End of Summer look book

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Embracing the British summer

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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. 

 

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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. 

 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Time for a break

Time for a break

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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.  

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21 for 21

21 for 21

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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.  

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1. Weekend away in the Isle of Arran

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.)

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2. Pool (no water)’s final night show

 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. 

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3. Visiting Alton Towers in the summer of 2015

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. 

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4. Disney fancy dress party

 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. 

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5. Filming Summer Falls

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 

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6. STaG Nights scratch night

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. 

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7. Getting into Guildhall

 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. 

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8. Wicked lady rehearsal and Lightsdown

 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. 

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9. The film “Pride”

 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. 

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10. A level results day

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!) 

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11. Me Before You premier

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. 

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12. All the other fab shows I have been a part of

 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. 

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13. Seeing Death of a Salesman at The RSC

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. 

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14. My first textiles collection

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. 

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15. Starting off Fabric Forward

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! 

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16. So many shoots!

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!

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17. Barbican Ball  

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 ;). ) 

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18. NYT Gala

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!)

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19. Working at The Libertine

 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.

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20. Moving to London

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.

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21. So turning 21

 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. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Painting the town RED

Painting the town RED

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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.

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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! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS

TROUSERS | TOP

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

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So that year milestone has finally arrived.

With my habit of dropping hobbies as nearly as quickly as starting them (those golf lessons only lasted a matter of weeks), it is a minor miracle that we have actually of this far. Having not done anything to celebrate one of my own birthday for the past few years, I can’t say I have cracked out a cake quite yet however having managed to stick at this semi constantly for the past year I thought it should be given at least a small nod somehow. From horse riding to knitting after taking up something new for over a year, you would hope you have learnt a few things new about it and blogging has been no different. So without further ado here are some of the things which this year has taught me about blogging. 

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Technical stuff it hard!  

From SEO’s to HTML’s no matter how much you consider yourself a wiz on the computer with being able to use Iplayer and photoshop at the same time, coding will always seem to be another language to you. 

That writing isn’t the easiest things to come to me.

You may have noticed in the early days of the blog, nearly 1000 word essays seemed to be the order of the day, competing with War and Peace in terms of time taken to read.  This is something which didn’t last particularly long realising 1. I’m not exactly the next Charles Dickens and 2. I don’t exactly have the size of following of Charles Dickens  

Staying consistent can sometimes be hard (as exhibited today!).

No matter how many days that I give myself to sort the photos and write a new blog post, you can almost guarantee that I won’t end up doing it until the morning of wanting to post it. 

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That it is harder to get your blog noticed than I first thought.

With everyone and their dog seeming to have a blog nowadays to make someone read yours rather than one of the big guns’s seems to be a never ending struggle. I guess many many more tweets is the key. 

Whenever your eating out you feel obliged to take photos of your food.

I don’t think I can scroll through instagram nowadays and not see a picture of avocado on rye bread served on perfectly dainty crockery anywhere. 

Learning more about what suits your figure.

No matter how comfy and marshmallow like those big baggy winter jumpers are, sometimes when put on camera you realise their not the most flattering thing for you. A good old waist belt never did anyone any harm! 

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There are only so many times that your home city will come up with new and exciting places to shoots photos. 

 

That at some point or another no matter how well you thought you hid it on the extremely public on the internet one of your friends of family will find it, and spread it.

Any new blogger out there will know the feeling of panic that rushes through their veins when someone tells them that they have been reading their blog, then you just have to remind yourself, you did put it out on the internet. 

Check, check and check again!

Even if you are damn sure that when you wrote that post you couldn’t possibly have make any glaringly obvious grammatical errors or spelt any words practically backwards its highly likely that there will be a mistake lurking in there somewhere. it is aways good to go back and check everything through if nothing more than to save the embarrassment of having your friends scribble their hypothetical red pen all over it. 

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Finally, to end on a positive note after realising they all seem slightly negative, it is a great way to journal your life and look back at where you have been and what has happened over the past months/years.

Its like having all you photo albums at the click of a button! 

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Photos – Tom Flathers 

Life in a leather jacket

Life in a leather jacket

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Now I may not be a member of the Hells Angels and I definitely don’t have a Harley Davidson tucked away in my garage (as if i even have a garage) but it doesn’t mean I haven’t used and abused wearing a leather jacket. Since purchasing this little beauty back in the spring from Topshop, there has rarely been a day when I have reached to put on anything else. With it being in my favourite colour/not colour black, it instantly brings out that inner rock chic which I had somewhere hiding within me and probably makes me look about 10 times cooler than i actually am at heart. 

But never mind the jacket, lets talk a little more about that little interesting denim item I have on. As someone who for a very long time now has barely taken off her plain black skinny jeans and has never wanted to make a statement in the denim, thinking I really should not be drawing too much attention to those tree trunks. All in all these really shouldn’t be something that I am interested in however, some tiny corner of my brain (which definitely wasn’t the money saving part) propelled me to try these on in Topshop and I knew that they would fit perfectly in my wardrobe.

