If there’s one thing Alexa Chung is known for, it’s her killer street style. So, of course we were excited to get our hands on the Brit’s designs for AG when she first collaborated with the denim brand on a line of casual-cool dresses, skirts, and everyday basics last year. Now, Alexa Chung for AG is already launching its second season—and InStyle was on hand as Chung debuted the new fall collection at AG’s SoHo store in New York City last night. She sat down with Man Repeller's Leandra Medine to chat about her latest designs, the downside of wearing jumpsuits, why she’s inspired by “dudes in gangs,” and more. Here’s what we learned about Chung during the discussion.
She knows firsthand that wearing a one-piece is tricky—especially while traveling.
“I wore this on the plane. But it’s that thing where if you’re wearing a one piece and you go to the loo, there’s a moment when you’re actually there, and you’re worried [that someone will walk in] … But do you know what’s worse, being the one that walks in. The secondhand embarrassment is sometimes twice as [bad].”
She’s inspired by bad boys of the past.
“Denim it has such a rich history, and it’s so associated with kind of juvenile delinquents in the ‘50s and ‘60s—and often men in rock and roll. It’s quite a masculine fabric in general. And, obviously, women have worn it very successfully through the decades. But a lot of the imagery, which is particularly amazing, [often shows] dudes in gangs looking really hard with torn up things. And I just thought it would be interesting to take that kind of energy and that kind of aesthetic, but make it appropriate for women to wear.”
She knows that her pieces aren’t for everyone—or, rather, every profession.
“I think [the collection’s] got a tomboy-ish menswear element, but [this campaign image] for example, to me, is kind of like an English secretary gone wrong. Secretaries shouldn’t wear suede. It’s not easy to clean. So that’s where she’s gone wrong.”
She won’t design anything that she wouldn’t buy herself.
“Similar to last season, [I had an] instinct and a desire to make something that I would personally wear. So I have yet to develop in my design world as someone that could design for other people. It’s still very much a selfish pursuit.”
She knows the value of a good wardrobe basic.
“I think things like the high-waisted black skinny jeans are a basic staple. I suggest investing in something that you get a lot of wear out of, and I think that denim and jeans are something you can wear every day.”
She has a clear vision for the perfect outerwear—and she’s not afraid to get hands on.
“I’m actually really happy with the denim jackets—they’re kind of my dream fit. We did a lot of vintage shopping for those, [and AG] already has such an amazing back catalog and archive of things, so I think we actually took something out of their archive and then cut it. The suede coat [was the most exciting piece to design], because it was not an area that either of us had explored before—working with suede was just unfamiliar territory. It literally came from drawings and from creating sleeves out of tubes of fabric. I didn’t know how to pattern cut, but I tried by draping curtains over me.”
She makes the most of an opportunity.
“I can’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. AG was something I became aware of through a trip to LA and bumping into someone that worked there. And then from that, [there were] loads of subliminal messages. The next thing I know, everywhere in LA there’s like AG billboards in my face. I’m like, ‘Alright, we get it.’ Then I got back to New York and through my agent they said they’d like to meet. Someone at the same time had [told me that] you should always take the meeting—whatever it is. Always take meetings, ‘cause you learn things. I went out to the meeting, [and we] were just vibing. I was just like, this will be easy and fun.”