Information on Chloë Sevigny’s three collections for Opening Ceremony.
2008 Debut Collection
In early February 2008, following a string of celebrity fashion lines (à la e.g. Kate Moss, the Olsen twins and Sarah Jessica Parker), Chloë Sevigny premiered her much anticipated first clothing line for Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s hip fashion label Opening Ceremony. Titled “Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony”, the collection premiered at the Mercedes-Benz Fall 2008 Fashion Week in New York featuring quirky, patterned and feminine ready-to-wear pieces with a particular ’50s and ’90s vibe, all mix-and-match friendly.
The collection as described in Page Six February 3 2008:
This month the 33-year-old is launching her Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection, a line of covetable street wear inspired by her own vintage classics-meet-avant-garde aesthetic. Collaborating with her friend Humberto Leon, of the downtown boutique Opening Ceremony, she’s dreamed up high-waisted pencil skirts and skinny pants, slouchy shifts and bustier dresses, n Liberty print florals and ginghams. — The aesthetic is polished punk with a feminine undertone, not unlike the look Chloë rocked while growing up in her conservative hometown of Darien, Conn.
Much like Chloë’s personal and red carpet style, the line was sure to divide opinions upon its early 2008 launch, but was nevertheless a commercial success and quickly sold out, despite the high pricing (with items reportedly ranging $150 – $595 apiece) which made the collection largely unavailable to the general public.
Click on the below images for a look at the line:
Fall/Winter 2009 Collection
Although Chloë Sevigny’s promotional 2008 interviews regarding her debut collection initially hinted at the collection being a one-off, rumours of a follow-up “menswear line” began circulating in fall 2008, and in February 2009 Chloë debuted the Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony Fall/Winter 2009 collection at London Fashion Week.
The Fall/Winter 2009 collection was a notable turnaround from the feminine aesthetic of the 2008 debut, the loose-fitting, comfortable and androgynous pieces — cardigans, sweaters, oversized scarfs — being markedly unisex by comparison. Style.com describes the collection as follows:
“My references are all over the map,” said Chloë Sevigny, “from skinheads to Connecticut kids to St. Mark’s Place. But this all really started because I wanted to make a pink flannel shirt!” The result: androgyny with an indie/preppy slant. Sevigny’s second collaboration with Opening Ceremony is a menswear collection that also comes scaled down to fit girls. The low-key mish-mash of moleskin pants, wool bombers (with matching backpacks), Fair Isles, long johns, oversize leopard and tiger knits, and other retooled Brit street-tribe and American classics were being worn by a group of friends and street-cast locals who mooched around at the Double Club in London. [...] One thing Sevigny has right is proportion and sizing—technically trickier to pull off in a unisex line than it might appear. The accessories, too, are strong: Western belts, creepers, and a collaboration with Bass that includes penny loafers and saddle shoes. Seeing Sevigny in the high-waisted, pleat-front trousers she describes as “a full David Bowie-Ossie Clark pant” might also be enough to convince anyone that boy style works. The reservation, though, is the quality of the fabric—a letdown compared with the styling.
Compared with the 2008 debut line, the Fall/Winter 2009 collection was also noticeably less publicized than its predecessor, although it was featured in e.g. the April 2009 issue of Interview magazine. This owed likely to the fact that Chloë was filming the Howard Marks-biopic Mr. Nice in Wales, UK and Spain at the time, and only a couple of small promotional events for the collection were organized. Furthermore, unlike with the 2008 collection, Chloë did not model the Fall/Winter collection lookbook, which will inevitably have lessened the media attention for the collection.
Despite the lessened media coverage, however, the collection was still a success, the $500 buckle-strap sandal boots in particular selling out at lightning speed.
Click on the below images for a look at the line:
Resort 2011 Collection
In May 2010, the Opening Ceremony website announced the upcoming launch of a third Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection. This was soon followed by a mid-June tea party celebrating the new Resort/Pre-Spring 2011 collection as well as the first pictures from Chloë’s promotional photoshoot for the collection, until finally on January 15, 2011, Chloë and Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon celebrated the sales launch of the Resort collection with a launch event and meet-and-greet with Chloë at the New York City Opening Ceremony store.
