Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The land of Dahlia.

Some photos courtesy of the lovely Sandra Borszcz

Yesterday was my shoot with Dahlia Fashion, and it really was a lovely day. There was cake, laughter, singing, flowers and plenty of pretty dresses. The other ladies were all so easy to get along with, and by the time the cameras were rolling it wasn't hard to get into the spirit of things - we all had so much fun with it! Among the others was Olivia from What Olivia Did (so much blog envy...) who I ended up chatting with about everything from blogging to babies.

We were all taking photos of every pretty detail as each scene unfolded, however I know I'm not alone in saying I can't wait to see the final product! I thought I'd share a quick taster of the gorgeous clothes and styling, however we'll have to wait to see the film itself!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Finding Nemo.

Dress - Primark
Heels - Dorothy Perkins

I've been eying up this Primark dress ever since I saw one of the other Casting Call winners, Rebecca, wearing it in the May issue of Company magazine. For only £17, it's one of those rare gems that you can't pass up! I picked mine up today and I'm already in love - definitely a new favourite dress!

This evening I've been busy decorating props for my shoot with Daisy Rain on Wednesday. We're trying a 'Hansel and Gretel' type theme, so you can be sure it'll be sweet as sugar and a lot of fun! My favourite prop has be be a pair of round sunglasses covered in dolly mix sweets! My fingers are covered in glue but it was totally worth it. Now I just need to somehow adorn a floral headband with strawberry laces...

Tomorrow is my rescheduled shoot with Dahlia Fashion! I really can't wait, the premise is amazing. I can't wait to share the final video with all of you! I know it's self indulgent, but part of me can't wait to have my hair and make up done by professionals again - it's always nice being pampered!

PS. Check out Charlotte Clothier's blog! She's a lovely girl whose recently been helping me revamp my blog and has just posted an interview with me. Gorgeous girl, amazing style.

"How doth the little crocodile 
Improve his shining tail, 
And pour the waters of the Nile 
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin 
How neatly spreads his claws, 
And welcomes little fishes in, 
With gently smiling jaws!"

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sunshine daisies butter mellow.

Blouse - New Look
Skirt - Dahlia Fashion
Flower Crown - ASOS Marketplace
Necklace (*) - Oasap

I am officially finished with uni for the summer! I did my first and only exam yesterday afternoon, and as of last night Grant and I have been in London. We're having a lazy day today however we did pop out briefly to do some food shopping and take a peek at the comicon crowds going on at the convention centre next door. Admittedly, it was pretty entertaining!

This is one of my new favourite necklaces. Oasap really do have a great collection of accessories! What do you think of this beautifully ornate deer necklace, this adorable hot air balloon pendant and this whimsical pumpkin carriage necklace?

Just a reminder, I have two giveaways running at the moment, both with special discounts! With five more days to enter, there's my giveaway with BBW with a stunning, frothy summer dress. With ten days left to enter, there's my giveaway with Romwe, to win a backless shift dress, $50 of freebies and a secret gift - get entering!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Romwe giveaway.

This morning I have some goodies for you courtesy of Romwe. Not only will one lucky reader be winning this lovely shift dress, but also $50 worth of Romwe freebies and a secret gift! To be in with a chance of winning this wonderful gift package -

- You must be following my blog
- You must have/make a Romwe account
- Leave your registed email below

For more chances of winning, share this giveaway on your blog or Twitter and leave the link below.

The giveaway is open until June 5th - good luck!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Curl up and dye.

I've been meaning to post these photos for a couple of weeks, but the opportunity kept evading me. This is my monthly hair dye in action, minus a view of my face (no make up/serial killer stains - no one wants to see that). DIY hair dying is inevitably a messy job, but here are my humble tips to make it as pain free as possible.

Don't apply dye to clean hair -

(courtesy of ms.ryan)

1. the oil-talg-mix (which is the unwashed greasiness) is like a scalp protection, especially if you have sensitive skin, because hair color is aggressive and the first layer of skin is made up of the same things your hair is, so it'll work on that as well. unwashed scalp is protecting that skin layer better -no burning sensations etc (especially if you lighten your hair!)

