PORTRAITS : TOM FLATHERS
Portraits by Tom Flathers
Having been back home in the land or trees, sheep and more sheep for probably only about 5 minuets, I am already finding my mind drifting back to my life back in the big smoke. With sirens having been replaced by mooing cows, office blocks by sheep sheds, hard by soft water (whatever that means) and air by well, clean air, it has definitely made me realise how for granted I take living in a city like London. Now as much a love having to wait an hour for the next bus after the one you tired to get didn’t arrive or having to lean half way out of your highest window to get one bar of phone signal the peace and tranquility of the countryside can get a little tedious for a city lover like myself. At home I definitely miss having everything you could want or need on your doorstep with plenty of places to explore and beat the boredom.
Despite having been living in London for nearly a whole year now there are still plenty of places I keep meaning to visit. Borough Market however was one of those recently which I have managed to tick off the list. Now there is no way that I would describe myself as a foodie with the M&S ready meal isle getting far too much of my attention and money of late but going somewhere like Borough Market definitely makes you want to become one. With every meat, vegetable, bread and unearthly food on offer it is least to say you will leave feeling a little peckish.
PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS
So here it is finally, then end of my first year of university has finally come around with only 3 more days left to go. With most of the country having broken up already and having fled their dingy halls bedrooms and in the words of Michael Mcintyre got thoroughly “gabzeboded” on the final night of term, it been something that has felt like a long time coming for me. However its finally approaching and I can safely say there is nothing more I want at the moment that a good old rest back home.
I’m not going to lie it was a strange experience starting over as a first year again, especially with the first time around not exactly going to plan. It definitely made it all the more nerve racking knowing that it so could easily not be all plain sailing and that this is my last chance at getting it right.
I can’t say that I have exactly fitted well into the model “student lifestyle” with going out to get drunk, a light workload and living around constant noise all being things rather low on my list of priorities. Their have been many moments when I have just wanted to run away and leave it all behind with only the fear of what the hell would I do instead keeping me going.
However despite all with this, if there is one this that all of this has taught me it is that even if you feel like you are trapped in something that you don’t enjoy, it really doesn’t have to be like that forever and doesn’t have to be the rest of your life.
With uni not giving me the enjoyment that I needed I had to push myself to find things that I did enjoy and that made me happy knowing that they won’t necessarily find their ways to you on their own. At periods when you haven’t had a day of in 3 months and have been working all nighters to get shit done you wonder at times have I gone too far. However having experienced a couple of “pinch me” moments over the past few weeks, its nice to feel like all your hard work has been paying off and not just lead to nothing.
Anyway, despite this all seeming a bit doom and gloom I am actually feeling rather positive about what is ahead. Uni does eventually seem to be looking up, i’ve found somewhere I’m looking forward to living in and some good things to focus on, hopefully the only way is up from here.
For someone like me who likes to live life at 100 mph it can be scary to look at a 7 week gap in the diary and see very little to fill it. However I am going to make sure that I take this time to properly relax, recharge and fill up on some good old country air and be back ready and rearing to go for the year ahead.
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
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
So, what better way to start than with a Happy New Year you wonderful bunch! I hope you all celebrated in style by either partying the night away or with my chosen method this year, staying in with the bf, a box set of lost and some good old pork chops. What more could a girl want? Anyway, despite only being 2 days into the new year I know I am a tad late on the bandwagon of celebratory end of the year posts.
I will be up with full year in review post very soon however today I have something to wet you appetite in a collection of my top 5 favourite posts of the year. With a whole years worth of content to go through, roughly getting up 1 post a week (I think 0 last week and 3 this week perfectly supports this point) it has been a rather tough decision with many I love unfortunately not making the cut. However I managed to narrow it down this final 5 either from either being some that I have enjoyed shooting the most or just love the results.
In an effort to explore more of my new surrounding, Tom and I decided to take a little trip away to the gorgeous Isle of Arran. Living in Glasgow you really didn’t have to go too far to find some amazing locations and this one definitely proved that. I mean its not many times that you get to stand on a beach with a snowy mountain in the background. We decided to both really test ourselves over these days with the range of shoots we did from me freezing my little toes off in the water for a dramatic True Detective style shoot (something I do not wish to do again too soon) to trying to become some what sexy in an editorial esk bathroom shoot. However I think my favourite of the trip has to be this collection of ‘simple’ fashion shots showing off the amazing scenery that we had to offer.
