“I’ve been converted to black, white and grey for around 2 years, completely culling color from my wardrobe,” says Sara Donaldson, digital marketing strategist and blogger behind Harper & Harley. “The concept behind the black, white and grey wardrobe that Harper and Harley talks about is that everything goes together, so it should make that morning styling process so much easier.” The Aussie beauty founded the fashion blog almost 6 years ago inspiring readers regularly with her relaxed chic philosophy, while maintaining jobs at companies like Westfield and MANIAMANIA. Today, with 150,000 monthly visitors to her blog, Ms. Donaldson is recognized as a tastemaker in the industry working with brands, such as Gucci, Harper’s Bazaar, Nike, Nokia, and Shopbop. She enthuses, “I’ve loved fashion and art since I was a little girl, so I doubt I could get bored of fashion altogether.”
Here, Playing Fashion talks to Ms. Donaldson about her personal experience in fashion - from her dramatic style change to becoming a public persona as well as her views on the future of blogging.
ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO
there was a big color movement going on and I realized how uncomfortable it made me feel. I shed all color from my wardrobe and it was the most exhilarating feeling. It completely changed how I viewed fashion and my personal style.
ONCE YOU GO BLACK, WHITE AND GREY
you become more interested in the shapes, material and the art of the garment on the body. You could be wearing a simple black dress, but it could be the most extravagantly created masterpiece, outshining everything else in the room.
I AM A VERY BIG ONLINE SHOPPER
It is part of my job to research and trawl through online stores to find the latest must have items and inspire my readers, most often I also inspire myself that I also must own that piece. It’s a vicious cycle. ASOS, Shopbop and Net-a-porter are my 3 staples. They cover low, medium and high and I know I can always find something I love.
ROUTINE IS VERY IMPORTANT WITH SKINCARE
In the morning I’ll tone with SKII. I don’t cleanse in the morning as too much cleaning can be a bit much for your skin. After toning I’ll apply a rose hip oil to my face to moisturize and keep it hydrated. I’m currently using Grown Alchemist serum. This is also the perfect base to apply my foundation (Dior nude tan bb crème) to as it goes on easily and you can use a lot less when your face is hydrated. At night I’ll use a cleansing wipe (Swisspers) to remove makeup, tone again with SKII and apply Estée Lauder advanced night repair serum.
I STARTED THE BLOG SO ORGANICALLY
that I didn’t visualize that I would become a public figure. As time goes by you grow and you learn. I adore my readers, so if they are brave enough to approach me, then I love them for it and will always give them the time. I don’t put everything out there on my blog or social media. I think my personal relationships should stay private.
BLOGGING AS A BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT FROM BLOGGING AS A HOBBY
Now that my blog is my business I have to think of it as such. It is a digital media platform and essentially i'm competing to attract a percentage of a brands marketing spend. Being able to prove that my blog can convert into sales for a brand is the biggest determining factor for a brand wanting to work with me. Newcomers to blogging need to keep in mind that the creative element is only a fraction of the job.
I WANT TO BE ABLE TO BUILD UP MY PERSONAL BRAND
from a modest blog into something on that next level. I want Harper and Harley to be more of a daily resource that’s beyond just my thoughts and expressions.
Photography by Saskia Wilson / 2c management; stylist: Monique Moynihan / 2c Management; hair and make-up by Miriam Nichterlein / Names Agency.
Opening Image: dress by Bul; blazer by Stella McCartney (Robby Ingham, Sydney).