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BONNE ANNÉE

31 December 2013

Vintage Bonne Année Happy New Year card
31 December is already here! Have a fantastic New Year's Eve and see you in 2014...

OLIVIA RUBIN

30 December 2013

Wearing a silk dress by Olivia Rubin, with three quarter sleeves somewhere between orange-y coral and salmon pink and a black and white animal print pattern. I blogged about it way back in November 2011 and it's become a wardrobe favourite for those I-have-nothing-to-wear days (of which I have a lot) because it's easy to throw on with black tights, black heels and out the door.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in Olivia Rubin contrast sleeve dress

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO

29 December 2013

Today is the 31st birthday of the best big brother in the world, Christopher, who is arriving tomorrow with his wife to celebrate New Year's Eve in Paris.  Joyeux anniversaire, mon frère - I hope you have a good one in London!

1990s childhood photo
one of my favourite childhood photos of us in the 90s

WINTER WONDERLAND

28 December 2013

Great wintry editorial in the All Wrapped Up shoot featuring Eniko Mihalik photographed by Terry Richardson, in the November 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar US magazine.  Cold has never looked so chic.

Winter editorial featuring Eniko Mihalik shot by Terry Richardson

SEQUIN JACKET

27 December 2013

I'm a sequins all year round kinda girl, but during Christmas time and the party season, they're obligatory.  I've been sparkling in this silver, gold and black sequinned jacket kindly sent by Boohoo as an early Xmas present as part of their #Dressmas campaign.  It's quite lightweight so good to wear as a cardigan, layered here over my black Issa dress in the arches of Place des Vosges on Christmas Day.  What did you wear on 25 December?

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in Boohoo black silver and gold sequin jacket

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: CHRISTMAS CHAMPAGNE

Christmas and NYE Champagne party celebrations
bottoms up

AMETSA WITH ARZAK INSTRUCTION

26 December 2013

One of the best meals of 2013 was a dinner at new Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, in the five star Halkin Hotel in London's Knightsbridge, by Hyde Park.  Head chefs Elena Arzak – named Best Female Chef in the World in 2012 – and her father Juan Mari Arzak alongside Xabier Gutierrez, Mikel Sorazu and Igor Zalakain specialise in Basque cuisine from the San-Sebastian area (desperate to go) of Spain and have created a wonderful eight course tasting menu it's hard to fault.

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

25 December 2013

Snowy Christmas Winter Scene
Merry Christmas! I'm spending my first Noël in Paris this year.  Have a lovely day!

DHC BEAUTY

22 December 2013

After blogging about DHC skincare earlier this year, I was sent some of the Japanese brand's beauty products to try out as well and they're just as good as the oil, toner and moisturiser which have become part of my daily cleansing routine.


LE LIDO, PARIS

21 December 2013

The Lido on the Champs-Élysées is somewhat of a Paris institution.  In the same way that the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace is for London (I bet that's the first time the former has been likened to the latter), it's something which tourists do and thoroughly enjoy, but native Parisians and Parisiennes don't.  I don't know anyone in Paris who's been, but they should!  I loved it.  Of all the cabaret and burlesque shows in the city of lights, it's probably not known as the sexiest and slickest, but rather the big Las Vegas showbiz one.  Growing up going to a dance school and doing lots of amateur dramatics, I love a bit of razzmatazz and song and dance, so I was very excited indeed.

Le Lido burlesque and cabaret club, Paris

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: CHAMPAGNE

20 December 2013

Celebratory Champagne guzzling vintage
TGIF AND the Christmas break has begun! Have a fabulous, festive weekend

NOVEMBER INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

19 December 2013

I settled into Paris in November, enjoying all the city of lights has to offer, walked for hours, visited several exhibitions at museums and galleries, fell in love with the magnificent Chateau de Versailles and spent a lovely weekend in Burgundy.

