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ELEPHANT BRACELET

31 May 2013

London jeweller Sara Hartley kindly sent me a bracelet from her new jewellery collection, Tinies, a range of necklaces, bracelets and bangles featuring simplistic charms ranging from little people, a boy and girl (inspired by her two children) and animal shapes.


FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND

30 May 2013


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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SANDALS

I just picked up these hot pink cut out sandals by McQ Alexander McQueen at the sample sale in Clerkenwell.  I've admired them from afar as soon as they came out - I love the cutaway detail, sporty boxing boot style and the bright hue will inject a pop of colour to any outfit.  I may not need them, but at £445 down to £100, I left with a justifiable grin on my face.  Sample sales are the way forward.

McQ Alexander McQueen hot pink cut out sandals

IN PRINT

28 May 2013

Statement dresses which require little thought are one of the easiest things to wear - just add simple shoes, minimal accessories and you're done. There are so many eye-catching patterns and prints around at the moment, I thought I'd round up five of the best easy-to-dress patterned beauties for Spring/ Summer...


STELLA MCCARTNEY AT THE OUTNET

27 May 2013

THE OUTNET currently stocks plenty of Stella McCartney, from masterfully cut blazers and signature prints at up to 65% off. Whether or not you go for one of the mesh panelled crepe dresses, a fine wool knit casual jumpsuit, a fabulous Hawaiian print dress, a classic Falabella tote or a feminine underwear set, there's no better time to become a Stella devotee.

MICHAEL KORS AW13

26 May 2013

Last month I went to the swish new Michael Kors offices in London to check out the Autumn/ Winter 2013 collections in the flesh. With a more sporty, masculine aesthetic than normal, the collection features taped seams, quilted sleeves, technical fabrics, mesh and leather panelling, chunky zips and camouflage print in a utilitarian palette of black, grey, khaki, white, cobalt blue and high vis orange.  The oversized bright blue jacket with black fur hood was my favourite, albeit slightly ridiculous, piece.  Fashion is supposed to be fun after all.


APRIL INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

25 May 2013

April saw plenty of Autumn/ Winter 2013 press days, a mix of rain and bright blue skies, London was covered in blossom, I went to my friend's lovely wedding at Orchardleigh House in Somerset, I experienced The Salon Project in all its Edwardian finery, took my BFF for a birthday dinner at the Russian restaurant Mari Vanna and had my first hot air balloon ride.

Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger Instagram photos
 1. beautiful cobalt blue coat at the Almost Famous press day 2. beautiful blossom 3. new suede GAP loafers 4. Orchardleigh House 5. The Salon Project 6. beautiful azealias 7. Ferragamo flats in the Selfridges window 8. beaded Dries Van Noten dress at the Liberty press day 9. dinner at Mari Vanna

Instagram fashion London photos
 1. I love the blue hour 2. yet another blossom Instagram pic 3. ridiculous bejewelled shades: heart screams 'yes', head shouts 'oh hell, no' 4. pretty candles votives from Lombok 5. hot air balloon ride 6. sunset from the rooftop Aqua bar 7. friends 8. green grass, blue skies = first Pimms O'Clock of the year 9. strappy delights at the Kurt Geiger AW13 press day


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L'ICONA FERRAGAMO

24 May 2013

L'Icona is a photography project celebrating 35 years of Salvatore Ferragamo's most recognised design and the first shoe the designer ever made, featuring 21 girls in different, customised variations of the Italian fashion house's iconic stacked heel Vara or ballet flat sister shoe, Varina.  My favourite from the series is actress and constant girl crush Camilla Belle, who wears a Ferragamo blush silk chiffon dress and the mid-heeled nude Vara in Beverley Hills, California.

Camilla Belle

"When I think of something iconic, I usually think of something that has a history: a photograph, a film, an old movie star, a singer, an artist.  Iconic people and clothes come with history and a story.  What makes the Vara shoes so special is that it has a history: it was created in the seventies to be a heel that's accessible and still chic.  Now there's so many colours in the Varina flat version, I wear them every day - and feel like I'm wearing something that tells a story."


