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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...


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


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


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


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


Christmas and NYE Champagne party celebrations
bottoms up


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


25 December 2013

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


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.


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


20 December 2013

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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


6 December 2013

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


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


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


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


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


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