Instagram photos from a Paris fashion and lifestyle blogger
1. the Miss Dior expo at the Grand Palais 2. Phillips de Pury's Pradier exhibition opening 3. Golden Blog Awards at Hôtel de Ville de Paris 4.  Massimo Dutti has another chic feather skirt this season 5. Tightrope walking in DIM lingerie (and heels!) at the SS14 press show 6. one of my favourite paintings, Raoul Dufy's Maison et Jardin at Musée d'Art Moderne 7. obligatory trip to Ladurée 8. Versailles Castle 9. adding to my matryoshka doll collection at the Marché de Noël des Champs-Élysées

Instagram fashion blogger in Paris
1. Autumn colours in Burgundy 2. flea markets avec ma mère 3. wine and cats at Le Café des Chats 4. Prada bears in the Christmas Printemps window 5. France vs New Zealand at Stade de France 6. Place François Rude in Dijon 7. nude nails 8. currently reading Morrissey's autobiography 9. my favourite dress from the French Connection SS14 press day

DIOR SECRET GARDEN

18 December 2013

Far from being a new campaign, having being launched in June 2013, Dior's AW13 glossy magazine offering still remains fresh in my mind nevertheless.  The beautiful, fairytale shoot called Secret Garden 2 photographed at Château de Versailles, its gardens, forests and woodland (having recently been for the first time, I am obsessed with its magnificient splendour) featuring models Daria Strokous, Diana Moldovan and Katlin Aas and photographed by - not Tim Walker, as you might expect - Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

fantasy fashion photoshoot

Superstar set designer Shona Heath (Walker's longtime collaborator) has also worked her magic and the results - both photos and video, below - are the fantasy stuff of fashion dreams.

EXPLORING NORMANDY

16 December 2013

I last visited Normandy when I was 15 for my French exchange trip and did most of the tourist attractions (Mont-Saint-Michel, Étretat Cliffs, Omaha Beach and the D-Day beaches, Bayeux Tapestry and Landings Museum) but never dipped south towards Rouen.  In late August I spent a long weekend in the Normandy countryside and cities with my best friend and have a renewed appreciation for this beautiful part of France. From London I cycled to Victoria station, got the train down to Newhaven, the ferry to Dieppe, a bus from the port, another train then a taxi to our destination.  Phew.  But Le Clos des Fontaines made the journey worthwhile...

Luxury French hotel, Normandy

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: REUNION

13 December 2013

happy BFF jumping brunette girls
my two best friends since we were 9 are coming
to Paris this weekend... So excited! Have a good one.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER

12 December 2013

Well, in my opinion, definitely one of the best gift ideas ever.  And it's under £15!  Last Christmas I bought a few copies of illustrator-turned-writer Lou Beach's 420 Characters to give to friends, after reading the series of imaginative, funny, poignant, surreal, intriguing short stories and (420-character) prose about peculiar little worlds, relationships and characters and feeling compelled to share.  It's on Amazon in book and kindle form, but here are my favourites for a little preview.

Lou Beach 420 Characters book of short stories

"Are you my mommy?" said the little blue egg. "No dear. You are a plastic trinket full of sweets," said the brown hen. "My baby is over there", and she pointed to a pink marshmallow chic being torn apart and devoured by a toddler.  The hen screamed and woke up, her pillow wet with sweat, the sheets twisted around her legs. "Christ, I hate that dream." She reached for a smoke.


FRENCH CONNECTION SPRING SUMMER 2014

11 December 2013

I recently visited the Paris showroom of French Connection to see the SS14 collection, which was an explosion of summery sorbet shades from lemon yellow, zesty green, peach melba and bright white with a dash of black in light, airy fabrics like soft silk, satin and sheer mesh.

French Connection black satin cocoon coat

ROSA'S IN SOHO

9 December 2013

Before I left for Paris I visited Rosa's, the relaxed cafe in Soho which has a reputation for good, fast, cheap Thai food.  I'd only ever walked past before because it's always full.  With a couple of tables outside, it's one of those places in summer with a little cluster of people out on the pavement - here drinking Chang beers - waiting for a table, so I decided to actually book ahead and see if it deserves to be on my list of London's best Asian restaurants along with Blue Elephant and Wabi.


FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: PARIS IN WINTER

6 December 2013

Paris in the snow
my boyfriend is on his way to Paris, after three weeks apart!  Have a good weekend.

CHRISTIAN LACROIX FOR PETIT BATEAU

Monsieur Christian Lacroix (Lacroix, sweetie - I can't hear his name without thinking of Ab Fab, which I am currently thoroughly enjoying re-watching) has teamed up with Petit Bateau and the Opéra National de Paris on a capsule collection of chic womenswear and childrenswear which is out in stores and online from today.

Christian Lacroix for Petit Bateau fashion designer collaboration

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

5 December 2013

Around this time last year I blogged about Graham and Green's wonderful Christmas selection of festive goodies for the home and they've done it again this year, with a stellar collection of Christmassy homeware which walks the line between tasteful and tacky perfectly, with beautiful tree decorations in unique shapes and eclectic themes, covered in multicoloured glitter.

Russian dolls Christmas decoration
Set of 4 Matryoshka Decorations Hand painted glass Russian dolls with glitter flowers

My home has no shortage of birds, bright colours or Russian dolls, so as far as I'm concerned, these three are must-have Christmas decorations.  Honourable mentions go to the Glass Beaded Snowflake and Grey Glitter Peacock too.

Graham and Green Gold Glitter Dove Christmas Tree Decoration
Gold Bird This glittery gold dove will bring peace and charm to your home this Christmas

Graham and Green Christmas tree Glitter Peacock Clip decoration
Glitter Peacock Clip Multi-coloured peacock tree decoration

BIG PIMPIN'

4 December 2013

This grey, black and white boucle Boohoo coat mixes a few different styles; preppy schoolgirl (I'm clearly digging monochrome checks lately) and 90s Clueless and a little bit pimpin' Huggy Bear with just a touch of "Russian callgirl" (thanks, colleague) with the big 70s fur trim shawl neck collar.

Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger in Paris

It's my favourite statement coat for AW13.  Best worn with everything else kept simple, I prefer to wear it with all black or black and white, which is the majority of my winter wardrobe anyway. Thanks Boohoo, I love it. Warm too!

Black and white check coat

THE BECKHAMS IN VOGUE PARIS

3 December 2013

Victoria and David Beckham fill the pages of Vogue Paris this month, as the fashion designer guest edits the Christmas issue.  I particularly like the Love Story shoot, tastefully photographed by Inez van & Vinoodh, styled by usual Editor-in-Chief Emmanuelle Alt and featuring chic dark clothes to allow the beautiful jewellery do the talking.

Victoria and David Beckham in Vogue Paris

DANIEL WELLINGTON

2 December 2013

Daniel Wellington is a relatively new watch brand from Sweden, with a small but perfectly formed range of chic watches for men and women, featuring slimline designs on striped NATO straps, like Sean Connery in James Bond.

Preppy Daniel Wellington watch

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: BRASSAï

29 November 2013

 Brassai
going to the Brassaï, Pour l'amour de Paris exhibition at Hôtel de Ville
with my brother and sister-in-law who are visiting this weekend. Have a good one!

SOMETHING BLUE

26 November 2013

Even though it was many moons ago now, here's an outfit I wore to London Fashion Week in September, featuring a peacock blue hat from Hobbs' sister brand NW3, an ASOS wrap pencil dress and my Alexander McQueen cut out sandals.

Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger in peacock blue wool Hobbs NW3 hat

The hat is made from wool with a grosgrain ribbon bow and is probably one of those outlandish accessories you should only wear with pared down, simple items, but I figured anything goes at LFW so wore it with clashing navy blue and my fabulous bright pink lace ups.

Alexander McQueen pink cut out sports luxe sandals

Emma Louise Layla navy wrap ASOS dress and bright blue trilby hat

GEORGES BRAQUE EXHIBITION

24 November 2013

Georges Braque was one of the twentieth century's major artists and leading figures in the avant-garde, belonging to a generation of artists which, in the opening years of the 20th century, invented modern art as we know it.  The Braque exhibition at the Grand Palais opened my eyes to the huge variety of his works, from across many disciplines - paintings, engravings and sculptures - various movements and styles, including Cubism - which he founded in 1908 with solid, timeless landscapes - Impressionism, Fauvism and pasted papers and exploring various themes, over many years.

