PORTRAITS : TOM FLATHERS
Portraits by Tom Flathers
Summer in Britain, not exactly known for its days of blazing hot sunshine and wonderful warm evenings. It more often tends to be 5 random days in mid June reaching over 25 degrees (which obviously happen on days that you are stuck inside) which are then followed by weeks on end of on and off rain with the occasional bit of hail thrown in for good measure. Not exactly the best weather for cracking out the shorts and the T shirts really. Now shorts aren’t exactly a best friend of mine with my tree trunk legs preferring to be in their happy place being wrapped up in 3 pairs of tights. However when if I see a beautiful summer dress then it will tend to weasel its way into my bag and somehow end up back home with me. This ‘summer’ has been no different with long, short, patterned and plain ones all being added to the collection. So even when the weather is looking no better than truly pants I just try to embrace the breeze, throw on my favourite floral dress and remember there must be at least 1 place in the world right now which is 30 degrees and sunny.
This gorgeous cherry print dress from Topshop pretty much ticks all the boxes for me. With its collared shirt detail down the front, to its pretty blue and red print, to the fact that is manages to have no funny cut out sections and actually have with fully functioning sleeves! Actually managing to find a dress with sleeves that isn’t ridiculously short or low at the front has seemed to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Last year urban outfitters came up trumps and this year it has seemed to be Topshop’s turn. From this i’ve learnt 60’s is the way to go with it’s slim fitting shift dress/shirt dress shape and pretty cherry pint print nicely bringing a touch of vintage to a modern outfit. Despite my yaking on about it being a gorgeous summery daytime piece I definitely think that this piece will stand the test of time being able to take you from day to night and summer to winter. Whack on a good thick tight and a chunky knit jumper and your good to go for a wonderful wintery look.
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
After sitting down and staring blankly at my computer screen wondering what the hell I was going to write (something which happens all to often) it suddenly occurred to me that this little corner of the internet has existed for a whole 730 ish days, or 2 years to the slightly less maths savvy. As someone who spent her own 21st birthday sat at home eating pizza (don’t worry I splashed out on the expensive shit), I haven’t been cracking out the party poppers and cocktail sausages for this little milestone quite yet. However I knew I had to at least acknowledge it.
After staring the early remnants of Fabric Forward back in the summer of 2015 it has gone through many a face lift, style change and focus to become what it is today. As some who has never known her HTML’s from her SEO’s, is not only just bad but scared of writing and used to run away when anyone got a camera out, the idea of me creating a fashion blog all being rather dependant on those 3 things would have seemed somewhat silly. However I think if from nothing else than my own determination to not have another hobby flop (lets not make a repeat of the tennis lessons), we’ve persisted through the technical confusion, writers block and pubic awkwardness to see ourselves here 2 years later.
Despite 2 years seeming like a rather long time I think it has taken to this point for me to finally feel happy and pleased at what I am creating. From finally finding a layout that I like, being more comfortable in my personal style and knowing the kind of posts I want to create I feel it makes me eager to want to write and create more rather than it feeling like a chore. I think the fact I have managed to post twice in week I think says it all.
Is it at a level which I might have hoped it would be by now? Not really, however at then of the day, as long it’s stays enjoyable and interesting then what does it matter if there is 1 or 1 billion of you out there.Through all the ups and downs of daily life Fabric Forward has been a wonderful little escape as my little part of the internet and somewhere which I am able to pour my creativity and love of fashion and photography into. So roll on the next 2 years and lets see where it takes us!
Having been back home in the land or trees, sheep and more sheep for probably only about 5 minuets, I am already finding my mind drifting back to my life back in the big smoke. With sirens having been replaced by mooing cows, office blocks by sheep sheds, hard by soft water (whatever that means) and air by well, clean air, it has definitely made me realise how for granted I take living in a city like London. Now as much a love having to wait an hour for the next bus after the one you tired to get didn’t arrive or having to lean half way out of your highest window to get one bar of phone signal the peace and tranquility of the countryside can get a little tedious for a city lover like myself. At home I definitely miss having everything you could want or need on your doorstep with plenty of places to explore and beat the boredom.
Despite having been living in London for nearly a whole year now there are still plenty of places I keep meaning to visit. Borough Market however was one of those recently which I have managed to tick off the list. Now there is no way that I would describe myself as a foodie with the M&S ready meal isle getting far too much of my attention and money of late but going somewhere like Borough Market definitely makes you want to become one. With every meat, vegetable, bread and unearthly food on offer it is least to say you will leave feeling a little peckish.
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
So here it is finally, then end of my first year of university has finally come around with only 3 more days left to go. With most of the country having broken up already and having fled their dingy halls bedrooms and in the words of Michael Mcintyre got thoroughly “gabzeboded” on the final night of term, it been something that has felt like a long time coming for me. However its finally approaching and I can safely say there is nothing more I want at the moment that a good old rest back home.
I’m not going to lie it was a strange experience starting over as a first year again, especially with the first time around not exactly going to plan. It definitely made it all the more nerve racking knowing that it so could easily not be all plain sailing and that this is my last chance at getting it right.
