Monday, August 30, 2010

Interview: Alanna Anderson

Good morning, all. Today is a special one here in this little corner of the blog world. My friend, Alanna Anderson, is a fashion and wardrobe stylist based in San Francisco and has kindly answered a few questions about her career as a stylist. When I lived in San Francisco, Alanna took me and my friend under her styling wings allowing us to learn from her and experience the scenes and energy backstage at a couple fashion shows. Those experiences were like dreams to say the least!


How did you get your start as a fashion stylist? Did you always know you wanted a career in fashion?
Originally, I first worked for a fashion designer running a boutique, doing window displays and merchandising. Then, I was asked by a club promoter to style a runway show featuring the designer's pieces. This was the first instance where I was bit by the styling bug. I began to search out other opportunities where I could promote the designers pieces and practice my styling skills.

I have always had an affinity for fashion and self-studied magazines since I was fifteen years old. At university I took a double major in History of Fine Art and English and always saw the artistic parallels between art and fashion. The creativity and colour of both fields were what fascinated me and enticed me to want to learn more. This interest reached its peak when I took a Fashion, Culture and Consumption course held through University of Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum. It was there that we examined ancient textiles, looked at the construction of Dior dresses and studied Yohji Yamamoto's design approach.

(image credit: Eva Kolenko)

Where do you turn to for inspiration when preparing for your upcoming projects?
I like to pull inspiration from a variety of sources which hopefully results in a layered mood or feeling. Looking at magazines, viewing movies, art and time eras assist in the development of the overall aesthetic. I try to find a collection of images that imbue the styling effect that I want to achieve. It gives me a template of sorts to guide my stylistic choices. Also, traveling to new destinations often helps foster a newfound awareness for dressing. Most of all, I want my styling work to show diversity and range of aesthetics.

Cities like New York and Paris are known as fashion capitals, but San Francisco is rife with art and culture. Does San Francisco influence your personal style or views on fashion?
There is a free and easy nature of San Franciscans. They're not afraid to mix styles and try new things and because of this, there is an incredible willingness to seek out their own ideals of fashion. With this kind of liberated and carefree approach to style, there comes an immense amount of freedom to experiment. Additionally, the northern California climate allows for inspired dressing all year around.

Can you name a few of your favorite designers? Speaking of designers, who are some emerging designers we should be on the lookout for?
Christian Lacroix's haute couture collection with his use of colour and textures, John Galliano's ability to completely immerse his viewer's into his fantasy through clothing, Balenciaga's ability to reinvent and Helmut Lang's spot on architectural shapes and attention to the human form.

Some new designers forging their way are Iimuahii Couture, her architectural designs combined with voluminous shapes offer an otherwordly appeal. Her designs can be viewed here. Dcepcion has a militaristic motorcross feel to their menswear. Also, an online vintage boutique worth mentioning is Thrifted, a boutique that's rife with on trend style finds.

I'm sure there are many, but what is your favorite aspect of styling?
I enjoy the immense creativity that styling allows. It is ever changing work and each project is unlike the other with new challenges and stylistic demands. I like constantly meeting new people and interacting with them to create a kind of photographic art.

Do you have any tips for aspiring stylists?
-To be able to work well with an array of personalities. Often it's necessary to form a good working relationship with team members on a project in a short span of time.
-Being adaptable and flexible when on set is paramount. To make things work entails creativity and willingness to change depending on the situation.
-Devote time to preparation of a shoot beforehand by knowing the location, model's sizes and theme desired. This can be done with the pulling of key pieces to formulate looks ahead of time.

Are you working on anything new that we can keep an eye out for?
I'll be contributing to the Thrifted blog on a weekly basis.
In October, I'm styling, Chris Kae, an SF Bay Area rapper for his website and CD cover.
In November, La Femme hair editorial will run in Highlights Magazine.

(All images from here)

Thanks, Alanna! Your work is beautiful and I can't wait to read your posts on Thrifted!


  1. This is so amazing! I love her already!

  2. Great interview! Alanna is so talented and wonderful to work with.

  3. this is great!!! love to get to know people in the industry and who are at the top of their game!

  4. Great interview Dyan! I very much enjoyed it! Hope you're having a great week!

    xo Mary Jo

  5. Dyan, this interview was wonderful -- you asked some really fantastic questions and Alanna's answers were so interesting. You must have really enjoyed working with her.