Sitting down over afternoon tea with Tala (gorgeous little lemon tarts, in case you are interested) in her London apartment, is like sitting down with any other beautiful, talented, fashion-loving 19 year old student. Um, except when she lets slip that her mama is the face of Nina Ricci for the Middle East (cue squeaks of delight from me! I met Lina Samman briefly outside the Christian Dior show in Paris in March when I first photographed Tala), she has interned at Grazia, Tom Ford (positively swooning now), freelanced for the Dubai-based online magazine Savoir Flair, she has been featured in Harper's Bazaar Arabia earlier this year, she lives between London and Dubai, and she blogs daily at MyFashDiary no matter where she is in the world (current location: Tuscany).Oh, and she is a full-time student at London College of Fashion studying fashion promotion. And she is impossible not to like (she gets extra scooby snacks for those lemon tarts :))

So where does she get her beauty and style from? Her parents are Syrian but Tala was born in the US, and moved to Dubai when she was just a littlie. After a few more squeaks of encouragement from me, I discovered that Tala's mama, apart from being the Nina Ricci brand ambassador, is one of the most stylish women in Dubai. Which would explain Tala's London wardrobe: peppered amongst the American Apparel, Zara, Topshop, Office, Reiss, H&M, Acne purchases are pieces by Alexander Wang (handbag), YSL (trib pumps and handbag), Balenciaga (handbag and sunglasses), Fendi (handbag), Chanel (handbag), Hermes (Birkin), Mulberry (Alexa),most of which she "shares" with Lina (sort of like a timeshare scheme for handbags and accessories!)

After oohing and ahhing over Tala's jewellery, make-up and sunglasses collection (as well as the little mood wall where she keeps all her invites, thank you notes etc), we went outside to take some photographs. And despite the attentions of passing motorists (I am still recovering from the lascivious stares of one particularly creepy older gent who crawled past us in his car), Tala was a dream to shoot. I think the second photograph from the top captures Tala the best: warm, caring, down-to-earth and with an utterly infectious smile :)
Tala's denim shirt is from Topshop, hat from Sonia Rykiel, black wedge boots from Office and cocktail ring from YSL. In the photographs below her skirt is from American Apparel and her shoes are the sublime YSL pumps. I can't remember where her lace top is from- I will find out for y'all.

p.s. You can click on the collages to make them bigger.