So another year rattled its way around and I now find myself somehow getting to the grand old age of 21. Seriously, how the flipping hell did that happen! It feels like yesterday that I was playing in sand pits and panicking about what GSCE’s I am going to take ( I can confirm that they were not both happening at the same time).
Anyway, I thought I would bring the celebrations into blog form in a 21 for 21 round up, 21 special occasions to me from the past 21 years. Now I say 21 years, with my memory not serving me in quite as much detail the further back we go I’ve had to sort of narrow it down to the last few years. (but “21 for 21, well from the last 5 years of said 21 years” wasn’t such a catchy title.)
These occasions may not have been special out of their grandure, just out of something small happening to make it feel special. Obviously there are going to be some that get missed too but these are some which have stuck out to me. So after a good old trawl through my Facebook to see what I have actually been up to without further ado in no particular order as I really don’t have the brain power for that, lets get onto no.1.
p.s. those who don’t like theatre may avert their eyes.
In a rather snazzy hotel with probably the best gravy I have ever tasted, we had a great time in a very cool location and managed to get some pretty great photos (even if I did have to freeze my feet off in a very thin dress in very cold water.)
I’ve been involved in many a show over the years from being on the stage to my new life behind the scenes but the final night of Pool (No Water) will always hold a very special place in my heart. On the whole my 2 years at 6th form was a brilliant experience and it was great way to bring them to a close and say goodbye to some wonderful people who I loved working with.
Take me anywhere which involved very high things and very fast things then its highly likely that I’m not going to enjoy it. But with best friends by your side it really did make some scary experiences so enjoyable. From getting on my first rollercoaster, to the creation of “Hampshire rules” in UNO (something even we will never truly understand) and getting well and truly “gazeboed” in a £22 a night hotel in stoke it all made for a very special and memorable experience.
Rather ironically as someone who spent most of their youth performing and now studies costume I have never been much of a fan of fancy dress parties. But our disney themed fancy dress party in 2014 was fab with everyone giving it their all and creating some fab costumes, (maybe not including my slightly below average Mary Poppins), and having a great time and was the start to many a great party to come.
Give a group of 18 year olds some free time and access to some camera equipment and what do you expect them to do? Make a short film of course. with my silver screen debut (maybe more slightly grubby tin screen would be a more apt analogy) we spent 3 days from day break to dusk filming
Genuinely one of the funnies nights of my life with the Student Theatre at Glasgow scratch comedy night proving sometimes that we may just be students, but there is definitely a lot of talent within us.
Obviously getting a phone call while standing on a windy and rainy mountain in the middle of deepest darkest Shropshire trying not to be blown over was not quite how I imagined the moment I found out that I had got into drama school. Drama school was aways somewhere that I had dreamed of going to. It may have previously been for acting but now for my new life backstage in costume I was over the moon to finally be moving down to London to one of the world’s leading schools.
This is one going a bit further back but devising and rehearsing this show basically turned into having a huge laugh and a giggle with obviously working hard to get the job done at the same time, obviously ;). I had a fab few years at Lightsdown Theatre School from being a student to a teaching assistant leading to far to many good memories and shows to mention with it being the highlight of my week for a long time. I will always hold some of the shows we did here as some of my favourites I’ve done and it was so great to be part of a group of people having the same passion for performing and theatre that I did.
With the story line being such heartfelt one of a true story I will probably won’t be the only person out there who has any emotional attachment to this film. However, this is definitely one of my favourite films I have ever seen added to the first occasion of seeing it being with a very special person.
Proving that all the hard work, late night, blood, sweat and tears had all payed off (even if I haven’t used any of that knowledge since!)
I think getting to sit next to Sam Claflin on the premier night of Me Before You, a film which I loved from the book and had waited so long to see was a stroke of luck leading to an evening that I will never forget.
From Billy Elliot to 42nd to Macbeth and all the others in-between, all of these shows have lead me to some great times with some wonderful people and have shaped me and inspired me to pursue what started as a passion into a career.
As a theatre lover it is probably considered some sort of a crime to have only ever seen 1 show by the Royal Shakespeare Company but seeing Death of a Salesman in Stratford upon Avon in 2015 was a wonderful first show to see and the first of many to come.
I never imagined being someone who has their own textile design collection but at the end of my foundation year I had just that. Now it may not be on your Debenhams bed lined quite yet but now having my range of makeup bags with new designs sat waiting to be sewn together after my small break due to pure busy-ness, I’m determined to keep going with it.
