Portraits by 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!
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.
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.
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
So, what better way to start than with a Happy New Year you wonderful bunch! I hope you all celebrated in style by either partying the night away or with my chosen method this year, staying in with the bf, a box set of lost and some good old pork chops. What more could a girl want? Anyway, despite only being 2 days into the new year I know I am a tad late on the bandwagon of celebratory end of the year posts.
I will be up with full year in review post very soon however today I have something to wet you appetite in a collection of my top 5 favourite posts of the year. With a whole years worth of content to go through, roughly getting up 1 post a week (I think 0 last week and 3 this week perfectly supports this point) it has been a rather tough decision with many I love unfortunately not making the cut. However I managed to narrow it down this final 5 either from either being some that I have enjoyed shooting the most or just love the results.
In an effort to explore more of my new surrounding, Tom and I decided to take a little trip away to the gorgeous Isle of Arran. Living in Glasgow you really didn’t have to go too far to find some amazing locations and this one definitely proved that. I mean its not many times that you get to stand on a beach with a snowy mountain in the background. We decided to both really test ourselves over these days with the range of shoots we did from me freezing my little toes off in the water for a dramatic True Detective style shoot (something I do not wish to do again too soon) to trying to become some what sexy in an editorial esk bathroom shoot. However I think my favourite of the trip has to be this collection of ‘simple’ fashion shots showing off the amazing scenery that we had to offer.
Take a look at the rest of the Arran series here..
Theres not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble across somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film. Well on our trip to Loch Lomond while passing through the village to Bowling we did just that. My inner explorer, who of which rarely comes out to play, had a good old work out on this day climbing around abandoned boats and a rotting pier. With the sun setting around us and no lighting equipment Tom did a fantastic job of capturing this amazing location while I frankly stood in front of it looking grumpy. Well, some of the drama of the whole location would be lost if i was smiling, well thats what I tell myself anyway.
Ever since I started fashion blogging I think it has always been dream location for me to in the middle of summer go to a beautiful flower field. Now it may not have been the beautiful sunny day that we hoped for, with nearly having to give up due to a couple of April showers, in July, but the confetti flower fields in Pershore were a little Gem to find leading to some of my favourite photos of the year surprisingly containing a lot of pink, whatever next!.
With this blog being very much in its infancy back in the summer of 2015, this year on the second annual trip to Norfolk we took full advantage of the seaside location to get another collection of lovely blog photos. I think it was always a little dream of mine as a kid to own a little beach hut on the sea, so if I can’t quite own then at least get some lovely pictures in front of them. Despite the sun not quite playing ball to get the sunrise we wanted, we still managed to, we still managed to get a lovely little set of photos despite me being some what blurry eyed due to the horrendous time in the morning.
With this post coming just at the point of the redesign of the blog I kinda felt like this was the premier post of the relaunching of it with its new beginnings as purely a fashion blog. Being the first shoot we did together in manchester it great to start exploring a new city and see what it has to offer. Also this definitely has to be one of my favourite looks of the year with this fab pair of jeans that I still cant get enough of!
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
Every year winter rumbles on around (funny that) and it was finally time to tear myself away from my beloved leather jacket and into something a little bit more practical for the season. Despite last years orange number still being very much in my good books, Zara has pulled it out the bag again this year with this beautiful double breasted grey number which I have had glued to my shoulders.
Not to diminish my love for a good jumper but probably my favourite things about winter dressing is being able to crack out a good old coat and wrap up all warm and cosy. This look really encapsulates all of my favourite styles at the moment of with the ever so practical for the ankles culottes, a good knitted jumper and obviously a good old cosy coat. With the simple accessories of a chunky black belt and small and simple bag, they nicely finish this simple yet stylish look and keep everything very comfy with my Adidas Gazelles .
There will have rarely been day over the last couple of years where black and white haven’t been staple items within my outfit. From dresses to jumpers my wardrobe has become a sea of blacks, whites and greys (with a couple of hints of red thrown in for good measure). Call it boring, funeral attire, stylish or simple one reason I like it in particular is that it is just easy. Dressing and shopping become so much simpler when you know that everything you buy and wear will mostly likely go with everything else in your wardrobe and never having to worry if that colour will go with anything.
The strappy top or dress over T shirt trend has been a huge trend this past season. Not only do I like the look of it but the practicality of being able to wear your more summery items into the autumn and winter months has been an added bonus. This little black number from Urban Outfitters has to be one of my favourites with it fitting like a glove but I love the edgier side of it with having the longer hems at the sides and the square strappy neckline (and was a lovely little sale bargain to boot!) Despite making more of an effort recently to add a splash of colour here and there, especially helped with my new found love of vintage 90’s dresses, I will always be monochrome lover at heart.
PHOTOS: TOM FLATHERS (at The Custard Factory, Birmingham)
There are not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble upon somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film. Unless said film was set on a tiny farm in the middle of the countryside (a niche they are completely missing out on) I can’t say this has been a regular occurrence for me. However while visiting the beautiful Loch Lomond the train rumbled through the small town of Bowling and we had to get off and have a look.
This was differently a moment when the stars aligned in terms of happening to wear an outfit which managed to match with my surroundings. Grunge was definitely the order the day with this lovely brown T shit dress from Urban Outfitters matched with my trusty Topshop leather jacket. Brown is a colour that I tend to avoid with feeling it matches too much with my hair however mixed in with black in this fine stripe it makes it easier to pair with black (and theres always room for a couple of exceptions to the rule.)
Visiting somewhere such as Bowling really dose remind you of some of the amazing locations that theses British Isles have to offer and right on your doorstep.
Photos by Tom Flathers