I can’t say that I have exactly fitted well into the model “student lifestyle” with going out to get drunk, a light workload and living around constant noise all being things rather low on my list of priorities. Their have been many moments when I have just wanted to run away and leave it all behind with only the fear of what the hell would I do instead keeping me going.
However despite all with this, if there is one this that all of this has taught me it is that even if you feel like you are trapped in something that you don’t enjoy, it really doesn’t have to be like that forever and doesn’t have to be the rest of your life.
With uni not giving me the enjoyment that I needed I had to push myself to find things that I did enjoy and that made me happy knowing that they won’t necessarily find their ways to you on their own. At periods when you haven’t had a day of in 3 months and have been working all nighters to get shit done you wonder at times have I gone too far. However having experienced a couple of “pinch me” moments over the past few weeks, its nice to feel like all your hard work has been paying off and not just lead to nothing.
Anyway, despite this all seeming a bit doom and gloom I am actually feeling rather positive about what is ahead. Uni does eventually seem to be looking up, i’ve found somewhere I’m looking forward to living in and some good things to focus on, hopefully the only way is up from here.
For someone like me who likes to live life at 100 mph it can be scary to look at a 7 week gap in the diary and see very little to fill it. However I am going to make sure that I take this time to properly relax, recharge and fill up on some good old country air and be back ready and rearing to go for the year ahead.
So hey! Looks like I have somehow managed to just about squeeze a post in this week to make my weekly posting thing a total success ;) Anyway, while I sit here grabbing a quick dinner amid a crazy 12 hours a day week of tech rehearsals and trying to salvage 10 minuets away form downing in sequins and feathers, I thought why not now take a look back at a more colourful time when dressing didn’t consist of just black polo necks and skinny jeans.
If there has been anything this year that I can say I have been truly obsessed with, other than Weetabix minis, Line of Duty and probably more Weetabix minis again then it has to be that of spots and stripes. Now I know these are 2 things which aren’t exactly realighting the world of fashion having appeared in every Tom, Dick and Harrys wardrobe for may years, however somehow it seems at the moment I can’t leave the house without wearing one or the other, or both.
This striped number from Pull and Bear has probably been the most worn thing in my wardrobe recently coming out on hot days, cold days and all the days in-between. As for these blue spotted trousers from Nobody’s Child I think I can safely say that they are probably the comfiest thing in the history of clothing, ever, even including a poncho. Paired together with a bright red lip and some heeled boots that I can practically walk a marathon in (I wish) your good to go.
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
So Chloe, remember that time that you said you were going to take a little bit of time off blogging however it definitely wouldn’t be more than a week or two and you would be back on it right as rain? No?? Well with it having been 3 months, 7 days and an hour or so since your last post went up I would say that something somewhere went a bit wrong!
However lets stop dwelling on my apparent inability to do a million things at once and on the fact that Fabric Forward is finally back down to business!
I evidently decided that while somewhat melting in the 30 something degree heat in London that it was the perfect time to lock myself indoors, start tapping away at the key board and get this blog back up and running.
As well as some snazzy new pictures (I can totally still pretend that there is blossom out on the trees right?) the eagle eyed amongst you may also be able to tell that the old blog has had a bit of a re-vamp. As ever with me getting bored really easily I couldn’t help myself buy have a little re-decoration around this joint. After the probably 4 or 5 different looks this blog has had since being birthed I must say this has to be my favourite (she says until she changes it again in a matter of months).
Anyway with my skin feeling like it is going to melt away from me at any moment (fyi turns out human flesh can actually start melting at 40 degrees, true fact that! – don’t say you don’t learn anything here) I shall keep this brief and return to my wild evening of being sprawled on my bed with an overheating laptop all while wondering how many grapes one can fit into ones mouth.
Choa for now! (and hopefully won’t be for a 1/4 of a year this time!)
Photos | Tom Flathers
As I write this on my first day off since early January, , a good old easter break is definitely what the doctor ordered. For me it always tend to be this time of year when things all start to get a bit hectic. Deadlines start coming in thick an fast and work get busier so relaxing evenings in front of Iplayer with (you guessed it) a bowl of Weetabix become a thing of the past. Despite the fact I wouldn’t want it any other way, feeling knackered can become a every day occurrence and if you have an immune system like mine then it won’t be long until you get the mother of all colds that won’t just bugger off.
Any workaholics like myself will know that when you start getting your teeth into a new project or venture it will be all that you think about and will start to take over everything that you do. Free time will become a thing of the past and all you waking hours will be filled with sending emails and catching up on that massive backlog of work.
When a similar thing happened at the end of December last year, my trip to the lake district in January was exactly what I needed in order to get away from busy city life, recuperate and have a good old rest. With the easter break closely approaching I am excited for being able to do exactly that all over again! It can definitely be hard sometimes to let your self stop worrying and try and so absolutely nothing (I imagine I will never be that far away from my emails) but if I have learnt anything recently it is that in order to be able to work effectively and productively you need to allow yourself a little bit of a rest.
