Posted on November 18th, 2012

There are a few questions I get asked quite often, so I thought I would put together a little FAQ for you this lazy Sunday afternoon.

Name: Sara Donaldson
Age: 23
Occupation: blogger/sales and marketing coordinator for MANIAMANIA
Currently Living: Sydney
Hometown: Brisbane

How do you balance full time work and your blog? I prepare my blog posts on weekends and at night after work. I shoot a lot of my outfits on the weekends so when I actually do prepare a post the only thing I need to think about is what to write, which can actually be the hardest part!

Why did you start blogging in the first place? Come this December Harper and Harley will be four years old. That’s a long time in the Australian blogging scene. I started when I was in my second year of uni when I was 19 years old and trying to work out who I was and what I wanted to do. I’ve always been creatively inclined and I just wanted somewhere to call my own and put my thoughts and inspirations.

What did you study? I have a degree in Marketing

What was your first big break? One of the first things that made me feel like I was on the right track was being nominated for the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female Competition in 2011. Then there was being part of the first Harpers Bazaar Style Network and of course being on FELLT blogging network with some of the most read fashion blogs in Australia, and even for some, the world.
But to be honest it’s all about timing. When I first started blogging no one really cared in Australia, it’s only very recently that this has changed.

What’s your daily beauty routine?
I do the same thing almost everyday, I use Cetaphil as my cleanser and then an Aesop toner followed by Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I mix MAC's Mineralize Satinfinish SPF15 Foundation with more beauty flash balm to create a light coverage and then towards the end i'll add in NARS Illuminator in Copacabana into this mix and apply to the cheekbones, along the nose and any other area i want to highlight. I then light sweep over a MAC's Mineralize skin finish powder to set it into place. I use an Inglot brown duo to fill in my eyebrows and also as a liner/eyeshadow. I use to always use a liquid eyeliner but for now i'm sticking to the powder for a more relaxed low maintenance look. I sweep some Maybelline mascara on, I don't really mind which version, but their Falsies and One by One Volume Express are pretty great.

For my hair I do a brushed out relaxed curl using a GHD and then spray some morrocan oil or bumble and bumble hair spray into it to hold its shape. I might even spray on some EVO hair shine in at the end as it smells like watermelon and really does make it a lot shinier.

Where do you go to get your hair done? Jaye Edwards does my cut and colour at  Edwards and Co. on Riley street in Surry Hills.

What do you hope to achieve with the blog? Do you think it will ever be your only job? I've never really wanted my blog to be my only gig. I love that I have my separate career going on, which means a lot to me as I know the blogging phenomenon isn't going to last forever and its really important to have something to fall back on. I don't to be a washed up blogger at 30 and realise I have to start all over again.
All I've ever wanted for my blog is be able to work with and showcase Australian designers and to help others get dressed in the morning a little bit easier.

Aje . Shipwrecked

Posted on August 15th, 2012

Harper and Harley, aje 1
Harper and Harley, aje 3
Harper and Harley, aje 6
Harper and Harley, aje 7
Harper and Harley, aje 9

Aje Jacket and Skirt, Nick Campbell sunglasses, Country Road plain tee, Tony Bianco heels.

I hope you're all losing your minds over this outfit as much as I am. Aje is the most out of this world brand that is taking Australia by storm. The intricate detailing and luxe materials they use are mind blowing and I knew I had to get up and personal with this sequinned denim jacket and croc embossed leather skirt.

I was also able to have a quick Q&A with Aje designers and business partners Adrian Norris and Edwina Robinson, who are also the loveliest of people. I hope you enjoy they're insight as much as I did.

You showed for the first time at MBFWA this year with your SS 12/13 collection entitled 'A Shipwrecked Ball'. Where did the concept come from?

The concept came from a vision we had of a beautiful sunken shipwreck and of a decadent underwater ball that could take place within its ruins. We became intrigued by the glamour and mystery associated with shipwrecks and of the lives of those now deceased. We wanted to bring some glamour and elegance back into fashion week, so we wanted to transport everyone to this underwater wonderland.

Aje has become a favourite among both Australian and international celebrities, such as Kate Moss and Kim Kardashian. Who has given you the biggest OMG moment?

So far, definitely Kate Moss as she is one of our all time favourite muses. We really admire her sense of style and having her take notice of Aje was a very special moment.

Aje is best known for its sequin embellishments. What started the obsession and why do you continue to use them?

Our obsession with quality of fabrication and design far outweighs a desire to be ‘on trend’. We love using fabrications and embellishments that we believe are luxurious, elegant and wearable. We use a unique sequining technique that is hand crafted and allows a glamorous luxurious aesthetic that is also cool, versatile and effortless. We are very tactile in our choice of fabrications and love the contrast between sequining, superfine leathers, hand-loomed cottons, furs and unusual skins. Our sequined creations seem to attract a lot of attention which is why people associate us with sequining however, our collections comprise of many other elements. As much as the sequined component is a large part of our aesthetic, we don’t want it to define us.

I also heard a rumour you source your sequins in the same factory that Balmain does. True or False?

We do source our sequins in the same factory that Lavin, Armani Privé and Balmain have been know to have pieces made.

Australian designers seem to always work in pairs, what makes this duo work so well?

We can’t speak for other designers, but as far as Adrian and I working together: designing as a duo works in that one gives what the other cannot and it’s really special to have someone to share the process with. If a design duo doesn’t connect properly however, I imagine it is more detrimental than it is advantageous. We are very lucky that we work so well together and always share the same vision even if we sometimes have opposing ways in which to approach it.

What's next for Aje?

We have some really exciting opportunities both nationally and internationally which is amazing. We are embarking on a global fabric safari to source amazing new ‘threads’ for the Aje girl. Think camels, sand dunes, ancient hand looms…sensory overload!