A little while back, at D+A in Los Angeles, Alana Hale and I met. I fell in love with her line, Alana Hale, and instantly bonded with her use of sequins and carefully constructed leather shorts. Recently, Alana and I sat down at her showroom, La Maison de Fashion, to discuss her start in fashion, what’s to come, and of course, Kate Moss, Givenchy and rock’n'roll.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m concentrating on the spring line: spring 2012. Usually designers take about 3 months, and I’m doing it in probably a month and a half. It’s the only way I can work: chaotic.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I’ve loved fashion ever since I can remember. I’d always play dress up and steal my mom’s clothes. When I was in 3rd grade, I said I wanted to have a clothing line and I made a name and a logo. I already had the entrepreneurial spirit and I actually had a line of cosmetic bags that I sold. I’m still trying to find them because I look back at pictures and say, I would totally rock that now.
My first job I actually worked in the design department of our family business, which is a glove company that works with NASCAR. It’s polar opposite of what I do right now, but it was good because I got to learn the computer programs and how the process works. By the time I got to FIDM, I knew a little bit of what it takes. My whole life has been getting ready to do this.
What was it like going to FIDM?
I loved it. If it’s the right fit, then you love it. I was sad when I was done. I learned so much and what I learned I got to apply when I started working. I got to meet so many great people and get inspired by them and the classmates around me. Amazing creative energy.
How do you decide on your inspiration for each collection?
I think the longest part is really gathering inspiration and finding a direction for the line. I always start so huge and as I focus more, I come up with the concept of the line. I’m inspired by travel, the culture of the places I go, my friends and what they live in, old movies…this collection that I’m starting has really been inspired by old music. Classic rock. Everybody has been doing the 70s, but it’s not going to be the same trend. It’s going to be it’s own concept.
Who is the Alana Hale girl?
The Alana Hale girl is fearless, vibrant, confident, not someone who sits in the corner…these aren’t wallflower clothes. The girl who expresses herself through her clothing and wears what she wants to wear and what she’s confident in. Definitely someone who loves fashion, because you have to love fashion to get what I’m doing. Someone who dresses herself and doesn’t really pay attention to the trends of the moment.
What is the direction for the new collection?
As I design, I’m always thinking of what I could pull my inspiration from and I’m always listening to music. I’ve really been getting into the classic rock. The Rolling Stones and the gritty 70s era rock’n'roll. As I go into the new collection, besides the classic rock, I pay attention to what the Alana Hale girl lives in everyday and then I take my own spin on that. Its been mainly summertime travels and music and I’m taking all of those experiences and translating them into this new collection.
What designers inspire you?
It’s really all of the designers that have a strong unique vision that I really respect. They inspire me.
I love Alexander McQueen because he created from his own imagination. There was always a life force behind each collection. He stuck to his own vision and his pieces draw you in and have so much life. He’s just amazing.
Karl Lagerfeld for his versatility. He’s designed for several lines and they always have their own look and are perfect. So classic and so his own at the same time.
I’m really loving Givenchy. Everything from that line, I’m dieing over. Ready to Wear, couture, handbags, shoes…everything I love. Spot on, I would wear every single piece.
If you could dress anyone in Alana Hale, who would it be?
Lady Gaga because she is just a world of her own and everything she wears, I love the drama of it.
I would also love to dress Blake Lively. She’s fashion’s sweetheart and fits perfectly with the Alana Hale line.
.…and Kate Moss of course. I love her. Anything she wears, she can do no wrong.
What are some of your fashion staples?
Jeans and jean shorts I currently live in everyday because of the California summer weather. Each season that comes around , I want something different. Right now I love sheer, flowy chiffon tops and tanks, and leather and lace shorts. When I don’t know what to wear, I always go to sheer chiffon tops and leather shorts. In the winter, I have to have fur.
* Thanks for Alana for the lovely interview. She is definitely a young designer to watch.
Check out her site HERE.