After reading “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline, Alana had an epiphany.
“My wardrobe was full of fast fashion items that never really reflected me, who I am, or what I love, and having so many items shoved in the back of a drawer represents a huge waste of resource, both financially and environmentally.”
She says that on average women wear only 20% of their wardrobe.
“When you don’t have confidence in your shape, your colouring, your own style, it’s hard to invest more in pieces you love.
“Learning how to dress for my shape was so liberating. Instead of thinking I was too fat/short/pale, I realised there’s a key to all this and it’s understanding how to work in harmony with your own shape and colouring, instead of constantly wishing we looked different.
“I stopped berating my figure, and embraced my own style, rather than chasing never-ending trends (in the wise words of Yves Saint Laurent, “fashions fade, style is eternal”).
Alana says most of the women she meets are really unhappy with the state of their wardrobe, so she helps them create something that works, whilst helping them feel absolutely incredible about themselves every day. Bascially, if you don’t love it, don’t wear it.
‘it’s about a woman’s personal taste, lifestyle and I create outfit combinations that really reflect that. No more stressy-messy wardrobes. It’s pure wardrobe Zen and total body-confidence.’
With a zealous mission to help women feel great about themselves she says women are too hard on themselves.
“When we try something on, we always say; ‘it’s because my hips are too big/my legs are too short/I need to lose weight’, the list is endless.
“We never say, ‘the garment isn’t right.’ And that’s nearly always the case. I help women understand which shapes, cuts, lines and colours really flatter their figure, so they feel great in everything they own.”
Alana is currently working with printmaker Anna Casey to create wearable works of art combining Alana’s colour expertise with Anna’s artistic talent to create silk scarves with custom-design prints.
“For me, the current fast fashion model isn’t sustainable, we end up with wardrobes crammed full of clothes we’re not in love with and landfills are full of textile waste.
“I’m with Vivienne Westwood on this one: buy less, wear more. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity, and when women have confidence in their body shape and their own style, they can feel empowered to invest in items they truly love.”
LUXE PEOPLE >>
My absolute all-time style heroes are Cyndi Lauper and Vivienne Westwood (that’s clearly why I dye my hair red). I remember hearing this amazing story about Vivienne Westwood when I was training as a stylist, she saw some curtains in a hotel room and loved the material so much she took them down, made a dress and wore it to an awards ceremony! True pioneers in fashion and style don’t follow, they create, and everyone can cultivate this talent, we just need to be bold. She is phenomenal when it comes to the environment and climate change; does everyone remember that picture of George Clooney in those “Save the Arctic” t-shirts she designed? Swoon!
LUXE PLACES >>
For a weekend > A European city; we’re so lucky to live a stone’s-throw away from so many magical places.
A long holiday > I love America and I’m lucky enough to have friends in San Francisco, Portland and Minneapolis (next on my list).
A treat > I went to this incredible Japanese Spa in San Francisco, I’m dying to go back. For now, I’ll just have to try out every spa in the country until I find one to match it.
LUXE RELAX >>
Best food > Thai and Mexican all the way, it’s all about spice.
Best wine > I love Rioja, but I can’t resist a glass of prosecco.
Favourite restaurant > I love artisan at the Biscuit Factory, they do incredible cocktails too.
Perfect weekend > Sitting in the sun at the Boiler Shop Steamer with an espresso martini in hand, surrounded by friends. Bliss.
Downtime means > Pyjamas and prosecco!
Best telly > I’ve been addicted to Masterchef, I love a bit of Gogglebox and The Supervet too.
Best book > I LOVE One Day by David Nicholls.
Best sounds > Depends on my mood, I love a bit of experimental jazz, 80s pop, and pretty much everything on 6 Music’s playlist.
LUXE SHOP >>
Best shopping centre > This is impossible to answer! I bought some incredible vintage pieces in Sheffield, I love exploring The Shambles in York and the vintage shops in Leeds, but Newcastle has some incredible finds.
Favourite shop > A lot of my favourite shops are online; I love Reformation, People Tree, Who Made Your Pants, Eileen Fisher, Michi NY (for yoga wear) and, of course, Vivienne Westwood. Nudie Jeans are great for guys, I wish they would make jeans for women!
Luxe retail treat > Swedish Hasbeens, (Sarah Jessica Parker is a big fan), I’ve fallen in love with a pair of their boots, I wear them all the time! Super stylish, super ethical (they use vegetable tanned leathers and natural materials) and they’re designed to last.
Best buy > Some of my best buys were the most expensive, but I work things out over pound-per-wear, some of the most expensive items I ever owned were cheap (the tags never came off!), I got some incredible Dr Marten patent leather Darcie boots from eBay, I wear them all the time, I feel incredible in them!
LUXE PARTY >>
A memorable night out > Cocktails, good friends, dancing, laughter and general shenanigans.
Perfect party > Intimate dinner party with amazing company and plenty of G&T.
Best dress > My current favourite is a full-length semi-sheer black dress. I bought it for myself for Valentine’s Day and I’m still in love!
Dinner date > I love dinner dates! My perfect dinner date is a candlelit dinner at home with my boyfriend (he cooks the best food and he always looks like he just walked out of a Calvin Klein Jeans campaign).
YOUR LUXE THING IN LIFE >>
My dog, Meg (she’s a rescue from the Dog’s Trust, she’s my hero), my friends, Vogue, my partner, the women I meet and the clothes I get to work with, yoga, food, and laughing and travelling at every available opportunity!