Portraits by Tom Flathers
After sitting down and staring blankly at my computer screen wondering what the hell I was going to write (something which happens all to often) it suddenly occurred to me that this little corner of the internet has existed for a whole 730 ish days, or 2 years to the slightly less maths savvy. As someone who spent her own 21st birthday sat at home eating pizza (don’t worry I splashed out on the expensive shit), I haven’t been cracking out the party poppers and cocktail sausages for this little milestone quite yet. However I knew I had to at least acknowledge it.
After staring the early remnants of Fabric Forward back in the summer of 2015 it has gone through many a face lift, style change and focus to become what it is today. As some who has never known her HTML’s from her SEO’s, is not only just bad but scared of writing and used to run away when anyone got a camera out, the idea of me creating a fashion blog all being rather dependant on those 3 things would have seemed somewhat silly. However I think if from nothing else than my own determination to not have another hobby flop (lets not make a repeat of the tennis lessons), we’ve persisted through the technical confusion, writers block and pubic awkwardness to see ourselves here 2 years later.
Despite 2 years seeming like a rather long time I think it has taken to this point for me to finally feel happy and pleased at what I am creating. From finally finding a layout that I like, being more comfortable in my personal style and knowing the kind of posts I want to create I feel it makes me eager to want to write and create more rather than it feeling like a chore. I think the fact I have managed to post twice in week I think says it all.
Is it at a level which I might have hoped it would be by now? Not really, however at then of the day, as long it’s stays enjoyable and interesting then what does it matter if there is 1 or 1 billion of you out there.Through all the ups and downs of daily life Fabric Forward has been a wonderful little escape as my little part of the internet and somewhere which I am able to pour my creativity and love of fashion and photography into. So roll on the next 2 years and lets see where it takes us!
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
As you can see I am still trying to stretch the New Years thingy out as much as possible, slotting in another new years related post in just enough time for it to be acceptable before they start getting to easter eggs out already. You can probably tell from the not very SEO friendly title its taken me a while to get round to doing this but finally with it the end of January approaching I have got round to deciding upon some new years resolutions!
After a crazy christmas in panto land, some time to properly get as far away from anything that remotely looks like work as possible and the hustle and bustle of starting back at uni, this didn’t exactly feel like the perfect time to be turning my life upside down and making changes. From having the month to settle down a bit I feel now is as good a time as any to put together a list of a couple of goals of the year.
A lot of them are rather internet/bloggy based and I know none are particularly ground breaking. If your looking for someone who is going to aim to see the severn wonders of the world and read the complete works of shakespeare, backwards (probably something I should actually think about doing for uni :/) then you have come to the wrong gal. But with last year being how can i put it nicely… a bit pooey, i’m determined for the beginning of this new year to push myself and try and give myself the best chances to enjoy the year as possible.
Any long time readers here will know that over the year and a bit that Fabric Forward has been residing in this little corner of the internet, having a set schedule of content going up weekly has been some what of a distant dream. So with giving myself a little kick up the arse I am going to try and stick to having 1 post go up every Wednesday morning and 1 video up every Sunday with maybe a couple of extras thrown in for good measure (you will probably be able to tell when I have had a rather boring week). Blogging and youtube is definitely something that I have found a new love for recently most likely due to looking at some many other peoples wonderful blogs out there which I would love mine to be as good as. So over the coming year I hope to continue to push forward with it hopefully making both bigger and better. Now I have written that down it all seems far more scary than it should. At least it is a good start with this going up on a Wednesday, all pray for me this Sunday ;)
This is obviously very much linked with the last one but since moving to London this year I feel like i’ve let the videos slip in number and in quality. Any other student doing youtube will know that it’s not easy trying to film when living in halls with noise coming from all angles, rubbish natural light and not a particularly instagram friendly background to film in front of. Because of this over the year there have definitely been some videos that I have posted for either the sake of feeling like I should be posting a video to be regular or just to trying to get on board with some of the current youtube trends. Obviously I still have a tiny audience and in the grand scale of things this probably isn’t something that I should maybe be worrying myself with but being something I enjoy I want to be able to create quality interesting content that I love and that I am proud of and would want to watch myself.
