Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Briar Rose: Megan McMinn

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a platform (and an excuse) to get to know my favourite Lookbookers and bloggers a little better. The blog which is now called Briar Rose was, and still is, a major inspiration for me.

Consequently, I am absolutely delighted to interview the lovely Megan McMinn, who is unlucky enough to be at the top of my hit list. A fellow British blogger, Megan is friendly, articulate and immensely real, without that aloof distance some people have on the internet.

Megan's style is ethereal, whimsical and sometimes a little elven, I think - she would look too out of place in Rivendell. If you'd like to judge for yourself, you can find her stunning collection of outfits on her Lookbook.

So without further ado, let's go!

1. Hi Megan! What are three things we should know about you?

Hi! I suppose first off you should know that my heart lies not only in fashion, but in writing. I have loved creative writing since I first learned how to hold a pencil, and as a child I would rally my family up in the kitchen and force them to listen to my stories. I've completed three magic realism novel manuscripts, and following university I hope to be a fashion writer until someday I get a novel published.

Secondly, I met the love of my life aged fifteen. We've now been together for four years and he means the world to me. We've put down the deposit on our first flat, and neither of us can wait to start our lives together.

Thirdly, I absolutely adore cats, but I'm also allergic to them - it's a cruel twist of fate.

'Cornish Cream Tea' on Briar Rose

2. How has your style developed into what it is now?

I moved to Cornwall when I was twelve, and in a bid to fit in I adopted the generic surfer-style uniform of board shorts, printed tee shirts and hoodies. It never sat well with me, but in those days I would have sooner blended into the wallpaper than made any kind of statement. My friendship group eventually dispersed, and as I made other friends I embraced my new freedom by dying my hair red (one of the best decisions I ever made) and becoming a little grungy and emo (not such a great decision). However it gave the confidence to be more experimental with style, and I went through a phase where one day I would look like a grungy Victorian doll, and the next have neon bows in my hair. During sixth form I became more devoted to the doll look, with subtle lolita influences. There were plenty of puffy skirts, knee-high socks and lace trimmings.

Over the past year, and since starting uni, my style has evolved more organically and become more relaxed. I'm not so fixated with creating a certain 'look', and try to strike a balance between what I feel comfortable in and what I think looks 'pretty'. I suppose my style nowadays roots in the ethereal fairytale look, simply because that's what feels the most natural to me.

Lolita fashion can sometimes be stunning, but it's not very wearable on a day-to-day basis, is it? Incorporating elements of the style, however, I think is the perfect way to get in touch with one's Victorian doll side.

'Cherry Red Girl' on LB

3. Tell us about your fabulous signature red hair.

The red hair was born when I was going through my grungy phase. I'd just started to embrace my fair skin and wanted something more striking than my natural mousy dark blonde colour. I immediately loved how it looked against my pale complexion and dark eyes, so I continued to dye it varying shades of red. At about this time also I decided I was going to grow my hair, and visualised myself going to university with red hair down to my hips. Perhaps that was a little ambitious, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually!

I get asked so many questions about my hair, therefore recently I made a hair FAQ post on my blog.

4. Which of your looks is your favourite at the moment?

Either 'Little Bow Peep' or 'Tea with Sergeant Fox'. They're both outfits I feel so at ease in, and I feel they're very raw, honest representations of my personal style. Whilst I was editing those photos I really had that feeling of, "Yes, this time I've nailed it!". Other times I'm not quite so certain - it's not unlike me to go back to an outfit a few months later and wonder what on earth I was thinking when I styled it. Thanks to blogging my personal style is forever evolving.

'Little Bow Peep' is one of my favourite looks of yours too - the hair bow is so delightfully charming!

'Little Bow Peep' on LB

5. I've read that you've been doing some work with Company magazine and Dahlia fashion. Congratulations on your success with the Company casting call! How have you found your modelling experiences?

