It is not always glitz and glamour that provide style inspiration. Casa Grande High School senior Michelle Nguyen has an authentic style that she models after her fashion icon, Alexa Chung, and various other media sources such as blogs and magazines.
“A long time ago my sister introduced me to blogs, so I read a lot of blogs, like Jak and Jill, Street FSN and The Coveteur,” Nguyen said.
Although blogs are a strong influence on her, she is most inspired by Chung, who Nguyen discovered on a blog.
“She was a model and then became a television show host in the U.K. Then she gained attention in the U.S.”
Chung has a similar style that Nguyen embodies. Nguyen describes Chung’s look as an “effortless, tomboy, model-off-duty” look. Although Nguyen is inspired by high fashion, she is more inspired by authentic street styles.
Recently, Nguyen was able to meet her fashion icon.
“Alexa Chung collaborates with Madewell, the sister brand of J. Crew,” Nguyen said. “I constantly check Madewell’s online store and when Alexa Chung was to design a line for them, it was the perfect collaboration. I was able to go to the launch party for her line in the San Francisco store.”
“Meeting her was surreal,” said Nguyen, who took photos with Chung and was able to talk to her for a few minutes.
Although Nguyen admires the style of the Madewell store, its high prices limit her ability to shop there.
“There’s a store in San Jose that I like called Black and Brown. It’s a consignment shop where people sell their clothing to the store and then get a percentage of the sale back, so the prices are lower,” Nguyen said. “I’m very frugal with my money, but if it’s a basic piece, I will splurge on it, things like cable knit sweaters, silk button ups or a good pair of tapered trousers.”
Some people say their style is completely original, but Nguyen finds complete originality hard to achieve.
“Everyone draws inspiration from something or someone.”

The photos accompanying this package of fashion atories are by Casa Grande students T.J. Grayson and Sheridan Kowta. The photo illustrations are by Grayson, Shawna Brown and Maggie Pieper