Vintage Aficionado & Collector Alexandra Carl On Her Timeless Personal Style

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In line with her interview in British Vogue’s April 2024 issue, stylist and consultant Alexandra Carl shares her style codes, vintage fashion finds and the future purchases she’s eyeing up.

Alexandra Carl knows all too well about the emotional connection one can have with their wardrobe. “My grandmother would turn clothing inside out and study how it was constructed,” she explains of her lifelong, inherited fascination with clothes in British Vogue’s April 2024 issue. “If she had something she loved, she’d cherish it and repair it.”

As an avid collector, the Copenhagen-born, London-based stylist and consultant invited fellow fanatics to open up their archives in her new Rizzoli book Collecting Fashion: Nostalgia, Passion, Obsession – and in her Vogue feature, she offers a glimpse into her own precious catalogue. Speaking over the phone from London after Chioma Nnadi’s inaugural issue launch party, Carl delves deeper into her personal style, her favourite designers and collections, and the pieces on her wish-list.

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On her personal style…

“It’s kind of effortless with a strong focus on more masculine details: tailoring, straight-leg and wide-leg jeans, boots, flats… I don’t really tend to wear heels. I like having a core wardrobe that I invest in and keep using – my foundations – and I change it around with a different shoe or bag. I tend to wear the same jewellery.

“I very much feel like clothes look better the more you wear them. You know, when you have a coat and you really want to wear it in and make it fit you. The more you wear it, the more you use it – like a bag, you sort of break it in. It moulds with you. That’s why I love pieces that you sort of live with and keep wearing. I’m not that precious about my clothes, I really wear them. I believe that clothes really need to have that life – that’s why I love vintage and archive, because they bring a life with them.”

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On adding to her wardrobe…

“In my job, I’m always looking, but I tend to look for things for other people. I’m also almost always looking ahead, so it’s hard to remember what I’ve seen by the time something is in store (not because things don’t make an impact, though). That’s also why I only really buy the pieces that I go and think about for a month – I recently bought the Loewe trouser boots, which I really thought about for a long time.

“It’s really satisfying to dream about something because you build a different relationship with it. I’m not a fan of everything arriving within five minutes – I really think about whether I really want something. For instance, if I buy a bag, most of the time it’s second-hand. I spend time looking for the right leather, the right colour, the nuances, the hardware and eventually I find the one which is the right price and colour and I’m so certain about it, because I’ve looked at so many. That’s the feeling you need to have.”

On getting dressed in the morning…

“I suppose I very much have a uniform. I dress very instinctively, I don’t like to think too much. That’s also why I don’t really invest in lots of different contemporary fashion because I have these pieces that make me feel a certain way. I spend my whole life – my whole day – thinking about either what someone else is going to wear for something, or the concept of something. I consult collections, so I’m thinking about ideas, trimmings, finishings, colours and fabrics, meaning I don’t really want to spend time thinking about what I wear so much.”

On her recent purchases…

“I recently bought quite a few pieces of [Nicolas] Ghesquière’s Balenciaga, which is definitely my new hook. As I mentioned, Loewe is one of the newer designers that I buy, because I think the craft is extraordinary and the quality is impeccable – there are a lot of things today that don’t have the quality that I see in the archives that I work with. I also love Wardrobe.NYC, because it very much applies to my way of thinking – I’d say it accounts for 80 per cent of my daily wardrobe at the moment – and the same for Khaite. They’re all brands that have this timeless aesthetic. What I do when I buy vintage – like the Chanel 2009 jacket I wore for my portrait in Vogue, which I bought on ReSee – is gravitate towards a piece. I want something that has a bit of detail, a bit of a signature.”

Shop Alexandra Carl’s wish-list:

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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