Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yrma's Stylist Anja Camilla Alajdi

Oopsies! Anja's spent so much time around Madam La Boganista, that she's picked up the chicken anus mowff!

While Yrma's taking time off from work to wrangle her new Bangladeshi weave, recalibrate her cheek fillers and soothe her ego after the Duchess of Cornwall's very royal appearance in Denmark indirectly roughed it up a bit, let's take a look at other details of her life. Today: the Crown Princess of Denmark's stylist, Anja Camilla Alajdi. This one's a pill! Read the article below and try to see anything other than little Mary Boganson being held captive by the forceful personality of a deranged woman with a little classist chip on her shoulder who conflates true style and grace with down market duds and a f*ck you/to hell with it attitude. How would that not appeal and ring true for our little bogan? Mary is a loser and Anja has her by her short and curly insecurities. Yrma isn't the only one being snookered: Denmark picks up the bill for this employment folly and is being fed articles like this to try to convince them that they aren't seeing what they're seeing! Enjoy also the quick, but not-so-subtle dig at Mary's natural style.

Article: Pleasure by Børsen, November 2011

The Crown Princess's Gray Eminence

She strides into the room with long legs and a rapid gait. A pair of blue sneakers light up at the base of a stylish but subdued outfit. Winks and cheek kisses to a few acquaintances in the cafe in Hellerup. Presents herself with a direct gaze, sits upright in her chair, nulrer gray bangs up and right with a familiar tag and focus.

Anja Camilla Alajdi tinted to the public in 2002 as the well-dressed figure behind the former Mary Donaldson, who had had an acute need for help with her wardrobe.

Behind every princess is a stylist, and behind the Danish one stands this Miss Alajdi, and here she stands well. When she says that she has her place with her friend and jeweller Marianne Dulong in their common jewellery company under her friend's name, Marianne Dulong. On the whole, she is brilliant in the background.

On a course she was told that she is 'an eagle' - a solitary bird who likes control. "Well, a surprise party is not me," says Anja Camilla Alajdi.

"I do not need to stand in front. In fact, I would preferably be a step behind," she explains, and she probably has a distinctive look, but takes pains not to put too much in a room.

Her boyfriend is "in the police," as she succinctly puts it, while readers of the glossy magazines will know that he is a bodyguard and formerly looked after some crown prince.

"In many ways I can be dominant, and I have my conviction, but I am super discreet," says the 39-year-old stylist, who has agreed to take the lead role for once and lend a little substance behind the Moroccan dark eyes and tousled mane.

Employed as full-time stylist for the Crown Princess

She became aware to the public in 2002 as the well-dressed figure behind the former Mary Donaldson, who had had an acute need for help with her wardrobe. Anja Alajdi has been employed as a full-time stylist for the Crown Princess for some years, and she still assists Crown Princess Mary in selecting attire for all public appearances.

Is a hat required? Should the dress be taken in? Are we missing the shoes? These kinds of questions and more can require a few days a week at Amalienborg. Again it is not her who charges ahead or slams her feet into the rococo couch.

It's often friends of friends, business people, people in the entertainment industry, outgoing and busy people who call for help.

"I take my coffee in the break room like the rest of the staff. I'm human, when I'm at work, and then it may well be that being a friend is for another day, but it's another invitation. I know my place, and what I think is my strength. You will also never hear me use the Crown Princess' name," says Anja Alajdi who has settled in and found a place here on the coastal road with a coarse muffin and latte on the receipt.

Anja Camilla Alajdi is a style icon, and many remarked, when she cut her hair very short. But that does not mean that it look gray look pleased everyone, she swears.

The straight line is not far to Tune, where she grew up, but on another level, there is a million mile distance. Her father is Moroccan and came to Denmark in the late 1960s and married Danish Lene. The couple still live south of Roskilde and work at Toyota, where he runs with spare parts, and she is cleans. In other words, an ordinary family says their daughter with the full surname of El-Idrissi Pedersen-Alajdi.

There was no shortage or abundance, and the differences are not worth dwelling on.

Do you have any thoughts about the difference in the circles you come from?

"I have respect for people and not for how much money they have."

The answer comes promptly, as does the next one, too.

Has it in any way been a challenge for you to enter into a new community?

