The Ladybug and the fierce Messinese poetess

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This is for sure my favorite photoshoot ever.

I love it because it represents me so much and all the things that I love and that make me are there.

First of all it was taken in my hometown, Messina, at a tram stop celebrating with a graffiti a Messinese poetess, Maria Costa just in front of the fairground where I used to go when I was a kid. My roots are there.

Then my big passions: vintage, turbans, earrings and Africa.

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When I saw this vintage dress on Instagram with beautiful tribal prints I had to have it, no matter what. It was sold by a beautiful vintage boutique in Australia, Dear Pearl Vintage. We got in contact via email and I bought this dress: when it arrived I was so happy and immediately fell in love with it, definitely one of the vintage dresses that I love the most in my closet!

I wore it with a special turban handmade by Madame Ilary especially for me and that she offered as a birthday gift…I am currently looking for a new basket to put all my turbans as I am totally addicted and I really cannot count how many I have! Honestly I don’t have space for them but I keep buying them!

I added a pair of my favorite vintage earrings: it is a vintage find from a vintage fair in Italy. I can’t remember the name of the seller but when I saw them I was over excited as I had been looking for 80s vintage earrings like these for ages!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Poetessa Messinese (4)

Africa is not only on my dress but also on my body: my tattoo always reminds me of this place where my heart belongs to.

I am also wearing two of my favorite pieces: a Moroccan round straw bag handmade by Maluan Maroquinerie (Etsy find) and my beloved Swedish Hasbeens sandals bought in London a few years ago.

And then the colours, my smile, the summer, Sicily….everything in this shoot says something about me!

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The Ladybug on How To Become a True Vintage Lover: Milano Vintage Week

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Milano Design Week is over (I will tell you more about my Design Week next week), but there is no Design Week in Milan without one of my favorite vintage events in town… Milano Vintage Week.

This beautiful event is quite young (it started in 2014) and has two editions- one of which happens during the famous Salone del Mobile and the other during MDW. So it’s no surprise I immediately feel excited about the best vintage coming to town in the weeks before their arrival!

I travel a lot checking out fairs and events to spot the best vintage around, but when it happens in Milan (at the Showroom Riccardo Grassi) I feel even more excited! As surprising as it may seem, there are not many vintage events in Milano, but the Milano Vintage Week is a special one- mostly because of the accurate selection of the stallers. I know most of them and I consider them among the best vintage dealers and lovers in Italy.

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Among them, Opherty & Ciocci (in my opinion- one of the leaders in vintage research, quality and rarity of pieces in Italy, especially vintage designer handbags), Shabby Chic (who brought some wonderful handmade pieces made with original ’50s fabrics and amazing straw headpieces), Magnifica Preda (with a great quality choice of handbags and beautiful dresses) and A.N.G.E.L.O. (with his amazing collection of pin-up swimsuits and other rare accessories); just to name a few on the long list which definitely makes it worth a visit, so don’t forget to note it for the next edition!

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But Milano Vintage Week is not only beautiful vintage dresses and accessories. There’s also Italian vintage design (and why not, it is Design Week!), handmade, a beautiful fashion exhibit in collaboration with A.N.G.E.L.O. that told the story of fashion in the Postwar years and presented interesting news. For example: there were vintage hair and makeup tutorials in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden- who also offered vintage hairdos and makeup to those who wanted to try it for a day and know more about the story of this long-running brand! Plus a lot of tutorials and workshops and “how to” events, including vintage makeup, weddings, china and the use of foulards to make perfect gift packages to reduce the use of paper!

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Milano Vintage Week is the perfect event to actively try and experience vintage. It’s also the kind of event that I strongly recommend to those who want to know more about the beautiful world of vintage. I am sure that you will step in curious about vintage and leave a true vintage lover for life!

I couldn’t wear a vintage outfit as I wanted to because of my running errands during the day, but I paired my Acne Studios black jeans, H&M denim shirt, Lazzari brogues and Miu Miu handbag with a vintage striped shirt, vintage ’70s sunglasses by Maison Studio, handmade earrings by Metalica and handmade velvet turban by Madame Ilary.

