Imagine that you are taking cough syrup in anticipation of the results of your Covid test. (It will be negative, but you don’t know that yet.) You are wrapped in a blanket of plaid wool blankets. Your throat is blissfully numb from Vicks VapoRub. Then your phone rings and it’s Chloë Sevigny.
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Full Length Mink Fur Coat with Shawl Collar & Bracelet Cuffs (Demi Buff, XS)
She is at a raging H&M party in Brooklyn, which might as well be Mars because you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. As you drift between your waking world, and the cherry-flavored sludge that is H&M, “get well soon” vibes, you realize even if you were face-to-face with Sevigny, who’s a brand ambassador for the retailer, it wouldn’t entirely matter. That’s because although she is a very real human, she’s also a kind of fever dream—a full (and wonderful) human who is also a looming avatar of cool, a Gen X icon who appears on Gen Z vision boards. She’s also a meme, because: 2022.
Here’s what Sevigny has to say about the plight of an It Girl, the sex appeal of cardigans, and the infomercial that saved her Miu Miu shirt.
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What’s the oldest H&M piece you have in your closet?
Humberto (Leon), Carol (Lim), did their Kenzo collaboration. I still have the blue dress from that campaign and a lot more from them. Oh! I also have the Margiela stuff that I bought in 2012. Do you remember that? That collection made H&M feel special. I mean, who can’t call up Margiela?
One of the arguments against fast fashion is that it’s not built to last. You just rechecked H&M pieces 10 years ago. What are your tips for making clothes—all clothes, not just expensive ones—last longer?
First, you’ve got to hand-wash things and hang them dry whenever you can. It takes longer and not everyone has the time. But if you can, and you have the patience available, you’ve got to do it. It’s cheaper than dry cleaning, anyway! Consider your detergent. Because I have a small child, I’ve been using this fragrance-free wash from Seventh Generation on eVerything. And if you need to get a stain out from a piece—when I have to do that on my veryThey gave me old Miu Miu pieces when I modelled for them. I use OXYThese are the.
The curtain cleaner from the infomercial
Yep. They turn bright white again when I just dip them in. I’ve been doing that forever.
Many of the clothes that you mentioned are gifts. What’s the best fashion present you’ve ever received?
I just found something in storage. It’s a hand-knit cardigan sweater with my name sewn onto the front that Harmony Korine’s mother made for me. It’s so DIY and the care that went into it is pretty special. Patrick O’Dell photographed meIt [in 2005], but I’ve started wearing it again and it is still So good.
JW Anderson is going to make you another version, I feel. It’ll be the new Harry Styles cardigan.
Wait, what about JW? I also have these things that I call “Cinderella Dresses,”These are clothes you wear only once and have to return to the designer. But every once in a while—not that often!—you get to keep them. So I have the JW dress that I wore to the Met Gala, and a Valentino dress from the Golden Globes, and they’re getting stored properly by Julie Ann Clauss—she’s The Digital Archivist on Instagram—so they don’t get messed up. There’s also an older dress from [Alexander]McQueen is a very, very special person.
It’s been 28 years since Jay McInerney profiled you in The New Yorker We named you the It Girl ‘90s. Do you think New York It Girls can still exist now, or has the internet made it impossible for someone like Julia Fox to attain that kind of cultural aura?
I think there will always be It Girls, because there’s always going to be someone on the scene who’s extra spectacular. Whether it’s because of their natural style or presence or intellect—in many ways, it’s mostly intellect that sets you apart and lets you rise above the rest! Julia [Fox]Sure, Paloma! [Elsesser] and Hailey Benton Gates; they’ve all got that mix. They can lighten up a space, but they also know how to adjust the mood.
I had no idea, but that’s great. I mean, unfortunately, Shattered Glass It is very timely. It is timely, especially with all the fake news and the dialogue about journalistic integrity. So it’s a good thing people are finding that story again!
This interview has been edited to make it more concise.
Editor at Large, ELLE.com
“Her beauty and her brain go not together.” —William Shakespeare