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PETIT BATEAU POPS UP IN SHOREDITCH

31 January 2014

French clothing brand Petit Bateau is launching a pop up in Shoreditch on 14 February for one month to tie in with London Fashion Week.

Petit Bateau floral print trousers

The new Spring/ Summer 2014 collection, designed by music/ fashion design duo Maison Kitsuné, is exactly what these grey, drizzly, non-descript winter months call for - pretty sorbet colours of soft peachy orange, forest green and fresh blues with plenty of bright white, the essential breton stripe marinière tops (a must-have for every season), spring floral and vintage boat prints, soft cotton and light jerseys, preppy striped blazers and playful playsuits.  Here are some of my favourite looks from the SS14, ready for when the sun shines.

Petit Bateau pop-up store, 14 February - 13 March 2014
64 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PE

EMMA WATSON FOR WONDERLAND

British actress Emma Watson guest edits the latest issue of quarterly magazine Wonderland, which hits newstands 7 February. Hermoine Emma is both editor and coverstar as she graces two covers, one looking ethereal in Dolce & Gabbana with tousled hair and a silver crown ("Elf Alien Queen", she tweeted) and a one in 60s-ish mustard yellow, crystal-embellished Prada ("Afro Prada Bruiser").

Emma Watson Wonderland magazine cover

She dives into her roladex, featuring content and interviews with J.K. Rowling, Sofia Coppola, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lena Dunham, Jonah Hill and the director from her latest movie Noah, Darren Aronofsky.

Emma Watson Wonderland magazine cover

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: CAROUSEL

Paris carousel in the snow
one of the beautiful Belle Epoque carousels in Paris

BLUE WALLS

30 January 2014

My mum once came home when I was 15 in the middle of studying for my GCSEs and instead of the planned afternoon of revision, I was up a ladder with a pot of paint, painting my walls a beautiful azure blue.  She was not pleased, but that beautiful shade of blue was too hard a distraction to ignore.  It's still one of my favourite colours and I particularly like it used in interiors.

ELLE Decoration blue walls

THE PERFECT BLACK BOOT

29 January 2014

This sleek, shiny, black patent leather boot from Office is one YSL-y, androgynous pair of boots which will be joining my shoe collection in February when I come back to London, let me tell you...

Black patent ankle boots from Office

Paris is obviously great for shopping - my empty, barren bank account can certainly vouch for that - but there seems to be fewer specialist shoe shops here than Londres. Apart from discovering Mellow Yellow last summer in Le Marais and seeing a couple of ALDO stores over here, it appears the majority of footwear shopping is done in department stores like Galeries Lafayette (that basement floor is seriously dangerous territory) and in accessories sections of brand stores.  I've kinda missed one-stop shoe shops like Office and I'll be purchasing these glossy, everyday ankle boots to make up for my absence.

STOCKHOLM METRO

28 January 2014

I went to Stockholm for the first time in March 2012 and was blown away by a number of things - how cool the city is, how beautiful Swedes are, how great Swedish style is, how clean the streets are, how overpriced the taxis are, how every place should be built on an archipelago, how cripplingly expensive everything is and how impressive the metro system was.

Stockholm metro station

As perfectly adequate London's tube system is, Stockholm's underground ran until way past midnight and looked like this - 90 of the 100 stations are relatively unsculpted with unique, natural architecture and exposed bedrock throughout the tunnels and platforms giving it the look of a striking, natural series of cave.  I'd truly never seen anything like it.

WHITE TUX

26 January 2014

Bianca Jagger made white tuxedos the coolest thing ever back in the seventies and even though I have two white blazers already, I couldn't resist this black satin trim tux jacket from the aforementioned Sandro sample in Paris a couple of weeks ago.

Emma Louise Layla in a white Sandro tuxedo jacket

It instantly smartens up a look, like this oversized sports t-shirt dress from Topshop I wore on a Saturday night out in the Marais. I'm sure it'll be a good investment as a sleek piece of outerwear to dress up a casual outfit always comes in handy, Parisian brands know how to do boyfriend blazers better than anyone, plus black and white and a nod to androgynous tailoring never go out of style.

BRIGHT BLUE COAT

I've got my beady little eye on this bright blue long coat in the Reiss sale. The purple-ish royal blue colour is lovely, the slimline, single button straight cut is chic, it's made from a warm wool blend and it's a bargain. You can wear it over smart work dresses and more casually at the weekend too - I think I'm sold...

Reiss bright blue long coat

Reiss bright blue long coat

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: ROSES

24 January 2014

pretty grey roses

BISTROT VIVIENNE, PARIS

23 January 2014

Paris has so many pretty galeries and passages and the dozens of photos I've taken tells me I have a real soft spot for them.  One of my favourites is Galerie Vivienne built in 1823 in the 2eme arrondissement by the Bibliothèque Nationale, with its patterned tile mosaic floor, glass roof, wood carvings, little potted trees and twinkling fairy lights. It also includes one of my favourite restaurants in Paris, Bistrot Vivienne.

