Born on the Gold Coast, Ali Rose spent most of her childhood in Melbourne before moving overseas for several years. Initially in England for two years, Ali attended St. Peters C.of.E School, then began high school at Our Lady Penderghast School, in London, where she began taking drama classes and discovering a love for theatre and acting. ‘I still do the same breathing and speech exercises today. We had brilliant theatre facilities at our school. Crofton (now Our Lady Penderghast) and Christmas in the snow were my fondest memories of England’. Following those two years, Ali and her family travelled through Europe to Greece, where she was tutored, and enjoyed what she recalls as, ‘a year and a half long vacation. Some of the most wonderful times with family’. Living in Greece with family, between Athens and Thessaloniki, and visiting all of the islands, is where she learned a passion for personal style and fashion. ‘The local women were very different to Australian Greeks, their hair always so wild and free, with tanned skin, gorgeous flowing dresses and printed mini skirts, gladiator sandals and stacks of bracelets on their arms. I’d never seen anything like it before in my life, especially in contrast to the sophisticated style in England and France, that’s when I realised fashion had so much to with a individual’s culture, lifestyle, tastes and interests. It’s when I learnt about fashion and style as a language, a form of expression, just as all of the arts. Perceiving the difference between the cultures of Australia, England, and Europe was eye opening for me in many ways”.
When Ali returned to Australia, she completed high school in Brisbane, began modeling, and took up tertiary studies in fashion business. It was here she received her education in textiles, design, forecasting, business, sewing, pattern making and grading. Whilst studying, Ali designed a capsule collection of eight entirely silk garments, which were picked up by three boutiques, including then iconic Melbourne store, Cactus Jam. ‘Brisbane was just beginning to create its own personal style. I remember ‘It Girls’ at the races and head of the river parties wearing floral maxi dresses and oversized pearl earrings. Nat Denning pioneered Brisbane style in my teens and those looks are forever ingrained in my memories within my teenage youth. That time will forever be my first love for trends’. As modelling continued she split her time between Sydney and Brisbane.
Soon after graduating, Ali was offered a role in co-managing Collette Dinnigan’s flagship boutique in South Yarra, Melbourne. It was there she garnered a high profile clientele list of VIPs and Celebrities. ‘Collette was and still is the only high-end Australian fashion brand to be invited to show at Paris fashion week, so seasonal buying for the store was immensely important. The most memorable times, perhaps when I dressed Ricki-Lee Coulter for the final ever Australian Idol, she presented on the red carpet and she looked impeccable. I remember the day she walked in off the street in her active wear. It wasn’t premeditated or arranged, I just spent time with her and listened to what she was looking for. Obviously the coverage for the brand was incredible, she was on the cover of every magazine that week wearing the dress, but in those moments I am proud of my efforts when opportunity arises. You really have to read the individual needs of each person, even when they sometimes don’t know. We also had a bridal collection, which never fails to leave a nostalgic feeling with me. The relationships you build with clients are not only important but special. I feel that personal style is just that – personal. I worked specifically for the client’s needs and always ensured they were wearing what complimented their look’. After Ali left the company she continued her styling work, moving forward in the industry with her own styling business, which continues to this day.
Being around VIP clientele, Ali also socialised in circles that led her to begin a career in film and television as an actress. ‘Drama has always been a passion, but it never occurred to me that I could make a career of it. I always thought I had to stay within one industry. It’s something I had always loved, anyone who works on set understands how deep the love of film making can be’. To date, Ali has worked in over two hundred jobs in film and television. ‘My most memorable time was being in wardrobe with Tom Hiddleston, one of the nicest men I have ever met in the industry. I was reading an Oscar Wilde book and he started chatting with me about the book and it went from there, but it was just the overall experience with Marvel. Their film making process is incredible, and admittedly, I’m a total Marvel geek’.
After moving to the Gold Coast, Ali began writing and photography as a blogger, for her fashion websites, GC TREND and Posing Rose. ‘At that point, ‘fashion blogging’ was unique, somewhat new. It was very different, no one had started using the term ‘influencer’, it was all about personal style and creativity. It wasn’t about likes or views. A lot has changed, and I grew with it, but as time has gone by, and I have educated myself, my work has evolved beyond wanting to solely monetize from blogging, where I have found a lack of authenticity has developed in a market that has now become over saturated with one certain style of content. For me it had lost some of its creative and artistic value, which is the reason why I started to begin with. So I decided to change the way I was doing it all. I wanted it to be less about me and more about the clothes and the aesthetic. I wanted to return to the art form of fashion, styling and photography’.
The eponymous brand Joan Rose was then created. A brand focused on artistic authenticity, Ali has created a journal of carefully planned fashion stories and articles. “I wanted to do something that is inspiring my readers, and engaging them on a new level, I also wanted to be more honest with them in my creativity, and give more by planning editorial style shoots. These can take weeks to plan, and without a team, even longer. The market has become quite one sided with discount codes, protein shakes, and the like. There is nothing wrong with it, there just isn’t anything unique to it. We only seem to have one genre or flavour. I would like to be able to shift that, as we need all kinds of content, and perhaps I can inspire others to shift their dynamic also. I can no longer call myself an influencer, but that was the goal, and consumers and brands alike should be able to choose from more than just one style of content creation. The value for me lies within artistic measure and sharing something I personally value, I want the reader to know what I am creating and sharing is original and truthful, and that I took my time to perfect it before sharing it with them”.
Due the knowledge Ali has acquired and need of education and training, Ali has also decided to create a business model to advise and educate those who want to become experts in this business. ‘I know the secrets I have discovered are golden. As an influencer, a brand or any type of business with digital consumer exposure, there is so much to learn, and it can be quite sordid terrain, sometimes elusive at best, and the cracks tend to show quite easily with the end product. And so I created something to enable and empower people in the industry to move forward, and offer them resources they can take with them and continue growing. There is no accredited training for all of it encompassed into one – fashion, photography, websites, social media, demographics, modelling, travel, business relationships, and all of the other aspects that entail being in this industry, so I plan to share what I have learned after spending years perfecting it. I don’t have a need to keep these secrets anymore now that I’ve decided to focus on growing a unique brand, and I’ve always thought each individual persons style and creativity differentiates them from others, so I’m not afraid of sharing my knowledge. I enjoy it’.