Georges Braque exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris
L’oiseau noir et l’oiseau blanc,1960

The French artist challenged colour and line, reflected on space and changed between adventure and method, rigour and emotion before focusing on methodical series of still life and landscape painting, including the large scale series of studios and the famous birds.


In 1953 the Louvre invited a modern artist to add to its collections for the first time ever, for which Braques created three majestic paintings of flying birds for the ceiling of the museum. This retrospective features the birds series and showcases all the periods from across his vast career, gathering the artist's key works and features unpublished works, documents and photographs.

Georges Braque at the Grand Palais, 18 September 2013 – 6 January 2014  

OCTOBER INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

23 November 2013

I spent October exploring Paris and getting to know the city through its boulangeries, cafes, brasseries, filled concert halls, quiet streets, packed tourist spots and museums and galleries, where I visited the Erwin Blumenfeld photography exhibition at Jeu de Paume, the Alaia expo at the Palais Galleria, Assouline's event for the Art Jewels book by Suzanne Syz and the one night only Nuit Blanche across Paris.

Paris fashion blogger Instagram photos
1. obligatory Tour Eiffel visit 2. Tarte aux fruits at Les Deux Magots in Saint Germain 3. my favourite Erwin Blumenfeld photograph 4. pretty pink roses (living by a florist is encouraging my costly fresh flowers addiction) 5. English girl in Paris 6. sunset on the Seine 7. nice evening at a unique little gallery celebrating Suzanne Syz's new Art Jewels book 8. Place de la République during Nuit Blanche 9. grand old door

Paris Instagram photos
1. fantasy dressing at the Alaïa exposition 2. nice day for the 20km de Paris 3. Alt-J at the Olympia 4. empty street 5. the iconic yellow raincoat by Petit Bateau 6. the Louvre 7. Halloween 8. Friday night drinks on the Nouvelle Seine péniche 9. quick fraises, framboises et Champagne stop at Café Marly

FRIDAY'S FFFOUND: CHAMPS ELYSEE

22 November 2013

Paris Christmas market
hitting the Christmas market this weekend.  Have a good one!

BLACK FLORAL PRINT

20 November 2013

This black floral knee length, cowl neck dress from Monsoon is a new work staple.  Sensible length, easy to wear with simple black tight and shoes, but far from boring with a bright, colourful print.

Emma Louise Layla in black floral print Monsoon dress

Another high street treat is this pair of black pointed court shoes from M&S, as seen in Vogue and pretty much permanently on my feet since September. The conservative heel height means you can wear them all day and night and don't have to carry a pair of flats in your bag as respite for silly high heels.  Marks and Spencer, I salute you.

Marks and Spencer black ponyskin high heels

CORFU

19 November 2013

This summer, I spent a glorious week at a beautiful villa in Corfu, the tan lines from which have now completely faded; come back, summer!  We stayed in Benitses, a tiny fishing village with a small marina and an old harbour with a handful of restaurants and traditional tavernas scattered along the waterfront serving fresh fish, cold mezze, souvlaki, grilled halloumi cheese and daily Greek salads with local beers and wines.

Friends on holiday in Corfu, Greece

MOLTON BROWN PRESSIES

18 November 2013

It's time to up the ante of my already-bordering-on-obsessive hand lotion application.  And get the gloves out too!  Luxury British bath, body and skincare brand Molton Brown has a selection of replenishing hand creams made with decadent white truffle extract.

Molton Brown Christmas presents

The warm, wintry fragrances of Coco & Sandalwood, Gingerlily, Orange & Bergamot, Pink Pepperpod and Ylang-Ylang infuse the instantly absorbed cream for soft, moisturised hands.


