Style icon, model and muse Alexa Chung has debuted her first book titled simply, IT ($22.37 on Amazon, published by Penguin Books). The book is pure design and gives you a intimate glimpse into Alexa's thoughts and world through her stream of consciousness, simple photography and whimsical doodles. The beautifully designed book reminded me of the many british design books I would pick up in the 90's – filled with little nuggets of inspiration. It's not a look book, rather it's a mix of style guide, memoir and scrapbook. It's minimalistic cover will look so stylish on your coffee table next to some pink peonies and would make the perfect holiday gift for any fashion-lover.
In the book, Alexa recounts her fashion inspirations (and fashion fails) through family members like her Grandpa Kwan who always maintained his own sense of whimsical style right down to his Nike trainers. She was also inspired by pop culture such as Wednesday Adams the little girl charter from the 's TV show "The Addams Family who was the first gal she saw wear a Peter Pan collar, now one of Alexa's trademark looks. I especially love to see the movies she was inspired by like Winona Ryder in "Heathers" and Charlotte Rampling in "The Night Porter".
Coquette readers can win a copy of Alexa Chung's IT. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada. Simply leave a comment to this post or on my Instagram. All entries must be received by Tuesday, November 5th at 5pm PST. Good luck!
Read the Q&A with Alexa Chung, after the jump!
Q&A with Alexa Chung, author of IT
Your style icons are varied, from the Spice Girls to Jeremy Irons to Wednesday Addams. What makes a particular look stand out most to you?
Sometimes it's just an item such as Charlie Watts's mohair striped jumper. But in terms of those three people that you have mentioned there…they all have something in common, which is that each are a fully developed character and their clothes are just an extension of a strong personality.
If you could live in any decade—for the fashion, the people, the culture—what would it be, and why?
The 1960s of course! I just thought that was a historically very liberating time and I like that there was focus on youth culture and it was mismatch of everything….music, race, class. It was a very intriguing time and the music that came out was some of the best. You can just like the 60s because the Beatles existed or you can like it because miniskirts came about, or Twiggy, or Birkin, or Serge, or Warhol. That decade provided so much of a blueprint for what happens now.
Your book is full of beautiful and interesting pictures. What appeals to you about photography? What's your favorite subject to photograph?
I love that thru a lens things change and you can capture what you think you're seeing, but when it comes out it looks completely different and then others see it differently as well. I just like getting the perfect image and capturing amazing light and mood and emotion. A photo speaks a thousand words.
What's your favorite subject to photograph?
I really like people…whoever is around. That's the thing that's so cool about photos...It's always a moment in time. There are many factors that go into it, the best magical light and the best, most inspiring person in a weird location. I spend my life on a photo set or in a studio and I don't know if I enjoy that as much as taking the pictures.
What's the best piece of advice you could give someone searching to create their own style?
Just go with your instincts. Find things you are inspired by or you like the look of. Work out what suits your body and your face and what you're comfortable with wearing.
The title IT could be taken a lot of different ways—what does it mean to you?
The word it means a lot of different things, that's why I chose it. At first it was a nickname that I had for the book and then it just became it. And it was ‘It'…gotta go home and work on ‘It'…It's gonna be ok… this is IT. I love that word. It's so small and can mean so much.
What do you want people to take away from IT?
I don't really have an objective with the book. I hope that you enjoy it but I didn't necessarily put it together to affect you in any certain way. It was quite selfish really; I just wanted to write a lot down. I hope you enjoy it. That is all I can hope for.
You have a lot going on with Fuse News, the book, among other things. Do you have any down time? What do you do to relax?
I don't really have any downtime actually. But if I do relax I go for acupuncture. I play pool, I play buckhunter, sing karaoke….come to think of it, all of my relaxing things are still kind of work in a way, it's not like I'm swimming around a luxurious pool. I unwind by hanging out with my friends. I don't know if I ever fully relax really, I just keep going until I fall asleep.
Interview Q&A courtesy of Penguin Books