So Chloe, remember that time that you said you were going to take a little bit of time off blogging however it definitely wouldn’t be more than a week or two and you would be back on it right as rain? No?? Well with it having been 3 months, 7 days and an hour or so since your last post went up I would say that something somewhere went a bit wrong!
However lets stop dwelling on my apparent inability to do a million things at once and on the fact that Fabric Forward is finally back down to business!
I evidently decided that while somewhat melting in the 30 something degree heat in London that it was the perfect time to lock myself indoors, start tapping away at the key board and get this blog back up and running.
As well as some snazzy new pictures (I can totally still pretend that there is blossom out on the trees right?) the eagle eyed amongst you may also be able to tell that the old blog has had a bit of a re-vamp. As ever with me getting bored really easily I couldn’t help myself buy have a little re-decoration around this joint. After the probably 4 or 5 different looks this blog has had since being birthed I must say this has to be my favourite (she says until she changes it again in a matter of months).
Anyway with my skin feeling like it is going to melt away from me at any moment (fyi turns out human flesh can actually start melting at 40 degrees, true fact that! – don’t say you don’t learn anything here) I shall keep this brief and return to my wild evening of being sprawled on my bed with an overheating laptop all while wondering how many grapes one can fit into ones mouth.
Choa for now! (and hopefully won’t be for a 1/4 of a year this time!)
Photos | Tom Flathers
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.
Yep now theres a title you weren’t expecting. Maybe just put it down to the fact I am running on very little sleep. There may not be any bejewelled wildlife in this post however I have ended up wearing something sparkly and leopard print at the same time and not on the way to a fancy dress party. How very un-me! I don’t tend to be one for a sparkle, at the risk of looking too much like the cross between a christmas tree and and my 5 year old self at a birthday party however in my new found urge to dress a big more adventurously (even if I have stayed within the realms of my beloved black)
Before christmas in the shops you couldn’t move for sparkly knits and shear tops which despite my best efforts to make it work it always lead to me feeling far to dresses up. However some small corner of my brain decided after spotting this lovely little number in & Other Stories that now is the time that finally mix up an effectively all black look with a bit of sparkle. The party season with all its glitz and glamour may be long behind us however thats no excuse for not being able to throw a touch of sparkle occasionally (seems a leopard does change its spots ;)
The fact that I’m wearing sparkles and leopard print has some how managed to distract from the fact I also wearing frayed kick flare jeans, another item that when I first saw in the shops I thought I would never be seen wearing. Denim is something that I have spent most of my life living in. From the bog standard black skinny jeans which have head my heart for many years to the classic mom jean which have become my new found love. However more recently I have been trying to be a little more adventurous within my denim choices. First seen within my Life in a Leather Jacket post last year wearing my beloved 2 tone mom jeans I’ve now followed the crowd into the realms of the kick flare. Part of me still isn’t a huge fan but after seeing these on Carrie from WishWishWish I was persuaded to give them a go and turns out, I love them! Being Asos own brand they were never going to break the bank on a piece which is probably only going to be a short term trend piece.
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.
There will have rarely been day over the last couple of years where black and white haven’t been staple items within my outfit. From dresses to jumpers my wardrobe has become a sea of blacks, whites and greys (with a couple of hints of red thrown in for good measure). Call it boring, funeral attire, stylish or simple one reason I like it in particular is that it is just easy. Dressing and shopping become so much simpler when you know that everything you buy and wear will mostly likely go with everything else in your wardrobe and never having to worry if that colour will go with anything.
The strappy top or dress over T shirt trend has been a huge trend this past season. Not only do I like the look of it but the practicality of being able to wear your more summery items into the autumn and winter months has been an added bonus. This little black number from Urban Outfitters has to be one of my favourites with it fitting like a glove but I love the edgier side of it with having the longer hems at the sides and the square strappy neckline (and was a lovely little sale bargain to boot!) Despite making more of an effort recently to add a splash of colour here and there, especially helped with my new found love of vintage 90’s dresses, I will always be monochrome lover at heart.
PHOTOS: TOM FLATHERS (at The Custard Factory, Birmingham)
We all have one of those pieces in our wardrobe, the thing when the rest of your clothes are lying unloved and rejected on the floor after a manic “I have nothing to wear” session that we reach for time and time again. Be this in the form of a massive fluffy jumper, an old pair of Levis which have probably seen a few world wars in their time or a classic little black dress, we all have them tucked away somewhere.
