In the fashion world, there's a short list of stylish young women who are known for their specific sort of chicness and particular brand of cool. The names typically change from season to season, but there is one inspirational muse who is now considered a permanent fixture on said list: the lovely Alexa Chung. In addition to having incredibly influential personal style-her fondness for satchels, brogues, and tomboy-meets-'60s-gamine looks are well documented-we truly appreciate the fact that she isn't a total fashion zombie and how she remains delightfully unaffected by her "it girl" status. (Just check out her deadpan tweets for evidence.) Even better: this month marks the release of her second collaboration with Madewell, which debuts online and in stores on September 22nd. In celebration of said truly shopable collection, we asked the charming Ms. Chung to give us a sneak peek of her efforts and to reveal her autumnal essentials. Delightfully, she not only shared, she also gave us some of the best commentary we've ever received for a Guest Editor story. Please enjoy all of Chung's curated choices and be sure to check out all of her Alexa Chung for Madewell creations next week!
Jimmy Choo Wheel Slippers ($495) in Printed Paisley
Chung loves flat shoes, so we couldn't help but wonder if she'd be keen on the season's evening slipper trend. It turns out she's quite fond of "snazzy slippers," and selected this ornate paisley pair from Jimmy Choo as one of her essentials. It's a very bohemian-meets-boudoir choice and we think they would look quite smart styled with a tux jacket and leather shorts.
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour ($25) in Black Satin
Though our Guest Editor doesn't always go for loads of makeup-a little cat-eye liner is her signature move-she does appreciate an offbeat nail polish. Case in point: her go-to varnish is Black Satin by Chanel, which offers a haute twist on youthful angst.
Marni Frame Bag ($1020) in Stripe Print
While Chung may be synonymous with schoolboy satchels-Mulberry's Alexa bags are named after our Guest Editor-that's not the only thing she carries. In addition to a tiny chain-strap Chanel bag, Chung's also crazy about this haute-granny handbag by Marni. It's equal parts ladylike (the frame shape) and loony (the lime green and black wool boucle is a bit cartoony), in other words: a delightful pick.
Decléor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Emulsion ($57)
Chung always looks so dewy-fresh in photos, it's a bit surreal. While we always chalked it up to genetic superiority, it turns out that's only half the game. When her skin feels parched, Chung reaches for Decleor moisturizers-including this daytime face product-to ramp up hydration and give her oh-so desirable glow.
The Great Frog London Large Wolf Head Ring ($215)
Chung is often drawn to things that have, for lack of a better word, a certain sort of quirky charm, so we were delighted by her selection of this beasty ring from the London-based jewelry company The Great Frog. Each piece-including the wolf ring and eyeball rings Chung adores-is handcrafted at their Soho shop and they can also create exclusive one-off pieces if you don't see the perfect thing.
Thierry Lasry SexxXy 000 Sunglasses ($450) in Clear Acetate with Gold Metal Temples
While her peers might be running around in Ray-Bans and Celine shades, Chung prefers handmade frames from cult sunglasses designer Thierry Lasry. These clear acetate frames could be considered the little leather jacket of the sunglasses set, as they are sure to make anything you wear just a touch cooler.
Burberry Prorsum Virgin Wool Sculptural Coat with Tapered Sleeves ($2495)
If you still need an example of Chung's singular style, simply consider her favorite piece of outerwear for the season: a tangerine sculptural coat from the celebrated British brand, Burberry Prorsum. Retro and futuristic all at the same time, this coat is ridiculously chic and not for the faint of heart. Divine on every level, it's a true fashion piece that's the perfect choice for a tastemaker like Chung.
Alexa Chung for Madewell Pajama Bottoms ($200) in Ink with Palm Tree Print
If you've ever doubted Chung's fashion-insider cred, consider her thoughts on the palm-tree print pajamas she designed for Madewell: "PJs as daywear is a more masculine take on the underwear-as-outerwear trend." We couldn't have said it better ourselves! As with her "I'm Serious" t-shirt, the pajama bottoms will be available in Madewell stores and on Madwell.com on September 22nd.
Le Labo Perfume ($145) in Santal 33
Noting Chung's predilection for tux jackets and menswear-inspired suits, we couldn't imagine she'd like a super girly fragrance-and we were right! "I hate overly powerful, floral perfumes," she says. "This one is a subtle, more masculine one I adore." The perfume is a little woodsy and leathery-very chic indeed! "I also have their candle in the same scent [Santal 26 ($70)] burning in my house because I think it's nice to have a signature scent," Chung says. "All hail Le Labo!" On a side note, this new perfume smells a bit like Le Labo's Cade 26 candle, which is custom-made and exclusive to the Gramercy Park Hotel!
Alexa Chung for Madewell "I'm Serious" Tee ($50) in Beige w/ Black
If you remember Chung's first outing for Madewell, you'll surely recall how several pieces were festooned with her hand-drawn doodles. (We loved the "Hello" bat t-shirt, personally!) Chung broke out her sketchbook again for this collection and used one of her illustrations for this t-shirt, which hits Madewell stores and Madewell.com on September 22nd.
Chung may be pals with the haute crowd (Karl Lagerfeld is a fan of hers), but when it comes to naming two of her favorite runway looks, our Guest Editor selected two (relatively) smaller labels: Rodarte and Charles Anastase.