We spoke to astrologer Natalia Benson about her career + all about ...
PART 1: FASHION WEEK ORGANISATION WITH NZFW DESIGNERS ZAMBESI, WYNN...
Fashion Week organisation according to Vogue, theUNDONE + Hansen & ...
SARA DONALDSON (Influencer + Buyer)
OCCUPATION: Founder of Harper & Harley + theUNDONE
What does a typical day look like for you over MBFWA as both an influencer & a buyer?
For Harper and Harley I’ll be attending and covering shows via social media channels, shooting content for my own coverage and working with selected brands to deliver campaign components during the week. Additionally, to finish off the week I’ll be on one of the panels for the Ragtrader seminar series on the Friday.
Then as the buyer for The UNDONE I have Resort collection appointments between the shows and back to back on the Thursday, which i’ll then work on over the weekend and the following week.
What organisation tricks get you through the crazy schedule of that week?
I make sure I have all of my appointments, campaign deliverables, times and locations written down in both my digital calendar as well as on a single sheet of paper I can pop into my bag incase of technical emergency.
Its important to check nothing overlaps and I have enough travel time to get to where I need to go, as not everything is at the main Carriageworks location. Its also important to keep in mind that shows doesn’t always run to schedule so a little contingency is a good idea.
How do you prioritise your workload that week when you are out of the office so much?
I’ll always getting up early and working from home in the mornings and then luckily the office is close by Carriageworks so I can pop in during a longer break, although it currently doesn't look like i’ll have too many of those. Above all I make sure I prioritise sleep and eating well during fashion week, as my work load only gets bigger the following weeks when all domestic and international orders are due. At the end of the day its a marathon, not a sprint.
Image by: stylesnooperdan.com
LILITH HARDIE LUPICA (Media)
OCCUPATION: Associate Editor @ Vogue Australia
What does a typical day look like for you over MBFWA?
Every day is completely different. From running around doing interviews with buyers and designers to backstage at shows interviewing make-up artists - I will pretty much be everywhere and running around a lot. There's also a lot of running back to the office, writing up news and interviews and being on my phone!
What organisation tricks get you through the crazy schedule of that week?
The week before I try to have all my interview questions prepped, my portable chargers charged up and my outfits sorted so the week of I don't need to stress. We have a huge spreadsheet for the team to work off. Bascailly it details who will be where and covering what - this is my bible for the week. Otherwise my phone calendar has all my timings and important information.
How do you prioritise your workload that week when you are out of the office so much?
There are so many emails in the uber and my laptop will come everywhere with me so I can log in and upload wherever I am. Luckily with online we can schedule a lot before hand or upload from anywhere - it makes a difference. There will be some really late nights in the office
What do you look for when watching the shows? Do you take notes while you are watching?
At the shows we're looking for trends, news and good moments for Instagram. We're always on!
What's your favourite thing about MBFWA?
It's really hard work but it is nice to catch up with everyone you work with (who you only talk to on email? Face to face. Plus, there is a real excitment about seeing shows and being in the middle of it all.
AINSLEY HANSEN (Designer)
OCCUPATION: Founder of Hansen & Gretel
What's the inspiration behind your collection? And what made you decide to show this year?
HANSEN & GRETEL is receiving increasing attention from overseas buyers so we wanted to showcase our collection on a global platform such as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to engage with the international following for the brand. Our ‘Stay Wild, Child’ Resort 17 collection was inspired by the various multitude of feminine archetypes. Youthful prints, a bohemian attitude, and robust, modernist lines create an accessible collection for every occasion.
How are you finding the lead up to the show & how are you handling the workload/stress?
Happily hectic is how I would best describe the lead up to our MBFWA debut.
What organisation tricks are getting you through the endless deadlines pre show?
I am grateful for the generous support from my team and continued understanding from loved ones. Various diary app’s are assisting my workload and ensuring deadlines are met, with special thanks to Wunderlist ;)
How are you planning to celebrate post show?!