The Ladybug’s Trip Through Vintage Munich: The Best Vintage Shops in Town!

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As you may have seen from my Facebook page, I spent a few weeks in Munich this past January doing a lot of work, but with the weekends came freedom and with freedom came time to spend hunting vintage treasuries in Deutschland!

There’s a lot to say about Munich and about what to do, eat and see while there. But we’ll discuss these things in the next posts as I decided that I would start with… vintage!

We all know Berlin as the “vintagiest” town in Germany, but you will be surprised to find out how many (great) vintage shops I found in cold snowy Munich.

As you can imagine, I did some research before hitting the road and some other shops appeared during the journey, but let me tell you about my favorite so you too can put them on your “must stop” list while visiting this extraordinary city!

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Tricia Leonard was the first on my list. It was the first place I visited and the shop where I left my heart (for many reasons). First, because of Tricia herself: a beautiful jazz singer with a history that taps into Milan. We started talking as if we were old friends (yes, that’s the power of vintage!). She is such a lovely woman with great style, taste and an incredible story, and her shop is a direct reflection of her person. You won’t find a lot of clothing, but tons of amazing accessories and jewelery dating back to the ’20s. You won’t believe your eyes! Her collection of brooches really left me open-mouthed, but more than that- I fell in love with her fantastic collection of hatpins. Hatpins are one of my favorite vintage accessory ever! It’s very hard to find good ones, but in Tricia’s shop- I couldn’t decide which one to pick (I picked three indeed!).  I’m telling you, this shop is to-die-for!

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Next door to Tricia is another lovely vintage shop, very different style, more eccentric and maybe more the style of shops that I expect to find in Berlin… I would call it a postmodernist shop! The name is Cat with a Hat (adorable!)… and as I love both (cats and hats) I couldn’t help stepping in to take a look! Very colorful and funny shop with some statement pieces that are really worth your time!

Walking in the same area (the so-called vintage area of Munich) we found another crazy vintage shop… I would say more surreal: Alexas. There you’ll find amazing statement pieces from the late ’70s and ’80s, but stay away if you don’t like buying items that demand the spot light because Alexas’ inventory is notorious for capturing the eye! I bought a lovely velvet 1980s does the ’20s hat (you can see it in the last picture with my new hatpins!).

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Last but not least: Vintage Love… a real paradise for vintage lovers! If I was richer, I would have left with half of the shop, but I tried on tons of clothes and shoes (and bags) even if nothing really fit me well (good news for my credit card!). In Vintage Love you can find almost everything and of very good quality.  Now, in glorious vintage custom, you’ll have to take your time and search, but you can find whatever your heart desires: from wonderful designer gowns to more casual clothes, shoes and very rare handbags and jewels. It is a bit more pricey, of course, but the pieces are well priced without much exaggeration (you know I am an expert on vintage pricing!). The shop is very spacious and you will probably have that feeling of “Where should I begin?” But once you’ve found your way, you can get completely lost in this wonderful shop that is really worth a visit.

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The Ladybug’s Sofia-sticated Vintage Photoshoot #2: Black and White

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As promised here is the second outfit from my photoshoot visit at Sofia Vintage in Como last December.

The theme of the shoot was black and white and it is completely styled by Roberta Ciceri, the owner and founder of Sofia Vintage. Head-to-toe vintage clothes and accessories come from her wonderful vintage shop on via Vitani in Como.

As for me, I am in love with everything I wore, but the hat… is utter perfection!

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The Ladybug’s Sofia-sticated vintage photoshoot #1: The Yellow Submarine!

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I won’t repeat here again for the nth time how much I love Sofia Vintage Shop in Como and why I love it so much: especially since you read my blog regularly, you already know!

But I really wanted to share some of the shoots from a photoshoot that we organized at the shop a few weeks ago: 5 beautiful vintage outfits styled head-to-toe by Roberta Ciceri with her personal vintage picks from her store.

