“I love Alexa! If someone asked me who is a modern girl for me today, Alexa should be the one!” – Karl Lagerfeld
Online hotshop, Madewell, is exciting on every level. But between their cute jeans and must-have shoes there is something even more special. A new face and the designer of their latest collection. Alexa Chung.
Oh those British gals and their infamous style status. They seem to forever have a hold on the world's fashion reigns, bringing us style icons like Agyness Deyn, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and so many more. Now, the British style icon gracing best-dressed lists is Miss Chung.
She has been everything most teens (hell, most adults) dream of: model, tv personality, DJ, fashion journalist, photographer, muse, fashion designer, handbag (well she is not a bag herself – but Mulberry has a range named after her) and just general style guru.
Alexa Chung still feels like a fresh face to me. Despite being on British television since 2006, Chung has only recently jumped over to our side of the world, making it big in New York just last year. So considering all this, I can’t help but feel I know too little about her. Usually instant celebrity style icons are thrust in front of our faces and infect the covers of magazines so often that within a mere month we feel like they are our closest friends whom we could take a pop quiz on and come away with a pretty first prize rosette.
So I fancied a little look at the girl whose wardrobe (and life) we all want to hijack.
Alexa was first spotted at the tender age of 15 during local gig, then jerked out of her quiet Hampshire upbringing and sent sprinting into the world of modelling. Fairly successful, her rag pony career was mostly over before it began, "I always said I'd get out when it really started to get to me, because modelling can destroy your self-confidence." And get out she did, after a handful of years, walking straight over to British television’s Channel 4. Alexa landed a job hosting the Saturday morning TV show ‘Popworld’, a youth music show. Followed quickly by ‘Get a Grip’, ‘Vanity Lair’, and ‘Gok's Fashion Fix’ before scoring her big international debut with MTV New York’s ‘Its on with Alexa Chung’.
Since the end of her namesake show (in December 2009, after 2 seasons), Alexa has taken a break from television, but not from her whirlwind fashion career. She has been the face of both DKNY, Lacoste fragrance, Pepe Jeans and has been a contributing editor to British Vogue. How has she found time to work along side American brand Madewell I hear you ask? Well, quite frankly, I have no idea. But what she has created with them is a lovely collection of fun, cheap and fashionable items that would sit happily and comfortably in any wardrobe.
Her short break from TV (and Britain) will soon be over, with her set to return next year to host new style show ‘Frock Me’.
At the end of the day, it is not what Alexa has spent the last few years doing that makes us love her, it is not her ever rising stardom in celeb-city nor is it her rock-band boyfriend (well maybe a little). But it is her stand out style choices. The way she puts herself together, mixing beautiful designer pieces with high street stores we can all get our hands on. She introduces comfort back into high fashion, in the words of her Madewell design director Kin Ying Lee, “Alexa’s style is inspiring and inventive, yet unbelievably approachable and down-to-earth, the way she puts everything together is so spot-on”.
On a more personal note, being a tiny 5 foot 1 - the polar opposite of Alexa’s tall scrawny frame - her look is so easily accessible to any size in any season. For once she brings a fashion trend that seems to transcend the differences of people and just appreciates beautiful garments.
So ladies, grab yourselves a smock dress, maybe your favourite band t-shirt and a smart blazer, perhaps some over the knee socks? Or you could follow in Alexa’s Chanel clogged footsteps and wear what you love, what makes you feel comfortable and appreciate amazingly made clothes.
But I guess if we did that then the ‘it’ girl status would be forgotten. Catch 22.