Monday, 31 December 2012

The Last Outfit.

POPPY WEARS - DRESS FROM NEW LOOK | CREEPERS FROM NEW LOOK
MEGAN WEARS - DRESS FROM DAHLIA | HEELS FROM H&M

Something a bit different for my last outfit post of the year - I've been joined by my thirteen year old sister, Poppy. Poppy asked for a blog for Christmas (take a peek), and since tonight is New Years Eve we decided to join forces for a double outfit showcasing our outfits for the evening. Our family are having a black and white party tonight, so I wore my new Dahlia dress (reduced from £85 to £40) and Poppy opted for this little white lace number she picked up during the summer.

Since this is my last outfit post of the year, I thought it would only be fitting to look back at some of my favourite ensembles of 2012. I've had an interesting year, style-wise, and looking back through the archives put a firm smile on my face. I feel far happier with my wardrobe than I did when the year kicked off, which can only be a good thing.

However you're celebrating tonight, whether you're going out or having a quiet night at home, I hope you all have a happy start to 2013!


Sunday, 30 December 2012

A-Z of 2012, part two.

Before we begin part two, I just want to thank everyone who responded to the first part of this post. A lot of time, love and hard work goes into this blog, and your kind words and support make it all worth while. This year has been amazing, and whilst part of that may be down to more than my fair share of good luck and hard work, a big chunk of it is also down to the people who read this blog and make it what it is. So thank you, thank you, and thank you again! Hugs and roses for all!

Now that the cheesy part is out of the way, we'll start where we left off...  

O - Overhaul

Back in January this blog looked nothing like it does today. I had no experience in blog design (a little general graphic design experience, but you wouldn't have known!), and I stuggled to find an image and layout I really loved. I spent months playing around with colours and styles until I found something I was happy with. What I wanted changed with the wind. My first notable banner was one I drew myself, a cutesy self portrait with long hair tangling around the words 'Briar Rose'. It wasn't awful, but I'm no illustrator and I wanted something a bit smoother. Putting illustration aside, I tried a new banner featuring Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I liked it, but after a while I wanted something more personal.

Then I began talking to Paige. I fell in love with her style of illustration, and eventually asked her to help me with a new banner. I adored the floral, portrait banner she made for me, and for a while I was happy with my blog layout. However, after a month or so, something began to irk me. This time I didn't rush into anything. I made mood boards, drew up a colour scheme, did sketches. I made a dummy blog that I tweaked and tweaked until I was entirely happy. Paige made me a new banner, I made new buttons and a profile badge. Once everything was perfect, I launched it on my main blog. I've loved it ever since, and the only changes have been the removal and addition of buttons (and my Christmas overlay!).
 
P - Paige
 
This lady warrants her own entry in my A-Z. Paige (of Paige Joanna) has become one of my closest friends. She was the first true friend I made in the blogging community, and it was our mutual decision to attend the Bristol Blogger's meet up that led me to befriend so many other lovely bloggers and like-minded creatives. I can talk to her on Skype for hours, about pretty much anything. She's been so good to me this year, and a huge support in blogging and life in general. It's not unusual for us to be texting first thing in the morning about outfit choices, and last month I asked her to be one of my bridesmaids when Grant and I tie the knot in 2014. In short, I love you, Paigey! You're like a sister to me, as cliche as that might sound. 

Q - Quirky Outfits

I'll be the first to the admit that some of my outfit choices have been a bit off the mark this year. Over the summer I got a little over excited and came up with some rather interesting questionable ensembles. But I had fun with it. It was a learning curve, and I like to think I've come out the other end with an improved knowledge of what I like, and what suits me. I'm always going to favour quirky styles, but I think I'm learning to balance that with what's really wearable in day-to-day life.  

R - Roses 

One of the more abstract entries (I warned you there'd be some!). Roses have been a recurring theme in my 2012 blogging. If you followed this blog way back when, you may remember it started 2012 under the name 'Stolen Rose', inspired by a song by Karen Elson. The change to 'Briar Rose' (inspired by Sleeping Beauty's alias, naturally) happened fairly early on in the year, around the same time I really threw myself into blogging. I have days where I wish I could turn back the clock and change my blog name, however in general I like to think Briar Rose is quite fitting. 

