Bright. Eclectic. Great hair. These are just a few of the words that describe Alanna Durkovich, the blogger and vintage shop seller of Xander Vintage. We interviewed Alanna for the first time and found out that this style blogger has a lot more to her than meets the eye. She's a mom, Canadian with Filipino/Croatian/Norwegian roots, and has a photographer fiancé who knows all her best angles. But why are we spoiling this for you? Read our interview with Style Icon Alanna below!
We’ve known you since you started blogging. What was your career before this?
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
Quirky, playful, dynamic.
Can you tell us about yourself from the beginning?
I was that typical little girl that dressed up in her mother's fancy dresses and pushed her small feet into four inch heels. I threw on lipstick and modelled down the hallway as if I owned the runway. Fashion and style have always been a prevalent passion in my life, especially with a mother who shared that passion in her own life.
I became a student who majored in communications, and eventually a stay-at-home mum who lived the classic “family life” routine. I absolutely love being a mother, but I needed an outlet to express some creative freedom. 21 months ago, I started an online vintage clothing store and would blog about pieces from my shop. Eventually, it evolved into a personal style blog—which I’ve been doing ever since!
Where did you grow up? How has this influenced your blog?
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. I grew up around really relaxed, carefree people who had great senses of humour. That has definitely impacted my view on life—including fashion. I have fun with colours, prints, and textures. When it comes to my writing style, I take a playful position on most subjects. Taking anything too seriously isn’t in my nature.
Who is your photographer? Is there any advice you could give to someone who doesn't necessarily have a photographer but wants to have their photos taken and start a personal style blog?
My fiancé shoots every outfit post. At the beginning, I’d find myself forcing him to take one shot of me. Eventually, he grew a passion for photography that matched my passion for fashion and styling. If you don’t have a photographer, I’d suggest to get one of your friends to take the photos or set up a tripod and do it yourself. I’ve done both of those things (I’ve even gotten my mother to take a couple outfit shots before)!
How do you come up with the creative direction of your photography?
The only planning we do involves finding a location that matches the character of the outfit being photographed. For example, if I’m wearing a boho-inspired look, we tend to shoot in an outdoor setting, like a grassy plain or sand dune. Golden hour is the most flattering light in my opinion, so many of our shoots take place then. Another must is having a location that is toddler friendly, because half of the time we’re running after him!
What type of camera do you use?
Canon EOS 6D with a Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM lens.
How many shots do you usually take per shoot?
Somewhere between 50-100. Some days you get the perfect few shots within the first 30 clicks, and other days it’s a struggle to find a single usable shot!
How long does each shoot take?
Finding a location takes longer than the actual shoot. We’ll drive around for about half an hour (sometimes less, sometimes more), until we finally find a place. We’ll quickly do a 5-10 minute shoot in between chasing a 2-year-old around—which usually adds an extra 10 minutes to each shoot.
Who do you consider to be your style icons?
A few of my favorites are Solange Knowles, The Olsens, Miroslava Duma, Micah Gianneli, and Juliett Kuczynska.
Who is the "Xander" of Xander Vintage?
I fell in love with the name “Xander” which was intended to become my son's middle name. Ultimately, we went another route. When I decided to finally open a vintage clothing store, “Xander” immediately popped into my mind. Hence, Xander Vintage.
For girls looking to find their personal style, what kind of advice would you give them?
Try not to be intimidated by a certain style or new trend. Step out of your comfort zone and experiment with pieces you wouldn’t typically choose. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can pull off that trend you were initially skeptical about!
In case you missed it, Alanna is a Chictopia x Ariat Boots contest winner who'll be joining us next week at NYFW! Be sure to follow our fashion week adventures with Alanna on Instagram. For more on Alanna, check out her Etsy shop Xander Vintage, Chictopia profile and official blog.