Style File – A Century of Style

Style File – A Century of Style

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Now don’t worry, I haven’t gone back in time this week and started reporting on the current fashions of the Victorian age, in fact this week I took a trip to see the A Century of Style exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. As a textiles student its very important for us to visit as many exhibitions and museums as we can to learn about all areas of our trade. Ive always been very interested at looking at fashion from throughout the years having been to see exhibitions at the V&A in London and around the country, all about fashion through the decades so this one for me was not one to miss. Instead of just writing about what I saw I thought I would talk about how I think some of the fashions back then have influenced some the of the styles today.

I chose out 2 areas in particular to talk about.  I did my best to photograph what I could but with it seeming that the interior designer at Hollister had designed the lighting for the exhibition I struggled with the lack of lighting and occasional fire escape or cctv camera lurking somewhere in the background of the picture.  

Green velvet 

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Background information: 

‘Despite green being a dominant colour in nature there were relatively few natural dyes that reproduce it. For centuries any strong greens were created by over dying blues with yellow. Some softer olive shades used iron mordants to tint the yellow dyes.’ In the mid 1800 the first  true synthetic green dyes were created creating very vibrant shades of green. In reaction to these in the late 1880’s more softer pleasing tones of green returned to fashion and bringing back the use of natural plant dyes. 

‘Silk velvet was one of the most expensive materials to make due to the amount of additional thread required to create the raised pile. Its high price meant this its use was restricted to royalty, aristocrats an the clergy, but by the late 1800’s cheaper cotton velveteen was available which was increasingly worn by the affluent urban middle classes.’ 

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With it now being the middle of November and the christmas party season now popping its head around the corner you can’t really go into many fast fashion stores without brushing yourself against many velvet items (and then proceeding to feel it for a few minuets just because of the lovely texture.) 

As a young girl I remember finding on of my mums old ‘going out’ dress in back of her wardrobe from her youth that she’d held onto being a beautiful velvet green figure hugging floor length dress. Many a day I used to try and dress up in it myself but at the age of 7 and a measly few feet tall it was a tad too long. 

Nowadays, personally when it comes down to my wardrobe velvet isn’t something that I am a huge fan of feeling that it is a rather dressy fabric and not particular casual, and if it can’t be worn casually I doubt I will buy it. The only velvet item which I own is a pair of black velvet leggings from urban outfitters a few years ago which I have had a lot of use out of, pairing them very casually with a big jumper and scarf combo and some winter boots. With them being black the velvet was less noticeable and easier to match with anything to make a comfortable day time look. 

With it being more of a dressy fabric if worn casually I think it is very important to stick to less is more, just because those velvet leggings and top are the same colour does not mean that they match well. Keep it to one key piece be it a skirt or a pair of shoes and find some more simple and plain items to match around it. But if you are going for the dressed up look then why not go all out with a slinky head little velvet number, but yet again, make that the centre piece for your whole outfit and keep the accessories to a minimum. (may have to try and nick that dress back out of my mums wardrobe) 

Velvet on todays runways

designer velvet

Velvet on the highstreet

velvet highstreet

Red military jackets 

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Background information: 

‘Red has been and still is a popular colour for clothing. Crimson silks dyed using expensive imported cochineal – crushed shield insects –  were prestigious fabrics, reserved for royals and aristocrats in the renaissance period. Naturally dyed red flannel petticoats were worn by many people in the belief that they could ward off rheumatism.  Red was a dominant colour in the British textiles industry, which produced wool and cotton fabrics rebound for their colour and fastness.’  

‘In the 1800’s red, rather than blue was associated with the boys. This was partly because of its use in military uniforms. However it was also seen to be a strong and dominant colour suitable for the masculine sex.’ 

