In her afterword for Chloë Sevingy’s new book (from Rizzoli), Natasha Lyonne writes, “When we were young, there was no Internet: one had to actually take the time to learn about the things one liked. You couldn’t just touch things from a distance.” That is exactly it. Like, when the movie Kids (Harmony Korine’s controversial film starring Chloë) came out in 1995, you had to have an older friend or someone’s big brother or sister buy tickets for you because it was unrated and you would get carded at the theater; you couldn’t just download the movie or make it appear “on demand” on your TV. I mean, your only other option was to wait for it to come out on VHS. But you would be the only one of your friends who hadn’t seen it in the theaters. And then after you saw the film, you would start noticing Chloë other places: on “House of Style” in her friend Kim Gordon’s X-Girl fashion show; in the ads for Miu Miu…and you’d sit in the magazine section of the bookstore in your local mall (unless you were lucky enough to live in New York, with it’s amazing newsstands) and read Paper, and The Face, and i-D trying to find out as much as you could about Chloë. You couldn’t just Wikipedia/YouTube/Google her and be done with her in an hour. And thank God for that.
Not going to go down a 90s nostalgia rabbit hole here, but there’s something to be said for mystery, which Chloë had – and still does. It’s part of why her style was so intriguing: she wasn’t blogging about her outfits, she was just wearing them because she liked them (and yes, I realize this is a site on the Internet where we talk about what people are wearing). If you coveted Chloë’s jeans, for example, or denim jacket, you’d run to your local Goodwill and buy some similar ones. It’s kind of tempting to do that now, looking at these images, our favorites from her new book that show Chloë in denim. The jacket (Lee, I’m pretty sure) over the crochet bikini top = perfect. We love new jeans and new designers here, but we also love and talk about older things. It’s nice to be reminded – without getting all “when I was a teenager, we had to actually go to the library and read books to write a history paper!” – of a time when being cool meant something a little different, and also to just look at some rad, mostly pre-digital images of Chloë in denim. Scroll down…
BLUE JEAN BABE Top: Photograph by David Perez Shadi, 1991. Second row, from left: Chloë Sevigny (Rizzoli), cover photo by Wolfgang Tillmans, 1995; Photograph by Marcelo Krasilcic, 1994; Photograph by Inez and Vinoodh, 1997. Third row: Photograph by Ryan McGinley, 2004. Bottom: Photograph by William Strobeck, 2012.
Chloë Sevigny Foreword by Kim Gordon, Afterword by Natasha Lyonne, Rizzoli, $35; go to rizzoli.com.