Outfit #1: this first outfit is kind of amazing! The wonderful vintage yellow coat and dress make it all! Shoes, bag, hat and umbrella are all vintage from Sofia Vintage in Como.

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The Ladybug in Turbans Wonderland: The Grand Opening of Sine Modus

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Sometimes being happy for other people’s success is really hard, I know. Most of the time, it’s because we don’t think it is really deserved and we pass our false felicity for their fortune with the notion that it is just good luck or make other haphazard excuses for their success. But believe me, when it is completely deserved and is the fruit of hard work, you cannot be anything other than happy and even a bit proud, especially when you were one of those who believed in it.

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This is what happened with me for the huge success of the beautiful Manuela and Chiara, the amazing souls behind Sine Modus. But let me start from the beginning, which means December 2013 when I met them at the Lekker Market and could not move away from their stall of amazing turbans. You may know already my passion for hats, turbans, headbands, fascinators and anything that you can wear on your head, to the point that I often feel naked when I can’t wear something on it- especially in winter. And their handmade turbans were to die-for! I even bought one, not the one that I chose at first, but a turquoise one that they put on my head and I just fell in love with at that very exact moment. They were mostly classic turbans but very well done, with amazing variety of materials and with incredible shades and decorations. But what really made me crazy was the fact that their turbans were recycled from vintage dresses and shirts, giving them new life under the form of turbans. Since then I felt that they “had something:” they told me that they mostly sold at markets and events and that I could find them on Facebook if I wanted more handmade turbans. Which I did, of course. Every time they were at some market/event I went to find them to try new pieces (as they evolved to new more structured forms) and of course to get some new turbans to add to my collection. When I wear their turbans it’s always a smashing success (people stopping me everywhere in the streets and asking me about them – even in London!). We often talked about them selling online or even open a shop- and then it happened, almost a year after we first met. I was full of joy when I received their invitation for the opening because they were finally rewarded for their hard working and of course because I finally have a place where I can find them whenever I want!

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It is a cute little shop in Milan on via Pomponazzi, 22 full of vintage pieces (from clothing to accessories) and of course loads of hats and their famous handcrafted turbans! You can recognize it from the big “ Vintage is in the Air” quote on their window and from the two beautiful and talented girls inside!

Well done ladies, very well done!

I wore Topshop silk shirt, Zara pleated skirt, Lazzari oxfords and of course one of my adored Sine Modus handmade turbans!

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The Ladybug’s Incredible Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of the Vintage Workshop® in Milan

Ladybug-3946I was lying on a Ligurian beach a few weeks ago when I received an email that made me almost fall off of my towel… it was from one of the most one of a kind events in the world, the Vintage Workshop®. Not only was I kindly invited to attend the event to be held in Milan from September 11th through the 13th, but I was given the exclusivity to photograph and get a behind the scenes look of one of the most private events of the vintage scene!

Ladybug-3934My adored Angela Eupani, from Sculptures to Wear, is the beautiful mind behind the event which takes place twice a year in Milan. Just a few weeks before the crowds arrive for the “Intertex Milano,” “Ready to Show” and “MIFF” (Milan International Fast Fashion) Fashion catwalks to be held in the same location (the beautiful Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan), Angela masterfully sets the atmosphere with Fashion’s classic, unique and most treasured vintage pieces. The idea of the Vintage Workshop® is to offer to the fashion professional, as well as private vintage lovers, the possibility to find the best selection of quality and luxury vintage mostly coming from private collectors and vintage hunters and from everywhere in the world! The pieces I found there are incredibly rare and one of a kind: I couldn’t stop staring at some incredible boots and handbags that I completely fell in love with.


Ladybug-3921The concept is simple: vintage amateurs can buy or rent the pieces for private use (like I did with this wonderful tan leather handbag!), designers may use it as inspiration for the new collections… solidifying the “extracted truth” that fashion doesn’t create anymore- but recycles what’s already been created from the most intensely creative years of fashion (namely ’60s, ’70s and ’80s).