With realising I don’t have the best set up at home this year I am aiming to take the camera out of my cardboard box of a room, get out into the world and start doing more daily vlogs and lookbooks. Of the few that I have done these have always been my favourite to shoot and and edit (with there being only so much of your badly lit face on a strange cream background that one can manage). I know I am no editing wiz with having two pieces of footage in the same frame still making me far to excited but I do have a couple of ideas for some slightly different videos up my sleeves so when I find some free time I will be looking forward to getting cracking on those!
If you read my last post all about ways of busting the new year blues you will know that I spoke about how I find coming up a with a couple of new meals for the new year is a good way bust the blues and make life a little bit more interesting. Well, I’m not going to lie, having had to ready meals in a row over the past two nights Pret still drawing me in for lunch, this one hasn’t been going so well for me however slowly in time I will explore the depths of Pintrest and find some new and hopefully healthy dishes to brighten up my evenings.
With blogging being all about photos and imagery and with snapchat and instagram being at our fingertips only a click away, you do feel like you are sometimes taking photos of everything from your dinner to our feet on a pretty flooring just to try and bulk out that instagram theme. Come on, you know you’ve done it. However sometimes it feels its the most enjoyable times be it being with friends of family, working on something cool or exploring the world are the moments that we forget to photograph. So this year I am keen to get snapping and start documenting these occasions to look back on and remember in the future. So beware, if your around me you may have a camera in your face ;)
Also another photography aim of mine is to have saved up to able to buy a swishy new camera lens. The 50mm will always have a place in my heart but a 70 – 200 has been calling my name for a while and my pennies are finally starting to mount up so hopefully it won’t be long until one of them in mine *insert evil movie villain laugh*. Also its rather nice that I can already tick one aim of the list of putting together my own photography website *moment of shameless self promotion* www.chloeknottphotography.come. So if you would like to take a gander please feel free to show me some love and click the link above :)
Its around 4 month now that I have been living in this big old smoke that we call London and despite feeling like I know my way pretty well around central London, I know that with it being so big (shocker) there is so much there for me still to discover and explore. One of my favourite past times over the years has always been exploring new cities with having no fear of going off on my tod to explore all the ins and outs and nooks and crannies. With it being such a cool and vibrant city with always sometime new and interesting going on, its such a shame to let it go to waste and keep doing the same old thing. Having a couple of free weekends down here in the coming weeks I look forward to making the most of and exploring places which aren’t Piccadilly circus and Covent Garden.
Any long term readers may remember that during the summer of 2015 after leaving art college I started up my own brand of makeup bags being made and designed by me. This started off quite well but as is ever the way life gets busy and some things get pushed to the back burner and unfortunately this was one of those things. However now it is finally time to dust of the sewing machine and get cracking on the finishing of the products for the brand new range. (ooo a range how exciting, and I promise they don’t have dust on them really). I have some brand new designs which I love and am proud of which I just need finish so hopefully it won’t be long until they are finally out there in the world!
Yes, guilty, my room is a mess. As someone who used to pride herself on her organisational skills and would tidy her room for fun (what?) its a bit sad to see it all descend into what can look like a pit of madness. It definitely gets worse when your busy and the last thing you want to do at 12 at night is hang all your clothes up neatly and tidily. However this year I am going to make extra effort to try and keep my room looking vaguely organised so at least I can see a good chunk of my flooring again.
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.
Don’t worry, i’m not getting all deep and meaningful about sense of belonging or feeling like a nobody on you today, I mean, i’m writing this late on a Tuesday night after doing all manners of life admin and cleaning, ain’t nobody got the brain power for that as this hour. What I am actually awake at the ungodly hour to type about is my love of the brand Nobody’s Child . My first discovery of the brand was seeing their concession stand in Topshop in Glasgow. Armed with the majority of their range I bundled myself into the changing rooms to go through the general charade of wanting everything while my bank account screams at me to get as far away from the shop as you can.
