Quirky-cool actress/muse Chloe Sevigny has had the fashion world at her feet for over two decades. We spoke to her about her collaboration with high street brand Uniqlo and got the down-low on what its actually like dealing with red carpet criticism...
Chloe Sevigny Working the Red Carpet
It's been two decades since Chloe Sevigny was first anointed with the moniker ‘coolest girl in the world’, bursting on to our screens with her Zeitgeist defining turn in Larry Clark’s Kids and instantaneously giving the class of 1995 their cult, pop culture pinup. In the ensuing years, Chloe has taken every risk in the book, captivating and scandalising her audiences in equal measure with credits spanning the spectrum from indie masterpieces like Boys Don’t Cry to a host of T.V roles including a polygamous wife in HBO’s Big Love.
Her off-screen persona has imprinted the fashion landscape just as weightily. As a model, designer – notably in collaboration with retail destination, Opening Ceremony - and as a conduit for downtown New York personal style, brands continue to vie for Chloe’s endorsement. With campaigns for Miu Miu and Chloe (the brand) already under her belt, next week she’s set to launch a new line of cashmere for Uniqlo, bringing her sensibility to the masses.
Chloe Sevigny Modelling her Uniqlo Collection
The capsule includes 12 pieces of fine gauge cashmere, all of which Chloe says she adores. “I love to layer cashmere upon cashmere – I would have everything in it if I could.” As far as making cashmere current, it’s quality that counts. “I always think classics are cool. If you just have a beautiful cashmere sweater, a pair of great jeans and some flats that’s all you need.”
That timeless look – albeit twisted with directional silhouettes and colour combinations - has seen Chloe place on countless best dressed lists, but does the weight of expectation ever hang albatross-like around her neck? “Before the paparazzi entered the deal I could just go out, but even then I didn’t want to disappoint kids who saw me, who might be like ‘why’s she looking so schlumpy?’ So if I’m photographed on the street going about my day I still want to look semi-cool or cute and that’s kind of difficult having to deal with that pressure,” Chloe confesses.
But it’s the red carpet whirl of amplified and often vindictive criticism that really chafes. “If I’m going to an event and there is the red carpet thing, then whoever is helping me - which is usually my publicist, because I don’t work with a stylist - we always say, ‘is this a ‘what was she thinking dress?’’ Chloe grimaces. “The tabloids in America have always put me in that category. But, you know, it always hurts a little. And the worst part is that even when you’re standing on the red carpet you can hear all those criticisms. It makes the whole process of having to do those things not fun. I wish I could let go and not worry about it, but I always feel like my head spins and I spiral to a bad place. But I’m trying to get over that.”
Chloe Modelling for Miu Miu A/W 2012
There certainly nothing cute about Chloe’s quirk – that’s not to say she isn’t wholly charming - but her outré appeal is resistant to one-size-fits-all Hollywood gift wrapping. As for her cohorts, Chloe reasons it’s trepidation that keeps them to the fashion clichés. “I do feel like there’s a lack of imagination when it comes to actresses and red carpet dressing. There’s all that fear. You can feel they’ve been styled, I think they could be wilder if they got to dress themselves.”
When it comes to Chloe’s fashion favourites, directional labels score points. “In New York it’s Proenza Schouler and I love British design - Christopher Kane and J.W.Anderson in particular. I appreciate how much effort the kids make on the streets, they’re so crazy,” she says. Alongside collections of Alaia and Gaultier, Chloe’s closet (currently in storage due to an imminent move) is packed full of sentiment. “I have an unhealthy attachment to my wardrobe collection,” she says, “I have everything in storage – Miuccia [Prada] told me never to throw anything out. So there are the Halloween costumes, the dress that I wore to prom, a pair of striped stockings that I wore on the first day of school.”
Age-appropriate concerns have, she notes, “begun to come into it a little bit,” but she’s trying not to dwell on them. “It’s those classic things that are common to most women as you get older. Can I still wear this short skirt, these shorty shorts? You know I don’t want to walk around in a body-con sausage dress anymore.” If not ‘growing up’, a slower pace is definitely on Chloe’s mind: “I’m in the process of buying something in Park Slope, Brooklyn. You know I’ve been in Manhattan for 20 years and I wanted a little more sky and not to be inundated with so much every time you leave I house. I feel like I’m ready for a bit more serenity.” Cashmere-clad serenity, of course.