Sports Luxe love affair

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Embracing the British summer

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Summer in Britain, not exactly known for its days of blazing hot sunshine and wonderful warm evenings. It more often tends to be 5 random days in mid June reaching over 25 degrees (which obviously happen on days that you are stuck inside) which are then followed by weeks on end of on and off rain with the occasional bit of hail thrown in for good measure. Not exactly the best weather for cracking out the shorts and the T shirts really. Now shorts aren’t exactly a best friend of mine with my tree trunk legs preferring to be in their happy place being wrapped up in 3 pairs of tights.  However when if I see a beautiful  summer dress then it will tend to weasel its way into my bag and somehow end up back home with me. This ‘summer’ has been no different with long, short, patterned and plain ones all being added to the collection. So even when the weather is looking no better than truly pants I just try to embrace the breeze, throw on my favourite floral dress and remember there must be at least 1 place in the world right now which is 30 degrees and sunny. 

 

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This gorgeous cherry print dress from Topshop pretty much ticks all the boxes for me. With its collared shirt detail down the front, to its pretty blue and red print, to the fact that is manages to have no funny cut out sections and actually have with fully functioning sleeves! Actually managing to find a dress with sleeves that isn’t ridiculously short or low at the front has seemed to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Last year urban outfitters came up trumps and this year it has seemed to be Topshop’s turn. From this i’ve learnt 60’s is the way to go with it’s slim fitting shift dress/shirt dress shape and pretty cherry pint print nicely bringing a touch of vintage to a modern outfit. Despite my yaking on about it being a gorgeous summery daytime piece I definitely think that this piece will stand the test of time being able to take you from day to night and summer to winter. Whack on a good thick tight and a chunky knit jumper and your good to go for a wonderful wintery look. 

 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Exploring London | Borough Market

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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. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Spots and stripes

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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 

My New(ish) Years resolutions

My New(ish) Years resolutions

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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. 

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Push forward the blog, YouTube and posting more regularly


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 ;) 

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Better quality videos


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! 

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Eat better


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. 

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Take more photos


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 :) 

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To properly explore London more


 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.

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Relaunch Chloe Natalie Knott Makeup Bags


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! 

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Tidy room, tidy mind!


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. 

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PHOTOS | Tom Flathers

 

21 for 21

21 for 21

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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.  

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1. Weekend away in the Isle of Arran

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.)

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2. Pool (no water)’s final night show

 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. 

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3. Visiting Alton Towers in the summer of 2015

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. 

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4. Disney fancy dress party

 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. 

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5. Filming Summer Falls

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 

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6. STaG Nights scratch night

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. 

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7. Getting into Guildhall

 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. 

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8. Wicked lady rehearsal and Lightsdown

 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. 

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9. The film “Pride”

 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. 

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10. A level results day

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!) 

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11. Me Before You premier

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. 

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12. All the other fab shows I have been a part of

 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. 

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13. Seeing Death of a Salesman at The RSC

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. 

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14. My first textiles collection

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. 

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15. Starting off Fabric Forward

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! 

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16. So many shoots!

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!

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17. Barbican Ball  

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 ;). ) 

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18. NYT Gala

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!)

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19. Working at The Libertine

 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.

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20. Moving to London

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.

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21. So turning 21

 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. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

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So that year milestone has finally arrived.

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. 

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Technical stuff it hard!  

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. 

That writing isn’t the easiest things to come to me.

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  

Staying consistent can sometimes be hard (as exhibited today!).

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. 

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That it is harder to get your blog noticed than I first thought.

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. 

Whenever your eating out you feel obliged to take photos of your food.

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. 

Learning more about what suits your figure.

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! 

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There are only so many times that your home city will come up with new and exciting places to shoots photos. 

 

That at some point or another no matter how well you thought you hid it on the extremely public on the internet one of your friends of family will find it, and spread it.

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. 

Check, check and check again!

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. 

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Finally, to end on a positive note after realising they all seem slightly negative, it is a great way to journal your life and look back at where you have been and what has happened over the past months/years.

Its like having all you photo albums at the click of a button! 

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Photos – Tom Flathers 

Life in a leather jacket

Life in a leather jacket

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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.

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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.

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Wonderful photographs by Tom Flathers 

JEANS: http://bit.ly/2dvnyZd

JACKET: http://bit.ly/2dKdfSP

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

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Now I have never considered myself much of a beach babe before, with the whole idea of stripping off into pretty much underwear in front of a large group of strangers while having sand get into all those places you really don’t want it to (especially your tuna sandwiches) isn’t the most appealing afternoon for me. However this year while on holiday in Norfolk I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually crack out a real life pair of shorts (I know, living life on the edge!) Turns out it really isnt quite that painful after all.

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Style File | Merchant City

Style File | Merchant City

When I first heard the phrase ‘Merchant City’ I imagined some large bustling market full of stall holders seeing everything from flowers to bread rolls, as something rather expected out of a disney film.  Basically everything being all ‘Merchanty’ (totally a word).   

Now I’m not going to say that this is extremely far from the truth, you may find the odd bread roll rolling around, even if it is only there for the birds. In reality, replacing the market stalls for high end shops, the main part of it is a lovely square in the centre of Glasgow, our version of Trafalgar Square if you will, (including large statue with traffic cone on its head). 

Using the steps outside the GOMA art gallery we couldn’t resist doing a wee outfit video alongs side some lovely little photos.  

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As ever for this look I didn’t move far from my beloved blacks and greys with this look. American Apparel served me very well for this outfit with the jeans and wrap top both being from there. I spoke more about these items in my Closet Confidential tag video linked here

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LINKS

Youtube 

Twitter at @ChloeNatKnott 

Instagram at @chloenatalieknott

Facebook at Fabric Forward 

Bloglovin at Fabric Forward

or my board on Pintrest at Fabric Forward

Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

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