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FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: CYCLING

1950s race bikes shot by Italian American photographer Tom Palumbo

Another long weekend is here - I'll be putting in some miles with my beloved BMC, training for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 race in August.  Eek.  Have a good one!

BROWS BY SHAVATA

23 May 2013

One of the biggest names in the brows business and with 25 years in the beauty industry, Shavata Singh set up a studio at Urban Retreats in Harrods in 2004, before launching brow bars in Harvey Nicks, House of Fraser and Debenhams stores up and down the country offering shaping, tinting and eyelash extensions.

Shavata eyebrows

VEGESENTIALS

22 May 2013

Introducing the UK's first raw vegetable drink brand, which I've been drinking all week.  Offering the highest raw vegetable ratio (at least 50%), more naturally occurring nutrients and 35% less natural sugar than leading fruit and vegetable blend juices, Vegesentials is the healthiest drinks brand around.


Crammed full of good stuff (vitamins A, C, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus), there are five unique blends of 100% pure ingredients: beetroot, pomegranate & carrot juice (my favourite), beetroot, banana & carrot, beetroot, kiwi & carrot, carrot, mango & parsnip and celery, apple & kale.  There’s no added sugar, water, extracts, additives or concentrates, just fresh fruit and veg.


For an easy detox, buy one for each weekday, substitute your usual breakfast and kickstart your day with a healthy smoothie instead.  Trust me, you'll feel great!  Pick them up at Whole Foods, Waitrose, Ocado or the John Lewis Food Hall on Oxford Street.

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IT'S MY BIRTHDAY

21 May 2013

... And I'm stuck in Blighty! I like to go abroad for my birthday, away from normality, laundry, plant-watering and other daily chores to make it feel properly special but this year it didn't quite happen. So I'm staying in London, getting my hair done at Daniel Galvin, having lunch at Dean Street Townhouse, champagne and presents with my BFFs, then dinner at Cucina Asellina. Still a rather good day lined up!

birthday dinner at Nikki Beach in Cannes a couple of years ago

PLANE-TO-BEACH BAG

20 May 2013

Summer holidays are fast approaching, and with that comes the annual justification to update your wardrobe with a few new pieces for your jollies.  I'll be picking up some espadrilles, new sunglasses, a chic one piece swimsuit and a versatile handbag suitable for both carry-on luggage and beach bag, to keep my suitcase nice and light.

zebra print handbag

Step up Next's Zebra Raffia Tote Bag, made from a nice summery raffia fabric in black and white zebra print, cream aztec diamond patterns and snakeskin trim. I prefer zebra to leopard print, as it's slightly more sophisticated (as much as garish animal print can be) in monochrome and I'd always choose classic black and white over brown, to go with the majority of my wardrobe.

The size is perfect to store my magazines, purse, obligatory in-flight fruit pastilles, Caudalie's refreshing Beauty Elixir face mist, passport, sunnies, travel documents and all the other airplane essentials for the flight and Carmex, waterproof mascara, sunscreen, iPod, a good book, tennis ball, sheer sarong, water bottle and, the chicest summer accessory, goggles for the beach. What are your summer travel essentials?

FRENCH OPEN OUTFITS

19 May 2013

Maria Sharapova will be defending her French Open title in style in a cool grey Nike Premier Maria Dress and customised NIKEiD shoes.


The sportswear brand has released photos of King of clay Rafa Nadal (who'll be trying for his eighth title at Roland Garros) and Roger Federer's outfits and trainers, also in charcoal, slate grey and white with neon yellow detailing, too.  Tennis garb has never looked so good.