"I think it's important to be yourself. If you are proud of what you are doing and what you have and do not need more, you can be everywhere. No matter who you are and how much money you have, you can still find a common denominator. You can quickly read people and figure out where to meet, and what you can talk about. I feel no more or less valuable than those I'm with," she says and let the dark brown eyes rest on the underscored.

She is ready to spit and talk yourself either down or up, but straight.

"I am in many ways OK satisfied with myself. With who I am and what I stand for. You may well find those who feel more valuable, but as long as I do not feel inferior, they can not take anything from me. It is not so difficult. I've lots of good friends who have much more money than me and can keep partying that is bigger and better - no, not better, but they have few other options. And it is just nice for them."

The known and unknown clients

It is also from the more affluent districts where most of her private clients come. It is often friends of friends, business people, people in the entertainment industry, outgoing and busy people who call for help, and in any case it requires a wallet of a certain size to book her for a wardrobe check.

She reserves the right to go thorough this approach, because otherwise still not batting in the long run. She says no to regular customers who either can not stand hearing the truth or just want help with three hours of shirt shopping in magazines.

"The way I work, probably requires a little economics, understood as several days. I can easily buy cheap clothes, but I'll have to clear out the closet and take a status on what is needed first. Otherwise I feel I did my job properly," she says with a ratta-tat-tat diction like a machine gun.

Anja Camilla Alajdi loves that jewellery is a durable product that can be inherited through generations - unlike most clothing.

A chapter by itself are newspaper writings, which have suggested that Anja Alajdi has gotten the best product placement for Marianne Dulong jewellery with Crown Princess Mary. Often she is seen with the easily recognizable Kharisma-drop shaped earrings, and on her very wedding day Crown Princess Mary wore pearl earrings of a Marianne Dulong design.

"I'm sorry, no, annoyed that they wrote it. They believed that such things hang together like that? The Crown Princess does not of course wear jewellery she does not like, and she goes with all kinds of other brands also. Georg Jensen, Ole Lynggaard Jewels CPH and many others."

But yes, yes. She has learned to breathe deeply and count to her eyes are not quite as black and the tongue quite as sharp. Temperament has often driven her but today she controls it - better. There's enough to tilt over.

Morning Newspapers. Indiscretions. Injustice. Bad service. People who slander and gossip over coffee everyday and champagne during fashion weeks. Unresolved expectations between her and her partner Marianne Dulong, who perhaps had hoped for greater relief of administrative tasks, as Anja Alajdi joined the firm four and a half years ago.

But the creative spirit thrives not in front of a computer in an office with schedules, finances and the ordering of materials. She does not have private computer time each day. She collapses in her chair at the mere thought.

"Ten years ago I could have penetrated so much into a corner that I had progressed without seeing me back," she says.

On visits to the psychologist

It was something unresolved between the two, when Marianne Dulong called for them to go together to 'lay down on the couch' with a psychologist for more than a year.

"We found out that we are very similar. Our visions are the same, and we complement each other perfectly. I often have ideas, she refines them and makes them work in the workshop. And out of 25 of my ideas, it is perhaps only a few that can be done. It was a super exciting course which I do not think I could have taken to pursue. On the way I'm probably a hard cake, while Marianne is more comprehensive and contains enormous great empathy," says Anja Alajdi who has learned how to react in a situation - or fail to respond if that is more appropriate.

Exercise and training ares one of her greatest fixed points in life

For example, she was recently out to lunch with a group of girlfriends. It was busy, they might have asked for water three times, and when the already sullen waitress came with the bill, she sighed heavily and rolled heir eyes since Anja Alajdi didn't even have money. One of her friends got the urge to smooth things out and look for small change, but Anja Alajdi stopped her and breathed out a big trombone discharge.

"You know, now you take these 150 kroner, and then do not tell me you do not have any change in the box after all the guests you have had." But then I felt that I was starting to make something big out of something that was really a small thing. For what do I get out of creating me? I felt bad, and the waitress got it bad. So I calmed myself down a bit again," she explains.

