27 July 2014

SUMMER STYLE

My winter wardrobe is 90% black or navy blue whereas in summer it consists of bright colours, bold prints and hardly any dark colours in sight.  The weather has been so great this year in England, it's been bare legs and no coats for months!  The first time I woke up and it wasn't bright blue skies outside, I wore tights for the first time in weeks, but there's still a summery floral pattern involved...

London fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla neon floral print dress and pearl necklace

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25 July 2014

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: SEQUINS

Kate Hudson in gorgeous sequin gown
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23 July 2014

TWO TO TANGO

The new season from Kate Spade New York features quirky prints, tongue-in-cheek statements and feminine fabrics - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  The white and pink printed Two to Tango short-sleeve T-shirt is made from soft, slouchy cotton.  I love the black Jacquard Cupcake Skirt, with its high waist fit (when you turn it upside down it looks like a cupcake, apparently) and dresses up simple silk vests or casual tees.


Also a fan of the mini record-shaped Fancy Footwork Saxton (I do like Kate Spade bags), in patent black cowhide leather inspired by 50s rock'n'roll, vintage turntables and retro sports cars.  Crossbody which means it's good for dancing and cycling.

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22 July 2014

BEACHWEAR EDITORIAL

Dutch model Mirte Maas was photographed by David Roemer for the July/ August 2014 issue of Harper's Bazaar Spain on a Mexican beach in skimpy black swimwear and cut out swimsuits, sheer and mesh dresses and tops and printed trousers and cover-ups, providing both beach body and summer holiday wardrobe inspiration in one.

Dutch model Mirte Maas in beachwear editorial in Harper's Bazaar Spain

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18 July 2014

FISCHER'S

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the two gentlemen behind restaurant group Corbin and King founded in 1981, have the golden touch when it comes to eateries.  They run an impressive selection of London's finest restaurants, from Le Caprice, J Sheekey and The Ivy back in the day (all since sold), to the current roster including The Wolseley on Piccadilly, The Delaunay on Aldwych and 2012's Parisian-style Brasserie Zedel behind Piccadilly Circus.  The latest, in the style of a beautiful, grand European café, is Fischer's in Marylebone. Marylebone High Street's lovely village feel has just got even better.

Fischer's restaurant, Marylebone London
the superb chopped salad starter

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FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: NEON SUMMER

Summer neon bright colours

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17 July 2014

JUNE INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

In June we went down to Brighton for the weekend for a friend's birthday, watched as many World Cup games as I could, had a relaxing spa weekend for my BFF's hen do, visited beautiful Budapest for the first time for a friend's wedding, had another friend's wedding in Northamptonshire, went to the wonderful Matisse: The Cut Outs exhibition at the Tate Modern (one of my favourite expositions ever), attended Polo in the Park for the first time, watched and participated in the London Nocturne as I won a place in the Barclays Cycle Hire race (the atmosphere was fantastic and I was the fastest girl.  Woo hoo!)

London fashion blogger Instagram photos
1. colourful Brighton beach huts 2. Szia, Budapest! 3. flowers in the gorgeous Ashdown Park Hotel gardens 4. carousel love 5. Petit Bateau floral print and balloons at Polo in the Park 6. Matisse expo at the Tate 7. new in: Hobbs nude leather brogues 8. crazy penny farthings at the London Nocturne 9. stunning mint green art deco building

London fashion blogger Instagram photos
1. Happy Father's Day, Daddy! 2. Blue metallic snakeskin heels from Call It Spring for AW14 3. trying out Fischers restaurant 4. the beautiful St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest 5. wedding guest outfits 6. confetti time! 7cobalt blue nails at a Debenhams press event 8. geometric prints on the pavilion 9. the hire bikes race

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1810 FROM HEAL'S

This year sees the return of Heal's own-brand fabrics - the first textile collection the British interiors brand has developed since the 1970s.  Named 1810 from Heal's - the year Heal's launched - the selection of patterned home accessories includes kitchen textiles, trays, cushions and stationery and aims to inspire us to be brave with pattern and colour.

Heal's fabrics Peacock Flower by Malika Favre
After seeing a majestic peacock in her hotel on a trip to the French Riviera, Favre was inspired to create this bold, geometric design.

Building upon the heritage of working with and promoting emerging and established designers, Heal's commissioned 10 exclusive patterns that celebrate colour and individuality.  Taking their inspiration from a wide range of sources, including Heal's own fabric archives, vintage illustrations, the natural world and 1940s jewellery design, each has a story and a style of its own, while also working as part of the collection.

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15 July 2014

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI COUTURE

This was the best collection from the couture shows in Paris, in my opinion.  Drop dead gorgeous.  And exactly what a couture collection should be - ultra glamorous, supremely luxurious and three parts fantasy to one part wearable.  Giambattista Valli has designed pieces we could wear (well, almost) everyday and plenty of pieces we can dream of wearing (floor-length bright pastel tulle gowns, say) and I think it's an inspiring line, encouraging us to be imaginative and bring the chic, vintage, holidaying-on-the-Riviera feel of the collection to our own wardrobes.

Giambattista Valli couture fashion show

The Italian-born French designer took a step back in time with shapes and cuts from the 1940s, 50s and 60s (the finest fashion decades?) and playing with proportions as he always does, with full crinoline skirts and floor-sweeping dresses, luxe materials like satin, sheer fabrics and crisp white cotton shirts (nice modern contrast), slouchy pyjama stripes and chic, relaxed silhouettes, feminine floral embroidery and an elegant colour palette finished with headscarf turbans and retro round sunglasses.  Oh, the glamour.