This jumpsuit was by far the piece that jumped out at me the most with being (wait for it) black and with seeing the sheer amount of fabric there is to make up the trouser part. Your definitely getting your meterage for your money with this one. I’m not usually one to purchase for occasion however having an event coming up at this point and obviously deciding there and then that there was nothing I could possibly wear other than this jumpsuit, I allowed my self one this little slip up.
This brand seems to be an all round good egg with being impressed by their quality, designs and rather lovely price point. It seems to have something for everyone with mixing classic shapes like the jumpsuit with some more quirky pieces in a mixture of colours and patterns. This jumpsuit may be solely flying the flag for Nobody’s Child in my wardrobe however i’m sure it is only a matter of time before it gets a friend.
PHOTOS: Tom Flathers
There are not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble upon somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film. Unless said film was set on a tiny farm in the middle of the countryside (a niche they are completely missing out on) I can’t say this has been a regular occurrence for me. However while visiting the beautiful Loch Lomond the train rumbled through the small town of Bowling and we had to get off and have a look.
This was differently a moment when the stars aligned in terms of happening to wear an outfit which managed to match with my surroundings. Grunge was definitely the order the day with this lovely brown T shit dress from Urban Outfitters matched with my trusty Topshop leather jacket. Brown is a colour that I tend to avoid with feeling it matches too much with my hair however mixed in with black in this fine stripe it makes it easier to pair with black (and theres always room for a couple of exceptions to the rule.)
Visiting somewhere such as Bowling really dose remind you of some of the amazing locations that theses British Isles have to offer and right on your doorstep.
Photos by Tom Flathers
White, I know, the colour that all of us clumsy people out there try and avoid with the fear of spilling all manner of substances down the front. Bolognese, orange juice and pen ink have all been things which any of my other pieces of white clothing have been succumbed to in the past. However this summer I was extra brave and decided to risk it with an all white skirt.
With my what I am coining “granny chic” phase still in full swing, only increased by now seeming to be surrounded by vintage shops, anything that is button (or in this case popper) up the front and sits below the knee, my eyes will be draw to it. Paired with this simple black camisole top, a black western style belt and obviously my Doc Martens grunges up this pretty skirt and keeps it as the focus of the outfit.
As of writing this yet I have manage to keep the stains at bay, hopefully I haven’t just jinxed it!
Fab photos by Tom Flathers
With summer now unfortunately coming to a close with the days of lounging around catching a few rays soon to be exchanged for wrapping up in a warm blanket in front of the fire, for many it would seem the time to pack up all the floral dresses in exchange for chunky knits. But part of me is still definitely not ready to pack away all the summer dresses quite yet. Having gone back to uni and Strictly being back on the telly, its practically already Christmas but with far too much forward planning your going to have to put up with a couple of summery posts for a little bit longer!
For this summer was very much the year of the vintage dress. With my collection continuing to grow in all cuts and colours the black shirt dresses were finally given a bit of a rest in exchange for a couple of colourful numbers. This dress definitely encapsulates the 70’s trend with the button down front and neckline frill detail. Frills tend to be something that I keep rather at arms length with not feeling they are particularly flattering for me however, with the addition of the grungy elements and the leather jacket over the top (how could I possibly leave that out) the whole look becomes a lot more ‘me’.
(annoyingly wasn’t allowed to steal this cat)
Photos by the ever wonderful Tom Flathers
Me and stripes have had a good old life long bond. Though thick and thin (literally), in the world of fashion i’ve found a decent striped print is something that can be very much be relied upon year on year. This statement skirt from Topshop, one which I spoke rather adoringly about here, is definitely one of my more bolder choices being a stripy double wammy in the vertical and horizontal verities (and it leaps out the the realms of just black, white and blue.) Now you may be thinking I would be mad to pair this with yet more stripes but that I did with but with this thinly striped blue and white Zara number.
On this lovely day back in April I seemed to cash in all my lucky stars in the bluebell variety with some of the most beautiful scenery I think Scotland has to offer. Just have to pretend that I totally planned to wear blue on this day to match this and totally wasn’t a fluke.
Obviously an outfit post nowadays could not be complete without the old leather jacket.
Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers
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