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Over the past few years we have seen jeans move from the pairs of trouser that everyone wears for practicality and comfort into more interesting fashion statement pieces. Be it flared frayed hems, all over embroidery or the ripped knee trend which it seems everyone and their auntie has tried out, the high street is still continuing to come up with new and exciting reinventions of the humble jean. Topshop has been somewhere that I have always noticed to push the boat out with their denim pieces, probably to the extent where some other brands aren’t willing to go.

When I first picked them up I assumed that they would only work with other plain, neutral coloured items, keeping it all well within my comfort zone, but since trying them on with multiple different items i’ve realised quite how versatile they can be due to being made of the 2 colours of denim that go with everything. This is the first kind of this style that I have seen around in the shops and on the streets.This may be because nobody else likes them or just because they haven’t yet to be worn by some A lister to make them the next highly sort after thing. Whether they become a hit or a flop I will continuing jazzing up my denim these jeans this autumn winter.

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Wonderful photographs by Tom Flathers 

JEANS: http://bit.ly/2dvnyZd

JACKET: http://bit.ly/2dKdfSP

Photos from the Aegon Classic

Photos from the Aegon Classic

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to be an accredited photographer (I got a press pass and everything!) at the Aegon Classic women tennis tournament in Birmingham. Having never shot live sport or even seen a tennis match in person before you might say I was a little thrown in at the deep end. But with having the whole weekend there, i had plenty of time to try and get the hang of it. 

It was actually rather different than I was expecting, with thinking it was going to be very high paced and constantly on the go, trying to get the best shots. However I actually found it on a whole quite slow and monotonous process, waiting for the precise moments when the player and the ball are in the exact right position before you even think about pressing the shutter. 

Also one massive difference I noticed from any other style photography I have done before (theatre, portrait etc) was that obvious with it being a live match nothing it pre planned and you have no idea what the players are going to do next, where they are going to run on the court ect. My usual process of wanting to have everything pre planned out before I start pretty much had to be thrown out the window for this one. 

The rain did its best to try and stop play however over the qualifying weekend we managed to get a good 5 matches in on centre court (2 including Laura Robson which I was a little too excited about).   

In the end after wading through hundreds of photos of awkward arm pit shots, shots of half a player and shots which were just plainly out of focus these ones seem to be pretty much the best of the bunch. 

I also put together a little mini vlog of one of the days for you all, oh I am spoiling you ;)

 

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Previous photography posts…  

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Bromyard_Speed_Festival

LINKS 

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Theatre Focus | Posh

Theatre Focus | Posh

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A couple of now months ago (doesn’t time fly) I fully exercised all my newly formed photography muscles with photographing Student Theatre at Glasgow’s production of Posh by Laura Wade. This was rather different from my usual of flower and still life’s with actual people and flashing lights to think about but it seemed my lucky stars were aligning on this day as I was really pleased with the results. 

With the amazing venue of Cottiers Theatre being a renovated church which suited the play perfectly and such a talented cast and crew it was a  joy to work both backstage and as a photographer. 

Through a mound of around 230 final photos I have managed to narrow it down to my final favorite 25 photos (I tried for 20 but I just can’t let them go!) and a couple of promo images too.

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LINKS 

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

500 px http://bit.ly/1XldouE 

 

VOGUE 100: A Century of Style

VOGUE 100: A Century of Style

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During a less than 24 hours stay in London, with seeming to spend more time traveling there and back than rather in the place its self, (7 hour train journeys feel like just nipping down to the shop for me now) I eventually got round to seeing the VOGUE 100: A Century of Style exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. 

In celebration of Vogues centenary year, the National Portrait Gallery worked in collaboration with British Vogue to put together a fabulous collection of over 280 prints of its best and most famous photographs from the 100 years it has been in print. Despite my best intentions with seeming to miss it on all other occasions when entering the capital this time I finally got down to seeing it. 

For any fashion and/or photography lovers this is defiantly a must see exhibition. I am going to have to hold my hands up and say that I have not been a long time reader of Vogue myself, I never fancied wading through a magazine basically full of adverts for a few feature at the back but having become more interested fashion and photography recently, I am rather partial to a little flick through.

The exhibition includes many classic photos of stars such as Naomi Campbell, Alexander McQueen, Keira Knightly and Kate Moss (making many regular appearances, having seemed not to have aged a bit in her whole career might I add). It was also a lot bigger than I expected with each era (1930, 1940, etc) having their own dedicated room, each full of images from the worlds highest acclaimed models, actors and photographers at the top of their game. It was amazing to see the magazine from its small illustrative beginnings to the high gloss of its content today and truly see how it has changed and developed over the years. 

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The exhibition is running until the 22nd of April so if your ever in London get in there while it is still on!

To find out more information or to book tickets visit their website at http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/vogue/exhibition.php

LINKS:

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

500 px http://bit.ly/1XldouE