Q&A: Chloë Sevigny on Sustainable Shopping, Instagram & Her Fashion Uniform
Words by Jody Hume |
This past red carpet season, Sofia Coppola lamented the lack of original style in Hollywood. With stylists often running the show and most celebrities playing it safe, we’re often left with an awards season sea of dully glamorous sameness. But among the few actresses Coppola namechecked who play things their own way, and continue to inspire as a result, was Chloë Sevigny. We couldn’t agree more. Renowned worldwide for her timeless style in both the streetwear and high fashion spheres, Sevigny has been a sartorial icon for the last 25 years. Obviously this meant we were excited to learn she was offering up pieces from her personal collection for sale on the site. What’s more, proceeds will benefit the Hetrick-Martin Institute supporting important work to protect and advocate for LGBTQ youth. To get a feel for what inspires her style, we asked which movies have had an impact on her look, what she thinks of fashion on Instagram, why shopping sustainably is important to her and more. Read on for her answers and shop her sale here.
You must have so many special, collectible, sentimental pieces in your collection. What’s your philosophy on editing and making room for new things?
I’m trying to shed more and acquire less, to only hold on to the most sentimental of pieces. My first communion dress, prom dress — pieces I wore on the most special of occasions and pieces that were always in heavy rotation. I’m also a true vintage addict and get a rush from the thrill of the hunt, so a heavy turnover has always been consistent in the life of my closet.
You’re a style inspiration for so many people. Whose style are you inspired by?
Women and men who carry themselves with confidence no matter what they are wearing are always the most inspiring. People with an innate sense of self. People who enjoy dressing to impress, however that manifests. I appreciate a good look and even an attempt at one.
Have any of your favorite films or your own acting roles shaped your style?
When you are playing a character for a long period of time, your eye can get used to seeing yourself in that character’s silhouette, or with their hair, and that can quietly seep into your daily life.
Related, are sister wife dresses à la Big Love here to stay per articles like this one in the New York Times and designers like Batsheva? Did you get into Victoriana through acting in and producing Lizzie?
I’ve always wanted to wear a mutton sleeve and this was my first big chance. I’ve been collecting shredded Victorian and Edwardian pieces since I was just out of high school. I used to dress in white cotton day dresses and dream I was a character in Picnic at Hanging Rock, or Pretty Baby.
Sofia Coppola recently wrote about sort of the death of style on the red carpet, but pointed to you and a few others who are keeping things interesting. How do you choose what to wear for events?
I’m lucky enough to get most of the “Cinderella” dresses I request from designers. I look at the runway shows or go into showrooms and try selects for most events. Of course they all have to be returned the next day but I get to play out a fantasy for the night.
Speaking of places where lots of things look the same, what are your thoughts on Instagram and how it’s influencing fashion? Does it have an impact on your style at all?
Every so often I have to unfollow a slew of fashion accounts cause they do my head in. I do like all the retro movie star accounts and people that collect interesting images — I find them inspiring and will usually do a regram to shout them out.
Is buying vintage and consignment important to you, especially given the sustainability factor?
I grew up thrifting; it’s in my blood. I honestly almost never buy anything new — well, the occasional splurge at Miu Miu. My heart lies in vintage and designer consignment. I think sites like The RealReal are very important in helping people satisfy that urge without contributing more waste which is unfortunately such an industry-wide problem. The real problem of course lies in the urge, and how we find ways to satisfy that outside of more possessions. I go on the occasional six-month hiatus where I won’t buy a single garment.
If you had to wear one outfit forever, what would it be?
That’s the fantasy, to have one uniform. Instead I just buy different versions of the same thing, over and over. Black or navy turtlenecks, grey cardigans, black a-line mini skirts. Blue blazers and cropped black leather jackets.
How has your style changed over time? What do you think your style will be like in 20 years?
I hope to age with grace and confidence, to let myself be natural and dress as myself but appropriately. To not desperately hold onto an impossible youthful beauty ideal.
Tell us about the charity you’re donating sale proceeds to and why you chose it.
HMI helps provide a safe place for our most vulnerable population: trans youth. Youth members range from 13 to 24. “HMI’s Center for LGBTQ Youth Advocacy and Capacity Building, advocates on behalf of LGBTQ youth by influencing policy on local, national and international levels” — this is where change needs to happen.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I have a film coming out domestically April 6th called Lean On Pete. It’s a heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring tale about a boy searching for a home and family. The star, Charlie Plummer, is breathtaking. If you like horses, a good cry, or fully immersing yourself in another world I couldn’t recommend this more.
Shop her closet in our exclusive sale here.