Bistrot Vivienne, Paris

FEMME UNIVERSELLE

22 January 2014

Love the mood of this 1920s-inspired shoot in the February 2014 issue of German Vogue, featuring Katlin Aas as model, Giampaolo Sgura as photographer and Christiane Arp as stylist. It features lace, maribou feathers, dark lips and painted arched eyebrows, pearls, laced corsets, vintage style lingerie and makes me want to dress up.

1920s fashion shoot

CRAZY HORSE

21 January 2014

One of my favourite evenings of 2013 was a night in December at the iconic Crazy Horse in Paris with my boyfriend.  I wore a new sequin dress sent from partywear brand Boohoo with red lips and nails, he wore a slim, black Calvin Klein suit and we sat on the plush red velvet seats and drank Champagne watching the most glamorous cabaret show in the world.  Those girls are something else.

Emma Louise Layla in royal blue sequin Boohoo minidress

ELLE DEC SHOOT

When I move back to London from Paris next month I will begin the long and arduous task of flat-hunting. The upside of this is starting to think about interiors and how I'll want to decorate the space, so I'm pinning lots of interior design inspiration on Pinterest and compiling a wish list and scrapbook of ideas to try...

ELLE Decoration interior design inspiration

ERYKAH BADU FOR GIVENCHY

20 January 2014

Erykah Badu's Baduizm is one of my favourite albums of all time, with a couple of tracks in my most played songs for over a decade since my very first iTunes.  I'm pleased to see that the unique American singer has been chosen by Riccardo Tisci for the Spring/ Summer 2014 Givenchy campaign, also featuring Angolian model Maria Borges, newcomer black model Riley and new girl on the scene, restauranteur Michael Chow's beautiful 17 year old daughter, Asia Chow.  It's great to see such a multicultural campaign.

Givenchy Spring Summer 2014 campaign Erykah Badu

BROOKS HAIR SALON

17 January 2014

Sicilian Avenue is a pretty Italian-style arcade in central London's Bloomsbury, just north of Holborn, with a few cafes, bars, patisseries and the award-winning Brooks & Brooks hair salon (three times London's Best Hairdresser of the Year), where I had my most daring haircut in years.  It might not be daring to anyone else - five or six inches chopped off into a long bob - but it was the shortest I'd been since a regretful decision in the salon aged about 14 (the kind which makes you shudder looking back on family photos) after spending my childhood with long locks I could sit on.  What was I thinking.

Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger at Brooks & Brooks hair salon, Sicilian Avenue, London

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: PARIS ROAD SIGNS

Travelling in Paris: road signs

BLUE SILK SANDRO SHIRT

16 January 2014

The fashion industry's favourite silk shirts are by Equipment, but I couldn't resist this dusty bright blue blouse in washed silk by Sandro from my recent splurge at their sample sale in Paris.  The fabric feels so beautiful to wear, cobalt blue is probably my favourite colour and it was 60% off; how could I resist?

Blue silk Sandro shirt and black and white zebra print Pull and Bear coat on Emma Louise Layla

MATCHSTICK PRINT

15 January 2014

Selfridges has a good new season selection on the site - and I'm sure in store too - for those who are getting sale malaise and fancy something fresh.  I particularly like Stella McCartney's Matchstick Print Babydoll Dress (and the shorts) from the Resort 2014 collection, which was awash with python and snakeskin prints in neutral tones.

Stella McCartney Matchstick Print Babydoll Dress Resort 2014 collection

The striking print is on smooth satin silk cut into a playful, voluminous shape and flared skirt at the hem.  I never thought I'd think a babydoll was laidback, but the boxy fit and dark contrast colour palette somehow make it casual. How does she do it?

NIGHT VISION

14 January 2014

Josephine Skriver photographed by Nicole Heiniger and styled by William Graper for Elle Brazil magazine, January 2014. Love Heron Preston's Nascar top.

Heron Preston's Nascar top on Josephine Skriver

VERSAILLES

13 January 2014

My tastes have changed since visiting the Palace of Versailles for the first time in November - I have a newfound appreciation for the ornate and downright outrageously opulent decor.  And the gardens are just as beautiful as the famous interiors.

Versailles Palace, Paris, France

LE CAFÉ KOUSMICHOFF

10 January 2014

I recently had a lovely post-Grand Palais exhibition caffeine boost and sugar rush at the Kusmi Tea store on the Champs-Élysées and its Café Kusmichoff upstairs. Located on the first floor of Kusmi Tea's Champs-Élysées flagship store, with a beautiful view of the avenue, Cafe Kousmichoff offers a light menu of both French and Russian specialities and excellent pastries from La Patisserie des Reves.  We shared the hot, crumbly Morello cherry and poppy seed cake with whipped cream and the incredibly rich organic chocolate fondant over pots of Kusmi Tea.

Café Kousmichoff, Paris

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: MONTMARTRE

Montmartre, Paris in snoz
I'm a lucky girl, I've another BFF over in Paris to visit.  I'll be walking around Montmartre for the third weekend in a row, wishing for snow.  It better get cold before I return to London next month, I want to see Paris under a white blanket!

