THE BRIT TAKE: Alexa Chung brought a taste of New York to London with a Thanksgiving celebration to kick off the holiday season. “I’m calling it Chungsgiving — I’ve taken Thanksgiving, as if the British haven’t done enough to plunder,” Chung said, while getting ready at the penthouse of the London Edition Hotel, where she hosted the dinner.
“I’ve lived in New York and experienced quite a few Thanksgivings over there. I never had any family living with me, so what the holiday meant to me was bringing your friends together and making a makeshift family of all the expats floating around.” Thursday evening’s makeshift family included Serafina Sama of Isa Arfen, Suki Waterhouse and Poppy Jamie of Pop & Suki, Jack Guinness, Jeanne Damas, Pixie Geldof and Camille Charriere.
“I’ve missed how Thanksgiving in New York used to feel. It’s the one time of the year when it’s not a religious holiday, it’s just the beginning of the holiday season, where you can celebrate it with your mates, get drunk, feel cozy,” added Chung.
Everyone certainly got cozy. The evening kicked off with rounds of American whiskey punch, followed by a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert. To top it off, Chung handed out booklets — complete with illustrations of a turkey and a “Chungsgiving” logo — filled with lyrics of great American hits and invited her guests for a sing-along around the piano.
Musician Alan Power led the way, but after a round of “American Pie,” Waterhouse took over the microphone to sing “Tiny Dancer” to everyone’s cheers, while Guinness was running and skidding up and down the corridor for some added dramatic effects.
Chung was also celebrating the launch of her label’s party capsule collection for Net-a-porter, where she is offering options for different festive occasions, ranging from laid-back family gatherings to dress-up parties.
“When it comes to the holiday season the invitations keep rolling in, don’t they?” said Chung. “It does put a different perspective on your wardrobe: You want to feel cozy but also alluring — so that was our approach. It was a problem-solving collection in that sense,” she added, pointing to a multi-color jumper with a smiley face intarsia that would suit Christmas day, a sleek velvet suit and a more romantic red polka-dot midi dress that customers can count down the New Year in, and a matching tracksuit set featuring strands of gold glitter.
“I don’t know why as soon as December hits I want to be wearing something glittery. It’s like a weird thing goes off in my brain and I gravitate towards sequins.” She pointed to the tracksuit: “This is for magpie types. I often go to New York for New Year and I feel I want to wear that on the plane. I’d be ready to embrace the New Year in something glittery. “
Chung is planning another London Fashion Week presentation in February, as well as a new range of sunglasses.
“We had our first show in September in keeping with the traditional fashion diary, but equally we’re filling it in with our own drops, which will be exclusive on our web site. It’s a hybrid approach,” she said. “That September show was a welcome challenge; to see clothes that I think suit everyday use, also look just as appropriate in this mysterious airport of the future we created was nice, because it let me share my vision with a wider audience and what I personally love about fashion is that fantasy element and creating theater.”