Last summer I met my favourite lingerie designer, Chantal Thomass, at an event at Fenwick's when the French seamstress specialising in ready-to-wear, luxury lingerie and hosiery collections took over a window in the Bond Street flagship store.  I've known and loved Chantal Thomass since I was 15, when I was just a wee schoolgirl working Saturdays as a receptionist in a beauty salon stocking her perfume, which went onto become "my fragrance" for the next few years (I still love it, although she told me that the licensing is coming to an end, so I need to stock up), before I started admiring and collecting pieces of her beautiful underwear.

London fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla and French lingerie designer Chantal Thomass in Fenwick's, New Bond Street

Lingerie is such an important part of dressing for me, as I truly believe the underwear you put on in the morning affects your mindset, posture and mood for the rest of the day.  I feel out of sorts if I'm not wearing a matching set which works with my outfit, the same way I don't feel "done" if my nails aren't in shape or I don't wear perfume.

Thomass knows how to dress the woman's body so well, having worked in the industry for over 40 years and launching her eponymous line in 1975, with her expertise seen in all of her designs, using structural shapes, beautiful fabrics and flattering cuts finished with intricate details like frills, ruffles or lace, often designed with 40s/50s references in mind and playing with both masculine and feminine references (like her tuxedo-inspired range).

Chantal Thomass black sheer lingerie set

Chantal, with her trademark blunt black bob and red lipstick, dry sense of humour and obligatory husky French accent, was a pleasure to meet and chatting about her designs and career over a couple of glasses of champagne made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Plus, I was lucky enough to win an underwear set of my choice to add to my collection, which made me love Fenwick's even more.  Check out her collection at Fenwick's, Shopbop or Luisa Via Roma.