It’s important to celebrate milestones such as this and acknowledge those who assisted in the journey to get here. Whilst I can’t imagine there will be much rest for the wicked, I’m sure we’ll be popping a bottle (or ten) after the show.
x3 Shoe Styles You Need In Your Life This Summer
If there is one thing I struggle with in summer it's shoes!!! I am not a massive sandal girl, and prefer to find other chic options that compliment my style.
Below are x3 shoes styles I'm obsessed with this summer and have on high rotation.
1. The Slide (or Flat Mule)
The Slide is my number one go-to all year around. It's easy, timeless and compliments an array of outfits - dressy & casual. When investing in a flat mule - always go for a good quality leather. If you're like me, you will be wearing them A LOT and it's best to find a pair that will last you the distance. Shop my faves here
2. The Pump
The pump is a style that is often over looked, but is an absolute winner!! Pair pumps with your favourite denim & tee for a more casual look, or dress them up with a silk shirt & fitted skirt for evening. Either way - this style will elongate your legs for days and is always a classic fave of mine for the festive summer season. Shop my faves here
3. The Mule
The mule has earned it's place this year as being a shoe that's oh so easy & cool - they are literally perfect & practical for every occasion with their clean shape & a heel height that is comfortable to walk in all day. My go-to is to pair them back with casual high-waisted white or vintage blue boyfriend jeans, a statement belt & a white shirt or tee. Done! Dress it up with a touch of red lippy or killer earrings & a statement bag. Shop my favourites here
Photography by Hannah Roche
Post sponsored by Sempre Di - shop the new season range here
x4 Fail safe spring outfits you can always reply on
Spring is well & truly here and our winter coats are packed away for another season. With unpredictable weather playing havoc with our weeks & that awkward mix of fresh mornings & hot days, it’s always good to have a few fail-safe outfits you can rely on.
Read the full post on Vogue Australia here
Photography by Hannah Roche
Four ways to style a blazer
The blazer can go from statement to uniform depending on the day - here are four ways to wear the humble blazer.
Every girl needs at least one blazer in her wardrobe. It’s a timeless, fail-proof staple that will continue to be your best friend season after season.
From suiting up with a white tee and cigarette pants to getting girly with a soft dress silhouette and delicate accessories - the blazer is an essential that can be styled for every occasion.
An Organised Life with...Sara Donaldson from theUNDONE / Harper & H...
Known for her signature minimalistic style, Sara always stays true to her relaxed chic black, white, grey philosophy both in fashion and her workspace! She is also one of the most hard working & dedicated people I know through and through.
I visited Sara's amazing workspace & chatted to her about her biggest pinch me moments, what inspires her and the top three ways she organises her fast paced life.
Name: Sara Donaldson
Occupation: Director and Buyer at TheUNDONE.com and Blogger at Harper and Harley
How it all began…
I’ve run Harper and Harley for 7 and a half years, starting while I was completing my Marketing degree and realised fashion was the direction I wanted to take my career in. Moving to Sydney at 21 I worked in firstly a large corporate environment that taught me incredible structures and procedures, before then moving to a smaller boutique business where I was able to learn all areas of a small company. After 5 years of blogging and the industry booming into what it is today, I decided to leave my Marketing and Sales career to take Harper and Harley full time.
Biggest pinch me moment…
I’m always working on the next 3 projects at once, but the biggest and my proudest is The UNDONE, an online store based off Harper and Harley’s success.
Biggest lesson I’ve learnt along the way…
Learn how to say no.
I’m inspired by…
My friends and colleagues who some of the hardest working and creative people in the industry. To carry the blogger title and earn people’s respect can be really difficult, but i’m fortunate to surround myself with those that deliver the very best content, pushing me to continually step up my own.
Biggest piece of advice…
Follow your gut. always.
Organised to me means….
Knowing what are the priorities are of the day, and if i’m lucky the priorities of the next few in front of me. I also feel organised when I can leave my work in the office and not take it home with me. This is a rarity but something i’m working on.
