Even though Kurt Cobain had died just a few days before, grunge still managed to be as alive and well on the day in 1994 that Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and stylist Daisy von Furth staged the first-ever runway presentation of their brand X-Girl—on the sidewalk across from Marc Jacobs's show, in true guerrilla style. A spray-painted white sheet served as the background—thanks to producers Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze—and all pieces showcased, which were essentially thrift store recreations, cost less than $60. As usual, however, even with all that, things still didn't reach peak cool until Chloë Sevigny arrived—in true Chanel couture fashion, as a bride to close out the show.
"I came out last with this boy Ryan—just some kid, a skater boy, who worked at [the record store] Fat Beats," Sevigny recalled of her long lost husband and first-ever New York Fashion Week with a laugh on Friday night, at yet another season of fashion week, surrounded by Dolce & Gabanna on the newly renovated third floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, which the store was celebrating both inside and out with a much, much glitzier sidewalk runway presentation of its own that made use of its signature windows.
These days, after more than two decades of showgoing, Sevigny is trying to keep it "minimal" this season and "close among friends"—one of which, it turns out, stretching back for decades now, to when she was growing up in Connecticut, is Saks. "My father used to bring me shopping here when I was a little girl, and I still get this sense memory of being with my dad and the glamour of coming into the city," she said, noting that she's quite impressed by Saks's current selection—particularly of Jacquemus, which she was decked out in that night. ("I was like, They have that here? Okay great, I’ll take it!")
Clearly, though, she has kept in touch with her old friend: "I came here right before Venice to get my undergarments, because the lingerie floor is incredible," she continued, referring to the Venice Film Festival, where last week she premiered Lean on Pete, the new film she appears in with her longtime pal Steve Buscemi, as well as screened her short Carmen, which she directed as part of Miu Miu's Women's Tales series, making her one of the rare women directors that made it into the festival, where only one film made by a woman made it into the main competition.
Its organizers didn't exactly seem to care about the issue, but Sevigny said "it was very discussed" throughout the festivities—and made the case that the discussion was worth carrying over to fashion week.
"You know, I think it spreads across every industry, even the fashion industry. We obviously have a lot of strong women in fashion—editors, buyers, designers—but still, I think men kind of rule to a certain degree," she continued. "So as much as we can promote other women and help lift each other up and give each other platforms, promote discussion and whatnot, I want to be there to help do that."
Sevigny, for her part, will be directing her third short—a ghost story "about five ladies"—in the spring, and is hoping to move onto features soon after. Film, after all, is her "real job"; "this is like my fake job," she said of fashion week, which she seemed relieved to be leaving in the middle of to head up to the Toronto International Film Festival. "It’s always good to have an excuse—a film excuse," she added with a laugh.
Not that Sevigny hasn't had any fun this time around, despite the fact that her pal Pamela Anderson was a no-show at the Vivienne Westwood dinner she attended earlier this week. ("Those were my boobs, actually," she clarified of the photo that, like a true friend, she Instagrammed with Anderson's name tag and her chest in honor of Anderson's absence.)
Few would dare to directly compare their décolletage with Anderson's, but from the very beginning for Sevigny, Fashion Week has long been the time of year to tease, or at the very least get intimate with, her fellow icons: After making her debut as a bride, Sevigny's next go at the shows was walking Miu Miu, which she described as "a whole shakedown—I went from X-Girl, guerrilla-style, to Bryant Park, Miucca [Prada], coming out after Kate Moss, and then having to teach me how to walk," she recalled.
One would think her supermodel runway mate would be able to help out with the latter, but it turned out the pair got along so well in part because in fact she couldn't: "She was pretty fresh then as well," Sevigny said. "It was quite the casting."
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