Something starting as a new hobby just over a year ago has turned into something that has grown to be a big part of my current life. It may not be getting 1000’s of views a day with sponsorship deals coming in every direction but I still love styling and putting together posts each week for the little community on here. It may also have had a couple of face lifts and content direction changes, but it is still the good old miss spelt, badly punctuated and poorly scheduled Fabric Forward at heart!
Kind of the thing which started off Fabric Forward in the first place. From those first few shoots me and Tom did in our home town we have trawled the country in search for cool photo locations and have come up with some pretty cool shots (if I do say so myself). I look forward to many to come!
Its not everyday that you find yourself in a room with the walls entirely covered in pink fur and Ru Paul booming over the speakers. However some how I did. As part of uni we were tasked to dress some mannequins to be shown at the Barbican Ball this year running along the theme of Vulgar which is their being exhibition going on at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram you my have seen a couple of pictures from the event on there. I’d never done anything like this before and was a really cool experience to be part of (along with having a new appreciation for people who dress mannequins, and I thought actors were difficult sometimes ;). )
This summer I became a member for costume of The National Youth Theatre and with it being their diamond year at the end of my course I got to work on their Diamond Anniversary Gala at the Shaftesbury Theatre in hair and makeup. This was my first occasion working and going backstage of a west end theatre so it was all very exciting for me. Despited being full of the worst cold I have had in years I powered on doing more victory rolls and beehives than I have ever done in my life. It was a long and tiring day but it was all worth it seeing such a great show come together (Plus and having Matt Smith acknowledge my existence in the corridor twice was the icing on the cake!)
This year I lucky enough to get the chance to do some work at The Libertine at The Theatre Royal Haymarket on The Libertine doing wardrobe maintenance on a Saturday morning. It may have only been washing and ironing shirts, but its washing and ironing Dominic Coopers shirts.
I know this is something that came with moving to a university down here but moving to London is something at I have always wanted to do. I know many a young adult has said this same thing before me but but to live in such a busy and vibrant city with so much going on and the industry I work in centred down here is something I have always wanted. Sometimes feels a bit surreal that I am actually now here maybe partly not being quite as good as you thought it would be (the northern line at 5 o clock on a Friday would put anyone off!) Obviously is it not all plain sailing, realising you need to leave at least an hour to get anywhere and you wont find a cheap supermarket for miles but its the place for now that I call home and I promise to make the most of it.
It may not have been and intoxicating time partying the night away however spent with my nearest and dearest it was a time to say goodbye to the ups and downs of 20 and onto the next chapter of 21.
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
Now I can’t say that I am someone who is out every weekend “painting the town red” or blue or green or any colour for that matter. Staying in at home tucked up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate and an episode of the crown on seems all too appealing. However when it comes to fashion, a good old piece of red is definitely is a good enough to get out of bed for.
If there is any colour that I am going to be wearing that doesn’t make me look like I am going to a funeral then it is going to be red. From tops to dresses to scarfs all of these nestle within my wardrobe in a variety of different shades. Its a good old trusty colour for me with never feeling too girly but is versatile when pairing with other colours. I feel its a colour that never really goes out of season, being bright and colourful for the summer months yet an obviously festive option for the christmas period.
Ever since I saw The Little Magpie repeatedly strutting her stuff in a gorgeous pair of Topshop red tapered trousers, I had been on the hunt to find a pair for myself. Funnily enough after searching high and low from high street to vintage, it all came back to Topshop with exactly what I was looking for. With them being a slightly more muted and darker shade of red I don’t think they end up being too bright and in your face. This style of tapered trouser is definitely a bit of a Chloe signature with them being great at showing of a waist with not being too tight and restrictive.
I’ve never been one to shy away from red on the basis of it being “fattening” because at the end of the day if you like it and feel good in it, the bloody well just wear it!
Now don’t worry, I haven’t gone back in time this week and started reporting on the current fashions of the Victorian age, in fact this week I took a trip to see the A Century of Style exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. As a textiles student its very important for us to visit as many exhibitions and museums as we can to learn about all areas of our trade. Ive always been very interested at looking at fashion from throughout the years having been to see exhibitions at the V&A in London and around the country, all about fashion through the decades so this one for me was not one to miss. Instead of just writing about what I saw I thought I would talk about how I think some of the fashions back then have influenced some the of the styles today.
I chose out 2 areas in particular to talk about. I did my best to photograph what I could but with it seeming that the interior designer at Hollister had designed the lighting for the exhibition I struggled with the lack of lighting and occasional fire escape or cctv camera lurking somewhere in the background of the picture.