S - Sketch Street

I first encountered Sketch Street when I heard about their collaboration with Mod Dolly. A few weeks later an email landed in my inbox asking if I was interested in taking part in their Blogger Design Project. Along with three other bloggers, I put together five designs that were put to a public vote. Three of my designs made it to the final five, and can now be made to order from the Sketch Street website. 

T - Turning Twenty

Earlier this month I turned twenty, which I suppose would be considered a landmark of sorts! I had a little celebration with some close friends, then celebrated the day itself in Disneyland Paris (so very grown up, I know).

U - University

I've survived a whole year as a university student, and have a) Handed in some assignments I'm really proud of, and b) Not died of scurvy. I would call both of these notable achievements. Also worth pointing out is the fact that when we returned to Bath in late September, Grant and I moved into our first flat together, which I think it's fair to say was a very exciting jump!  


V - Vintage

I've always loved vintage clothing, however I've never been the best at hunting it down. This year I've had a little more success than usual, devoting a whole day to vintage hunting in Penzance and discovering an array of fabulous vintage shops online. My favourite has to be Vintage Style Me. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I am just in awe of Rhiannon. She makes vintage so easy and accessible for amateurs like myself, and she's just the best kind of person. 

W - Whole Lotta Rosie

Another obscure one, but I had to get Crown and Glory in here somewhere! I first saw Sophie's beautiful headwear in Company magazine, and couldn't resist ordering myself a butterfly crown. Fast forward a month or two, and I discovered an email from Sophie asking whether I'd be interested in featuring one of her 'Whole Lotta Rosie' headbands on my blog. Erm... YES PLEASE! Since then I've had the pleasure of meeting Sophie in person (since she's based in Cornwall we're able to meet up fairly easily when I'm staying with my family), I've featured an array of her stunning products in my outfit posts, and I even modelled for her A/W lookbook photographed by the wonderful Chloe Lee. Crown and Glory have firmly become one of my favourite brands, and I can't wait to continue our relationship into the new year. 

X - #SWBXmas (just about got away with that!)

Just a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the South West Bloggers Christmas meet up. The venue was beautiful, the company wonderful, and it raised money for Macmillan. I'm really looking forward to attending more South West Blogger events in the future.


Y - Yumi's Christmas Lookbook

After winning a couple of other model searches, my confidence had been boosted so I entered Yumi's model search. I made it down to the final ten, and ultimately won it! Yumi is a brand I've been wearing for years (they have a beautiful shop in St Ives), so to meet the people behind the name, and to be so directly involved with them was surreal and fantastic. I adore the final photos, and I've had a lot of fun hunting down Yumi shops and squealing over my photos in the window! I've still got a bit store credit to spend, so hopefully I'll be able to drag my mum and sister to St Ives sometime before I got back in Bath.

Any suggestions for Z? Because I can't think of any. I've one last outfit post in the works, my New Years Eve outfit along with a few of my favourites from the past year, then that's a wrap for 2012!

Strawberry Dreamcake.

DRESS FROM TOPSHOP | VELVET CLUTCH FROM NEW LOOK | HEELS FROM H&M
WIG FROM EBAY | HEADBAND FROM CROWN AND GLORY*

With the year drawing to a close, I've spent a little time looking back at my outfit posts from the past twelve months. They've been a bit quirky, a bit weird, and at times a bit silly, but I've had a lot of fun with them and I think I've come a long way with my personal style. I've toned things down since returning to university, going for a more simplistic (but still fun!) look, however after this fairly experimental year I think I'll always have a soft spot for wacky and wonderful statement pieces.

Today I wore my new dress that I picked up in the Topshop sale, reduced from £38 to a purse friendly £20. I adore the silhouette - the waist nips in at just the right place and the skirt has a sweet flare without the need for a petticoat. It's the kind of dress I would wear if I were invited for tea with the Queen (yes, ensembles fit for royal tea parties are something I contemplate on a regular basis...).

