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 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.
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.
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