Orig­i­nal It girl Alexa Chung on her la­bel, mak­ing mis­takes and who she’s NOT dat­ing.

The time has fi­nally come for Alexa Chung to have her own la­bel.

ELLE (Canada) - - #Storyboard - BySarahLaing

ina way, sit­ting in Paris with Alexa Chung, sur­rounded by racks of clothes from the first sea­son of her epony­mous cloth­ing line, feels in­evitable to me. Ac­tu­ally, this mo­ment—Chung on a couch, one leg tucked un­der the other, wear­ing an over­sized sweater, her hair slightly wet, stir­ring sugar into an espresso as she ex­pounds on the per­ils of wide-legged pants—feels like it should have hap­pened years ago. Long be­fore the In­sta-girls, there was Bri­tish-born Chung, a model turned TV host turned fash­ion writer turned style icon, her vibe a mag­i­cal com­bi­na­tion of “I wanna be her” and ir­rev­er­ence that made it pos­si­ble for her to write a mem­oir called It, a tongue-in-cheek ex­plo­ration of the ca­reer she has built be­ing, well, Alexa Chung.

The 33-year-old has dab­bled with de­sign be­fore, lend­ing her unique stamp to sell­out col­labs with the likes of Marks & Spencer and AG Jeans. Which might be why this col­lec­tion, when pre­viewed dur­ing fall/win­ter 2017 Paris Fash­ion Week, wasn’t par­tic­u­larly sur­pris­ing to any­one who has a nod­ding ac­quain­tance with Chung’s look. Tomboy pretty? Yes. A fun spin on vin­tage clas­sics, like trench coats and menswear? Ab­so­lutely. Chock full of sta­ples for those who like their ba­sics with an ec­cen­tric twist? Yep.

“It’s not vastly dif­fer­ent from my per­sonal aes­thetic,” con­cedes Chung, who in per­son is ra­zor-sharp if, per­haps, a lit­tle in­scrutable. “This first col­lec­tion is more in­stinc­tive. It came out of work­ing at my man­ag­ing di­rec­tor’s kitchen in East Lon­don and pulling to­gether a mood board of images of all the things I’m usu­ally at­tracted to.” (On that mood board? George Har­ri­son, “snappy women dressers” and Ri­hanna, whom Chung had in mind when she was de­sign­ing a cer­tain li­lac plas­tic dress.) The first col­lec­tion is avail­able in Canada now via on­line re­tailer Ssense, and a sec­ond will come out this fall, Chung hint­ing at an “’80s Tatler meets Wuther­ing Heights” in­spi­ra­tion for that fol­low-up.

And, yes, she agrees that fi­nally see­ing her own name on a cloth­ing la­bel (no Alexa x So-and-so in sight) does feel like the nat­u­ral un­fold­ing of des­tiny—what she de­scribes as “a dream emerg­ing, some­thing I’d de­sired for a long time.” That doesn’t mean the whole en­deav­our has been a breeze, no mat­ter how non­cha­lant Chung looks now, peel­ing a ba­nana as we chat in this lofty show­room space. “I feel heavy with re­spon­si­bil­ity!” she says. “I’ve shrunk. I used to be five foot 10. Now I’m crawl­ing around crum­bling. You know, with great power comes great re­spon­si­bil­ity.”


much more vul­ner­a­ble and ex­posed and much more judged. “I Like feel yes­ter­day: Twelve peo­ple came by lit­er­ally to judge. But I’m strong enough not to let my in­se­cu­ri­ties or weird neu­roses get in the way of the com­pany.” YOUR IN­STA­GRAM FEELS LIKE A RE­ALLY GEN­UINE

GLIMPSE INTO YOUR LIFE, NEU­ROSES AND ALL. “I’m sure there are smart tweaks I could make, like ‘Wear red, sit in the mid­dle of the frame, have more fa­mous peo­ple in the frame.’ That’s not re­ally my jam. I don’t like a so­cial en­vi­ron­ment where it’s just a count­down to the next selfie to prove you were next to whomever.” WE’VE ALL BEEN TO THOSE PAR­TIES THAT LOOK WAY

BET­TER ON IN­STA THAN THEY WERE IN REAL LIFE. “As my fol­low­ers have grown, I’ve ques­tioned whether peo­ple re­ally need to see things like me in my dis­gust­ing bath­room do­ing my makeup, but then I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve posted it be­fore.’ The only thing I don’t put up there are boys I’m in a re­la­tion­ship with. Here’s a top tip: I’m never fuck­ing any man who’s on my In­sta­gram.” IS THERE SOME CON­TRI­BU­TION TO FASH­ION THAT

YOU’D LIKE TO BE RE­MEM­BERED FOR? “The loafer. [Says with heavy irony] Thank God! No, it’s best not to think of one­self in those terms. You turn into a dick­head with that type of self-anal­y­sis.” DO YOU HAVE A SORT OF OVER­AR­CH­ING LIFE

PHI­LOS­O­PHY? “Gen­er­ally, I don’t worry too much about what peo­ple think of me. It might just be rag­ing nar­cis­sism, but I’m not afraid. I do look back at what I’ve done and think ‘You risked not go­ing to univer­sity and didn’t re­ally think about it, and you moved to New York and head­lined TV. That’s in­sane!’ But at the time, I was just like, ‘Bye, ev­ery­one! I’m off to save MTV! Be right back.’ And I mean right back be­cause it didn’t last.” HOW DID YOU MOVE PAST A DIS­AP­POINT­MENT

LIKE THAT? “Well, be­cause of the rag­ing nar­cis­sism, I just thought they didn’t get me. I’m a ge­nius! [Laughs] But, no, I was re­ally sad af­ter that.”

UN­DER­STAND­ABLY SO. “It was mainly be­cause I worked so hard, not be­cause I thought it was un­just. I was ex­hausted. I left all my friends. I lived in this rando coun­try for ages. I al­ways thought that if you work re­ally hard, it all works out, but some­times it doesn’t.” SPEAK­ING OF FAIL­URE, HAS ALEXA CHUNG EVER HAD A FASH­ION

FAUX PAS? “I live in fear of the white pow­der face, but that hasn’t hap­pened yet. I’ll prob­a­bly end up trip­ping on my bell­bot­toms and that’s how I’ll die.” n

Look­book images from the de­but col­lec­tion of Alexa Chung

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