I wore with it my candyfloss pink wig, an old friend who I exhausted over the summer before putting away for autumn. After revisiting my more outlandish summer looks this morning, I couldn't resist digging it out again (although with a a more demure outfit this time around!) for one last 2012 outing. I also wore my favourite Crown and Glory headband, perfect for hiding pesky wig lines, and an ancient red velvet clutch that I picked up in the New Look sale years ago. It's one of those pieces that gets pushed to the back of my wardrobe every year, then reappears for a couple of weeks over the party season!

My parents are having a black and white party for New Years Eve tomorrow night, and I've cut it quite fine with my outfit - it still hasn't arrived! Hopefully it will get here tomorrow, if not I'll just have to be creative. Either way I'll share the results with you, along with part two of my 'A-Z of 2012'.

Friday, 28 December 2012

A-Z of 2012, part one.

Without a doubt, 2012 has been the best year of life thus far. I've done some wonderful photo shoots, worked for one of my favourite magazines, won numerous competitions, and this blog has grown from virtually nothing to a corner of the internet that I'm really rather proud of. After so many highs, I'm somewhat concerned about whether 2013 will measure up - but then again, I suppose that part is in my hands. Time to stop worrying and start motivating!

It took me a while to decide what form this post would take, however after much consideration I decided to round up my 2012 in the form of a quick A-Z. Some entries are more abstract that others, but that's half the fun! Without any further ado, I present part one of my 2012...
A - Audrey Grace
 
This summer, I collaborated with a shop that I absolutely adore, Audrey Grace Boutique. Of all my collaborative projects this year, it has to be one of my favourites. The dress is a classic, and I still adore the photos!


The Bristol Blogger's meet up in August was the first time I ever truly showed my face in the blogging community. It was the day I realised there was so much more to blogging that just writing blog posts. It was also the day I met Sophie, Paige, Steph and Lily for the first time - ladies I now count among my friends. 


In February I found out that I was a finalist in Company magazine's Casting Call competition. Twelve of us attended a photo shoot where we were styled in outfits from River Island, had our hair, make up and nails done, and were photographed in turn. It was my first proper shoot and I was a shaky, nervous wreck, certain there was some mistake and that I wasn't supposed to be there. However they must have seen something in me as I was called back to do a beauty shoot for the May issue. It was an incredible day, especially considering Company has been my favourite magazine for years, and it's exactly the kind of place I hope to work someday! 

D - Dahlia: One Dreamy Day

Just after the excitement about my Company shoot had died down, I won another model search competition, this time for one of my favourite brands, Dahlia. After attending a casting I was called back and asked to feature in their summer promotional film, 'One Dreamy Day'. The day of the shoot was so much fun. There were five other girls (Olivia, Bryony, Daisy, Eloise and Bianca) and we just seemed to click. The dynamic was wonderful, and with fairy tale dresses, pretty set dressing and plenty of sweet treats thrown into the mix we couldn't have asked for anything more (and yet we were still all given a dress each as a thank you!).

Despite getting engaged last December, Grant and I chose to wait and have our engagement shoot done in the summer when the weather was more reliable. After crossing paths with Kitty Gallannaugh, with her dreamy photos and sweet demeanour I knew that she was the lady for the job. The shoot was a pleasure, Kitty made us feel entirely at ease, and the photos were everything we ever could have hoped for.

F - Friends
 
Perhaps the best thing to have happened this year is all of the new friends I've made thanks to this blog. I'm really not a social butterfly, and blogging has effectively coaxed me out of my shell and made me realise that I'm not quite the social pariah I spent my teenage years convinced I was. Chloe, Paige, Steph, Sophie, Rhiannon, Lily, Arabella and Amy (amongst other acquaintances and people I've yet to meet who I can't wait to get to know better) are some of the most genuine, fun and interesting people I've ever met, and they've made this year a joy. Blogging has been so much more rewarding since I've made friends within the community, and I can't wait to meet even more of you in the future! 
 
