Photo:Getty Images; The Image Direct
Before there were the legions of colorful Scandi Pinterest girls and old money aunties, the fashion set only relied on a handful of people designated as trendsetters and culture definers. These women, by and large stemming from early aughts hipster scenes throughout Los Angeles, Paris, and New York, were designated as It girls. And there was no one cooler than Chloë Sevigny.
In 1994, the New Yorker published a zany inside look at the cool-girl paradise of the time (read: the East Village party scene), crowned by then 19-year-old Sevigny. Her style, like most people, was at the heart of the zeitgeist following the post-'80s counter-culture movement. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana had come out a few years prior. Delia's catalogs, filled with butterfly clips and platform boots, were being sent out to tween homes across America. Donald Trump was still a random businessman with political ambitions. All was (seemingly) well.
Sevigny's classic style moments all border on the eclectic: soccer jerseys paired with high heels, Western cowboy boots with baby-doll dresses at red carpet premieres. Socks, sandals, and Miu Miu sets are all included. They're all held together by her nonchalant, laid-back attitude. Every time she wears a sheer jumpsuit or unironic pair of biker shorts, it doesn't feel like she's trying too hard to feel cool. It just feels like her.
As a child who was way too young to have unrestricted access to the internet, I didn't exactly know why Sevigny was famous when I constantly reblogged her on my Tumblr dashboard. All I knew was that she was cool, young, and exactly the woman I aspired to be in a "Lana Del Ray vinyl" way—opulent fur coats, glossy ballet slippers, close access to high-street designers, and cool men chain-smoking cigarettes in rock bands. Granted, I was literally 13, but somewhere deep down, I knew that New York's favorite actress turned socialite turned fashion darling would continue to manifest herself in every aspect of my life.
Chloë Sevigny walking in the Proenza Schouler F/W 23 runway show during New York Fashion Week.
At 48, the Chloë Sevigny of it all still hasn't gone away. A decade later, the fascination hasn't seemed to have stopped by any means. Unlike other starlets from the '90s and early 2000s who have since faded into oblivion, there's something different about Sevigny's long-lasting cultural impact. There are still style roundups, magazine covers, and viral Instagram-fueled closet sales making headlines. Only this time, the teens idolizing her are Gen Z, not millennials.
In some way, Sevigny's impact doesn't surprise me. We're living in an age of digital stylistic overload. With every new season comes a new aesthetic to be -coreified, publicized, and memeified into seeming oblivion. It makes total sense that we'd hang on to objectively good personal style in any sense of the word.
This summer, WWCSD (what would Chloë Sevigny do)? Most likely, she'd wear comfortable flats, baggy fits, niche accessories, and vintage curations that would make any current-day style vlogger jealous. Embrace your inner cool girl this summer and throw any notion of highly regulated trends to the wind.
What you need: a breezy poplin shirt, denim cutoffs, a statement bag, and simple sneakers.
What you need: a leather jacket, a floral minidress, loafers, and classic sunglasses. (Matcha not included.)
What you need: colorful knitwear and extra-wide puddle pants.
Photo:The Image Direct
What you need: a classic white summer dress and technical footwear.
What you need: flared jeans, a button-down white shirt, a preppy jacket, and an evening clutch.