This time last year I never would have believed I would be modelling now. I have the height to model, but I also have a fairly large chest and a few too many inches around my waist and thighs! However I have loved every experience. I loved the Company shoot in particular because I felt like the magazine was sending a great message to girls everywhere, promoting real, healthy, attainable body shapes. The upcoming Dahlia shoot has the most wonderful concept, and I simply can't wait to share the final product with my readers! I have two more photo shoots in the planning; one later this month with a lovely young lady from Bristol who has just finished the second year of her photography degree, and another in July with a more experienced photographer in Cornwall. I really love working in collaboration with photographers and stylists to create beautiful images.

I can't explain quite what it is, but I simply love being in front of the camera. I was such an insecure teenager and received nasty comments about my appearance and shape on several occasions, so the modelling has really helped me overcome that and realise that people who say those kind of things really aren't worth your time. It's also helped me come to terms with the fact that I don't need to look a certain way or conform to an ideal body shape to be considered beautiful.

6. Who are your fashion icons?

Florence Welch, Dita Von Teese and Karen Elson - I love how they're all a little bit quirky whilst still looking perfectly put together and stylish. Florence masters kooky cool and her stage ensembles are like something from a fairytale. Dita is the most glamorous and sophisticated woman alive today, and Karen is a vintage goddess.

'Sense and Sensibility' on LB

7. What do you think of the street fashion where you live?

Bath is a real melting pot of different styles, although overall it isn't my cup of tea. The majority of people come across as uninspired in their wardrobe choices, wearing outfits that wouldn't look out of place in the basics sections of New Look or Dorothy Perkins. There are the TopShop/Urban Oufitters slaves, who really buy into trends but have nothing at all unique or creative about their outfits, then there are those who live by leggings, flip flops and a Jack Wills hoodie whatever the weather - where's the fun in that?

I prefer the street style back home in Cornwall. People are more liberated, and there is far more of a vintage, thrifting and 'make do and mend' culture. A trip to Falmouth or St Ives can be so inspiring, as there are so many people who are completely at ease with their style and have no problem making a statement with their wardrobe. There's so much more colour, texture, innovative layering. I love the rural style there in it's own rustic, bohemian, eclectic way.

I also love admiring the street style on my visits to London. People there take fashion to a whole new level, and I always see so many flawless, inspiring outfits.

8. Where do you like to shop?

I feel most at ease in a bustling sale corner or amongst rails at a flea market. I do buy from places like Urban Outfitters and TopShop, but never at full price. The Urban Outfitters sale corner is one of my fail safe shopping destinations - there is always some gem hiding away there. I buy my basics, and most of my shoes, from New Look. It's one of the few places where I truly believe the price is a fair representation of the quality.

Back in Cornwall, Falmouth is a great stop for vintage shopping. There are some wonderful flea markets, vintage boutiques, and quite frankly some downright wonderful second hand shops.

I also love discovering new brands and shops online - Sergeant Fox has to be one of the best independent vintage collections I have come across in a long time.

'Becky B's Wadrobe' on LB

9. As an aspiring writer, what do you love about English literature?

Every one of my creative writing lecturers has made the point that the more you read, the better your own writing becomes. I've always loved reading, and as a writer I feel it's of the utmost importance to study and appreciate the work of other writers. Inspiration hides in the funniest, more unexpected of places, and with English Literature I seem to find myself drawn into the most bizarre books and passages. By analysing and appreciating past works, it somehow keeps my own writing fresh.

I'm hoping to take English literature along with maths and the sciences - thanks for further assuring me that it's a good choice!

Megan, it's been a joy and honour interviewing you. It's so nice to be reminded of how interesting real people are, and to acquaint with someone over the internet whom I admire. Stay stunning, and thank you!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love Megan's outfits and how she styles them. And her hair is GORGEOUS!

    1. It's amazing how much her blog has grown - she's famous now, haha xD


Thank you ♥

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