G - Grazia 'Girl About Town'

When an email landed in my inbox asking if I would be interested in helping Grazia put together a feature on Bath and Bristol, my excitement levels went through the roof. It was new, it was enlightening, and it was fun. The moment when I first laid eyes on the final copy of the magazine was one of the most satisfying moments of my life so far, and I will forever be a 'girl about town' in Bath and Bristol!

H - Holiday

Perhaps not an achievement in the same way as some of my other 2012 moments, but of course my recent holiday to Disneyland Paris with my ever-doting fiancé makes my list of highs! It was everything a good holiday should be, and escapism at it's best. There was good food, a rainbow of cocktails consumed, and I got to meet Sleeping Beauty. Work hard, play hard, and all that jazz.


I - Inlovewithfashion

Working with ILWF to promote their Next Top Designer competition was so much fun. I've always loved their easy to wear clothing, so being involved in something so central to their brand was an honour. The event itself was such a success, and the atmosphere was bubbling over (partially down to the free-flowing champers and decadent cupcake garden!). I had the best night, made only better by the fact that Steph and Paige joined me for a girly sleepover afterwards! PJs, a good old chat and hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows - perfect!



J - Julia McIntosh

Sometimes it feels like London is where all the fun happens, so I began to feel a bit frustrated being stuck in Cornwall over the summer months. When I was contacted by Cornish photographer Julia I was over the moon. It was such a treat to be able to do a photo shoot in Cornwall, and Julia was so lovely to work with. I can't wait to work with her again in 2013, especially now that she's working for Cornwall Life magazine - it's all very exciting!


K - Kitty Gallannaugh

When I saw a tweet looking for London based models interested in a shoot at a fairground, I figured there was no harm in firing off an email. I loved Kitty's work, and the idea of working with her was amazing. The shoot itself was perfect, and Kitty was the easiest photographer to work with. I was so pleased with the final photos (I still use them on my business cards and on my social media!), and I knew that she was the lady for our engagement shoot. She made both shoots an utter joy, and has created some of my favourite photographs that I will no doubt treasure forever.

L - London

Until last year, I had approximately zero experience of being in London, however this year I've been there at least once a month, and it's starting to feel far more familiar. Of all the wonderful things that have happened this year, 90% have happened in London. I've truly realised how full of possibility that city is, and the moment I have my degree I'll be fighting to live there permanently.

M - Mod Dolly

I first met Amy of Mod Dolly at the Bristol Blogger's meet up in August, and afterwards regretted not getting to talk to her more. When I saw Mod Dolly were running a model search competition for their collection with SketchStreet, I sent an email off, not expecting to hear anything back but figuring, 'you never know if you don't try!'. A week or so later I heard back, and it was good news! We did two shoots, a lookbook in Notting Hill photographed by Hanna Kristina (another photographer I love!), and a studio shoot for the online catalogue. The designs were lovely, and it was the perfect excuse to get to know Amy a little better!

N-Z COMING SOON.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The faces behind the December ads.

Where to begin with Steph! Recently I've been lucky enough to meet and befriend some of my fellow bloggers, and Steph is one of those lovely ladies! She's one of the most charming, genuine girls I have ever had the pleasure to meet, and her fun loving, colourful personality comes across so well in every one of her blog posts. Her outfits are perfect, her hair is gorgeous, and her blog posts will brighten your day.


   Lisette is a lovely grounded lady with a pretty face and spot-on personal style. Whether she's posting fashion, beauty, or general lifestyle posts, she does so with an endearing honesty. You'll be romanced by her down to earth attitude and unfailing charm. She has an eye for a bargain and finds joy in the little things. Her blog is so heartwarming and beautiful.


 An utterly dreamy and whimsical blog sharing the personal style and adventures of the lovely Sally. She's honest, she's sweet, and her blog is an achingly pretty little retreat. She looks at the world in a very beautiful way and it's a joy to share her journey.