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Now despite it being an exhibition full of beautiful victorian lady dresses, for me the on piece or few pieces I should say that kept drawing my attention was that of these 2 red mens military jackets. This involved me spending far too long loitering around them getting funny looks from the security guard trying to take the perfect photo without any strangers or unidentified object getting in the frame. The bright bold colour I think was the main thing which drew my attention. One thing which surprised me with the whole exhibition as a whole was how brightly pigmented a lot of the garments were still in this day and age, having  lasted the amount of years they have and having been dyed with older methods. This pillar box red really grabbed may attention along with the flashes of gold within the buttons and on the lapels. These jackets look obvious military and upper class from the 1800’s by their characteristics but in spite  of this they still very much remind me of some of the formal wear worn by our royals today and also within the uniforms worn in competitive horse riding and hunting. This just shows the timeless nature which these jackers posses and how fashion from 100’s of years ago can still be relevant today. 

Now annoyingly when we initially think of military fashion in the 21st century cheryl cole (or whatever she is called now) springs to mind first. This comes with them being very much in trend a few years back and being championed by ms cole. For me it was never something that I bought into with it not particularly being my style however I do love the tailoring that goes along with a lot of the military.  When looking at military style within todays fashions you see pretty remains much within jackets and mostly Karachi green loose fitting army jackets much like the military uniforms of today rather than the fitted and well tailored uniforms of the 1800’s. But here are a few runway and current high street items relating to this style. 

Military on the runway

military runway

Some of my other favourites from the exhibition. 

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Love the black embroidery detail on this jacket

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very much reminded me of some of the scarves I own

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You cant really tell from this photo but this dress was beautifully covered in beading and embroidery

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If you want to see the rest of the lovely exhibition head down to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem in Glasgow where the exhibition will be running until the middle of February.  

My design portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloenatalieknotttextiles?ref=hl

Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChloeNatalieKnott?ref=hdr_shop_menu 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @chloenatalieknott or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott 

Historial research gained from The Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum, Glasgow 

Photos taken on a Canon 1200D 

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

Now with starting any new university college or even job you are bound to be given the obligatory starting off project just to dip your toes into the water. This was no different for me with starting at GSA with our first project Drawing Beginnings based no the practise of mark making and drawing from still life. In an effort not to make it as mundane as it appeared I decided to try and make the project very much my own by developing some pattern designs from the mark making and still life sketchbook work. So this week I am taking you down a small trip on memory lane back to starting off at university (those long 4 weeks ago).

After being told to go on somewhat of a scavenger hunt to find possible mark making materials (please say you hate that term mark making as much as I do), after slopping them in some ink and various paint materials as groups we created these large mural like images all out of our different marks. When creating these all ideas of being neat and precise went out the window in exchange for being expressive and abstract. 

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Offending items for mark drawings and final experimentational images.

As you can probably see compared to the rest of my group I decided to work solely in black and white just using ink and ignoring the brightly coloured paint used by others. This decision was based on the fact that I knew from starting this that I wanted to take these drawings into photoshop to edit and manipulate into patterns so didn’t want to overcomplicate them with colours and with not yet deciding on a colour scheme (although the odds of it starting off as a variation of red and blue were pretty high) I didn’t want to tie myself down within any of the source drawings. 

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Taking this combination of lines as a whole this is the design I produced this with my usual style of mirroring and rotating. I’m very pleased with this design with it being possibly my favourite coming out of the whole process (I promise it doesn’t go too far down hill from here) with one of my favourite aspects being the fine detail within the thinly crossing lines contrasted the the larger black spogges. Although I thinks it works really well as a finished black and white illustrated design I think this one would look really cool if colour was added to it creating an almost paisley inspired design but obviously in a slightly different style however when it comes to adding colour I would have to deconstruct it and go back to the beginning to create a repeatable section of it instead of trying to colour in the whole thing which would be madness. 

