In real life, wearing high-waisted jeans, an animal print blouse and chunky Superga sneakers, the London-born TV presenter turned model turned fashion designer is hilariously blunt, unapologetically herself and yes, ridiculously stylish.
After almost a decade of being labelled a British It girl, seamlessly flitting between the runway and roles on TV, in 2017, Chung launched her eponymous label, ALEXACHUNG.
Debuting her latest collection at London Fashion Week this season, the 34-year-old then headed Down Under for a whirlwind 40-hour trip to promote her second collaboration with Superga.
Below, we glean her wisdom in an attempt to become even slightly as stylish.
We’re about to come to summer in Australia. What trends do you think are going to be big here?
Having had the benefit of just coming off the back of summer in the UK, I can let you know that I think large hats - large straw hats – are a big trend. Bike shorts under very sheer dresses. In fact, colourful sheer dresses with big, black knickers or a swimsuit. Also, swimming suits as workwear. So, a swimsuit and a pair of jeans... or large earrings.
What are the items every woman should have in their wardrobe?
I think every woman should have a pair of knickers [laughs]. Personally, I can’t do without a great pair of jeans. A great sweater, preferably a blue, cashmere one. Just one. It’s an investment piece. And then a pair of sneakers, obviously. A white t-shirt, I mean it’s great and it’s a classic.
What’s the one piece of style advice you live by?
Personally, I think just being honest with yourself about what doesn’t suit you is a good rule of thumb. Because sometimes I think, ‘Oh I’d really love to wear a pair of cargo trousers’ but they just make me look bad and make me look too scrawny up top.
Who do you look to for fashion inspiration?
I kind of got overstimulated with everyone looking like Jane Birkin, which is awesome and believe me I’ve tried. But now I’m more excited about picking on the street. Old grandpas - they always have something cool going on. Or just the elderly, in general. They look really great and really pay themselves attention.
What’s the one item you’ve had forever and will never get rid of?
I lose everything. I’m really good at losing stuff. If you want me to get rid of anything, not dead bodies, I can. I can pretty much make stuff disappear like a magician. So, something that I’ve had forever, there’s pretty few far and between, would be a pair of hot pants.
What’s your 9-5 go-to outfit?
I wear overalls a lot. Especially, I mean I know you’re coming into summer but even in London, in the winter, I love a jumpsuit.
How has your life changed since you started your own fashion label?
I’m just as busy. I was always multi-tasking and doing various things. If anything, it’s just made my head a bit clearer because it’s all under one umbrella and we’re all working in one direction. It feels satisfying on a baseline level but the intense workload is the same.
What made you decide to pair up with Superga again?
I enjoyed modelling with them years ago and will always be grateful for them for the fact that they let me do a lot of directing and various things. We also needed sneakers in our collection and we couldn’t make them ourselves - if you try and make your own trainers from scratch they can look really hideous. And Superga is the brand and the shape that I already really loved. So, I knew that their scope, in terms of getting different fabrics or being open to playing with the structure of their own classics would lead us to a new, exciting point. The first collaboration went really well.
What are three pairs of shoes you couldn’t live without?
I wear ballet flats a lot. But I’ve come to realise that they’re not for everyone. I didn’t know this and I made some in a past collection and then we went to Japan. We were assigning models and loads of them looked bad in ballet flats and I was like, 'this is really not a democratic shoe.' It was weird because these models are paid money to look good and at least twenty of them looked terrible. I thought, 'Oh my god, ballet shoes look shit on people, what’s going on?' For me, I like ballet shoes. I like an ankle boot, very much. I also like wearing Superga sneakers.
Have you been wearing the Western boot trend?
I’ve been living in that for the last decade. So, I didn’t realise it had come back into fashion, I'd just stayed in it.
What’s one piece you currently can’t get enough of?
Well, I’ve been flying around a bit so, pyjamas actually mean a lot to me right now.
What’s your advice when you are in a style rut?
I always take a shower. I think about my outfit in the shower because they say that water makes you psychic. So, I think if you are under running water you can be psychic about it and know what the day holds for you. I think all women suffer from that feeling – you might have just bought a top and still say ‘I’ve got nothing’. But have you tried emptying your cupboard out and rearranging your wardrobe? If you are doing a clear out, suddenly you’re like, ‘Oh no I love that thing’ and then it has a new light.
Or a friend wears it
Yeah! What's with that?! I just say to them, "Can you hold my jacket please?" And they’re like, "what?" But I want to see if I’m jealous of it when they have it.