Also in private, she has had to suck it up a little and refrain from always being right. She has strong opinions on topics such as layout and diet, and she is full of ideas and arguments for them, but the feeling of solidarity is still important. That is why she and her boyfriend, Steen Christiansen, ended up with dining chairs from Ikea as a tolerable compromise, instead of the designer chairs that she wanted, and such that she sees big differences in her and ex-husband's vision of bedtimes for their children, Otto, 8, and Karla, 13. They live close to each other and for the sake of the children she has invested in a good relationship with him, so they tolerate each other so fully so as to offer themselves to each other at dinnertime and to go on holiday together, including with her new boyfriend and his two children.

Love among the royals

The two worked side by side in the royal couple's service for some years before they really fell for each other on the royal couple's first official trip to Australia. He changed jobs, so they are not mixing their private and professional lives together, and today she has him with her at work in the guise of two tattoos on her right wrist, a small white star and his name in red.

It is currently covered by a thin gold chain, which is wound several times around and welded in place. It is convenient for her, despite her job, to easily forget to put on jewellery. On the whole, she takes her own dressing easier nowadays and may well find herself meeting up for some session in a track suits, sometimes probably to the great surprise or disappointment to anyone.

Exercise and training are some of her greatest fixed points in life, and she hates herself if she goes more days in a row without exercising, so even for holidays she goes anywhere to destinations with a chance to sweat through on a running route, or in a gym.

As a teenager, she gave it her all on the school dance team with a flash dance, fame and jazz dance with associated leg warmers, headbands and gym suits, also worn for school. Stylistically, she has been through almost every phase: from masquerading as an adult in Betty Barclay and Mulberry-disco bags to underground chic and being a regular customer at used clothing legend Rogers in Larsbjørnsstræde Road in Copenhagen.

She remembers it not so clearly, but the story goes that she soon had a strong opinion about what she wanted, and it resulted in a slightly androgynous look, so much so that the director of the swimming pool handed her a pair of swimming trunks one day when she needed to borrow some swimwear.

"My brother's hair was in fact cut by an old-fashioned barber, so I wanted it, too," she says, she who loved to play dress up and to mirror her mother when she put on makeup and high heels.

"She was from the vintage where you went out to the shops on a Saturday morning with curlers in her hair to be ready to go out at night."

Anja Alajdi's dream for the future was also about hair, and she got an apprenticeship in a hairdressing salon after business school, but could not tolerate the chemicals. It bewailed her long, for even then she had a restless soul and a feeling of boredom at the thought of being stuck at the same address, day in and day out.

Instead, she was educated in the perfume department at the Magasin department store and wore the long leather jackets that dominated the inner part of Vesterbrogade Street in Copenhagen at the time. The first sneak peek to what would be her career was delivered by home interiors stylist Lise Septimus Krogh, whom she rang up and was allowed to follow around.

This led to the styling assignments for Kim Grenaa and Uffe Buchard's "Style Counsel", where she was responsible for the scenery for fashion reports and further back for Unique Models section for stylists. Here she met the hairdresser and makeup artist Søren Hedegaard, who has become her beauty colleague in the Crown Princess' chambers and one of her closest friends. It was he who last year held the scissors when she let curls drop and returned to her childhood short hair.

"Yes, it was something of a transformation. I was so gray-haired, that I finally had to colour my hair every 14 day to keep it up. I was uncomfortable with the chemicals, and finally I had just enough of it to have charred hair."

The gray trendsetter

Søren Hedegaard tried to pull the colour out of her bobbed hair, with the result that she looked like a German shepherd. So it went short. Quite short.

"Before, people came with comments every time I had been cut a notch shorter. But when I got such short hair, they said nothing. I think some thought I was sick, but it was the only way I could get rid of all colors at once."

When a trendsetter like her so much changing hairstyle and confesses to the gray look, it can quickly create a trend. But one should not necessarily follow, she emphasizes.

"Not everyone should do what I did. My hair has cold tones, and it gives a special look along with my other colours. But it's not for everyone, so some may take another ten years with hair colour. As with wardrobe, it should always be based on the individual."

Hm, a sponsored wristwatch advert, recalls Mary's Cartier contract

With business partner Marianne Dulong

At Malene Birger's fashion show, 2009

With Yrma in Copenhagen January 2012

Anja with Yrma's hairdresser Søren Hedegaard in 2009

At Rigshospitalet after the birth of the Miracle Twins

Some portraits taken of Anja in 2010 by royal court photographer Steen Evald for an interview with IN Magazine

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