Yep now theres a title you weren’t expecting. Maybe just put it down to the fact I am running on very little sleep. There may not be any bejewelled wildlife in this post however I have ended up wearing something sparkly and leopard print at the same time and not on the way to a fancy dress party. How very un-me! I don’t tend to be one for a sparkle, at the risk of looking too much like the cross between a christmas tree and and my 5 year old self at a birthday party however in my new found urge to dress a big more adventurously (even if I have stayed within the realms of my beloved black)
Before christmas in the shops you couldn’t move for sparkly knits and shear tops which despite my best efforts to make it work it always lead to me feeling far to dresses up. However some small corner of my brain decided after spotting this lovely little number in & Other Stories that now is the time that finally mix up an effectively all black look with a bit of sparkle. The party season with all its glitz and glamour may be long behind us however thats no excuse for not being able to throw a touch of sparkle occasionally (seems a leopard does change its spots ;)
The fact that I’m wearing sparkles and leopard print has some how managed to distract from the fact I also wearing frayed kick flare jeans, another item that when I first saw in the shops I thought I would never be seen wearing. Denim is something that I have spent most of my life living in. From the bog standard black skinny jeans which have head my heart for many years to the classic mom jean which have become my new found love. However more recently I have been trying to be a little more adventurous within my denim choices. First seen within my Life in a Leather Jacket post last year wearing my beloved 2 tone mom jeans I’ve now followed the crowd into the realms of the kick flare. Part of me still isn’t a huge fan but after seeing these on Carrie from WishWishWish I was persuaded to give them a go and turns out, I love them! Being Asos own brand they were never going to break the bank on a piece which is probably only going to be a short term trend piece.
Yet again in a plea of getting a post up this week you join me trying to make some sense at 2am on a Friday morning maybe after having one or two drinks in the SU (so beware of some dodgey sentences). Nothing like lastminuet.com
Talking about being last minuet, In a completely water tight and seamless link, todays look consists of some of my most favourite throw on and go pieces when you have zero time and want zero effort.
You most likely will be bored about me yacking on about these velvet trousers by now however I’m going to continue to do so. Since getting them as a sneaky bargain in the January sales they have barely been off my legs. From going out to dinner to a chilled out weekend they have been a staple for creating a quick and easy outfit yet still feeling vaguely put together. The fact I have now found a small rip in the nether regions, god knows how that got there, is more than disheartening. Paired with some simple layered T shirts (you will be pleased to know my addiction to Zara plain T Shirts is still strong with this lovely green and black striped number not being able to stay in the shop), my classic grey Zara coat and Adidas Gazelles, this creates a cool and relaxed look whilst being so easy to put together. Also with spring not quite popping its head up quite yet this look is perfect for the transitional period were in, as long as Storm Doris docent get too feisty!
So with it being far far to late for someone who has to get up early for uni in the morning, yes believe it or not some students do have to get up early, I shall say farewell and hopefully see you next week slightly less blurry eyed!
While I am spending nearly everyday at the moment spent head to toe in theatre blacks I thought it nice to at least introduce a little bit of colour onto the blog today if nowhere else in my life. Somewhere in the depths of last summer and epiphany occurred to me that these 2 things called colour and pattern existed. From the odd maroon jumper and floral dress here and there I now appear to have got to the extent where double stripes and leopard print shoes together is just a casual Wednesday (and lets not even talk about the disappearance of my beloved docs from my feet).
This look for me was a perfect combination of bringing together the old and the new within my wardrobe. My beloved Topshop blue pin stripe trousers from a couple of years ago are still making regular appreances especially now paired with this lovely double striped shirt from Monki.
Hello! As you may have been able to tell from the large black whole where last weeks blog should have been this weekly posting thing is going extremely well!. Anyway, my punctuality aside I am back today and we are going all old skool in terms of me just wittering on about something that I have decided to wear on one fine day (and other wicked fans feel free to continue the song.)
If you have been over on my instagram recently you may have noticed that my all time love with all black outfits has been seeming to wain a little with items such as bright green jumpers and red trousers weaselling their way into my wardrobe (whatever next!) However there are always going to be days that old colour ignorant Chloe comes out and reverts back to a (nearly) all black look. With not being one of the girlies of girls, I don’t own a particularly large amount of lacy items. To be fair, this dress is probably as far as it goes. However the small amount on this lovely black Zara dress had my eyes pulling me towards it whilst my debit card was trying to pull me away.
In the short amount of time I have had it I have already found it to be a very versatile piece with it being great to layer up, with a long sleeves underneath or a jumper over the top (or both if you end up working in a tent over christmas, long story). Also for anyone like me who doesn’t like showing oodles of flesh in the summer this piece will be great in terms of keeping you cool with the strappy top and thin floaty fabric but keeping that cellulite from christmas that you haven’t quite managed to shift yet out of sight!
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
DRESS | TOP | BOOTS