31 October 2013


Check out my mirror-shine silver leather shoes from Spanish high street brand Pull & Bear.  Pretty snazzy, no?  I recently met the marketing team who talked me through highlights from the AW13 collection and these metallic bluchers with cut out pinking details caught my magpie eye...

metallic leather cut out flat shoes by Pull & Bear

I was given a voucher and picked these up along with a few other favourite pieces.  As with most shoes made from genuine leather, they were stiff and uncomfortable for the first day, but now the material has softened and they're great to slip on for the days you need flats.  Muchas gracias, P&B.

Pull & Bear unusual stylish metallic flat shoes for women

30 October 2013


My Asho is a new online retailer created by Dolapo Shobanjo presenting distinctive, ethical pieces from African fashion designers to a global audience.  My favourite brand the site stocks is Eredappa, a label by Nigerian-born Eredappa Hart, who creates feminine beaded and lace concoctions handmade in her Lagos studio.  The African wax print and intricate beading come in a vivid palette of bright yellow, pink, blue, black and white glass or crystal beads layered over midnight blue and black French lace.

Eredappa at My Asho


29 October 2013


I know it's too early but let's talk Christmas.  Eee!  Claridge's, the Mayfair hotel which blows the competition out the water each year with beautiful festive decorations and an infamous designer Christmas tree, is collaborating with Dolce & Gabbana for 2013.

Dolce & Gabbana Christmas Tree for Claridge's Hotel, London, 2013

Each year the magnificent Christmas tree is designed by a huge name in the fashion industry and now it's the Italian duo's time.  Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana recently shared their first sketch of the 22ft Christmas tree, which mixes the traditional with the elaborate, ornate Sicilian with hand-crafted "pupi" puppets and hand-painted Italian glass baubles, which will be unveiled on 26 November.  It's always a sight to behold.

28 October 2013


Last week I attended an event at a gallery in Paris held by luxury publisher Assouline to celebrate contemporary jewellery designer Suzanne Syz's unique collection and publication of her first book, Art Jewels, a beautifully illustrated 200-page glossy coffee table hardback.

Suzanne Syz Painter's Palette earrings
Painter’s Palette earrings: diamonds, amethyst, emerald, spinel, garnet, sapphire
and tourmaline set in rose gold

The jeweller was born in Zurich and educated in Paris before moving to New York City in the 1980s where she met legendary artists Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons. Her relationships with these creative spirits greatly influenced her impressive modern art collection and acted as a catalyst for her unique jewellery designs.

26 October 2013

Shake Shack

Last time I was in New York I tried Shake Shack for the first time and added my name to the American burger chain's long list of fans from native New Yorkers to the NYFW clan and thousands of tourists. It started as a hot dog cart in Manhattan's Madison Square Park in 2001 and has pretty much reach cult status over the pond.  And it's worth the hype, worth the queue.


25 October 2013


old Paris map from 1900
1900 Paris map

22 October 2013


I have a love/ hate relationship with lace - sometimes it looks so chic and elegant, then a brand like Lipsy makes a trashy bodycon you see on a dozen girls every Saturday night, or the Kardashians wears it and there goes my affection. But lately there's plenty of ladylike lace thanks to the delicate lingerie-as-outerwear trend so I'm re-introducing it to my wardrobe.  Here are some of my favourite lace dresses this season.

Black Isabella Lace Insert Dress from Whistles
For Sunday brunch: Isabella Lace Insert Dress from Whistles: a modern way to wear lace this season, with a sculptured cocoon shape, lace insert panels and cut out neckline


21 October 2013


Isn't she beautiful?  I bought her (yes, bikes are 'she's, like ships) in January after spending the best part of a year deliberating over various women's roads bikes. I decided to go for a high spec one at the top of my budget by Swiss brand BMC and chose a technologically-advanced model with a lightweight aluminum triple-butted hydroformed frame and carbon forks in pearlised silver, white and blue, with a Shimano 105 groupset. AKA a pretty badass bike.