The top 3 ways I organise my life are…
- Daily lists in a notebook
- Electronic calendar is separated into the different areas of my life - personal, H&H, The UNDONE
- Google docs are my new favourite for document sharing and updating.
I can’t leave the house without…
Phone, wallet, keys, glasses
At the moment you’ll find the below on my desk…
Computer, maybe even two! The UNDONE notebook created by An Organised Life, calculator, perfume, nail polish, foliage - likely a succulent or leafage, a concrete pencil holder, a coffee cup and one very messy in tray!
My workspace style is…
Mentally I work better with a clean work space. My inbox and life is quite busy and chaotic, so a tidy place to work is essential, although it can get out of hand very quickly.
First thing I do when I get to the office is…
I check through my emails and make a list, working out the priorities to make sure I know which are more time sensitive so I can action them first. I have to split my page up between The UNDONE and Harper and Harley as i’m balancing both businesses, but its important to keep them separate to know whats going on in each area.
FOLLOW HARPER & HARLEY:
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ABOUT AN ORGANISED LIFE WITH...
Featuring a curated edit of inspiring people with amazing careers, we chat to them about how they organise their lives, what they are inspired by and what their essentials are at their work-spaces. And... of course, we go behind the scenes around their homes & offices to snap their creative & inspirational spaces.
Three go-to winter outfits you can always rely on
It might sound crazy, but winter is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the fresh crisp mornings, the indulgent daily coffee to warm the body and of course my winter wardrobe. However even I will admit that sometimes it can be a bit of a struggle figuring out what to wear when your body is too cold and doesn't want to deal with making a decision!
CLICK HERE For my x3 failsafe winter outfits you can always rely on over on Vogue Australia.
24-hours in Auckland: where to eat, stay and shop in the city
Your guide to getting the most out of Auckland.
Recently I ventured back to my beloved New Zealand for a whirlwind 24-hour trip to Auckland. Although I lived in Auckland for five years during my time at university, I still feel an urge of excitement whenever I head back to the city of sails. The city has a really cool vibe at the moment with an array of new restaurants, shops and new developments taking flight. Click here to read my guide to the best of Auckland in 24-hours on Vogue Australia.
Keeping It Personal - 5 ways I have found inner beauty & confidence
Finding your inner beauty & confidence is something I personally believe is extremely important & valuable in life. Nowadays, with social media & the internet in general - it's easy to look at other people's lives and start to feel a bit down & out. Having strong values to reflect back on will help to put things into perspective, allowing you to achieve your goals, & feel great. Below are 5 ways I have found inner beauty & confidence personally...
1. LOOK FOR THE BEST IN A SITUATION
It may sound simple, but it's true. From a very young age, my mum always said to me to look for the positives in life or a situation. Sometimes it's easier said than done when you're in the moment, but it's much easier to learn, grow & move forward when you look at the positives rather than the negatives.
2. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
One thing I have always been is realistic. Some may say that I am very hard on myself & my own worst critic, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Being honest has allowed me to push myself further & further. It is also my voice of reason when I am making business decisions. If I don't think I am prepared for something, I make sure I research & learn everything I possibly can until I feel confident with the situation at hand. Go with your gut & be honest at all times. It's confronting but you won't regret it in the long run.
3. BE GRATEFUL
No one's perfect! One way I have definitely found inner beauty & confidence is by being grateful for what I have. Focus on your strengths, know your weaknesses, & use these to your advantage. Be accepting of everyone - diversity is what makes life so interesting.
4. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
Being the organised & nerdy person I am (haha!), I have always set goals - long term, short term, personal, career focused, financial & everything in between. Setting myself these goals has allowed me to grow as a person & as a brand, & has definitely allowed me to become more patient & confident. Good things take time, however when I finally reach one of my goals, no matter how big or small, it's the most amazing feeling & definitely lets my inner confidence glow & strengthen knowing all my hard work has paid off. Celebrate your successes - treat yourself to a dinner with the girls, or a beautiful new pearl ring or simply give yourself a night off to relax. You deserve it.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
My final piece of advice I can give you is to surround yourself with positive, genuine & likeminded people who have strong values & vibrant personalities. For me it's my amazing family & close knit friend group. These are the people who are going to push you further, help you see the positives in a situation, & support you whenever you need it. These people are also the ones that will bring the best out in you, letting your inner beauty & confidence grow & shine.
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Photography by Nicole Cooper & Beck Wadworth
Up & Go! My 5 minute beauty routine.
When it comes to organising myself in the mornings - I have my go to 5 minute beauty routine down to a fine art. Keeping my look super natural with a focus on brown tones & highlighting, below are my go to essentials I use (& why) in my morning beauty regime.
1. The Base: Approx 1 min
Skin wise, my face is quite sensitive and unfortunately I am still prone to breakouts, especially when my stress levels get high. The Renewal Hope In A Jar is one of those moisturiser that has complimented my skin type - hydrating in a light weight form that doesn't clog up my pores.
TIP: Make sure you moisturise your neck and decolletage as well.
2. The Eyes: Approx 1 min 15 sec
If their is one thing I can't live without it's the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil from MECCA! It the best combination of a brow powder, pencil & wax mixed into one. Touching up my brows is alway that one thing that makes my look feel complete & takes me approximately 45 sec! I always finish my brows by brushing them upwards with a clear gel to set them for the day.
When it comes to my eyes I always go for brown toned MAC eyeshadows. This palette keeps my look natural but also opens up my eyes enough to give them a fresh day time look. I have terribly short lashes but I do my best to pretend I have some! My go to mascara is the NARS Audacious Black Mascara
3. Highlight: Approx 1 min 15 sec
NARS Bronzing Powder is a great way to give your day time look a bit of glow. I naturally have very pink / red skin and avoid blush at all costs but a bronzer is my best friend, especially for giving my round face & full cheeks a bit of definition!
The MAC Mineralise Skinfinish is another favourite of mine I use daily to highlight the top of my cheekbones along with a small touch under the open edges of my brows. This definitely elevates my day-time look that little bit further to tackle the day ahead with confidence.
Brush wise, I recently discovered the NARS Kabuki Brush and it's literally the perfect staple to carry with you in your handbag. It has so many uses and is a great tool for blush, bronzer or highlighter.
4. Lips: Approx 30sec
I love an 'oh natural' lip and always opt for either Lucas Paw Paw lip balm (especially in Winter when my lips are really dry) otherwise I go with a natural shade lipstick from MAC. Personally my favourites are Syrup & Shanghai Spice.
5. Body: Approx 1 min
Finally for the finishing touch on my speedy morning routine, I always moisturise my arms and legs with the Grown Alchemist Mandarin and Rosemary Leaf Body Cream to keep my skin hydrated. Followed by a spritz or 2 of my favourite scent - my current obsessions are CK2 or Mui Mui!
And then... I'm good to go!
From your face shape & your skin tone, to the way you like to do your makeup and the products you like to use, everyone is different! And thats what I love so much about beauty.
Take the time to look at your face and trial focusing on different areas in order to create a signature look that makes you feel great & gives you that #girlboss confidence to attack the day ahead! Some of my friends opt for a winged eyeliner as their signature 'daytime' look, while other focus on an understated eye & a bolder brow or lip etc everyone is different!
Once you recognise your go-to look, make sure you have all the products you need and when you start to get low, re-stock before you physically run out! There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning to find out your brow pencil is completely gone! It leaves you feeling un-finished and flustered and is just generally a huge pain for your morning routine! Trust me - Ive been there and I had to desperately use one of my brown eye-shadows for 2 days until I had time to run to MECCA! Painful!
How To Pack For A Long Weekend Escape
Make your escape.