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2 more created from mark making experiments

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When it got down to creating some of our own smaller scale mark making experiments I did decide at this point to start adding colour and surprise surprise as I had preempted earlier on red and blue were the chosen suspects – with a smattering of orange and various shades of blue to not limit it too much. A while ago I had the idea within my pattern design to of using oil paint to blend together a background with the pattern arising with various marks over the top. This was a perfect opportunity to try this idea out. Using some of the earlier mark making techniques I layered these on top of an acrylic paint background starting to make a pattern with it.  As well as adding on top with the black ink with using oil paints as a base I was able to mark into them dragging the paint around creating another element within the design. I really wanted to try and replicate some of the flowers I had found and used for mark making within the designs by using the colours of them within the choice of paint and using the flowers them selves to print with creating the black flower splodges.   

photoshop

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As I did with my earlier back and white drawings I mirrored, repeated and layered these scanned in images to create the new designs. Im really pleased with how these and the previous black and white ones have come out however I can see how my work is all becoming very similar using the same ideas and techniques with a lot of my designs. This could be considered as my style of working however I think it is still quite simple and could be pushed further and maybe isn’t the style which I ideally want to be creating.  

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In order to do this I took the jump and decided to try to start using adobe illustrator as well as photoshop. After plenty of blood sweat and tears (maybe subtract the blood for watching countless youtube videos) I started pick up some of the effects which I wanted to try and create. 

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I found that the marks I created using the feathers when sectioned out and played around  of By some sort of happy accident when using the pattern brush tool created a really cool butterfly image. This wasn’t really what i intended to create but I’m very pleased how I managed to create it.  Unable to leave my beloved photoshop for too long, I took this motif I had created and used and manipulated it in there, adding colour from some of my previous designs and layering design behind it until I has created a design with them which I was really happy with. 

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This final butterfly design is a lot more muted than the work I usually do however I still really like and it and is a good start at varying my portfolio a bit. I also love it when I create a design which has a lot different designs and layers involved in it knowing that a lot of different work came before it and wasn’t just simply created in 5 minuets.        

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Drawing from still life of a dream catcher. The still life element of this project was an area which I definatly struggled having not gained much inspiration from the items we were drawing. The dream catch was the only item which caught my eye with the design made out of wood in the centre and the lovely feathers hanging off it. I did first draw it in its natural colours of brown and beige but changed it when paining it into red and blue to link in more with my collection of other designs.

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          Final design of dream catcher kaleidoscope

Thankyou for taking a look and reading, I will be doing regualr updates on my uni work so please make sure to come and check back in the future to see what I am up to.

My design portfolio

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

Etsy shop 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @cnknottay or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Homewear Haul

SPOTLIGHT ON: Homewear Haul

Now you ay have seen that over the past few weeks I have taken a slight break from this blogging business, but with the stresses and strains of starting out at university, something had to give, however I am back with blogging avengeance and now and what better way to start back than a homeware haul! 

Now with moving away to university, along with the moving away and obviously starting uni one of the things I was most looking forward to was styling my own interior even down to the  designs on the plate and the mug. Sharing a small uni flat the space can become an issue and if i purchased every mug and plate that I liked then I definitely wouldn’t have been able to store the food to eat off them. One way that this turned out not to be a problem is that before I started shopping I had a clear Idea in my head of what I wanted to find. 

As you may have gathered from me at this point from my design work red and blue are defiantly my preferred colours and after having years of staring at quite plain and dull kitchen items (no offence mum and dad and your interiors choices) I wanted to finally have some of my own which I can love and get excited to eat off (and yes I have just realised how sad that sounds, me being the most uncool fresher ever.) 

I always liked the idea of having mismatched dinning wear but all working together on one main theme. Also I wanted to get something that wasn’t too garish and style specific, find something which will last me for years and still look as current and stylish.

When shopping around I saw many beautiful ready together sets which would be fine for me but with them wanting to last me as long as possible and not get bored of them, I didn’t want to rest until I found the ones right for me. 

Also one hurdle which did slightly get in the way was that of being a student, budget was defiantly always on my mind. Looking in somewhere like Marks and Spencer’s seemed like high end luxury. But in the end after searching high and low (and inevitably coming back to buy from the first place that I started looking), I managed to find some lovely kitchen wear that I am really happy with. 