2. the first few millimeters of fresh grown hair are very 'play-doughy' before it hardens through drying and oxidation, so are very fragile. the oil-talg-mix also protects that part of your hair -less breakage, less hair thinning etc.

Apply petroleum jelly along your hair line -

It will stick around longer than moisturiser and avoid any unsightly dye lines.

Claim a 'dying towel' -

And keep it safe. I have destroyed so many towels over the five years I've been dying my hair red.

Have reading material/ a phone nearby -

Meaning you don't have to wander around your house/flat with a head full of dye. Plus you can set a more accurate alarm than if you have to go and keep checking a clock.

Don't apply dye at random

I do my parting, then my hairline, then my roots, then the tips, then the lengths. Finally I even it all out by piling it on top of my head and massaging it into one mass, which I roughly secure with a hair band. However, if you're dying your hair for the first time (or changing colour) you should dye the roots and tips first and the lengrths last.

Use a deep conditioning treatment

For a few days following the dye job. Dying is harsh on your hair, so be friendly help it recuperate.

If you happen to have any more DIY hair dying questions feel free to leave them below and I'll add them to the main post!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I'm not posh, just jolly good at croquet.

Dress - H&M
Floral Blouse - New Look
Flower Crown - ASOS Marketplace
Butterfly Clips - Crown & Glory
Necklace (in hair) (*) - Sergeant Fox
Heels - Dorothy Perkins
Necklace (*) - Oasap
Sunglasses - Ebay
Socks - H&M

After the success of my look, Beetlejuice Lolita, I have decided to make a set of looks inspired by it. I'm going to call the set 'Quirky England', and style alternative versions of English style stereotypes. The first look was inspired by quaint village fetes, and this one is inspired by the traditional garden party.

I found this flower crown on ASOS Marketplace for under a fiver, so naturally I had to snap it up. I couldn't resist fairytale-ing it up a bit (as if flower crowns don't already scream fairytale) with the butterfly clips and delicate pearl necklace.

Unfortunately, the title of this look is not ironic. As soon as the sun comes out my family do dig up the croquet set and enjoy afternoons of croquet and Pimms. Achingly middle class, but also really lovely. Not to mention I'm also a pretty good swing!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Deep in the meadow under the willow.

Dress (*) - Oasap
Necklace (*) - Oasap
Double Ring - Urban Outfitters
Boater Hat - Next
Sunglasses - Ebay
Shoes - Ebay

I swear that every time I receive a package from Oasap I am more and more impressed. This tulip skirt dress which arrived this morning is my favourite summer shape, and the fabric and print are ideal for the (hopefully) warm months ahead. The necklace is another hugely versatile piece to pair with lacking necklines. Next on my Oasap wishlist are this 'Princess' gauze dress and this lace panel hat - oh so pretty!
The shoes are a new arrival, fresh from Ebay. I've been missing my patent black brogues which I used to wear everywhere, and so I gave into the itch and ordered a new, studded pair. Do you like?

Tomorrow I'm off to St Ives - yay!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bowties and butterflies.

Butterfly Crown & Clips - Crown and Glory
Car Print Shirt - River Island
Dress (worn underneath) - Miss Selfridge

Ok, so technically I ordered this Crown and Glory crown for our engagement shoot this summer (afer seeing them on the lovely Charlotte Clothier's blog), but it was simply far too pretty not to share with you for the time being. I got the crown itself last weekend, and the butterflies arrived this week with a small note from Sophie wishing us luck with the shoot.

The crown was gorgeous on it's own, but the butterflies really make it something special. Plus you can wear the buterflies alone as clips, which could come in very handy for a butterfly catcher themed shoot I am having with Chloe Lee Photography on Tuesday...

This was a lot of fun to style. The electricity was out so I couldn't curl my hair as I'd planned, so I settled for making it look soft and wispy. I chose to keep make up minimal with a bit of colour definition on the lips.

I am developing an infatuation with butterflies, so expect to see a lot more of them in my upcoming looks!

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Beetlejuice lolita.

