nyfw: chloë sevigny talks schoolgirl cool for her opening ceremony collaboration
For her most recent Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection, the actress and designer rounded up her friends along with local teen performers for a celebration of girl power.
F-O-C (friends of Chloë) like Kim Gordon and Lizzi Bougatsos ate a scrumptious Roberta's lunch organized by Bon Appetit magazine while a line-up of ultra-talented teen girls put on a show for the crowd. From an a cappella opera singer, to a slam poet, to singer-songwriters, all the performers were outfitted in Chloë's new line, a play on school uniforms inspired by Heathers.
Chloë was interested in digging into the excitement and creativity of teenage girlhood. "I wanted to capture that moment of discovery and awakening," she said. "You know when you're that age and you're so optimistic and so gung ho, like, 'I'm writing poetry!' and 'I'm learning how to play guitar!'" There was indeed a Rookie-like sincerity to the performances, a welcome contrast to the pumping beats of the runway throughout the week. When the tiny baton-twirler spun and danced during a soft rendition of 'I'll Be Your Mirror,' goosebumps popped.
Instead of using traditional models, Chloë decided to show the clothing on the performers as well as in a charming lookbook featuring the art of her friends Agathe Snow and Lizzi Bougatsos. She explained, "I didn't want to have any models in the presentation. I thought it would be cuter to have it on real girls and kids, the people that would actually be wearing it." Those real girls provided a sweet glimpse into the actual feeling of the clothing.
That clothing, in a nutshell: cool pieces that evoked the spirited individuality peeking out from a uniform. As Chloë put it, "The inspiration behind the show started with Heathers, and schoolgirls in uniforms. I always see girls from Grace Church School walking around the East Village, and you can still see them shining through even though the clothes are non-descript. But they're a cute fit so I wanted to provide that to girls: a cute fit with a little something."
Cue the short plaid kilt and off-the-shoulder baby blue knit Chloë herself wore, with its front-crossed straps speaking to the way girls personalise their uniforms. Strict black, navy, and white pieces were spiced up with fun flowered platforms in red and white. Standout pieces included wide-legged pinstriped overalls and an oversized black unisex trench coat.
Chloë herself crystallised her public image in her teen years, being anointed an It Girl by Jay McInerney in The New Yorker, interning for Sassy magazine, and appearing in Larry Clark's Kids. There's something beautiful about her growing up to be a den mother and cheerleader for a new generation of spirited teenage city girls.
Text Rory Satran
Photography courtesy Opening Ceremony