The giftbox features a set of three, for one at home, one at home and one on the go.  Plus, if you spend more than £50, enter code ENRICH at the checkout for free delivery and a free 300ml hand or body lotion worth up to £25. Because who doesn't like to work on the one gift for them, one for you basis at Christmas time?

ALAIA EXHIBITION

17 November 2013

I recently spent a glorious afternoon taking in Azzedine Alaïa's designs at the newly-renovated Palais Galliera, at the Tunisian-born designer's first retrospective in Paris.  The exhibition features a selection of seventy models from across his impressive career.  The couturier's draped, sculptural, bodycon designs in jersey, stretch knit and leather, switching between elegant and sexy, make you never want to dress casually again.

Incredible Azzedine Alaia black gown


BLACK AND BLUE

16 November 2013

At first I wasn't sure about buying these over the knee boots from ALDO as they're not genuine leather, but I gave in earlier this autumn in London because I was looking for an OTK boot with only the slightest of heel and this height is perfect. The fabric is thinner than suede, so it moulds to your skin and isn't stiff. The sole has a small block heel measuring a couple of centimetres so are basically flat, perfect for walking around Paris.  

Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger in Paris wearing blue Pull and Bear dress and black over the knee boots

Continuing the high street theme and also breaking my rule of only wearing real leather, I'm wearing a Forever 21 jacket with pleather sleeves (and leather studded bag) and sticking to a simple colour palette of black and blue with a long sleeve ribbed dress which I picked up with a Pull and Bear voucher.

KATE MOSS AND JOHN GALLIANO IN VOGUE

15 November 2013

I'm probably not alone when I say that I'm still not really sure how I feel about John Galliano after his angry anti-semitic rant in restaurant in Paris a couple of years ago, but I am kinda pleased he's made a return to the spotlight, guest-editing the December 2013 issue of Vogue, because this Tim Walker shoot is beautiful.


Entitled Fantastia and featuring the British designer alongside his BFF Kate Moss in her 34th Vogue covershoot, the photos feature vintage-inspired clothes and a fantastic set complete with exploding piano. I do love the Christmas issues for their fairytale storytelling, especially when Mr Walker is at the lens.

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD?

14 November 2013

best photo of Paris in the world
My goodness it's definitely high up on the list. Bonne week-end!

ENGLISH GIRL IN PARIS

Oh no you didn't...  I may be a Francophile with a penchant for fancy dress, currently enjoying a stint in Paris, but I would never go that far - I took the beret off before leaving the house don't you worry.


As much as I love my vintage Jaeger hat and new Petit Bateau breton stripe top (iconic sailor stripes from a classic French brand? Oui SVP!), never the twain shall meet or you look like a silly tourist in costume.  Now, where's my string of onions?

CHRISTMAS MUGS

My family is big on Christmas mugs.  We've each had our own since I can remember and we pack them up in the attic with all the decorations so we only see them in December. The collection has grown so that guests can join in the festivities, but if someone drinks from my mug (a tasteful Dickensian hand-painted Christmas scene) they are in serious trouble.

Emma Bridgewater red and white Christmas mugs

CANDY FLOSS PINK

13 November 2013

I'm currently digging the girliest colour known to man: candy floss pink.  Whether it's near-nude blush pink nails, dusty pink walls, editorials featuring marshmallow blonde hair, one of this season's many pink coats, frosty pale pink lips, dreamy autumnal sunsets, vintage girl's bike frames or delicate lace lingerie, it's catching my eye. Here are some of my favourite moodboard photos featuring the pretty hue.

Abbey Lee Kershaw

J CREW IN THE UK

12 November 2013

London welcomed J.Crew to the UK last week with open arms as its first European flagship store opened on Regent Street. It may be a few months before I can visit the new store back in Blighty, but I'm satisfying my appetite with the latest lookbook featuring a fresh, masculine mix of sleek sportswear and smart workwear.

J Crew black and white check shirt and blazer

As always with the American fashion brand, the magic is in the styling, like pairing a brocade patterned blazer with bright white New Balance trainers and layering a casual quilted satin sweatshirt over a smart button down shirt and finishing with a snapback cap.