stylist and creative alana murau works exclusively with repurposed and second hand clothing. in this shopping budget challenge alana’s upcycled style shines through two looks for $100!
how would you describe your style right now?
meteorologically confused. i'm a cali girl who just landed in nyc and still can't figure out this weather lol. you have to be prepared for 95 degree heat and extreme humidity, arctic air conditioning, sudden torrential downpours, and miles of walking around, all while looking cute. in one outfit! i'm half joking, but it definitely has been an interesting challenge. i'd say i'm embracing bright colors and bold prints, and trying to get creative with layering without overheating in the summer.
how did you first get interested in clothes?
i've always been fascinated by the power of expression through clothing. when i was a kid, i'd do fun social experiments: i'd walk into a movie rental store with completely different outfits and identities and make note of any differences in treatment i received, and how i felt in each persona. i was hooked on the thrill of taking on new identities through my clothes, and i still geek out on ways to challenge or scare myself with what i wear.
what or who is currently influencing your style?
anyone who's taking an environmental and social stand through their fashion projects. a few examples: melaninass (bringing people of color to the forefront of sustainable fashion), non profits like housing works and goodwill (giving back to communities in need through career training programs and donation thrift stores), and secondhand stores like beacon's closet (gush) who are making secondhand so desirable and dreamy.
you're a stylist and creative director - tell us a little about your ethical and sustainable practices..
i've been 100% secondhand for 2.5 years now, whether it's shopping for myself, for others, or styling shoots. finding beauty in unexpected places, like trash or a huge bin of discarded clothes, is what makes me tick. i see potential in the unwanted, and i strive to help others see the beauty through my styling and creative direction. i also firmly believe that ethical and environmental constraints make my work stronger. we all need design constraints to unlock creativity, and when you're considering humanity and the planet in your work, everyone wins.
what's your strategy when shopping at beacons?
many people like to go in with a specific focus so as to not get overwhelmed. my process is much more intuitive, almost like the ouija board game. i let myself wander whimsically and see where my eyes and legs lead me, and then i just grab whatever i'm drawn too, even if i don't quite understand why. the good thing about this method is that it's very quick. i usually have about 10 picks in 10-15 minutes, and it's always a total hodgepodge. the dressing room is where i do all the sense-making. i match each thing with each other thing until i get something i like, and i end up with an outfit that evokes me at a particular time. much different process when i'm pulling clothes for a client shoot, of course. i'll bring my mood board and color palette and become very strategic.
black floral dress - missguided $16.95 / metallic pant - assembly new york $39.95 / yellow shirt - goretti $15.95 / black and white shirt - no label $14.95 / brown jumpsuit - style to go $14.95
photos by sasha turrentine