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Ive always loved this style of blue and white patterned plates and and with loving vintage fashion and interiors these defiantly fit well with my interior’s vision.  I remember as a child always seeing them in my nan’s kitchen dresser all nicely laid out as displayed. Now back then I didn’t think much off them especially my confusion with them only being there for display and not to be eaten off, however, minds do change and I have grown to love them and its nice that they give a slight feel of nostalgia from my rural home town to the busy city I now live in. 3 out of the 4 of these were purchased from Dunelm, with one later addition being from T K Maxx after realising that washing up really isn’t my favorite hobby and I would like to leave as long a gap between washes as possible, so slipping in one more plate kind of helped the problem even if it does mean a bit more elbow grease. Despite loving these traditional patterns, Ive tried to mix in these more modern circular and floral patters to try and strike the balance between old and new. In the end I think this smaller spotted plate on top has ended up being my favourite design with it just being so simple yet classic (and is a perfect size for toast in the morning) 

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As someone who may have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with mugs I may have ended up with hoarding a grand total of 6 for one person, but its ok, 2 of them can be used as pen pots (see! totally saving money on pen pots)  Sticking on the blue and white theme from various shops and various different shopping trips I managed to find these 6 which I really like. As someone who finds a small mug of hot chocolate a crime against drinks one of my struggles was finding mugs big enough to full fill  my addiction. In the end TK Maxx yet again turned out to be a crakcer with these various different styles and shapes of mugs all found on their shelves. Also if you are a particular lover of Cath Kindston homeware and mugs in particular I would make sure you take a little peak into TK Maxx on your next visit with them having a wide range of their mugs all waiting to be snapped up (as I did with the red and white spotty one) 

Now as you may be getting bored of me praising TK Maxx to the high heavens I have one last thing that I purchased from there. Since buying them I have actually realised that I rarely use bowls but it there was any reason to use one, what better than to want to eat of this lovely bowl. Obviously this is also blue and white and a pattern which ties in with the rest of the plates and bowls nicely and completes all of my uni crockery. 

Being TK Maxx and many of the products they stock being one of a kind within there stores I unfortunately don’t have links for any of their products but all the products which I purchased from Dunelm are linked down below :)

Light blue plate -Dunelm 

http://www.dunelm.com/product/chateau-blue-dinner-plate-1000050544 

Matching bowl 

http://www.dunelm.com/product/chateau-blue-bowl-1000050546

Dark blue play – Dunelm

http://www.dunelm.com/product/indigo-bazaar-dinner-plate-1000058031

Spotty plate – Dunelm

http://www.dunelm.com/product/royal-doulton-pacific-dot-dinner-plate-1000059944?cmCategoryId=34090 

Circle pattern mug – Dunelm 

http://www.dunelm.com/product/royal-doulton-pacific-circle-mug-1000059941?cmCategoryId=34087

My design portfoliohttps://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloenatalieknotttextiles?ref=hl

Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChloeNatalieKnott?ref=hdr_shop_menu 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @cnknottay or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott 

SPOTLIGHT ON: OOTD – A Day in the City

SPOTLIGHT ON: OOTD – A Day in the City

Continuing on after my portabello market special I couldn’t help stretch the theme out over the whole week and continue it on to an outfit of the day post featuring some of my new favorite purchases from the capital. With staying in the Hyde Park area we started off the day with a walk around Kensington Gardens and into Hyde park where a lot of walking was to be had. Then we ventured towards The Royal Albert Hall then got on the tube to go to Oxford Circus for dinner. It was a lovely day around London and a perfect opportunity to do an outfit of the day for you. 

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I decided to make the scarf (which you will have seen in my last W/W/W post) the main focus of the outfit with keeping that as the burst of colour and keep the rest of the outfit to dark colours. This scarf I brought from a vintage stall at portobello market which I have a explained more in my last post which will be linked here: 

https://fabricforward.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/wantingwearingworking-week-5-portobello-market-special/

As I said I wanted to keep the outfit in the remit of dark colours however I didn’t want to make the whole outfit black and wanted to try and pair it with another opposing pattern.  

