There's nothing more fascinating and mystifying than the "It Girl." Clara Bow pioneered "It Girl" status in the 1920s, Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick continued it through the 1960s. Plenty of smart, modern women have managed to beguile the status quo with their independent spirit, intelligence and that indescribable joie de vivre that seemed to combine a little of everything -- personal style, aesthetic, personal artistic talent, and a sublime taste in music -- to create a magnetic personality that truly garnered its own bubble of celebrity. Alexa Chung is certainly one of those mysterious, marvelous creatures that have managed to beguile the public, with her effortless sense of smart style and an observational cleverness that keeps you on your toes.
I was pleased to get a chance to preview Alexa Chung's new book, It, which is like paging through the creative thoughts in her mind. It's a non-linear, scrapbook-like collection of thoughts, favorite things, inspirations, told through her words, photos and drawings. It's the book we wish we could all write ourselves, but let's face it, none of us are that cool. I know I'm not. But it's a lovely exploration of embracing the idea of Just Being Yourself. I like that there's no lists, no lessons. Chung's own thoughts about the book are as honest as her thoughts within 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's all I can hope for."
It's kind of like a book form of a personal blog. Which I like. It's not a brag book of all the cool, famous friends she has -- we know her It Girl status has afforded her this luxury, but she doesn't seem to really live in that space, which is what keeps her genuine. She talks about first being entranced by the Spice Girls, along with everyone else when she first heard Wannabe. She wants to be Wednesday Addams. Jeremy Irons' floppy hair is impeccably mesmerizing. Her thoughts are both familiar and comforting. The book isn't about inspiring you to be like Alexa Chung, it's a gentle nod to all the people wondering if they were too weird or obscure for this world, saying, no, embrace You for You. Cherish and value your thoughts. Don't become a product of trends. At least, that's what this Bird got out of the book. I think everyone will take away something unique from this book, and that's the point, so explore it for yourself and seek your own interpretations.
Jaunty Fine Print: Images from Alexa Chung's book, It