For the previously-twee and currently-alt alike, today was a big day. An important day, a day for the books, a potentially life-changing, earth-altering day. Today Alexa Chung launched Alexa Chung. And I'm really fricked up about it. Guys. Despite years of having a high-alert Alexa Radar™ and gleefully snatching up previous collabs... I just can't with this round!? So amidst the social media hype and all of us persevering with the narrative that Chung can do no wrong (which she sort of can't, or at least so I thought until about six hours ago), do y'all mind if we get real about this real quick?
Let's start at the top. Upon first impression she hits you with that markedly 2k17 aesthetic revolving around seventies-toned minimalistic monochromism, light-lashed strawberry blondes and that kind of gold jewelry. There were hints of it in the pre-launch instagrams, but it became fully full-on with the site launch. It's the aesthetic that's been floating around instagram and pinterest in heavy doses for the past year or so and I'm just having a hard time reconciling how this basic binch look is related to the vision of a blazered, beribboned AC on horseback. I've always felt Chung's strength rested in her ability to give that which might easily wallow in the referentially-retro a decidedly modern, rock-n-roll composure. But this strength hardly even rears its wonderful head with this new release.
Where her collection does hit it home, at least, is in the denim department - granted, she's successfully forayed into the denim world before. Her overalls are that perfectly awkward proportion that we all want but can rarely achieve and I feel truly and personally blessed by her resurrection of that off-white denim I literally couldn't stop thinking about for months (re: vogue tee outfit). And yet. Is this also exactly why I'm less-than-whelmed with the collection overall? I mean, after all, we've seen it before...
There is now a $200 version of the infamous 2 for $20 mary jane. Are those Chungs or Carels? Glittery knits, though quite delightful, could easily belong to Rykiel, Stuart, or Kiely. The blue suit is a Freudian slip (lol get it guyyyz) and the dresses savor a bit too strongly of Topshop if we're being tru. Even her tote bag handles echo the current incarnation of logomania as revived via Christian Dior, while the t-shirts hardly improve upon Deep End Club.
So, pls don't murder me for being so bold (and really I have been listening to loads of murder podcasts lately and am absolutely terrified so truly pls do not murder me) when I say, perhaps we need to start coming to terms with the concept that maybe Alexa is better off a curator than a creator.
Of course, there are things to look forward to with impending releases. Peeking at thumbnails, the double-breasted jacket and trench coat seem to hit the sweet spot of masculin pour feminin tailoring, while I'm admittedly enthralled with the cape dress, and await the pinafores with baited breath. Yet by the by, I just can't help but feel a fundamental Alexa Chung origintality is missing from Alexa Chung. The charm of her pink-bound book, her anglicized French ease, pencil drawings, and knobbly knees has been swapped for any old instagrammer's vision of "odd" motel minimalism. The quirks lack a signature refinement. And I for one am left wondering what is happening to this frick-forsaken world if Alexa Chung's clothing line has failed to meet my expectations.