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: BALLOONS

17 May 2013

ffffound birthday balloons

SUMMER ESPADRILLES

16 May 2013

Espadrilles are a summer holiday classic.  The casual rope-soled cotton canvas shoes originate from the Pyrenees where they've been made since the 14th century.  Worn by men, women and kids across the years, they're a versatile, basic style staple in the warmer months.

black and white leather espadrilles

The two nicest I've seen for SS13 are slip-ons from Whistles, in monochrome snakeskin or leopard print and GAP's polka dot and black and cream animal print lace-ups.

polka dot and leopard print espadrilles

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TOM BINNS BLING

14 May 2013

I'm always drawn to big statement jewellery, especially outfit-making pieces from my favourite brands like Mawi and Dannijo, so Tom Binns' work has caught my eye on more than one occasion.  The American jewellery designer, who worked with Vivienne Westwood in the 1980s, creates pieces with a tough, punky edge, often using spikes, studs, dark gunmetal and excessive layers of chains.

Tom Binns statement jewellery

This Electro Clash Nova Necklace, with its hand-painted rainbow jewels, black metal and sparkling Swarovski crystals, contrasts an OTT design with delicate materials in bright neon colours.  I also love the silver-plated barbed wire bracelet and girly pink Madame Dumont necklace.

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GEORGIA MAY JAGGER AND JOSH MCLELLAN

11 May 2013

The new Autumn Winter 2013 campaign for French clothing brand Sisley features British model Georgia May Jagger and her fiancĂ© musician Josh McLellan on a romantic getaway.

Georgia May Jagger from Sisley campaign

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: FERRIS WHEEL

10 May 2013

incredible ferris wheel in the wild

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DHC SKINCARE

9 May 2013

Let me introduce you to DHC, one of Japan's largest beauty brands, which has 25 years' experience in creating innovative skincare based on botanicals and is known for its olive oil-based skincare and beauty products.  I hadn't heard of it until recently and it's been a pleasure to discover.

DHC skincare products by natural Japanese beauty brand

PALE AND INTERESTING

8 May 2013

I've been after a decorative globe for my home for yeeeears.  I've got plenty of maps but I haven't been able to decide on a globe; do you go down the very expensive antique route, for a purposefully garish, colourful modern one, a high contrast version in glossy black and white or a simplified, whitewashed one?  I'm quite taken with this pale globe from Laura Ashley...

vintage look new globe

Its neutral colours would fit in well with any living room or study and the faded, sun-bleached styling makes it look vintage but has the added benefit of geographical accuracy.

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THE MET BALL 2013

7 May 2013

The Costume Institute Gala Benefit was a funny one this year.  Held in NYC last night, the theme was punk as the fashion elite turned up to celebrate the opening of the Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition.

Kerry Washington Met Ball 2013
Kerry Washington looked divine in purple Vera Wang

BALLET FLATS

6 May 2013

Established in London in 1989, French Sole sells pretty flats and ballet pumps in an array of colours, fabrics and trims. Like every other girl in the past ten years, I've owned many pairs of ballerinas and always have a pair in my bag when I'm on the go in big heels, and I've come to the conclusion that it pays to buy from specialists, because with flat shoes, it's all about a sturdy sole and good quality leathers.


My black glitter Pretty Ballerinas have already lasted longer than the preceding black patent leather Jaeger pumps and my metallic Lucy Chois are still in perfect condition, despite alternating between the two most days.  So no more ASOS and Topshop flats for me.  Next up on my well-made, sensible shoes acquisition list is a versatile pair of French Soles.

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: KARLIE

3 May 2013

Karlie Kloss by Alexi Lubomirski
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

NAVY AND NUDE

2 May 2013

Looking a little late 60s/ early 70s in my navy blue Topshop dress, colour block tights, big shades and leather platform sandals.  I was drawn to the unusual neckline and retro shape of this dress, which I picked up in the Topshop sale.



PRETTY IN PINK

1 May 2013

English actress Carey Mulligan looks pretty in pink Prada on the cover of the June 2013 British Harper's Bazaar, out this month.  The Great Gatsby star also wears Erdem and Bottega Veneta in the dreamy, ethereal shoot photographed by Tom Allen. Dreamy, feminine pastels are perfect for a spring cover, don't you think?


Carey Mulligan Harper's Bazaar
subscribers issue