BMC women's road bikes

I didn't bring my beloved BMC with me to Paris and I already miss using it. Time to start planning long weekend rides in England when I'm back in spring and thinking about next year's races.  Winter calls for indoor sports, anyway...

20 October 2013


You'll never guess where this skirt is from.  Well I'll tell you: SUPERDRY.  I'm not a huge fan of logos, Americana styling, faux vintage font, hoodies, or super casual clothes in general really, apart from sports luxe, so I've never even been into a Superdry store until recently. Before being approached to choose a couple of pieces to feature, I'd kind of dismissed the British brand (despite the constant references and letters in the logo, the clothes are inspired by Japanese graphics, but it was set up in the UK, who knew?) as not really being my cup of tea. Until I met this sparkly beast. How wrong I was.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla wearing Superdry silver sequin miniskirt



After a warm early October, there's an autumnal chill in the air in Paris, the leaves are turning brown and starting to fall, the brasseries are keeping the outdoor heaters on, people are wrapped up and the nights are drawing in.  Time to get out chunky knitwear and your winter coat. Or buy a new one...

green leaves turning brown in autumn

19 October 2013


I discovered a few new brands at the Thailand pop-up in Harrods, including the Thai spa brand Erb, which took over a window in August.  I was talked through the award-winning, certified organic Princess Collection (HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha's ethical initiative, using natural resources from Thailand and creating local jobs), had a relaxing hand massage and was given a few of the best-selling products to try at home.

luxury Thai skincare brand Erb

The problem with great skincare products is that they don't last long (first world problem, I know), as the light, nourishing hand lotion, creamy, indulgent body lotion and fragrant shower gel are now no more.  Made from pure mineral water and sacred lotus flower, the products smell beautiful and leave skin feeling cleansed and silky soft. If you like trying out different luxury skincare products and organic is your thing, give it a go.

17 October 2013


Azzedine Alaïa
another weekend, another couple of days exploring Paris...  Including the Azzedine Alaïa exhibition. Enjoy yours!


I had a voucher for Hobbs so visited the revamped Long Acre flagship to try on their work dresses and picked up the Black Madox Dress, which is a little bit sixties with its graphic monochrome checks, a little bit schoolgirl with its contrast peter pan collar and modest knee-length and a perfect autumn find with its warm cotton and wool blend.

Emma Louise Layla in Hobbs checked Black Madox Dress

The busy print needs no accessorising so I like to keep things simple in my favourite palette of black and white; even my usually obligatory jewellery is kept to a minimum.

16 October 2013


Kate Spade is one of my favourite brands (probably talking top three; the cheerful products, playful prints and bold palette lift my spirits - the prices not so much, but hey), so when I was invited with one of my favourite girls to a shopping evening at the American brand's Covent Garden store to peruse the AW13 collections, pick up a freebie lipstick, eat ridiculously girly glitter cupcakes and drink fizz *sigh* fine, obliged.

pink hydrangeas

Sophie Ellis-Bextor was spinning upbeat tunes, lycra-clad dancers were doing their thing in the window, everyone's glasses were being topped up and I got snap-happy...



Have a spare £2.5m to spend on your abstract art collection? Why not head down to Phillips de Pury & Company in London tonight to pick up this beaut by German painter Gerhard Richter? Go on, treat yourself!

Weiß (White), 1988 Estimate £2,500,000-3,500,000

15 October 2013


To celebrate their new Jogg Jeans and the latest innovation in denim, Diesel created this video with professional dancers and an Azealia Banks soundtrack, demonstrating the flexibility and freedom of the new jersey and denim collection.

Bonnie Chen for Diesel Jogg Jeans
Bonnie Chen in Diesel's Fall Winter 2013 campaign

The cutting edge collection fuses the durability of jeans with the versatility and comfort of activewear with a patented weaving technology, all in Diesel's signature perfect fits, so you can shake your thang like these guys.

There are 17 models for women, from jeans in every style to jackets, shorts and dresses. I've been sent a pair of classic blue skinnies and will be trying them out on a Parisian dancefloor shortly...


I spent September tying up loose ends finishing my old job, starting a new one and moving to Paris whilst checking out a few new restaurants in London, a brief stint at LFW, Burghley Horse Trials and a few leaving drinks in the meantime...