It’s hard to believe that we are already well and truly into March of 2016! It feels like it was only yesterday that I was writing my New Year’s resolutions, and now we are a quarter of the way through the year and feeling as exhausted as ever! The good news… the long weekend is in sight and it’s the perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Read my full post on vogue.com.au here for a few tips on how to pack for your long weekend escape
Credits: Photography by Beck Wadworth & Nicole Cooper
6 Simple Ways To Start Your Own Business or Brand
Just over two years ago I launched my own brand and blog An Organised Life. My brand was born out of the desire to create luxurious yet functional products and content, bringing organisation and structure into busy lives. I have learnt a lot along the way and still have a lot more to learn. It’s been the best and most challenging thing I have ever done. Visit Vogue Australia here to read my six simple steps to starting your own brand.
Photography by Nicole Cooper
From A to B with AN ORGANISED LIFE
Some of you may or may not know that I work full time at the Bec & Bridge HQ and run An Organised Life in the evenings & weekends. I absolutely love my job & my business and I have adapted to living a very fast paced life, (filled with multiple 2am nights!) in order to achieve all my goals.
Recently my life changed a lot, allowing me to have a little bit more extra time to run around from A to B, when I received my new Holden Astra GTC - in white of course!!! Wahoo!
In the past I have only ever owned x2 cars and both were Holden. It's a brand I have grown up with and always trusted, and I've loved watching their vehicles evolve over the years.
Not only does the Holden Astra GTC fit my monochrome & minimalist style perfectly but it holds all the functional elements that every girl could ever need...
Below is a little snippet of what 'a day in the life of An Organised Life' looks like during the week, & why my new car is possibly my new best friend (carrying boxes of orders everyday was not fun!!) - hopefully this answers some of the questions that you have emailed through to me too xx
7.00AM: Wake up & check my diary and emails for the day - planning ahead is always essential for me.
7.50AM: Grab a coffee & quinoa porridge from my local cafe BRU in North Bondi!
8.00AM: Fill the boot of my Holden Astra with my An Organised Life orders from the day before, as well as any outfit changes for events that night after work.
NB: My other essentials I always have in my car include a phone charger, notebook & pen, baby wipes, lip balm & sunglasses!
8.00AM - 8.45AM: Drive from North Bondi to Alexandria (listening to Smooth FM the whole way!).
9.00AM: My day at Bec & Bridge begins
12.30AM: Jump in my Holden Astra GTC and head down to my local post office to drop off all my An Organised Life Orders. I always check my emails & social media in my lunch break and reply to anything urgent. Every now and then I also dash off to attend meetings or coffee catch up for collaborations / projects I'm working on for An Organised Life.
NB: I'm not going to lie the Nav & Beepers in my new car are life savers! I don't know what I did with out them previously!
6.00pm: Finish up at Bec & Bridge and either head home or have a quick outfit change and venture to an event for An Organised Life.
8.00pm: Arrive home in Bondi. Pack my An Organised Life online & stockist orders for the day, check & reply to my emails and work on new projects, designs, blog posts or prep & planning for upcoming shoots & collabs.
11.30pm: Get ready for bed and set any alarms I need to for the following day. I always check the weather before I go to bed and get my outfit out ready for the next day too. It give me more time to relax in the morning and enjoy my coffee & drive.
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Photography by Nicole Cooper
*Advertorial in collaborate with Holden Australia
Why does it feel like it should be Friday and it's only Tuesday?!
Lots in the pipeline and lots of hard work ahead! I'm beyond excited to see what the year holds!
Plus to make life a little bit sweeter, I discovered my dream pair of high waisted blue vintage jeans while I was at home in NZ! Neuw Denim, you're a lifesaver!
Photo by Ana Suntay- Tanedo
HOW TO THROW A GIRLS' NIGHT IN
Over the weekend, I hosted a girls' night in at Bondi Beach to celebrate the New Year and for my girl friends to experience the new Veuve Clicquot Rich Champagne!
