June 14, 2012

Alex Brunkhorst

Ten Questions for Alexis

Alexis and Alex at the Hotel Bel Air Taylor Swift in Contrarian Taylor Swift in the Contrarian Bibb Dress Katie Holmes in Contrarian Contrarian Paula Plunge Dress Alexis and Alex at the Hotel Bel Air
Alexis and Alex at the Hotel Bel Air Taylor Swift in Contrarian Taylor Swift in the Contrarian Bibb Dress Katie Holmes in Contrarian Contrarian Paula Plunge Dress

I’m so busy these days that I often need two different people to tell me about something before I take particular note of it. In the case of my new love affair with Contrarian clothing, it went down something like this: My best friend had sent me an invitation to Contrarian’s trunk show at the Chateau Marmont, raving about the line. And then that same evening I was procrastinating looking at celebrity sites (me? no!) and found a great picture of Taylor Swift in an if-I-ever-have-a-date-I-want-to-wear-THAT lavender dress. I looked up the designer and, sure enough, it was Contrarian. (It was Contrarian’s Bibb dress to be exact.)

As happens, I then got swept into the Look Book and ended up plucking out a bunch of pieces that I had to have. Like Contrarian fans Swift, Katie Holmes, and many others, I fell in love with the cool designs. They’re the perfect pieces to take from work to out, and the price point is cool too, around $300-400 for most of the pieces in the collection. In addition, the collection is all made in the United States and we always try to promote American-born-and-bred products on Bungalux.

Last week, I caught up at the Hotel Bel Air with Contrarian founder Alexis Laken. The chic, blonde Chicago-born designer, who started Contrarian after many years at Alice & Olivia, chatted with me about her fashion must-have’s and her own sense of style for home and play.

  1. How do you describe your personal style?

    My style is more on the classical side. I tend to dress comfortably, but it all depends on where I’m going. If I'm not comfortable, I’m miserable. I don’t wear a lot of my own designs because they end up going to press.

  2. Who do you design for?

    I don’t have a specific woman in mind. I try to make clothes that work for various body types or that divert attention away from areas that most people aren't comfortable with. I found that I have a large range of customers ... from people buying clothes for prom and homecoming to women in their mid-50's.

  3. What accessories do you find yourself sporting most?

    I always wear a watch and I just got a Goyard briefcase that I wear every day.

  4. What’s your favorite item in your home?

    My dogs!

  5. What’s your home style like?

    My home is very contemporary and centered around art.

  6. What’s a fashionable way to dress at the office?

    My mother always said never leave the house without a cardigan. Sounds old-fashioned, but it works.

  7. Who haven’t you dressed that you would like to?

    Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightley, Paula Patton, and Zooey Deschanel.

  8. What’s your favorite vacation destination?

    For somewhere warm, St. Barts. Urban, Paris.

  9. Who are your style icons?

    I tend to veer towards the French and British '60's style icons. Jane Birkin and her daughter Lou Doillon. And Karl Lagerfeld has great style. I wish I could pull off so many rings.

  10. Who is your favorite designer?

    Azzedine Alaia.



view all