Dress - Purple
Waterfall Jacket (*) - Siren London
Petticoate (not seen) - American Apparel
Heels - Dorothy Perkins
Boater Hat - Next
Sunglasses - Ebay

This was such a fun look to style. I knew I wanted to wear something with an edgy-village-fĂȘte kind of vibe, so I started with my striped waterfall jacket from Siren Lodon (a real bargain at £25, definitely worth checking it out!) and figured the rest of the ensemble out from there. I tried a few floral dresses, however initially they were clashing a little too much. Eventually I tried this Purple dress which I bought from Dorothy Perkins last spring, and the pieces seemed to work quite harmoniously. I felt like the boater and round sunglasses finished off the retro look, whilst the blush coloured patent heels kept the girly, English rose feel going.

Of course, the village fĂȘte vibe would not have been complete without a slice of victoria sponge cake in hand!

Don't forget, if you haven't entered yet I am hosting an internatinal giveaway with Beckybwardrobe to win a stunning, layered summer dress - you can find it over here.

I also have a magic little Beckybwardrobe offer exclusively for Briar Rose readers -

. Free shipping on orders under $120 (ie. $15 deducted from order)
. $15 off orders over $120 (since shipping is free)
. A free Beckybwardrobe necklace with any purchase

Just enter...

(please note that this code is valid until 31st May,
offers only available outside Hong Kong)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Whipping cream + GIVEAWAY with Beckybwardrobe.

Car Print Shirt - River Island
Net Maxi Skirt - Dahlia Fashion
Boater Hat - Next
Wedges - New Look

On this lovely, balmy afternoon, I have a very special treat for my readers. As you may know I've been collaborating with Beckybwardrobe for a while now, and to celebrate the opening of their new site I have an utterly gorgeous dress to giveaway and some wonderful discounts for all of my readers.

The giveaway is open internationally, so absolutely anyone can be in with the chance of winning this charming summer dress. To enter the giveaway you must -

1. *Like* Beckybwardrobe on Facebook
2. *Share* their May lookbook featuring Mayo
3. *Subscribe* to their site

You must also be following my blog on Google Friend Connect.

Leave your email below for a chance to win!

Product Info -

*One size
*100% Polyester
*Hand wash cold

That's not all! I also have a very special code exclusive to the Briar Rose blog. By using the code below you will recieve -

. Free shipping on orders under $120 (ie. $15 deducted from order)
. $15 off orders over $120 (since shipping is free)
. A free Beckybwardrobe necklace with any purchase

(please note that this code is valid until 31st May,
offers only available outside Hong Kong)

Happy shopping!

Find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Tea with Sergeant Fox.

Floral Blouse - New Look
Detachable Collar - Oasap
Net Skirt - Styelzi
Petticoat - American Apparel
Boater Hat - Next
Heels - Dorothy Perkins

If I said I was excited to introduce my latest partner, it would be an understatement. I've been talking with Sergeant Fox for quite some time now, and our partnership is finally in motion! This week I received this stunning vintage crop jacket along with some lovely vintage jewellery, and I must say I have been blow away by the quality. I simply love this jacket - it's perfectly fun and girly. I want to wear it to the fairground with a frilly dress; it's just so sugar-sweet and the cut is wonderful. I'm now eyeing up their Rose Garden Full Pleated Skirt and this Vintage White Eyelet Lace Blouse. How delightfully girly is her vintage collection? This is one Etsy site that is definitely worth a visit. Plus she's currently working on her own site - yay!

My lovely vintage-style collar can be found here on Oasap, and the extremely versatile net skirt over here on Stylezi. Take a peek if you're interested in recreating this look!

I hope you're all having a wonderful bank holiday weekend - I'll be back with more photos tomorrow.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Epistle to a lady.

Lace-Up Dress - Urban Outfitters
Flower Headband - New Look
Black Wedges - New Look

This week I did a bit of sales shopping in Bath, and here are a few of my finds. I found this dress in Urban Outfitters, reduced from something around £30 to a modest £10, and the floral headband was reduced to £3 in New Look. I suppose that makes this outfit £13 from the ankles up - who can argue that kind of price? The dress especially was a real bargain. The fabric is very sturdy and soft, and I simply love the lace up detailing on the back.

I am also happy to announce the winner of my BBW giveaway - Paige Joanna Calvert! I have emailed you regarding your prize.

