ask me how to style these pieces as they may seem difficult to wear and to pair; for this reason I decided to start with a very easy recipe to wear ethnic vintage, starting from a very rare vintage piece: the Mexican blouse from Vintage Afropicks.

Here is my recipe:

  • Choose an ethnic vintage piece with high visual impact, reflecting the handcrafted work of a community. This first step is definitely the most difficult one: finding a real, quality vintage ethnic piece like this one is very rare and the copies are very well-spread unfortunately. It takes time and a bit of luck! I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends selling great pieces who always think of me (like Tiziana from Vintage Afropicks for this blouse!)
  • Wear it with a pass-partout piece, very easy to pair. A pair of wide black trousers with high waist from the French brand Rouje are perfect for this!
  • Add some fun: I added an handmade turban from Madame Ilary with colors similar to those of the blouse but with a different pattern which creates a sort of mix and match very easy to manage and a wax print Rolls Royce (Fleurs de Mariage) handmade espadrilles from La Brousse;
  • Finish with classics to give a final equilibrium: a vintage Cartier bag from Grey Vintage Shop and an old medallion from Live In Vintage in Milan that reminds of the old Mexican medallions, then perfect with the blouse!

This is a super easy fashion recipe that I use very often and that I can suggest to those who want to add ethnic vintage pieces to their outfits.

In the next weeks I will suggest new ideas for more intermediate and advanced students!!

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The Ladybug in a vintage daisy field!

When I saw this little vintage silk dress full of colored daisies on Vinted I madly fell in love. The pattern and the shape were so cute and unusual that I didn’t think twice: I made an offer to buy it. The transaction itself was very pleasant: the French girl who sold it was having a huge clear out with her sisters and she told me the story of this dress that was coming from their grandma’s closet in Normandy. When I received it, it was even nicer than in pictures and the silk was fantastic, I couldn’t be prouder of my vintage find!

It was so easy to style it, because the print made it all: I love when dresses can be so easy because they really go with everything and for every occasion: I wore it for the first time at the office, then I wore it for an aperitivo with my friends and now I am wearing it for a second hand shopping session in Milan on a Saturday morning.

I wanted to re-create a vintage 50s style, even if the dress is a late 70s piece. This is a clear example of the fact that you don’t need to wear clothes of the 50s to create a 50s style: not only the dress is from another era, but also the other pieces that I am wearing here are not pieces from the 50s:

  • The golden chain belt is a vintage piece from the 80s that I found at Bottega Rossa in Milan;
  • The daisy earrings are deadstock pieces from the late 60s that I found at Sabrina Manin Vintage in Milan
  • The Yves Saint Laurent golden sandals are a vintage piece from the late 80s found at Bivio in Milan
  • The green rattan bag is a vintage piece from the 70s found at A rebours Vintage in Milan
  • The handmade turban is a modern handmade piece from Madame Ilary

Could you tell?

Imagination is the only criteria to create the perfect vintage style of your dreams!

women dresses

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The Ladybug dedicated outfit for (a quick) Milanese spring

We always complain that spring and autumn don’t exist anymore! It is true: we quickly go from summer to winter and the opposite and, even if I love spring and autumn because I can wear my best outfits, I realize I have a really short time to wear my favorite clothes combos, one of which is ankle boots and bare legs!

Before getting deeper into this topic, allow me a short disclaimer: I said ANKLE boots, because I am almost completely against knee boots with bare legs (except some very specific cases)!!!

For me ankle boots and bare legs, especially with dresses mean basically boho-chic style; it must not be necessarily a hippy style but it’s just a vibe that I love to maintain in my outfits and basically it’s only in spring and autumn that I can handle to wear ankle boots with bare legs: not too warm to need sandals but also not too cold to need tights (I hat tights too!).

This is a typical spring/autumn outfit that I would wear, totally sustainable (as usual!).

The starting point of the outfit is this wonderful 70s floral dress that can be worn loose or with a belt (as I did today; the belt is vintage from ND Second): it is from Notre Monde Vintage, a vintage boutique that I discovered lately with my great pleasure!