Giambattista Valli couture fashion show
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14 July 2014

METALLIC SPORTS LUXE EDITORIAL

Here's a cracking editorial from issue 6 of luxury triennial magazine Rollacoaster from 2012 featuring two of my all-time favourite trend: metallics and sports luxe (as you can see here!). Photographed by Thomas Cooksey, Czech model Magdalena Langrova wears a whole lotta glamorous silver, bronze and gold mixed with sportswear far too stylish to be confined to the gym.

Stylish sports luxe fashion magazine editorial
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11 July 2014

PRADA CANDY

Birthday presents two months later are always a nice surprise. Received in the post this morning from my best friend who's currently not living in London (boo hoo), Prada's Candy eau de parfum is a heady mix of caramel, warm musk and sweet vanilla.

Prada Candy eau de parfum perfume

Launched in 2013 and followed up by the lighter Candy L'Eau fragrance in 2013, this is quite an unusual perfume which smells sophisticated, seductive and yet sweet - but not in a sickly, sugary, cloying way - featuring benzoin (a tree resin collected from the forests in Laos) and finishing with a softer, powdery edge with white musk.  I can't describe it, but it works.  I'm a bit of a sucker for the shocking pink, black and gold packaging too.


P.S. Move back soon, Al!
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FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: BASTILLE DAY

French Antarctica expeditionist J.B. Charcot (left) and Raymond Rallier du Baty drinking Mumm Champagne in Antarctica, Bastille Day 1904
French expeditionist J.B. Charcot (left) and Raymond Rallier du Baty
drinking Mumm Champagne in Antarctica, Bastille Day 1904 
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10 July 2014

BRIGHT GLOBE

Whenever I'm in an antiques store, at a car boot sale or flea market, the three things that I'm always drawn to are Russian dolls, vintage tins and globes.  I blogged about Laura Ashley's washed out, minimalist white globe last year (saying that I've been after one for years) but still don't own one.

Oliver Bonas brightly coloured globe with wooden base

On the other end of the colour scale is this vivid globe from Oliver Bonas.  There are three - the large yellow one, medium white one and small green one, with brightly coloured markings, a rustic finish and wooden base. I prefer the big yellow one, which would add a great pop of colour to a neutral room and make a great gift for chic travellers or those with a serious dose of wanderlust.  Just spin and pick your next destination.
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9 July 2014

NET-A-SPORTER

Sport has never been so stylish and it was only a matter of time before luxury fashion giant NET-A-PORTER addressed the ever-growing stylish sportswear market. 


Launching today, the brand new NET-A-SPORTER section of the website features activewear brands combining fashion with function for the ultimate sports luxe edit, from cool gym gear, sleek swimsuits, smart tennis outfits, slick running kit and chic clothing for yoga or dance classes, you now have no excuse to wear that baggy boyfriend Nike tee you've worn for years.  

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8 July 2014

CHERYL COLE IN ELLE UK

Cheryl Cole covers the August 2014 issue of ELLE UK, photographed by Ben Morris.  The shoot has a casual, retro 60s-ish (with a little 70s and 90s thrown in for good measure), gritty northern feel to it and the singer looks like a total babe, as usual.  I think I'll always have a soft spot for, ahem, "our Chezza".

Cheryl Cole in ELLE UK editorial
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4 July 2014

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: TDF

Vintage Tour de France
I'm going up north this weekend to see the Tour de France start in Yorkshire. So. Excited.

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April in Paris

I went back to Paris over Easter - and sang April in Paris, one of my very favourite Ella Fitzgerald songs, in my head the whole time - and it felt like a completely different city to the one I left in February.  I wandered around the Jardins des Tuileries where all the bare trees were transformed into bright green, with chestnuts in blossom and blooming flowers everywhere, sat outside in cafés and didn't have to wear a coat as spring had sprung.

Springtime in Paris

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3 July 2014

MINT GREEN

Mint green is one of my favourite colours, in fashion and interiors, and also bikes.  Bianchi has claimed celeste green as their own and this morning I cycled around Regent's Park for an hour in my Bianchi jersey, showered and got dressed in this new flared hem dress I picked up in the Miss Selfridge sale.

London fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in mint green Miss Selfridge dress

Like red and pink or navy and black, I like clashing similar tones so my azure blue pebble leather Kate Spade bag finishes off my bright summer outfit nicely.

London fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in bright blue pebble leather Kate Spade bag
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2 July 2014

OLD SCHOOL HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR

British model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley stars in the June cover story of online luxury beauty magazine The Violet Files' Wet Hot Summer issue. Photographed by Emma Summerton in Palm Desert, the shoot has a fabulous old school Hollywood glamour feel to it.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley photographed by Emma Summerton for Violet Grey June 2014 issue - old school Hollywood glamour

She's wearing luxe-y, tactile fabrics; nude silk, white fur, black leather with big, bold jewellery, matte red lips and long nails. Her face - and body - is something else. See the fabulous photos here and read the behind-the-scenes story; I love how it's written.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley photographed by Emma Summerton for Violet Grey June 2014 issue - old school Hollywood glamour
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1 July 2014

ATTWOOD AND SAWYER

The costume jewellery brand Attwood and Sawyer was established in 1956, inspired by pieces given by King Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson, and was worn in the eighties by the cast of US TV shows Dallas and Dynasty, who certainly knew a thing a two about glitzy bling.

Attwood and Sawyer canary diamond-style Knightsbridge Cushion Sparkle Ring

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