I have a fair few bits to share with you over the bank holiday weekend, including an amazing facewear tattoo from Inkwear and some adorable vintage goodies from Sergeant Fox! Stay tuned - All being well it's going to be four days of very pretty photos.

Find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Recipe for a perfect garden party.

If, like yours truly, you live in the United Kingdom, you're hopes of a bright, sunny spring have most likely been dashed by the onslaught of rain, wind and bitter weather we've tolerated over the past few weeks. There have been gales, flooding, a massive increase in umbrella sales and, my personal favourite, 'WE ARE IN DROUGHT' signs being hammered with rain and hail.

April showers are one thing, but this has been quite another.

Right now it's hard to believe that we will be graced with any kind of summer, however fingers crossed we get a few balmy weeks before autumn kicks into action. At the end of the day, we are English; we know how to handle our bipolar weather conditions. We are the masters of hastily organised barbecues, last-minute seaside weekends and barreling to the park on unusually hot lunch breaks. We simultaneously carry umbrellas and SPF, and have the sense to take raincoats to the beach. Yes, we do get nice weather, but we have to play by it's rules. Our weather is like a petulant toddler; one moment it'll be perfectly warm and peaceful then, completely out of the blue, a full blown tantrum for no apparent reason.

No doubt we will have damp picnics and windy days at the beach, but there are certain traditions that must be honoured. One of those; the humble garden party.

To cheer myself up and help myself feel more optimistic about the upcoming summer, I'm putting together my recipe for a perfectly simple, yet perfectly lovely summer garden party. One of my main influences is Dahlia Fashion; yesterday I was supposed to be starring in a garden party themed film for their summer 2012 collection, however the weather had other ideas and the shoot had to be postponed.

So for now I'll share with you (what I think are) some of the loveliest summer dresses around this season, all by Dahlia. I would quite happily wear any one of these adorable designs to a summer party, teamed with a boater hat and fresh meadow flowers stuffed into my boots inspired by Ashish S/S 2012. Dahlia always strike the perfect balance between quality fabrics, vintage inspiration and quirky whimsy. Not to mention their Carnaby Street boutique is one of my favourite London hideaways.

Kitted out with the perfect summer dress, the next garden party essential is the tea set to end all tea sets. Personally, I have fallen head over heels with this Regency afternoon tea collection from DotComGiftShop - I already have a few of the tea cups and I'm hoping to expand my collection. It's devastatingly pretty, with punchy colours and heaps of charming vintage cred. The detailing is extraordinary, and there is nothing I would rather drink my tea from!

Speaking of tea, ditch the builders brew and start to embrace the magic of tea leaves. One of my favourite places in Bath is the Tea House Emporium, where I've picked up flavours such as strawberries and cream, caramel and bounty. Brewing it myself with my adorable heart shaped infuser is so satisfying, and the pay off is tea that tastes far fresher and wonderfully aromatic compared to my usual PG Tips.

However, whilst I am a tea leaf convert, I must admit that Clipper Earl Grey is a pretty good cuppa.

If you've been following this blog for a while, then you've most likely picked up on my love affair with Poppy Daisy headbands. I first encountered them in a small shop in St Ives, then once again on a stall in Covent Garden. I've also ordered them online before from Fairy Goodies. They're perfectly pretty, and at about £3 a go you can't argue the price. I wore them through the autumn and winter, but there's no arguing that pretty headbands like these really come into their own over the summer! Paired with a pretty summer dress you'll be ready for whatever the summer season can throw at you.

As far as I'm concerned, the only real decorations you need for a garden party are freshly cut meadow flowers and some homemade bunting. I make mine by printing white paper with scenes of Shakespeare in an elaborate font. I cut the printed paper into triangles, then pin them to a length of twine with mini clothes pegs. I've also made similar bunting for my younger sister's birthday using vintage Disneyland ride posters. The paper against the twine looks gorgeously rustic - just don't let it get wet!

Food, drink and music are down to personal taste. Personally I would serve freshly cut sandwiches, cakes topped with whipped cream, and play a medley of Karen Elson, Nickel Creek and Mumford and Sons.

The only other element is good weather, however just to be safe have umbrellas at the ready!

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