Like fellow Brits
before her, model and TV host Alexa Chung is known as much for her enviable personal style as she is for her professional accomplishments. And her penchant for boyish, effortless-looking getups makes her a fitting collaborator for Madewell, a brand steeped in classic casual clothes tweaked slightly for the trendy set.
The British beauty has teamed up with the niche fashion retailer for a capsule collection launching Saturday in all Madewell stores.
The cutesy-cool line, which is heavy on hot pants, easy-fitting dresses and super-skinny jeans, looks like it could have been pulled directly from Chung's closet. "Madewell totally got my aesthetic," she said. "They're also a brand that's in keeping with my tomboy, comfortable style."
The retailer's temperate prices (tees start at $19.50; leather coats are $395) were also a lure for the 26-year-old fashion plate. "I didn't want to rip anybody off," she said. "I wanted to make an affordable collection. And the types of things they sell are staples that could be in your wardrobe for years to come."
Standout looks in the line include a boxy double-breasted gray wool coat, an engineer-striped overall mini-skirt jumper, a flowing, cream-colored skirt that hits below the knee (the new "it" skirt silhouette) and a long-sleeved tunic-style dress made from rust-hued crushed velvet.
The collection "was made with my friends in mind," Chung said, "so I guess [it's for] women my age who like to be comfy but also like to look chic." But really, "it's for everyone or anyone who likes to dabble in hot pants," she added, somewhat cheekily.
To celebrate the launch, Madewell is inviting shoppers to make appointments before store hours on Saturday to shop the collection before the stores open. A traditional British breakfast for some — butter cookies and tea — will be served in homage to Chung.
And with each Alexa Chung for Madewell Collection purchase made before store hours, shoppers will receive a customized ribbon from Chung, emblazoned with one of her favorite quotes — written in her own hand. And the first 25 shoppers will receive a Chung-designed pouch that's not being sold in the collection.
Call one of the two Madewell stores in the Los Angeles area to make an appointment.
Madewell, at the Americana at Brand shopping center, 716 Americana Way, Glendale. (818) 243-1096. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Madewell at the Westfield Century City mall, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Space No. 98, Century City. (310) 772-0428. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Free City Supershop Supermat
Wednesday: Free City has moved from Malibu to L.A. and plans to have its grand opening Wednesday. The store, where everything is made in-house or customized in a workshop nearby, will carry the brand's signature graphic T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts (embellished with slogans such as "Life Nature Love" and "Neighborhood") along with shoes, jewelry, customized bikes, almond milk, bread and more. Exclusive merchandise includes Vans Vault Free City high-top sneakers made from used tent material ($125). Another shoe collaboration to look for is the Quoddy ring boot with Free City patches also made from green tent fabrications ($460). Scosha charm jewelry features the Free City's motifs of bikes and hummingbirds on brass charms for $80 to $1,200. The graphic shirts range in price from a special $75 hooded sweatshirt to a "Sparrow Life Nature Love" hand-painted T-shirt ($138). There are also vintage army jackets or sweatpants ($148) and a $2,500 Riga turntable that is covered in fabric for a lo-fi look. Customized bikes range from brightly colored Schwinn beach cruisers ($900) to Mission Bikes fixed-gears ($1,500 to $2,000).
1139 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Zero + Maria Cornejo:
Cult favorite New York label Zero + Maria Cornejo, which counts
among its fans, has opened a 2,000-square-foot boutique on Melrose Place to house its sophisticated — and often avant-garde — apparel and footwear for women and men. Peppered with sleek furniture from German company E15, the elegant space was designed by New York's Work Architecture. Prices for apparel and footwear range from $250 to $2,000; accessories range from $400 to $900.
8408 Melrose Place, Los Angeles. (323) 782-4915. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Thursdays at Northridge Fashion Center
Thursdays in September: Spend $75 or more at Northridge Shopping Center during any Thursday in September and receive a special shopping bonus between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — a $10 mall gift card (while supplies last) and assorted special retailer offers.
9301 Tampa Ave., Northridge. (818) 701-7051. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Nordstrom Cosmetic Trend Show
Saturday: Major cosmetic companies will roll out their latest makeup, skin-care and fragrance releases, as makeup artists update customers on the latest beauty trends during this one-day event at Nordstrom's Glendale Galleria store. Tickets are $15 and are redeemable towards a purchase of $15 or more on the day of the event. Get there on the early side and score a free gift (while supplies last). Purchase tickets at any makeup counter inside Nordstrom's Glendale store.
200 W. Broadway, Glendale. (818) 502-9922. Doors open at 8 a.m.; show starts at 8:30 a.m.; appointments begin at 10 a.m.
Celebrity Catwalk 2010
Friday: Help raise funds for animals in shelters and rescue centers at this annual fashion-themed fundraiser, where celebrities walk the runway in designer duds to benefit National Animal Rescue. This year's event will feature celebs from "Dancing With the Stars," "Castle" and "All My Children" and will honor actress and humanitarian
, founder of the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned and abused pets in L.A.
Boulevard 3, 6523 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 466-2144. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a VIP reception; show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $100 and are available at
Camarillo Premium Outlets
through Monday: The outlet center's
Weekend Sale will see stores — including
, Coach and
— discount merchandise 25% to 65% off regularly reduced prices.
740 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. (805) 445-8520. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.
ongoing: Score designer looks from pre-spring and summer 2010 collections in the back room of the Melrose Avenue store — 50% to 80% off. Brands include Splendid, ALC, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Missoni and Marni. The sale, which started last week, will be on "until it's all gone."
8115 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 651-3662. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
ongoing: Snag contemporary and designer gear at up to 60% off at this hip indie boutique, which carries it-brands including Vena Cava, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Elizabeth & James and Gar-de.
8209 W. Third St. (323) 951-0330. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Bel Air Glen Centre Sidewalk Sale
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12: Shop with the celebrities as Bel Air's retail hamlet has its fifth annual sidewalk sale. Participating stores will discount clothes, footwear and beauty services up to 75% off. Spend $200 at Glen Clothing Company or Beverly Glen Pharmacy and receive a $50 gift certificate. Stripes shoe boutique is taking 20% off regularly price merchandise.
2920-2964 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.