Last August, I was lucky enough to travel to Paris & Reims with the Veuve Clicquot team to experience Rich for the very first time. A champagne that has been created to be mixed with ice and 6 ingredients - Cucumber, Capsicum, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Celery and Tea. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me all these flavours are delicious!
Below is a little guide to how to throw a girls' night in...
1. Pinterest Worthy Platters
So, one thing you probably don't know about me, is that I love to make platters! I am addicted to every platter favourite you can imagine; Cheese, Crackers, Olives, Berries - you name it! Whenever I host a girls night I always create an epic platter that looks & tastes amazing! One tip is don't be stingy - the bigger the better visually is always key and make sure you have a combination of gluten free & dairy free options too, so you can cater to all dietary requirements. My go to platter ingredients are below:
- Blue Cheese & Brie
- Water Crackers & a Gluten Free option
- Blueberries, Strawberries, Grapes & Sliced Pear (perfect with blue cheese)
- Dutch Salami & Prosciutto
TIP: Pick seasonal fruits for your platters to keep the cost down & create variety
2. Set The Mood
Before the girls arrive make sure you set the scene so you don't have to stress later. Put ice in the wine buckets, chill your champagne, set your glasses up on the table, create a music playlist long enough to last the night, and create an area for everyone to fit comfortably. If you're wanting to host an outdoor event (like I did) make sure you have an inside plan B. I unfortunately had a HUGE storm hit 30mins into my girls night this weekend, luckily I was all set up inside just incase and we quickly moved everything with ease.
3. Champagne Goodness
A girls night is never complete without a glass of champagne. One thing I love about Rich is that everyone, last night, could pick their own ingredient to mix with Rich & ice that suited their taste buds and personality. Some of the girls loved the sweeter flavours like the pineapple, another friend loved the taste of the tea, and I always go for the refreshing cucumber to start with. With such simple & accessible ingredients it really easy & fun to mix Rich at a girls night in. Definitely try it and let me know your favourite flavour!
Photography by Ana Suntay- Tanedo
To learn more about Veuve Clicquot Rich visit the website here
An Organised Life Takes On New York With Talisa Sutton
Last month our gal Talisa Sutton from Badlands Blog ventured to the big apple to attend New York Fashion Week. Known for her super chic style, Talisa accessorised her looks with the new An Organised Life personalised leather notebook that helped to keep her trip on point during the hustle & bustle that is NYFW.
We chatted to Talisa about her New York highlights, essentials, must see spots & more...
1. What was your absolute highlight moment of NYFW?
Getting to shoot new season TOME straight off the runway!
2. Favourite outfit you wore during the week?
A sheer lacy top layered underneath a black jumpsuit by Zimmermann - I loved this collection so it was amazing to be able to wear this look to their new season show.
I also sorted out my looks for the week once I landed in NY, making sure I had enough time to iron things and pick up and last minute pieces I needed to complete an outfit. I had very limited hanging space so at the end of each day, I would pack away the outfit I had worn and make room for the next look. I still wish I was as organised as you though!
3. What were your NYFW essentials?
Flat shoes! Bandaids, iced latte, Iphone + charger, camera and my notebook.
4. I know you love organisation as much as I do, how did you stay organised over NYFW?
I'm a big list maker, so I have my daily itinerary written in both my diary and my calendar which is synced to my phone. I wanted to make the most of my time in NY, so I had a notebook where I would jot down names and addresses of cafes or shops I wanted to visit, every time I got a break between shows I would check to see what was close by!
5. Top 5 'must see' NY destinations you discovered on your trip?
The new Whitney (and The HighLine), Two Hands Cafe (great coffee and amazing avo toast + acai bowls), Vietnamese at An Choi, & Other Stories on Broadway (best t-shirts!) and Breakfast at Bluestone Collective Cafe.
Other old favourites are Moma, The Neue Gallery, Dudley's LES, Cafe Gitane and Barneys on Madison Ave.
Imagery by Talisa Sutton