GREIGE DAYS

9 January 2014

This warm wool Diane Von Furstenberg cowl neck dress with long dolman sleeves I picked up at Matches last spring is the same in-between grey colour as the wintry skies in Paris at the moment.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla wearing Diane Von Furstenberg in Paris

Featuring a similar shade of warm greige, this animal print scarf by Danish brand Pieces (where I got my nude leather satchel from) has been a constant companion lately.  Here I've topped it off with a black baker boy hat and some bright pink lipstick to combat those winter blues.

PHIL SMITH HAIRCARE

8 January 2014

I am currently trying out some new haircare products from award-winning hair stylist Phil Smith after being sent the damage protection SOS Rescue and argan oil Total Treat ranges to revive my dull hair this winter.

Phil Smith SOS Rescue and Total Treat haircare ranges

A beauty PR blew my mind the other month when she told me to avoid blowdrying after putting argan oil on, as it causes damage.  Which seems obvious to me now - it's an oil, of course it would - but I've been slathering my damp hair in Morrocanoil for years.  So I was really keen to try the Argan Oil Cream, a soft, lightweight cream with all the transformative benefits of the oil which help lock in moisture to nourish dry ends and restore smoothness.

The Damage Protection Shampoo and Conditioner feel rich and leave my hair feeling shiny too.  Plus, each product is under a fiver, so it's a perfect little January treat which won't cause further damage to your post-Christmas bank account.

PARIS PHOTO

7 January 2014

I attended Paris Photo for the first time in November, an absolutely huge photography exhibition held at the Grand Palais in its 17th year, featuring 136 galleries from all over the world, including fine art institutions to the small up-and-coming indies, which took me five hours to go around.

Ray K. Metzker, Marseille, 1961
Ray K. Metzker, Marseille, 1961

I went in prepared in a pair of flats, with a bottle of water and an apple for sustenance and was in for the long haul on a chilly Sunday afternoon and left with a reeling head.  Over-stimulation in the best possible sense.
Richard Avedon Shoe, designed by Perugia, Place du Trocadéro, Paris, August 1948
Richard Avedon Shoe, designed by Perugia, Place du Trocadéro, Paris, August 1948

The expo has 28 international editors curating a series of all manners of contemporary and historical photographs and installations which attract artists, galleriests, photographers, collectors, admirers and the passionate from across the globe for one weekend in the French capital.  Here are some of my favourites on display.

DECEMBER INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

5 January 2014

December was a great month. I had my first Christmas and New Year's Eve in France, hosting my boyfriend, daddy, brother and his wife, and best friend over sixteen days off work, enjoyed the festive build up and cold wintry nights in Paris, visited Crazy Horse after wanting to go for years and after seeing Forever Crazy in London last year, and enjoyed the spectacular views at Ciel de Paris as the sun set on 2013. Here's to another exciting year.

Instagram photos of a fashion blogger in Paris
1. Pont Alexandre III, the prettiest bridge in Paris 2. incredible Christmas Day lunch at Le Train Bleu 3. time to get the Duvetica jacket out 4. crunchy autumnal leaves at Place des Vosges 5. my favourite statement coat this winter 6. my chic Daniel Wellington watch 7. having a blast at Crazy Horse 8. lunch with a view at Ciel de Paris 9. dinner avec mon frère et ma belle-soeur at Très Honoré

Paris Instagram photos
1. apero at the gorgeous winter garden at the Hôtel Prince de Galles 2. Christmas Eve joy in front of the Musée du Louvre 3. Winter Wonderland with Vertu 4. bonne nuit 5. Olivia Rubin animal print and coral sleeve dress 6. nice long lunch by the river at Chez Julien 7. a winter's morning in Paris 8. zumba! 9. old shop front on Rue Saint-Honoré

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: BFFS

3 January 2014

BFFs Blair and Serena in Paris
My BFF from school is over in Paris again visiting me this weekend to celebrate her birthday.  My "no more Champagne" resolve on New Year's Day won't last long...  Have a goodun.

BOUTON EARRINGS

I flirt with gold, rose gold and mixed metals from time to time, but deep down I am a silver girl through and through.  British jewellery brand Bouton is such a find, designing inexpensive sterling silver pieces with crystals cut in the same way as diamonds, offering sparkly, glamorous, good quality jewellery minus a couple of zeros.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla wearing sterling silver Bouton drop earrings

I'm a fan of their classic styles, like these old school Pear Drop Earrings, which I've been wearing ever since I received them, both during the day (they're quite small so discreet enough to wear to the office) and, of course, for cocktail hour. Betty Draper would approve.

TOP TEN J.CREW SALE HIGHLIGHTS

2 January 2014

After a pretty expensive Christmas, I should be putting my head down and getting through January, but the sales are so good.  Here are my favourite ten items from the J.Crew sale plus there's an extra 30% off everything here with the code HAPPYSALE.  See you at the checkout.

J Crew purple pleated shirtdress