Take a look at the rest of the Arran series here..
Theres not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble across somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film. Well on our trip to Loch Lomond while passing through the village to Bowling we did just that. My inner explorer, who of which rarely comes out to play, had a good old work out on this day climbing around abandoned boats and a rotting pier. With the sun setting around us and no lighting equipment Tom did a fantastic job of capturing this amazing location while I frankly stood in front of it looking grumpy. Well, some of the drama of the whole location would be lost if i was smiling, well thats what I tell myself anyway.
Ever since I started fashion blogging I think it has always been dream location for me to in the middle of summer go to a beautiful flower field. Now it may not have been the beautiful sunny day that we hoped for, with nearly having to give up due to a couple of April showers, in July, but the confetti flower fields in Pershore were a little Gem to find leading to some of my favourite photos of the year surprisingly containing a lot of pink, whatever next!.
With this blog being very much in its infancy back in the summer of 2015, this year on the second annual trip to Norfolk we took full advantage of the seaside location to get another collection of lovely blog photos. I think it was always a little dream of mine as a kid to own a little beach hut on the sea, so if I can’t quite own then at least get some lovely pictures in front of them. Despite the sun not quite playing ball to get the sunrise we wanted, we still managed to, we still managed to get a lovely little set of photos despite me being some what blurry eyed due to the horrendous time in the morning.
With this post coming just at the point of the redesign of the blog I kinda felt like this was the premier post of the relaunching of it with its new beginnings as purely a fashion blog. Being the first shoot we did together in manchester it great to start exploring a new city and see what it has to offer. Also this definitely has to be one of my favourite looks of the year with this fab pair of jeans that I still cant get enough of!
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
With my habit of dropping hobbies as nearly as quickly as starting them (those golf lessons only lasted a matter of weeks), it is a minor miracle that we have actually of this far. Having not done anything to celebrate one of my own birthday for the past few years, I can’t say I have cracked out a cake quite yet however having managed to stick at this semi constantly for the past year I thought it should be given at least a small nod somehow. From horse riding to knitting after taking up something new for over a year, you would hope you have learnt a few things new about it and blogging has been no different. So without further ado here are some of the things which this year has taught me about blogging.
From SEO’s to HTML’s no matter how much you consider yourself a wiz on the computer with being able to use Iplayer and photoshop at the same time, coding will always seem to be another language to you.
You may have noticed in the early days of the blog, nearly 1000 word essays seemed to be the order of the day, competing with War and Peace in terms of time taken to read. This is something which didn’t last particularly long realising 1. I’m not exactly the next Charles Dickens and 2. I don’t exactly have the size of following of Charles Dickens
No matter how many days that I give myself to sort the photos and write a new blog post, you can almost guarantee that I won’t end up doing it until the morning of wanting to post it.
With everyone and their dog seeming to have a blog nowadays to make someone read yours rather than one of the big guns’s seems to be a never ending struggle. I guess many many more tweets is the key.
I don’t think I can scroll through instagram nowadays and not see a picture of avocado on rye bread served on perfectly dainty crockery anywhere.
No matter how comfy and marshmallow like those big baggy winter jumpers are, sometimes when put on camera you realise their not the most flattering thing for you. A good old waist belt never did anyone any harm!
Any new blogger out there will know the feeling of panic that rushes through their veins when someone tells them that they have been reading their blog, then you just have to remind yourself, you did put it out on the internet.
Even if you are damn sure that when you wrote that post you couldn’t possibly have make any glaringly obvious grammatical errors or spelt any words practically backwards its highly likely that there will be a mistake lurking in there somewhere. it is aways good to go back and check everything through if nothing more than to save the embarrassment of having your friends scribble their hypothetical red pen all over it.
Its like having all you photo albums at the click of a button!
Photos – 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
We all love a good shopping trip, especially when it is free right? How do I have one of these I hear you ask.Well for me this came in the form of ‘shopping my stash’ as in finding something crumpled in the back of your wardrobe, realising that you actually really like it and want to try and re-invent it in a new way. This is what happened with this lovely little Zara checkered shirt of mine. As someone who probably does own one too many chequered shirts this one in recent times had been rather neglected. But in an effort to just put the beloved grey one down for just 5 minuets I grabbed this green one and once again loved how it looked. Paired with my Nobody’s Child black jumpsuit which I just can’t get enough of this was a great method of layering for when the summer nights are beginning to get chilly.