Chloë Sevigny’s 90s Throwback: Part One
A Two-Day Takeover by the Coolest Girl in the World Kicks Off with a Fashion Home Movie
Shooting in the late 90s during one of Chloë Sevigny’s visits from New York City to London, photographer and filmmaker Michael Cleary enlisted super-stylist Alister Mackie, then a fellow student, to collaborate on Surface, an intimate film starring the future Oscar and Golden Globe nominee. Air-guitaring, playing dress-up and flitting in and out of a fragile waking dream, Sevigny was at the time an emerging ingénue, fresh from having starred in Larry Clark’s Kids, the film that cemented her position as one of the icons of her generation. “A lot was going on in her life at the time; she was getting into films and Hollywood,” says the director, who edited the never-before-seen 16mm film—which now features specially commissioned title art by Brooklyn musician and artist Hisham Bharoocha—into raw, black-and-white vignettes in the basement of Central Saint Martins. “We were just using what we had around,” adds Mackie. “It was the last revolutionary period in fashion where things actually changed.” In this first installment of our two-day celebration of the 90s as seen through Sevigny’s eyes, Interview magazine Editor-at-Large Christopher Bollen muses on his friend, the decade’s most enduring symbol.
Christopher Bollen on Chloë Sevigny:
Memorably, [the 90s] it was also a decade that Chloë Sevigny came to be heralded in many circles as the ultimate American teenager. Everything about her—her hair, her voice, her background, her future, her clothes, her choice of projects, her taste in movies, how she once used a rubber band for a shoelace, how she went out to clubs back when clubs weren’t easy to access and required more than money for entry, that her interest in fashion seemed self-willed rather than strategically implanted, her boyfriend, her love of the Village and the Lower East Side, her blasé indifference to her own star power—wasn’t about market saturation but about a feral personal self-determination. The new teenager back then was a breed apart. And maybe it was the last middle finger to the corporation of predigested culture. That was the weirdness of the 90s; for a minute, beggars could be choosers.