A Conversation with Fashion Stylist, Alana Kelen

Fashion Stylist, Alana Kelen, has been injecting style into the entertainment industry for more than 10 years. Working with talent that you can see regularly on VH1 and MTV, she uses her keen sense of clothing & accessories, along with penchant for detail to create unique, appropriate and trend-­setting images for television personalities and celebrities. After graduating from FIT in New York City, Alana moved on to working at VH1 as a Fashion Stylist. Currently she still works with the company as Head Stylist of the VH1 Wardrobe Department, while also consulting with MTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, TV Land, Bravo, HGTV, IFC, InStyle Magazine, Billboard Magazine, Weight Watchers Magazine, Nautica, Michael Kors, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Private Clients and Advertising Agencies. Her forte is working with real people in real situations, helping to make them feel comfortable in the clothes they are in while looking amazing on air, in print, and in real life. Using thousands of direct contacts in the world of fashion, Alana can advise anyone what to wear and when to wear it. She takes into account all aspects of a client’s lifestyle, in order to create a look and image all their own. With this fashion guru’s help, one will never be a “fashion faux pas” again. True style is not about spending a ton of money or wearing designer labels, it is all about taking what you have and making the most of it.

1) Tell us the story behind your favorite wardrobe item

Alana: My grandmother wore this clover necklace nearly every day of her life since I was born. It was her signature accessory. She loved jewelry, but this was the one piece she centered around everything else. It is something I always suggest to my private clients as well, to find a piece that means something special to you, that you can wear with everything as a signature, easy & classic, something that will help define you. When she passed she kindly left me with this clover necklace and when I am not wearing it, it hangs on a wall hook in my bedroom as a reminder of her always. To boot, Carrie Bradshaw wore the exact same necklace in Sex & the City II, styled by one of my idols, Patricia Field. I surely gasped out loud in the theater when I saw it on her !!

2) What's your most memorable 'panic moment'?

Alana: It had been a week of 18 hours days prepping for the 2009 VMA's Michael Jackson tribute, for which I had to dress 20 of his tour dancers for a most memorable, incredible tribute to the King of Pop. It was a whirlwind, had an amazing team of 8 girls running around all over the city to piece together some of his most iconic costumes. Finally the night was here, after days of fittings and alterations we were 10 minutes to the live performance @ Radio City Music Hall. As we were running to stage we realized the prop team had failed to bring up the 6 pairs of boots we needed for the grand finale Smooth Criminal lean. The boots were a top secret design and locked in a vault by props, but where were they??!!!

3) How did you recover from it gracefully?

Alana: Panic ensued until we received word two minutes before the cue that they were on their way to side-stage. My assistants and I divided and conquered, each tying one boot on the 6 dancers, just in the nick of time for the epic performance … one I will never forget.

4) What is your favorite era for fashion?

Alana: I take inspiration from them all, but especially love the 1920's – 1950's. They had such distinctly different ideas, silhouettes and influences from The Great Depression to World War I and II. They all directly impact nearly every piece of clothing today. Everything was so innovative at the time, and honestly reminds me what I miss most in fashion today. Trends come and go so quickly with media being such a huge influence, and rarely do I see something that is surprising or clever, something we all haven't seen before.

5) What was your big break?

Alana: Such an amazing memory - It was my first solo gig at the Concert for New York, a tribute for 9/11 victims that magically came together just a month after the tragic event. Although everyone was still reeling from the tragedy, the most highly regarded musicians, celebrities and politicians came together in the heart of New York, to donate their time and talent for this incredible event. There were no frills backstage, no separate trailers, barely any craft services, one make-up table and myself for wardrobe, but the results were extraordinary. It definitely brought everything into perspective and gave me the confidence to continue working on my own under any circumstances, such an inspiration.

6) Whose closet would you most like to raid?

Alana: Victoria Beckham – not only does she have the most amazing taste within the entire realm of fashion, she herself has created an incredibly flattering, beautiful line of dresses and apparel. Expensive, yes, but if there was ever anything to invest in, it would be a sheath from Victoria Beckham's line. Timeless & sophisticated.

7) Who are your Favorite Designers

Alana: Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang,Tracy Reese, Roland Mouret.

You can follow Alana on Twitter @alanakelen & visit her site