THE INSIDER: ALEXA CHUNG
Our all-time favorite It girl speaks out!
It's not hard to understand what all the fuss over Alexa Chung is about: she's smart, funny, interesting, and she has lovely hair. She's the full package, really. We sat down with the show host turned style icon (she wore her signature look that day: a collared shirt, miniskirt, chelsea boot) in the green room at her latest hosting gig on Fuse News--proof that contrary to popular belief she does have a full-time day job. Chung opens up on surprising topics such as reading The Kama Sutra and less surprising (yet equally intriguing) topics such as her last shopping spree.
Tell us about your new show! It's on Fuse every weekday at 8pm and it's a half hour music show. Basically, if you were to scour the blogs and magazines of the day, or Twitter, or you could spend the entire day looking up music news. So we pack it into half an hour and just give you the headlines of what's going on, and then we have more in-depth packages which explore things like the growing trend for vinyl. I just did an interview with Roger Daltrey from The Who, or we'll talk about the guy from Lamb of God who went to trial for manslaughter and then was acquitted. We'll look more in depth at those stories--or any other stories that we fancy, like the price of headphones and what you get for your money, and whether Dre is better than the other people's headphones and blah, blah, blah.
Those Dres are not good. They're not good! Okay, well then that's the thing. So Tony Bennett has got some out. Anything music related--new releases, big gigs...Just literally anything that falls under the music umbrella, we cover. Along with any stories that interest us.
Which music sites do you personally look at? NME. I don't really. I'm such a Victorian that I don't really live on the internet other than for social media, so when I go on the internet I literally go to Twitter, Facebook, and style.com to see whatever shows I've missed. I don't really use the Internet.
I once thought that we were Facebook friends, but it turned out it was a boy named Alex Chung from New Jersey. Oh no way! And how was he?
He looks nothing like you. Yeah? That's a shame.
Which books do you read? I buy fashion magazines quite a lot, because I like looking at pretty pictures. Like NYLON. I'm doing a book with Penguin, so they gave me loads of their classics. The Kama Sutra is big on my shelf at the moment. Looming! Large!
That's a Penguin book? They've reissued it with new illustrations. There's only, like, three illustrations in it. I didn't realize that The Karma Sutra was predominantly text that was explaining how to be a good companion.
I've only seen the pictures. Me too, so that's what I thought it was. I was, "Sick!" And then I got it and I was, "Wait, what?" And it's in Ye Olde language about how you should serve if you're a courtesan or a wife or a maiden. It's pretty interesting.
So it's not helpful? There's a bit in it where they were just talking about how if you're a gentleman, there are different things you can do with different types of women.
It sounds more complicated than today. Maybe we have it easy. Yeah.
Has it been difficult to adjust to filming every single day? No, because contrary to popular belief I've always held down a job, so I'm actually very used to getting up at the crack of dawn to do things. Yeah, it's fun. Someone tweeted me today, cause I joke tweeted about making witch nails out of Sellotape, but really, I was in a meeting as I was doing it, and then she was like, "Further proof that you do nothing for a living." And I know that it looks like I just go to parties, but why am I so tired from work all of the time if all I do is go to dinners? Because I do do other stuff.
Well, what are you supposed to do in a meeting other than put tape on your nails? I usually draw pagodas, and so it looks like I'm taking notes, but I'm really not. I google imaged some ladybirds for some future nail inspiration.
Do you change up your nail polish for each show? No, I didn't get to have a manicure for a month because I was too busy, but then I did a shoot over the weekend. I do this show Monday through Thursday and then on Friday I write my book and then on Saturday and Sunday I shoot whichever leftover things I haven't caught up with. So I haven't had a break for two months, but this past weekend I did a campaign for someone and they did my nails.
Do you get to choose what you wear on the show? How do you find the time? We went on Monday--I got Rag and Bone to open the shop before they opened. I got pair of really good denim jeans made out of raw denim--more like menswear ones, so that you can live in them and they can fit you exactly--and a weird sort of Bill Cunningham jacket...You know that blue jacket? They had one of those, so I got one of that.
You know what that is, right? It's what Parisian street cleaners wear. Yeah, yeah--and I got something else that was expensive. Oh, a leather skirt.
Do you get along with your co-host, Matte Babel? Yeah, we just had lunch together and talked about weird stuff. I've been hosting for seven years and I always get partnered with someone Because you're always co-hosting with a dude: the classic girl/boy combo. In England, everyone I've been partnered with has gone on to be my best friend, like this guy Rick, Grimmy, and Alex Zane. So he had a lot to live up to, because these are gentlemen that I love. Once you work day in and day out with someone and you see them under pressure, and you've only got each other to get out of a situation, you become bonded in an obscure way. It's really not like any other relationship--it's very odd.
So you think you guys are like the next Regis and Kelly? We are age-wise. The age discrepancy is very similar. Does that mean he's going to get bumped off and I'm going to start doing it with some other new kid on the block?
He had a really long run, so you won't have to worry about that for another 55 years or so. Yeah, I feel like Matte is probably as dodgery as Regis.
So I heard your learning to play the drums--what inspired that move? I was just seeing a boy who was a drummer and he was teaching me.
So you're not completely committed? To him or the drums? [laughs]
I suppose you could answer both questions with the same answer! I guess Dave Grohl in Nirvana is a good person to look up to.
What new bands do you like right now? Tame Impala, not that they're very new, and Palma Violets, Swim Deep, Splash, and Gods. To see Alexa report the music news tune into Fuse TV weeknights at 8 PM!