“It’s a movie about love and marijuana,” says actress Chloe Sevigny of her new film, Mr. Nice, in which she plays the loyal wife of a very nice criminal–Oxford graduate turned international drug smuggler Howard Marks (endearingly played by Rhys Ifans). In the lively biopic, which is set in the 1960s, she gets to globe-trot across the screen in a variety of vintage treasures the costume designer unearthed for her on Portobello Road. “She wanted to dress me only in vintage and almost all of the dresses were hand-sewn,” says Sevigny. “Everything was true to the time so they felt really lived in and warm and cozy.”
photo credit: Fairchild Archive
Today, Sevigny is fresh and girly in an Opening Ceremony dress with a Peter Pan collar from her own collection, which she has geniusly paired with black Chanel clogs, adding just the right amount of edge to the ensemble. And that’s exactly the type of fashion twist we’ve come to expect from the actress, who began making her own outfits on a Fisher Price sewing machine as a teen and was first spotted for her trend-defying look way back in 1993 by a Sassy magazine editor. Basically, her fashion/film awesomeness is pretty unparalleled, so Lucky was psyched to sit down with Sevigny and talk everything from her style missteps (she swears she’s made some) to “bitchy” shoes (she means that as a good thing). Read on…
Your new movie, Mr. Nice, is set in the ’60s. Do you have a favorite fashion decade?
I like the ’80s and early ’90s a lot because that was my youth, and I think we all romanticize that. I like the edge a lot of stuff had then. Right now, I’m really into early Gianni Versace; I’m finding a lot of that. And lot of Gaultier from the ’80s and ’90s, and Alaia, of course. I’m also searching out Keni Valenti pieces from that period.
Chloe in Mr Nice
What was your most awkward fashion phase?
I feel like I’m always having an awkward phase–I think that’s just how I perceive myself. I still think of myself as the awkward teen that I used to be. There are all these models that are like the slouchy-sexy–that’s what I call, like, the Alexander Wang slouchy-sexy–and I’ve never been that. I could never be that kind of sexy cool girl. My style is always a little weird or twisted.
You were considered an It Girl from such a young age. Didn’t that make you more confident about your style?
I think that I was perceived as that because I didn’t look like anyone else. I guess that was a good thing. But I don’t know if it instilled any confidence. I can’t say it really did.
Is there an outfit your really regret being photographed in?
There are so many things I don’t know where to begin. There was a time I tried to do the Hollywood thing and I was wearing some dresses that were not really so me, because I was trying to play it safe and I was afraid people would think I was too much of a fashionista. I regret that, because I wasn’t being true to myself. So that period is sad to look at. I can see that I was trying to be somebody I wasn’t and it just rang really false.
Do you think it helps you or hurts you as an actress to be so celebrated for your style?
Sometimes I think it does hurt me in that people think of me as a real personality because I do the less of the glossed-over happy actress face. But I feel like there are lots of other actresses, like Tilda Swinton, who are super-celebrated as an actress and a style icon. When I was having a slew of meetings with producers and studios after we wrapped Big Love
in Los Angeles, they all seemed really excited by the fact that I did a clothing line and that I did something outside of the industry. There aren’t as many actresses living in New York and I just have so many friends in the fashion industry that I’ve always been exposed to it. The shows are here, of course, and it’s just more of a fashion capital, so you’re just around it a lot more.
What’s your go-to summer outfit?
I’m still stuck in cutoff Levi’s. But I feel like they’re just so prominent now–they’re everywhere you look. I’ve got to figure out something else to do because I get embarrassed when I’m walking down the street and every other girl is wearing a pair of cutoff Levi’s. But denim is classic, and that’s usually what I’m in, that and a cute little T-shirt. I’m into wearing that with these navy blue Dr. Martens with socks. I’m trying to find like a heavy sandal that has the same kind of feeling as the Docs, but it’s been a struggle. It’s really hard out there sandal-wise. There are no sandals![We think we found a good option for Chloe below.]
Beauty-wise, what products can’t you live without for summer?
Well, I’m always into red lipstick. I’m wearing Chanel red now. And I’ve got a new hairstyle I’m very excited about–it’s looser than what I had. I had this blunt bob for a while. But I’m really just a mascara and red lip kind of girl. Whether or not I wear makeup depends on where I’m going. I often feel like I look better before I put on makeup.
Do you have any quick tips for how to look a little more stylish?
I’m always into a black bootie. I think a heavier shoe always makes an outfit look a little cooler. Am I allowed to say bitch? Like, try a really bitchy heel, even if you wear a floral dress, instead of a strappy sandal. If you wear a heavier clog or a sandal it makes your outfit look tougher. That’s just my style. Of course, Us Weekly won’t like it if you do that, but I will.
Watch the trailer for Mr. Nice
We shopped out Chloe’s go-to summer outfit.
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