Despite all of these being very much on my panic dressing hit list the one item which has reigned above all since its purchase has been this lovely vintage black velvet dress. It may be cheesy to say it but with it being black, a shirt dress and vintage its pretty much me in velvety goodness dress form. The £9 price tag also makes it all that bit sweeter with the cost per wear probably now being less than a tin of beans (and I don’t even mean fancy old Heinz).
With any completely black outfit I always try and throw in a splash of colour somewhere and this beautiful suede bag did just the trick. All my thrifting powers were put to good use with this look with managing to pic this bag up for a couple of pounds in a charity ship. With its angular hexagon shape (seems I learnt something in GCSE Maths) it adds a geometric edge to a pretty piece and adds another spot of interest.
PICTURES | TOM FLATHERS
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.
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.
You know those days as a girl (sorry boys) when you actually manage to end up wearing an exactly matching set of underwear and you actually feel like you are winning at life and could take on the world? Now I wish I could say this was one of those days but without giving too much away, with my rather undesirable underware collection, mostly consisting of massive granny knickers (Bridget would be proud!) leave these days rather few and far between. However how could anyone not miss the opportunity to match their lipstick colour with their outfit?
Now I know this will come as a massive shock to all and at the risk of repeating myself for the 100th time but shirt dresses and bright lipsticks are near enough the only 2 things I ever wear. This maroon one was a new addition for me this summer. Its near enough a carbon copy of a black one which I have had and worn to death over the past few years so what better way to introduce some more colour to my wardrobe. The ultimate matching lipstick was the lovely Love Liberty from Charlotte Tilbury. I spoke more in-depth about this lipstick in my review of it linked here. I may have had a some what love hate relationship with this lipstick in the past but you can not deny how perfectly it works for this look.
Pics as ever by Tom Flathers
As someone who is never keen for dressing up specially to go out in the evenings and likes to be able to have one look to carry them through from dawn until dusk so I tasked myself to try and come up with a look to do just that. Now this may not be to everyones taste, maybe its too dressed up for the day or not dressed up enough for the evening but for me its perfect. So this is what I decided to wear for a lovely day wondering around the city to going out for a meal in the evening.
For me I think the star item of this look is the skirt. As you can tell from some of my previous post that I am a huge fan of a midi length skirt and would 9 times out of 10 always choose a midi over a mini. I find it a very easy was to try and make an outfit look effortlessly put together and stylish with minimal effort going into it. Also I like not having to worry about pulling them down all the time and that little bit extra warmth isn’t something to go amiss. Also, finally its a pencil skirt with pockets! well one on the side to de precise. With it being a patch pocket on the side it doesn’t add any bulk to the item just skims down the side and adds a handy place for any phones/money ect. As well as this I love the wrap around and tie detail at the front, this is a style which is flattering on most body shapes, helping to give you shape and appear to slim you down. It make the skirt a lot easier to walk in compared to normal pencil skirts by freeing up the bottom of it.
The only part of this skirt I didn’t immediately like then I picked up on the hanger was the colour of it. Despite once loving it, nowadays maroon is one of those colours that I’m not particular keen on, probably with it being very close of pink. But with loving the fit and style I had to try it on and fell it love with it despite this. This was defiantly one of those finds which I think all us girls have been waiting for and I’m defiantly very happy to have picked this up by chance.
The way I have styled this item here happens to be the way I tried the skirt on in the shop.
While having a relaxed afternoon shopping I was wearing this dark green checked shirt and when trying them on together found that surprisingly they went together really well. With them both being quiet dark earthy colours the marron and the dark green go together really well and with the thin red/maroon lines running though the check of the shirt it helps to tie it all together. With the shirts loose fit and light weight fabric it helps to keep the outfit on the casual side clashing the more smart piece of the skirt with this relaxed fit item of the shirt. One thing I do like to do when styling outfits I like trying to pair together different items, some being smart and some really relaxed. Be it a pair of smart trousers with a relaxed oversized jumper or a silky shirt with a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans I love the clash of styles and the ability to make an outfit adaptable for many situations like this one.
If I hadn’t have worn this shirt by chance I doubt I would have put these 2 items together (especially with not at least one of them being black). Over the top of this I added my matching tartan green tartan scarf. At first I thought this might be overdoing it with double tartan but with them being a very similar I think it works well and better than adding in another print/pattern (and if you can’t in Scotland when can you ;) ).
As ever as someone who never wears heels I matched it all as ever with my Doc Martens and for me they will work for day and night perfectly well.
Outfit details –
Shirt (simular) – Zara
Skirt – Forever 21
scarf (simular) – Asos
boots – Doc Martens – Urban Outfitters
Photos taken by Tom Flathers