Before 29-year-old Kate Middleton made modesty fashionable in the public consciousness, Alexa Chung, 27, along with Keira Knightley and Emma Watson, was paving the way in Gen-Y pop culture for British brunettes with delicious plummy accents with a regal quality, "middle-class propriety" and sartorial conservatism quite at odds with the Brat Packers born of rock stars and their American heiress cohorts (tut tut). News Limited columnist Miranda Devine writes of Middleton and her sister Pippa in 'The New Middleton Class':
"Once dubbed the 'Wisteria Sisters' by the British press, 'highly decorative, terribly fragrant, with a ferocious ability to climb', they have been photographed and followed relentlessly, coming out of nightclubs and getting in and out of cars. They have maintained their modesty. No Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan crotch-flashing for them. A sunny smile always on their faces, the Middletons have behaved impeccably in the spotlight since Kate first started dating Prince Williams at university in Scotland nine years ago...
She was described by her high school classmates at posh Marlborough College as having 'very high morals'. She dressed modestly in comparison to her peers and was 'quite old fashioned. She wanted to save herself for someone special,' according to Christopher Anderson's book William And Kate. Her values come from her family, hardworking, self-made millionaires who exude a respectable air of middle-class propriety...Kate, for instance, buys inexpensive clothes from high street shops. The much-photographed blue dress she wore the day after the wedding she bought from Zara for $90. It sold out within hours."
Chung, who tells the June issue of UK Vogue she has aversion to weddings ("I feel like I've had my wedding day so many times, getting all dressed up for all these events. That time I dressed up for the Met Ball in New York in Phillip Lim was seriously one of the best nights of my life"), has a similar affect on female shoppers: her line for J Crew's Madewell line was a hit. Middletons, Madewell, marriage, the new modernity... how the cultural and sartorial tide has turned!
Girl With a Satchel