PORTRAITS : 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
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.
Well for starters Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a good day and are still sleeping off the food comas and hangovers that you acquired from a little bit too much of everything. I can safely say having a day reserved pretty much for eating far too much food while watching far too much tele was just what I needed.
This year christmas has been rather different for me. With being wrapped up in the crazy old world of Panto, working all the hours god sent up until christmas eve and getting back to work on boxing day, I was far more excited this year for christmas day than usual if for nothing more than a nice day of rest!
I would never usually consider myself the most christmassy of people. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of christmas, spending the day with the people you love, eating some great food and getting a couple of nice presents along the way but somehow between childhood and growing into an adult the whole occasion somewhat lost some of its magic. Maybe it was from at the age of 13 being told by your parents Santa isn’t actually real and you no longer get a stocking or being given one to many body spray sets you seriously start to question how badly you must smell or being forces to watch the christmas day episode of Eastenders year on year (evidently I don’t have the most festive of parents!) Also with usually only letting myself vaguely entertain the idea of christmas until after my birthday is done and dusted (3rd Dec), which by this point advent calendars are all sold out and Black Friday present deals have been and gone I tend to miss the bandwagon.
But as I said this year I have been determined to make the most of christmas, enjoy my time of to relax and see family and try to forget about the last stressful term and before a probably worse one. So I decided to put together a little collection of the ways in which this year I will try and make myself enjoy the festive period. None of these are going to be ground breaking, I’m sure probably all of you do this already but these are just a couple of ways I will be spending my christmas hollibobs!
I really have been rather crap on the tele front this year. With not even getting around to watching what was once the highlight of my TV calendar, Strictly Come Dancing, christmas will be a bit of a shock to the system with actually sitting down to watch some TV on an actual tele! With christmas specials in abundance (outnumbered being this years personal highlight) and the good old classics being pumped out to fill the gaps (how can anyone not like Blackadder), its the best time of year to have a good old TV binge and enjoy watching Chicken Run for the 8th time.
Anyone like me who can be a bit of a workaholic, sometimes it is hard to completely shut down and and forget about deadlines and projects and what I should be doing next. But if there is any time of the year that this can and should all be forgotten about it is christmas. This may be somewhat hypocritical writing this now but just put dow the notepad, sit down, relax and watch that whole series of lost in 2 days with a family size pack or bourbons by your side (to share, obviously).
Anyone around me who knows me will know that I am some what of a foodie. Not in the sense of fancy Michelin star restaurants with caviar and quails eggs but in the sense of just loving a good old bit of grub! With christmas being the one time of year when you can drink and eat chocolate before lunch time and eat cake convincing yourself that its healthy because it has fruit in it, I love to crack out the cooking equipment and make a lovely batch of biscuits or muffins for either yourself or to be a lovely hand made present for a relative.
Now I know this is kind of the obvious thing for people to do over the christmas break but having been away for the whole term without a reading week and working full time over christmas, getting to go home and see some family on christmas day is a rather exciting prospect.
With living in London there is so much going on over the christmas period that it would be stupid to miss them all. So on the small time that I have of I am determined to hit up the christmas markets even if just for the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, visit Winter Wonderland to see what all the fuss is about and plainly have a nice wonder around the city to see all the beautiful christmas lights.
Every year winter rumbles on around (funny that) and it was finally time to tear myself away from my beloved leather jacket and into something a little bit more practical for the season. Despite last years orange number still being very much in my good books, Zara has pulled it out the bag again this year with this beautiful double breasted grey number which I have had glued to my shoulders.
Not to diminish my love for a good jumper but probably my favourite things about winter dressing is being able to crack out a good old coat and wrap up all warm and cosy. This look really encapsulates all of my favourite styles at the moment of with the ever so practical for the ankles culottes, a good knitted jumper and obviously a good old cosy coat. With the simple accessories of a chunky black belt and small and simple bag, they nicely finish this simple yet stylish look and keep everything very comfy with my Adidas Gazelles .
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
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.
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!
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
Orange, thats right it orange. Don’t worry you haven’t started seeing black as orange, Chloe Knott has brought an orange coat. Every year it comes to that time when the hunt for the new winter coat begins with last year coats coat feeling a bit over worn and tired. Instead of the normal black or dark grey this year I decided to mix it up with a splash of orange.
From going out to find one I knew I wasn’t wanting the normal black or grey and did want something different, thinking more in the ream of camel coloured. It was the camel coloured version of this coat which drew my eye to it but when I noticed the orange one I knew that was the one I wanted.
With wanting your coat to last the whole winter you want it to be something very versatile. Now if I was someone who wore a lot of different colours then the orange may not be the best for a coat that you want to go with everything, but as someone who has a very dark coloured wardrobe this is a brilliant way of adding colour to any outfit without much effort. I think this statement coat it a brilliant way to do this.
The main reason I love this coat so much is the cut. Its such a classic cut which works for everyday and for more smarter occasions and will go with most other items. Despite the fact I have been talking all about the fact that it is orange it’s not too bright and is a slight darkened/muted orange which I think make it a bit more wearable with lots of other things.
I got this coat from Zara for £59.99 which defiantly was the top end of my budget however for a good quality winter coat I that will get plenty of use I think it was a worth wile investment. For a long time I have looked at Zara coats and always admired them from afar with them usually being out of my price range so I’m very glad this year they have come out with some lovely ones with a slightly lower price tag.
If orange isn’t your colour this same coat comes in 4 other colours of black, grey, camel and yellow.
Coat – Zara
Jeans – Topshop
Shoes – Urban Outfitters (Dr Martens)
Scarf – Mango
Shirt – Vintage
Photos taken by Tom Flathers
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.
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:
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.
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)
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.
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!
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
Outfit details again:
Jumper: Urban Outfitters (very similar)
Coat (hung on bag): H and M (similar at asos)
Sunglasses: T K Maxx (proper Rayban version)
And thank you again to the very lovely tom fathers for the great photos.
Design portfolio: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums
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