Chloe Sevignys inauguration as the modern it girl paradigm reads much like a grunge fairytale. Sassy magazine editor, Andrea Linett, scouted a 17 year old Sevigny on the streets of New York, proclaiming, I just had to have her. Linett quickly secured Sevigny as a regular fixture in the magazine. This quickly evolved into a fashion internship and a charming article, swooning their new sweetheart and introducing the next it girl to the world stage in 1992. The unravelling of Sevignys career into cult status began. Soon came a cameo in the music video for Sonic Youths Sugar Kane, which coincidentally also featured a young Marc Jacobs, small world hey.
As effortless as her style, her career has this buttery quality to it, one opportunity seeming to melt into the next. I became familiar with Sevigny in her first acting role, the indie wet dream – Kids. Directed by Larry Clarke, Sevigny got the role through hanging out with New York skaters and most notably her friendship with the aspiring writer of Kids, Harmony Korine. The gritty and provocative film kickstarted Sevignys metamorphoses from model to indie actress. Although the industrys eye would now be firmly placed on the dirty blonde, she maintains this as a down low concept: secret alternative, not commercial – everything one wants to be. Because society can no longer remain down low we romanticise about it, we look back to the 90s which Sevigny personifies and try to emulate it. I feel that she’s never bothered by having commercial success. From American Psycho’ to Boys don’t cry, which sees her as the lover of a secret transsexual, her roles are edgy and gritty. She is unashamedly Anti-Hollywood. Who can forget that full fellatio scene in Brown Bunny? Putting the middle finger up to mainstream consumerism, through her artistry and aesthetic, rocking the shaved head, bleached eyebrows and torn wedding dresses way before you were even born.
Envied and emulated by 20-somethings the world over, style and Sevigny go hand in hand. The random pieces of designer thrift and high street create this laid back, I-don’t-give-a-fuck look. In this climate of hyper consumerism, she refuses to buck to the trends. The only things that sell out about Sevigny are her collections for Open Ceremony, a mismatch of Connecticut, Alternate and hip-hop styles. I just as much aspire to her style as I do her fashion independence; she knows what she likes and she sticks to it, regardless of seasons.
Yet, I still cant quite place my finger on what or who exactly Chloe Sevigny is. Her label as an It-girl I find undermines her creativity and seeing Sevigny as merely a muse reeks of sexism. She turned 40 this year, outliving the usual lifespan of the it-girl – Edie Sedgwick ODed at the age of 27. Although controversial she doesnt carry the same notoriety as Lindsey Lohan. Yet, I wouldn’t count her as just an actress or fashionista. She hates the industry town of Los Angles and finds fashion shows dull and boring. She remains to me an ambiguity, perhaps due to her lack of enthusiasm for social media and coyness in interviews. This allusiveness I feel however is part of Chloe’s charm. She is of a dying breed of coolness, one that is underexposed yet over-desired. She’s the outsider with her head over her shoulder, whilst those on the inside looking to her turned back.