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 With sirens having been replaced by mooing cows, office blocks by sheep sheds, hard by soft water (whatever that means) and air by well, clean air, it has definitely made me realise how for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 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
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
So Monday the 16th of January came and went. To most people this is another normals day but apparently over recent years it has been coined as the most depressing day of the year. With the all the fun and festivities behind us and just enough time to let some of those new years resolutions starting to slip away, it can be all to easy for mid January to turn into a bit of a downer. However, having spent one to many evenings alone in the flat nursing a one too many bowls of weetabix and nearly resorting to watching everything in my subscription box a second time round, i’ve finally unearthed myself from under the duvet to get out and get proactive and try to set an example to myself for the rest of the year. Only time will tell if this works out or not! So here is a list of my best ways of trying to bust the new year blues this January!
Be it tap dancing or tiddlywinks there is never a better time than any than at the beginning of a new year to pick a new hobby. After all the socialising of the party season I will be the first one wanting to turn into a bit of a recluse and spend the best part of the month hiding under a pile of pillows. However taking up a new hobby will not only get you your creative juices flowing and your brain back into gear but it could also give you the opportunity to socialise more and meet more like minded people. And who knows what might happen, you find that you rather quickly become the best miniature model cake crochet-er in the country! (Genuine failed hobby of mine #807)
Now hear comes the old cliche of starting off a new year by getting fit and healthy. By this I really don’t mean you have to go out and sign your life away to a new gym that you will use once, get intimidated by the large muscly men and continue to spend your evenings at home binge watching Lost with a large bowl of trifle (got to put the weetabix down on some occasions). Getting the so good old fresh air pumping through your lungs from a simple walk around the park or leisurely bike ride can do you the world of good after being cooped up inside all day. After all, it will give you an excuse to try out that new pedometer that you were so lovingly given by your mum for christmas, not as a hint or anything!
With Brent and Bridget making their returns to our screens last year, cinema has definitely been on good form recently. But with awards seasons now well underway the beginning of a new year is always brimming with brand new brilliant films to take a good gander at. Whether it be action or animation that tickles your fancy, I find its a great way to pass the time in the cold winter night.
Lambs may not have started leaping, daffodils may not have started growing and spring may not have sprung quite yet however spring doesn’t have to be here quite yet to have a good old clear out. I always find having a good old cleanse of your surroundings at the beginning of a new year will make for a much happier and healthier you. All the stuff which we have manage to accumulate over the year that we have desperately convinced ourselves that we need can either be chucked out or given a brand new how for someone to love more than you. And besides, you need to make some room for all those brand new christmas presents anyway.
I know its a pain but with most of the tins of biscuits laying bare and selection of various cheeses all finished off, its time to put down the tin of quality street and find actual proper meals made with actual proper healthy things and stuff. I’m not saying go on some crazy celery juicing health kick (if celery juice is even a thing) however after having one to many batch cooked, reheated bolognese’s at the end of last year I definitely think it is time to broaden my culinary horizons and try something which isn’t 90% pasta!
Now I just have to go and put all these into practise!
After usually giving it a few days to the crazed bargain hunters to retire and the shelves to have been tidied up a bit, for the first time this year I braved the boxing day sales on actual boxing day, I mean how could I resist when it was on my way home from work.
For the first time of experiencing the January sales in London I definitely saw some of the true madness of it and I am not surprised why so many people have moved online. But if you are like me and prefer to go the the actual shops and pic things up in person its a good idea to go in with a ready prepared game plan to tackle that madness head on!
So I have come up with my top 5 items to splash the cash on and look out for this January.
It may be January but at least in the UK there is still plenty of winter left to get a great deal of wear out of a new winter coat. A good old winter coat is something that I definitely look forward to cracking out every winter when that cold weather comes back around (even if I do have to put the leathers away for a while). I definitely have a less is more approach with coats. Its always the way despite there being a lot of nice lower price ones available on the market, that the one you fall in love with that season has a slightly higher price point. If you are able to find that perfect one that will carry you through the whole season and years to come then in this event it is good to wait it out and catch a lovely little bargain in the sales!
As someone who will wear boots shoes all year round, winter is away the best time for me to buy shoes. Like coats, i’m not a big shoe shopper with being perfectly happy with a good pair of Dr Martens on a daily basis. However when this year I seem to have caught the shoe shopping bug and used the sales as the perfect opportunity to expand my shoe collection slightly. My fave bargain this year would have to be my pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers. I may be slightly cheating with this being a 40% off black Friday purchase but a winter bargain is a bargain right?
Having always dreamt of having my own little library in my house consisting of floor to ceiling book shelves and a lovely collection of very instagramable coffee table books just casually laying around . Despite not owning a coffee table of my own, on many a day in Foyles I have spent stroking all the beautiful books they have on sale, most of that time spent wishing they weren’t so damn expensive with not even being able to justify them as being educational. But this year appear to be becoming more of an adult by the day choosing to spend my money on some good old reading material, potentially even throwing in a cook book or two. My favorite little find this year would have to be Bloom by the lovely Estee Lalonde. This is one I have been itching to read since it came out and I managed to pick this up half price at Olivier Bonas and have been flying though it not being able to put it down.
And with a new year ahead of us sometimes it is nice for us to literally turn over a clean page and start anew with some brand new stationary. With a small collection of un-used notebooks at the ready, I seriously don’t need anymore for myself however I thought I would let you in to the not very secret secret that the January sales is a great time to stock up for the year ahead.
This may be something that most people won’t think about during the January sales however there are some great deals out there at the beginning of the new year for various different offers on theatre tickets. If you are a theatre mad a I am then you will know that seeing some shows in London can seriously eat up that weekly student budget. Their never going to be cheap but if you are able to find some money of any that you have been desperate to see then you would be stupid not to take advantage.
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