BOOKISH TYPES: After delving into the Brit Pop era and paying homage to the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn and Justine Frischmann with her Fantastic collection, launched earlier this year, Alexa Chung took a more romantic turn for spring, looking to the Bloomsbury Set for her label’s latest see-now-buy-now drop.
With Virginia Woolf specifically in mind, Chung delivered a collection with quintessentially British floral prints and embroideries, feminine silhouettes and a muted color palette inspired by the English countryside.
“I enjoy creating characters and then dressing them, each collection could almost be a novel or a movie in itself,” said Chung. “I was gravitating toward ultrafeminine shapes and blouses and this softer touch, having come off the back of the Fantastic collection, which had a more aggressive, Nineties-inspired vibe. There was something really lovely about then setting my eyes on ceramics, Vanessa Bell lampshades and something that’s more in touch with nature.”
Light, mididresses featuring delicate floral prints or polka dots, lace panels and capelets offered a contemporary take on Virginia Woolf’s romantic sensibility.
Chung also injected her own love for boyish dressing and a healthy dose of humor into the collection, with linen tailored suits featuring rose embroideries, a white patent leather trench dubbed “the milkman coat” to hark back to the English countryside, and sweaters featuring fictional book covers, with names like Tawdry Details and Exit Strategy.
“It’s literally all the things that amuse me,” said Chung, pointing to the sweaters. “Tawdry Details sounds like a really trashy romance novel and Exit Strategy was kind of a gag, because when you start your own business everyone is asking you what your exit strategy is, and I always say that ‘There isn’t one, I’m married to this forever.'”
Chung’s label is in its fourth season and she said she’s sticking with see-now-buy-now. “This company was set up with the best intention, with a very youthful team and that was on purpose so we could be responsive and agile. Currently our system is working. It has its challenges, it can be confusing and people are so anchored to the old system, but it’s new language and it felt like the right thing to do, so we will keep going.”