1. cross country day at Burghley Horse Trials 2. celebrating my BF's birthday 3. choosing BFF bracelets at the Kate Spade shopping evening 4. hundreds of war books at the Army & Navy Club library 5. shiny turquoise arm candy 6. with a few thousand cyclists at the Space for Cycling ride 7. at the launch of SW1's hottest new restaurant, Boulestin 8. prim Hobbs patent leather heeled brogues 9. red and white at Basharatyan V

Favourite Instagram photos from a fashion blogger in London
1. new black ponyskin pointed courtshoes from M&S 2. good morning, Mayfair 3. brunch at the newly-reopened Village East 4. the last patch of pale blue skies before autumn set in 5. monochrome sports luxe 6. Chic grey ostrich slippers by new shoe designer Dorraj 7. big bling at the Monsoon press day 8. if you haven't been to Inamo yet, go try their 5th anniversary menu 9. long hair, be gone!


14 October 2013


This evening I visited Jeu de Paume in Paris for the first time, to attend the opening of Erwin Blumenfeld: Photographs, Drawings and Photomontages, an exhibition of over 300 colour and black and white works from experimental editorials and advertising campaigns to numerous magazine covers by one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.


11 October 2013


I've got my local florist, wine shop and little market - time to explore the patisseries...  
Have a good weekend!

9 October 2013


Last month I was invited to the launch for the new Pandora flagship on Oxford Street, where I spent a couple of hours chatting with the passionate team over for Denmark for the event, seeing the forest-inspired autumn collection, getting a pale blue Models Own manicure by WAH nails and sipping Champagne with fellow fashion bloggers.

Emma Louise Layla wearing leopard print Maison Scotch dress at the Pandora Oxford Street flagship store launch event
wearing Maison Scotch leopard print dress

8 October 2013


Super duper statement earrings from luxe American jewellery brand Elizabeth Cole come in the form of spiky, sparkling shards of crystals and clusters of semi precious stones.  I don't know about you, but I'm sold - either on the multicoloured elson earrings or the blue elsons - especially as they're 45% off at theoutnet.com.

statement earrings by luxe American jewellery brand Elizabeth Cole

6 October 2013


Last night was Nuit Blanche, an annual dawn 'til dusk arts and culture festival in Paris in its twelfth year.  The evening was balmy, the forecasted rain didn't come and the streets were heaving with Parisians and tourists following the map of free art, music and theatre events and performances scattered across museums, art galleries, unused venues, public spaces, parks and squares all over the city.

Nuit Blanche, Paris


5 October 2013


Another one from the Preen sample sale which I'd had my eye on since I saw photos of it coming down the catwalk last year.  Black and white stripes mixed with colourful floral prints cover a stretchy t-shirt dress with a 90s feel, perfect for simple summer style (a pattern that bold needs little accessorising) and for wearing with opaques and black heels in spring and autumn.

Emma Louise Layla in striped floral print Preen dress
poolside Preen

Here I'm wearing it with my Topshop lace platform plimsolls and white Ray-Bans chilling by the side of the pool at our gorgeous private villa in Corfu.  I think I'll probably wear it one more time before packing away until next year...

3 October 2013


Things have been pretty quiet on emmalouiselayla.com these past few weeks as I'd been planning my move to Paris, but now I'm here and have many months of dinners in the company of only my iPad as I tour this fine city's brasseries and restaurants, don't you worry.  Plus, each Friday I'll be posting photos I've ffffound online of the French capital, so if you're a fellow Francophile: bienvenue.

The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre

2 October 2013


I discovered a cool new brand from the front row of London Fashion Week last month; Basharatyan V, whose show I sat down to early afternoon on the Saturday, after staying up singing karaoke with my two best friends until 4am the previous night, and it woke me up a treat.

London Fashion Week catwalk


1 October 2013


Bonjour!  Even the street art is different here...  Today was the first day of my new job in Paris and I kept it simple in a black Thakoon shirtdress and white Mango wedges, because you'll never regret wearing monochrome.

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