Chloë Sevigny is a peculiar kind of celebrity. She moved to New York at age 18, and within two years had Jay McInerney calling her an “it” girl in The New Yorker. Despite phenomenal turns on Big Love and Big Girls Don’t Cry, she’s still best known for the awful scene in that-movie-my-parents-still-don’t-
know-about-and-hopefully-never-will (Kids) and for going down on Vincent Gallo.
Mostly, however, Sevigny has become a Molly-Ringwald-Pretty-in-Pink fashion impresario. Armed with over-the-top minidresses and white sunglasses, she was Joan Rivers’ worst nightmare and a style heroine for every girl devastated by the loss of My So-Called Life. She has the essential trait of any fashion icon: distinctive style, having carved a careful niche for herself on the delicate precipice of what the style universe refers to as jolie-moche, meaning “pretty-ugly.”
She is, thusly, an excellent candidate for a celebrity designer turn for indie style mecca Opening Ceremony. And the collection is… interesting. Which is a good thing. It’s tongue-in-cheek, playfully gauche at times, and very ‘90s. (I could almost see Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling wearing — to their mutual horror — the same pink floral-and-striped dress to a party in 1995.) In fact, I have to hand it to Ms. Sevigny for so comprehensively resurrecting trends from my middle school days in New York: cropped bustiers, tapered leg pants, leopard heels, mesh for the love of God… It’s like 90210-meets-Kelly Bundy-meets-Tonya Harding-figure-skating-nerd chic. Despite the fact that I did think, “This girl could literally be insane,” while I was flipping through the look book, there really are some wonderfully playful, covetable items. The cropped floral bustier is just so fun, as is an oversize striped blazer and a black jersey minidress with a cheeky mesh back. The shoes are also huge winners, like zip-front ankle boots and chunky pumps.
The price point on all these whimsical, “oh fuck it, I’ll buy these hilarious gingham cigarette pants” items is, however, staggeringly high. Even yours truly, who found herself doing the running man in a dressing room while wearing said pink floral bustier, let out a gasp at the price tag: $350. The pink floral dress — which, let’s be honest, doesn’t feel that substantial and will probably fall apart after one trip to the dry cleaners’ — is a horrifying $575. Granted, the prices aren’t that high when you consider the other overpriced clothing at O.C., but at least Alexandre Herchcovitch has expensive fabrics, patterns and, oh, a couple of years of critical success. It is possible that the pieces are so expensive because Sevigny made them all herself on some rinky-dink sewing machine strung out on No-Doz for six weeks straight, but somehow I doubt it. So, Chloë: I’m intrigued. But I wish you’d thought of your Lower-East-Sassy roots a bit more, and given me that bustier for $150.