Have you ever wondered what happens when celebrities make random pronouncements in the press about who they’d like to date or which director really needs to give them a job? Well, if you’re Chloë Sevigny, you get to design a clothing line. It’s simple, really: Last season, when The Daily asked her if she’d ever design again, the actress (and former creative director of Imitation of Christ) said she’d love to team up with hot downtown boutique Opening Ceremony. Within a day, Opening Ceremony editor Humberto Leon had her on the horn.
At Monday’s press preview of her line, Leon gave us the simple backstory. “I said, ‘Do you really want to do this?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ And that was it.” Sevigny echoed the relaxed sentiment: “It wasn’t a huge thing to think about. I think we have similar aesthetics, similar references. There’s always a little something quirky, something different.”
Sevigny did have one condition, though. Every piece in the collection had to be something she would personally want to own. And with that proclamation out of the way, she took out a Sharpie and a lingerie catalog and got to work. “She literally just drew on top of the models,” say Leon. “I don’t really know how to do fashion illustration,” says Sevigny. “I figured Umberto’s team would do a more elaborate pattern.” They did. Then they’d bring in the samples and fit them on Sevigny, who’d give her critique and ask for more flare here, a dropped waist there.
For inspiration, she said, she’d turned to her childhood, bits of which were on display in a diorama. There were books (My Life With Evan Dando, by Kathleen Hannah; The Anatomy of Witchcraft), records (Bowie, Bauhaus, the Smiths,) a T-shirt reading “The Slits,” and even a prom picture with a very cute teenage Chloë in a black choker and a buzz cut.
Sevigny gave us a brief tour of the collection, which was cute but also very fashion-forward and perhaps a bit too challenging for the average girl. There was a dress in an “ethnic, tribal linen weave” with a tight skirt and blouse-y top. There was pretty awesome green floral bustier dress. “I always imagined having this dress, and I could never find it and now I’ve made it. I’m very excited,” says Sevigny. “That’s how we made everything. I thought of things I’d always wanted other people to make and we just made them.” —Jada Yuan