As the main color was navy blue, I decided to add all navy blue pieces: a 70s vintage spring coat from Humana Vintage and a huge touch of velvet, one of my favorite fabrics that I can wear basically in winter or in spring/summer as it is not a summer fabric at all. First piece, a very old handmade turban created by Madame Ilary for me many years ago with a beautiful vintage button as a decoration. Second one, a pair of handcrafted (in Italy) velvet ankle boots by Madame Cosette.

Have you noticed my tattoed hands? It is an incredible henna work by Laura ( on Instagram) that I would have loved to last forever (speaking of boho vibes…)

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The Ladybug is a vintage market enthusiast: why should we all be?

A few weeks ago I was getting dressed to meet some friends to visit an exhibit in Milan (Tina Modotti’s exhibition at Mudec Museum) and I suddenly realized that most of the pieces of my outfit were coming from a vintage market (one in particular actually, the Remira Market in Milan!).

It made me think that I definitely buy a lot of my stuff at vintage and second hand markets. So I listed a couple of reason for which I think we should all buy there:

  1. Because there are no massive marketing trends imposed by marketing gurus: in vintage and second hand what is “trendy” now really doesn’t matter!
  2. Because no one can tell me what to wear: I hate when in shops I receive non-requested advices on how I should dress; what I should wear and what they think it fits me better. In markets I am completely in charge of my own choices!
  3. Because I can free my imagination: with vintage and second hand pieces I can really imagine all kind of possible outfits, it could never fully happen with new clothes!
  4. Because I can find pieces that reflects my own personal style: I am a vintage gal, that’s my style. Period!
  5. Because they are circular and sustainable: it should be number one but also quite obvious I think; re-using and recycling clothes is almost the only possible choice in a polluted world also because of the fashion industry. Re-loving clothes is the most sustainable choice ever!
  6. Because I meet a lot of lovely people: I spend most of my time in markets chatting with vintage sellers about our common passion for vintage; also I know that they researched and curated those vintage pieces for me to find them and love them as they did before me!
  7. Because they inspire me: during the long times without markets I felt many times a deep lack of inspiration; I realized later that meeting people, seeing new clothes and outfits was one of my main sources of inspiration. Creativity is at the top when you meet other creative people!

These are just a few of the main reasons for my sustainable choice of buying at vintage and second hand markets, do you think that we should all do that? What is yours?

Outfit details:

  • Vintage black leather trench: Sugarmama Vintage at Remira Market
  • Vintage dress: Vintage Soul at Remira Market
  • Vintage bag: Revintage by Angela at Remira Market
  • Second hand Golden Goose ankle cowboy boots: on Ebay
  • Handmade turban: Madame Ilary
  • Handmade earrings: Made in Camper (in some other market in Milan!)

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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’s tribute to her granny (and to Africa)

Many times you ask me about my passion for Africa and about where it comes from: “Are you married to an African guy?”, “Did you live in Africa?”, “Maybe you were born there”, etc. The truth is: none of these things!

I am deeply convinced that there must be a link with the continent from my past lives or my ancestors’ lives but, without going too far into the spiritual side of the thing, the simple truth is that this passion comes from my granny (my father’s mom). We used to call her the “ethnical granny” because of her passion for traveling and for foreign countries and cultures (which I definitely inherited from her!). This passion was very clear from her way of dressing: kaftans, Indian jewelry, colored prints (other thing that I inherited from her). When I was a kid she used to bring me to the “African market”, that was actually a small part of the common market in Catania, where many African sellers used to sell their stuff: wooden statues, colored jewelry, wax fabrics etc. Also she used to create little turbans for me with the African pagnes to wear at the beach. No surprise that I am the person that I am now, right?

My passion for Mama Africa is often expressed also through my way of dressing: not only African wax prints but also tees, jewels, shoes and other objects or clothes that have clear African inspiration. You know already that fashion for me is a way of expressing myself (my personality, my passions etc.) through my clothes.

Today I am expressing my love for Africa more than usual!

My tee (I adore it!) is from Original X Creation, a black owned business that you can find on Afrikrea, my favorite African marketplace (I have another one from them but I’ll show you next week!), while my skirt and turban are handmade by the talented Madame Ilary with this wonderful fabric that I found in Senegal during my last visit in 2019.

My jewelry is handcrafted (as usual!) and my Miu Miu golden gladiator sandals (thrifted so many years ago that I cannot even remember!) have just won the first prize in the category “Most Worn Shoes” of my closet!!!

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