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Despite appearing grey on screen the top I am wearing is actually a very small black and white cheque. This top is almost the transition between a jumper and a top so is good for the autumn weather and this transitional period in the UK. Despite it obviously not being a colour it is a bit different for the plain T shits and jumper that I usually wear with its check pattern and also goes well with the bright red pattern of the scarf. Also its a good length with it being slightly cropped but not too cropped so it won’t show too much of your stomach with jeans. You can’t really see here but underneath this jumper I have paired it with a little plain white lacy cami top just to have that bit of lace poking through at the bottom. Now I love layering and its sometimes nice to have a bit of something else poking through at the bottom or a top to add interest and different textures to an outfit (and also warmth being in cold and rainy England)  

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On the bottom half I decided to wear my new Topshop black ripped skinny jeans. I will admit that when they first came into fashion I was not a fan and still in some cases I’m not, if the rips are too clean cut, too high up or plainly too many of them(would like to look as if a tiger has not attacked my trousers). If the rips is directly on or slightly below the knee and is distressed and sort of fraying enough I think the look can work creating grungey and distressed image. I think they work best when paired with quite simple items like a plain cropped T shirt or an oversized shirt or jumper. If put with something bright patterned and colourful it I think it would over power the outfit with trying to put too many trends together with the ripped jeans being quite a strong trend on their own. 

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Finally one item it feels of this hall isn’t brand new and never been worn before are my Topshop black leather ankle boots.Now the struggle is real when it comes to finding the perfect pair of black ankle boots. To me they always seem to be a bit to loose around the ankle, have too many zips, too much of a high heal or simply with my budget too much of a price tag. However with this pair, I may have seems to have struck gold (or at least silver with being a perfectionist!)  I had my eyes on this pair in Topshop right from when they first came out but, true to form with them being real leather the price was a bit out of my range so I left and secretly hoped that if i lost a tooth that the tooth fairy may have started giving out brand new leather boots instead! But unfortunately this didn’t happen but when I finally stumbled across them in the sale for half the price, there were coming home in my bag. When i’m looking for new shoes I like to be able to find a pair which I will be wearing until I simply  can’t wear them anymore due to them no longer looking like shoes and more like scraps of leather.  

I generally just love most things about them, the leather there made of, the hight of them around the ankle, the hight of the heal, the gold hardware detailing on the side and the strap detailing around the front. Now if i’m being picky I would wish that the side wasn’t open around the bucket area due to the odd occasion of pesky stones getting inside them (and also maybe the blisters they gave me on this day, that will teach me to not not wear socks int them) but on the whole a pat on the back there to Topshop!  

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The few accessories I was wearing were my brown T K Maxx sunglasses, a small vintage black handbag, and wide sterling silver ring, both found at Portobello Market (if you can’t already tell I really liked Portobello Market, I mean, i’ve only left a couple of hints right?) 

Photos taken by Tom Flathers

http://www.tomflathersphoto.com

Outfit details again: 

Jumper: Urban Outfitters (very similar) 

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/uk/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=5114466647771&category=WOMENS-JERSEY-TOPS-EU

Jeans: Topshop 

http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?Ntt=black%2bripped%2bskinny%2bjeans&storeId=12556&productId=16147715&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057

Boots: Topshop

http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?Ntt=black%2bboot&storeId=12556&productId=18395056&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057

Coat (hung on bag): H and M (similar at asos)

http://www.asos.com/story-of-lola/story-of-lola-70s’-faux-suede-trench-coat/prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=5694628&clr=Black&SearchQuery=black+trench+coat&pgesize=13&pge=0&totalstyles=13&gridsize=3&gridrow=2&gridcolumn=2

Sunglasses: T K Maxx (proper Rayban version)

http://www.asos.com/ray-ban/ray-ban-wayfarer-sunglasses-0rb4165-710/8g55/prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=5272423&clr=Brown&SearchQuery=brown+raybans&pgesize=36&pge=0&totalstyles=44&gridsize=3&gridrow=4&gridcolumn=3 

Scarf: Vintage 

Bag: Vintage

And thank you again to the very lovely tom fathers for the great photos. 

Design portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloenatalieknotttextiles?ref=hl

Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChloeNatalieKnott?ref=hdr_shop_menu 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @cnknottay or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott