Alya Higgins is a 20 year old visual communications student, self-proclaimed professional procrastinator, and most importantly, a new blogger you should know about. She is Vermilion Eye. With style that simply could not fit into one category, every post on her blog comes as a surprise and an inspiration. She is refreshingly aware and proud of her idiosyncrasies, which has allowed her to perfect her own masterful blogging concoction- a pinch of self-deprecation, extensive knowledge of pop culture and the fashion industry, witty wording, poised poses, and bucket loads of style. I sat down with Alya to gain answers to some obvious questions that won’t be found on her blog.
Why have you called your blog “Vermilion Eye”?
The phrase comes from a Sylvia Plath poem called “Medallion,” which is part of her Colossus collection. Plath has always been a major source of inspiration to me and is one of my all-time literary idols. When I was in Year 12, she was the topic of my thesis for Extension 2 English, and I completely immersed myself in her work. I was re-reading her poems one night and the line “His little Vermilion Eye Ignited with a glassed flame” sent shivers down my spine. From then on, it’s just stuck with me.
What are your favourite Australian and International designers and why?
Tigerlily is one of my favourite brands for casual wear- I love the prints and bohemian and chilled vibe. When I dress up I tend to always be drawn to Josh Goot or Dion Lee, as both designers are extremely innovative in their materials, the cut of their clothes and also their prints. I like the extremities both designers experiment with. They always seem to include sleek black wear, but also crazy prints which are instantly recognisable. Romance was Born is another one of my favourites. I enjoy their work as it is super artistic and experimental.
As for international designers I adore Alexander Wang for his neutral tones, and Celine, for their sleek silhouettes. I have quite varying tastes!
Which fashion shows would you most like to sit front row at?
It would be an honour to sit front row at Josh Goot, Romance was Born or Dion Lee at Mercedes Benz Fashion week. I think Australian designers are extremely talented and I would love to be part of their journey. In saying that, I wouldn’t mind Victoria’s Secret or Chanel, either…isn’t that every girl’s dream?
Where do you draw inspiration from, and whose style do you admire the most?
That is so hard to narrow down! I’m inspired by a lot of street style blogs and also the street style in my local area. I also draw inspiration from a lot of film and TV.
If I had to pick 3 style icons, I would say Jemima Kirke, Alexa Chung and Jane Birkin.
What products or pieces lift you up when you’re having a bad day?’
I pretty much always opt for a maxi skirt and batisse dry shampoo. The essentials.
What magazine would you most like to work for and why?
Acne Paper. The graphic design is simple and effective, something I try to emulate in my own design work. I would also love to work for RUSSH or OYSTER because they combine many facets of the arts; music and culture,
as well as fashion.
What are your go-to beauty products?
YSL Touche Eclat. I don’t wear a lot of make up, but this is the one product I desperately need. I seem to have permanent bags under my eyes. Paw paw ointment, too – it is just a classic. I always carried it around in my kilt pocket during my high school days, it was that much of an essential. Perfume – Chanel Chance. I actually feel naked if I leave the house without perfume.
What is your process for writing your blog posts (if you follow one!)?
My creative process is constantly changing. Almost always an idea will come to me at the most inconvenient time, like when I have a major assignment due the next day, or when I am about to go to bed at 2am. I usually start by writing down an idea then planning the outfit to match the theme of my written content. As I tend to incorporate my lifestyle with fashion, I usually draw from a recent event like rejection, heartbreak or personal failure. In saying that sometimes it is completely the opposite and I will have a really good idea for an outfit, then it just takes me a few days to find appropriate written content for the outfit.
Where do you see your blogging career in 5 years?
Hopefully expanding! I would love to share more facets of my life such as the performing side and maybe even my own design work. I would also love to be behind the lens more and creating my own editorial shoots. I would also love more interaction, I want to know what people want to read about. As well as expressing myself it is important that others relate to, and enjoy my posts.
Do you have any tips for people wanting to start their own blogs?
I would say…JUST DO IT. Who cares? Don’t start blogging to be famous, do it to express yourself. Don’t try to mould yourself into what you think a fashion blogger is supposed to look like. Add variety to your blog, post what you like and make it your own (people are drawn towards authenticity!)
I’m honestly a lot happier now that I have a creative outlet, as it makes me set goals for myself. My style isn’t like other fashion bloggers; you’ll never catch me in Celine lack pool slides holding a Givenchy Antigona bag. I’m not worried about mass appeal, and if you want to start a blog, you shouldn’t either!
See Alya’s blog at
vermilioneye.com / @alya_higgins
Photos by Sophie-Jaye Hayman- see more at
girlwithanikon.format.com / @soph.jaye