 Another of my dear friends, and one of my bridesmaids! Paige is a little star with enormous talent. Not only is she an extremely photogenic pixie of a lady, but she's one of my favourite illustrators (the mastermind behind my banner in fact!) and one of the most creative people I know. Her aesthetic is beautiful and nostalgic, and her outfits are pretty and well executed. She's charismatic, bright-eyed and her blog posts always make me laugh!


 It probably comes as no surprise to you that I'm a fan or red hair, so of course I appreciate a blog written by a pair of gorgeous, flame haired sisters! Their joint project of a blog is extremely fun and full of life. These two gorgeous ladies never take themselves too seriously, and the result is a blog that never fails to surprise and delight. Their material is always fresh and innovative.


 An utterly adorable store stocking jewellery, accessories, homeware and stationary. I adore their cute aesthetic and their vibrant, quirky stock. Right now I've got a hankering for some of these beautifully crafted butterfly necklaces. Ready, steady, spring!


 As much as I love vintage, I'm not the best finding at finding great pieces when it comes to crammed shops and markets, so it's always welcome to find stores like this one. They're finding the amazing vintage bits so that you can shop them from your desk chair/sofa/bed with ease. Don't mind if I do! 


 The perfect site if you're after something a little bit different, stocking clothes, accessories, jewellery and more. Have a dig around and see what gems you come away with!


 Vintage Style Me has to be my favourite vintage treasure trove! As far as I'm concerned, owner Rhiannon is the goddess of all things vintage. She finds and restores the most wonderful pre-loved pieces, and is now selling DIY shirts where she'll put together a shirt in a colour of your choice with a custom fabric patch. There's so many combinations and they all look amazing. It's at the top of my wishlist for spring!


 Two stylish ladies blogging together about life and fashion. Their blog is one of the most diverse I have ever encountered, however every style they undertake, they pull off flawlessly. Effortless style, refreshing photos, and all with a charming personal twist.


 If you've been following my blog for a while now, you'll know that I simply adore all things Crown and Glory! The main lady herself, Sophie, has been so good to me, and I just love following the brand's journey. Over the past few months I've posted a plethora of their stunning glitter bows and floral headbands, however today I thought I'd share their new bobby pin sets, anticipating the arrival of spring in an array of candy hues.


 A vast collection of dresses to suit any style, for every occasion.

This shop stocks an extensive range of dresses, catering to every style.


If you'd be interested in a December ad space, email me at thebriarroseblog@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

I wish it could be Christmas everyday.


I can't believe Christmas is over for another 364 days! Every year it feels like it's building up for months, then all of a sudden it's over and done. At least we had a wonderful day! There was plenty of laughter, good food and gorgeous gifts. I was a very lucky girl indeed, my main present being an iPad from my parents. They even got an inscription with my blog name and domain on the back! It's more than I ever could have hoped for. They've believed in this blog from day one, and without their support I never would have been able to keep it up. Knowing that they're proud of what I've achieved over the past year means the world to me, and hopefully my new toy will add a new dimension to my blogging.

They also treated me to an array of pastel goodies for our flat - as always my mum's choices were flawless. I can't wait to get them all back to Bath come January. Amongst other things, Grant treated me to a selection of Disney films currently missing from my collection. I won't be short of watching material for quite some time...

Months ago when I first asked my mum and my sister what they wanted for Christmas, they both said the same thing - blogs. I've been working on them over the past couple of weeks (they're not quite finished yet, polishing them up will be a joint effort), and I can't wait to see what they do with them! My mum's is an interior design blog, At Home By The Sea, and my sister's is a fashion and lifestyle blog, Poppy Isabel (following in her big sister's footsteps!). Hopefully I'll be helping her write her first post today!

Now that Christmas is over I'm looking forward to some sales shopping (I'm hopefully meeting Sophie from Crown and Glory for some retail therapy in Truro this weekend!) and celebrating New Year - it's not all that bad I suppose!

 MY BEAUTIFUL IPAD AND IT'S INSCRIPTION
 PASTEL GOODIES FOR THE FLAT
 THE LITTLE RABBIT LIGHT I'VE BEEN AFTER FOR MONTHS!
NEW ADDITIONS TO MY DISNEY DVD COLLECTION