Stepping away from the melee of pre-MBFWA prep, Edwina Robinson seems serene. "It's so fine, to be honest," she assures. "There's a lot of people around but we're organised." This is something that Aje are good at: remaining steady in a whirlwind of activity. Inching closer to a decade in business (nine years and counting), the Noosa-raised designers have stayed true to their aesthetic of Australian bohemia with a sleek, urban slant, attracting legions of followers (including the likes of Kate Moss) in the process. The inherent duality of their collections, buoyed by co-creative direction between founders Robinson and Adrian Norris creates an endless frisson between the label and their loyal followers.
"The interesting thing about us is we both have different ways of getting to the same point," explains Robinson of her creative partnership. "Our vision is generally the same, we tend to like the same things but sometimes my aesthetic has been a little more tough and his maybe more soft and then it will flip. But I think the key is we're never both the same thing at the same time, I think it's the contrast that always makes us work."
It is perhaps this tension of sartorial contradictions that keeps people coming back; collections are at once pretty and tough, hard and soft with an effortlessness that can take one from an afternoon swim to aperitifs without second thought to changing. Embellishment defines the brand with styles often scattered in burnished paillettes and heavy, hand-finished embellishment to be worked back with distressed tees and denim from their in-house offering while pretty, playful prints, innovative knitwear and leather round out their collections.
"The styling always goes hand in hand with the design. With ours you can really experiment," offers Robinson. "We love the effortlessness and wearability of our pieces and the fact that each person can take elements and wear them a different way. When you see somebody walking around in your piece - that's the thing that really makes my heart flutter."