Ladybug-3936This explains, in my opinion, why vintage purists don’t accept ’90s era fashion as vintage: their overall consensus is creative experimentation became an endangered species after the Chicxulub Impact of ’80s fashion. After that decade, everything has been a continuous recreation from the past eras, and the recapitulation prevails to this day. I don’t agree 100% with this dismal characterization, but I accept part of it: if it is true that most of what is created in fashion nowadays takes inspiration from the past, it is also true that the effort to create something different, even if with retro inspiration, is still very high and the results are really remarkable- especially with French couturiers.

Ladybug-3922As a vintage lover, I felt like I was in paradise in the midst of the most beautiful clothing and accessories from the ’20s to the ’80s. And Angela’s incredible knowledge of the history of those pieces left me completely stunned. It was a sort of journey through the history of unique pieces, like this amazing Yves Saint suit or Moschino ensemble, or this wonderful Roberta di Camerino dress and belt.

Ladybug-3896I fell in love with most of the shoes and bags featured there and I took the occasion to take some pictures with my favorite pieces (at least those that I could take pictures of!).

Ladybug-3909I felt like Alice in Wonderland for an afternoon and I’m very humbled, honored and excited to share all this great exclusive with you, Lovebugs!

Ladybug-3912Ladybug-207The Vintage Workshop® for luxury fashion will return on the 8th and 9th of October in Bologna. It will be a special event focusing on vintage leather accessories with a special fashion exhibition and show for the 2014-2015 collection. Don’t miss it out!

Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Taking a Bite Out of the Ladybug’s “Big Apple”

“New York, New York big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain’t always what it seems. You might be fooled if you come from outta town, but I’m down by law- I know my way around.”  These lyrics by Grand Master Flash hit my mind often; especially when I touch down in New York, but when I visited the City in April I was introduced to another facet… New York Vintage.

My trips to New York are always the same: meeting in high story offices with incredible views, bagel run at H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side, Chinese at my favorite spot in Chinatown and a short visit with family.  This trip wasn’t to much different (H&H closed in January-sniff, sniff), but there was an added purpose.  The Ladybug had planned a trip the following month and asked me to visit and stake out some spots to know if they were still there and/or with her time.  You see, we wanted to be there together and show each other “our New York,” but it couldn’t happen- so we opted to do a check list with photo sharing.

One of the shops I stopped by was L Train Vintage.  The Ladybug has shown you the great pieces she picked up there, but I thought I might deviate from my norm and share with you my “virgin vintage” find.

As quiet as it’s kept, I’m a pretty good shopper.  I was raised shopping around with my aunts.  That might be where my “eye” comes from.  I’m not “into” fashion, so I don’t know what to call these pants, but I instantly loved them.

When I bought them I was super excited!!! Now don’t get me wrong- I didn’t some thrifting and retro wearing when I was in college, but this was different. The purpose around the purchase was vintage and I felt like I’m finally inside this world I correspond with.

I have to admit, I enjoyed the flavor of the Ladybug’s Big Apple and I couldn’t wait to tell her about my find, but I severely downplayed it and told her that I’d show them to her when I got to Italy.  Little did she know, she’d soon be my photographer and I her model.

So I’m seen here in my vintage pants by Thomson, paired with a Jack and Jones T-shirt I picked up in Berlin.  My accessories: Belt by Trussardi, a music bracelet that was a gift from a fellow musician I did a clinic with in May, charm bracelet is by Axcent with charms I’ve acquired over the years, pearl by MiMi and watch by Pryngeps. Finally the shoes are Bed Stü… I picked them up in a shop called Shoegasm near Canal.

The pants really worked out well. I only needed to have the hem lowered. One funny thing is the number size of the waist- 40… much larger than what I wear, but I guess that’s what that vanity sizing in today fashion is all about.

The Ladybug and I had fun doing this shoot.  I did a few Zoolander poses, but they were too awful to post.

Hope you like what you see.  And if you dig the photography, let her know!

See you “Next Sunday!”