‘Despite green being a dominant colour in nature there were relatively few natural dyes that reproduce it. For centuries any strong greens were created by over dying blues with yellow. Some softer olive shades used iron mordants to tint the yellow dyes.’ In the mid 1800 the first true synthetic green dyes were created creating very vibrant shades of green. In reaction to these in the late 1880’s more softer pleasing tones of green returned to fashion and bringing back the use of natural plant dyes.
‘Silk velvet was one of the most expensive materials to make due to the amount of additional thread required to create the raised pile. Its high price meant this its use was restricted to royalty, aristocrats an the clergy, but by the late 1800’s cheaper cotton velveteen was available which was increasingly worn by the affluent urban middle classes.’
With it now being the middle of November and the christmas party season now popping its head around the corner you can’t really go into many fast fashion stores without brushing yourself against many velvet items (and then proceeding to feel it for a few minuets just because of the lovely texture.)
As a young girl I remember finding on of my mums old ‘going out’ dress in back of her wardrobe from her youth that she’d held onto being a beautiful velvet green figure hugging floor length dress. Many a day I used to try and dress up in it myself but at the age of 7 and a measly few feet tall it was a tad too long.
Nowadays, personally when it comes down to my wardrobe velvet isn’t something that I am a huge fan of feeling that it is a rather dressy fabric and not particular casual, and if it can’t be worn casually I doubt I will buy it. The only velvet item which I own is a pair of black velvet leggings from urban outfitters a few years ago which I have had a lot of use out of, pairing them very casually with a big jumper and scarf combo and some winter boots. With them being black the velvet was less noticeable and easier to match with anything to make a comfortable day time look.
With it being more of a dressy fabric if worn casually I think it is very important to stick to less is more, just because those velvet leggings and top are the same colour does not mean that they match well. Keep it to one key piece be it a skirt or a pair of shoes and find some more simple and plain items to match around it. But if you are going for the dressed up look then why not go all out with a slinky head little velvet number, but yet again, make that the centre piece for your whole outfit and keep the accessories to a minimum. (may have to try and nick that dress back out of my mums wardrobe)
Velvet on todays runways
Velvet on the highstreet
Red military jackets
‘Red has been and still is a popular colour for clothing. Crimson silks dyed using expensive imported cochineal – crushed shield insects – were prestigious fabrics, reserved for royals and aristocrats in the renaissance period. Naturally dyed red flannel petticoats were worn by many people in the belief that they could ward off rheumatism. Red was a dominant colour in the British textiles industry, which produced wool and cotton fabrics rebound for their colour and fastness.’
‘In the 1800’s red, rather than blue was associated with the boys. This was partly because of its use in military uniforms. However it was also seen to be a strong and dominant colour suitable for the masculine sex.’
Now despite it being an exhibition full of beautiful victorian lady dresses, for me the on piece or few pieces I should say that kept drawing my attention was that of these 2 red mens military jackets. This involved me spending far too long loitering around them getting funny looks from the security guard trying to take the perfect photo without any strangers or unidentified object getting in the frame. The bright bold colour I think was the main thing which drew my attention. One thing which surprised me with the whole exhibition as a whole was how brightly pigmented a lot of the garments were still in this day and age, having lasted the amount of years they have and having been dyed with older methods. This pillar box red really grabbed may attention along with the flashes of gold within the buttons and on the lapels. These jackets look obvious military and upper class from the 1800’s by their characteristics but in spite of this they still very much remind me of some of the formal wear worn by our royals today and also within the uniforms worn in competitive horse riding and hunting. This just shows the timeless nature which these jackers posses and how fashion from 100’s of years ago can still be relevant today.
Now annoyingly when we initially think of military fashion in the 21st century cheryl cole (or whatever she is called now) springs to mind first. This comes with them being very much in trend a few years back and being championed by ms cole. For me it was never something that I bought into with it not particularly being my style however I do love the tailoring that goes along with a lot of the military. When looking at military style within todays fashions you see pretty remains much within jackets and mostly Karachi green loose fitting army jackets much like the military uniforms of today rather than the fitted and well tailored uniforms of the 1800’s. But here are a few runway and current high street items relating to this style.
Military on the runway
Some of my other favourites from the exhibition.
Love the black embroidery detail on this jacket
very much reminded me of some of the scarves I own
You cant really tell from this photo but this dress was beautifully covered in beading and embroidery
If you want to see the rest of the lovely exhibition head down to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem in Glasgow where the exhibition will be running until the middle of February.
My design portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums
Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloenatalieknotttextiles?ref=hl
Historial research gained from The Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Photos taken on a Canon 1200D