The Resort 2011 collection saw Chloë return to womenswear after the Fall 2009 unisex line, but as such is markedly more commercial and “wearable” than her previous, 2008 collection of womenswear, the emphasis here being clearly on streetwear and what women look for in such. Style.com describes the line as follows:
“Girls buy the same silhouette over and over,” reckons Chloë Sevigny. Her solution, for her third collection with Opening Ceremony? Give ‘em only five, and a reason to buy a couple of each. For Resort, her five dress silhouettes come in five prints each—a leopard, a polka dot, a houndstooth, a paisley, and a floral, which also appear on matching Fogal tights, caps, and sweet little half-moon purses. The frock shapes, from a sleeveless, flared-skirt romper to a pinafore with lace-embellished pockets and a Peter Pan collar, are all pretty cute, but the standouts here are the cropped knits and accessories. In addition to her own shoe line, comprising a few styles with natural wood soles (the platform mule Mary Sue being the best of the bunch), Sevigny and her dedicated O.C. team collaborated with the nineties footwear brand NaNa to reissue and reinvent some classic styles. (At her tea party presentation, held in a sunny courtyard in Nolita, Sevigny herself wore a rejiggered, high-heeled Chelsea boot likely to inspire an immediate waiting list.)
The whole collection was styled to the haute-nineties hilt (one friend-slash-model layered all five prints at once), but it was an eighties provocateur Sevigny had in mind: Robert Mapplethorpe. The late photographer is enjoying a bit of a moment, helped along by Patti Smith’s recent memoir of their years together, Just Kids, and Sevigny partnered with his foundation to create cropped tees screen-printed with his iconic images—a kick in the pants to what she and O.C.’s Humberto Leon see as the faltering of AIDS awareness. It’s a tribute the man himself would likely have appreciated. As Smith recalls in her book, Mapplethorpe made T-shirts into art—literally. He also loved himself a good leather pant, and lo and behold, there were leather jeans and cutoffs. “It’s streetwear, it’s not high fashion,” Sevigny said with a shrug. No apology necessary.
Click on the below images for a look at the line:
Resort 2012 Collection
Barely a month after Chloë’s Resort 2011 sales launch in January 2011, Elle.com spilled the beans on a fourth collection already being in the works, and on June 7 2011, Chloë unveiled her Resort 2012 collection for Opening Ceremony with a runway show in an old school gym in Nolita, New York City. The runway show was the first ever for both Chloë and Opening Ceremony, and was planned and executed by Chloë from start to finish — the location, models and music were all handpicked by Chloë.
Review from Style.com:
Leather and lace are old pals. But leather that’s lace? There’s a naughty new friend. It figured prominently in Chloë Sevigny’s latest collection for Opening Ceremony, which she showed for the first time ever in a runway presentation that attracted pals Ryan McGinley and Proenza Schouler’s Jack and Lazaro, plus many dozens more in the standing section. “Teen dream,” she said of the spectacle after the show. No, make that “sexy teen dream.”
Some dream of angels; some dream of devils. Sevigny provided both. Her flouncy minidresses were mostly variations on the white cotton eyelet frocks that pure-of-heart maidens might wear. Some were in white cotton; some in black leather. “It’s the good and the bad, the light and the dark,” Sevigny explained. “If you want to wear this in white, you can have your angelic moment. And if you want to go dark…” She herself was wearing the black leather, which perhaps suggests where she falls on that particular ecclesiastical divide. (That she showed it in the gym of a parish youth center, well — bless!)
The leather dresses—and skirts, incorporating corseting details — had an eighties-style bite, saved from retro-ism by oversize bibs of laser-cut leather lace, and more lace still snaking over shoulders and around arms. Skin (or sin?) is in—and she doesn’t shy away from it. But will every girl look as good in black leather bloomer shorts as she does?
Maybe not. But Sevigny, to her credit, offers a wider wardrobe than first glance would indicate. Those frocks will get the attention, but there were sweats and varsity jackets, too, made in collaboration with the eighties skate brand Vision Street Wear. (They were an homage of sorts of her brother, Paul, and his days as a Vision-clad skater.) The shoes: platform sneaks, pearl-studded flats, strappy heels. And approachable denim came in several forms, from a mini romper with leather insets to skintight, paneled jeans. It all gelled for a complete picture of the world according to Chloë. Between heaven and hell, after all, there’s her stomping ground and inspiration well: the street.
Click on the below image for a look at the line:
Below is a selection of quotations from Chloë Sevigny regarding her collections with Opening Ceremony.
From BlackBook, issue February 2008:
On the title “Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony”:
“Yeah, not all that clever, I know — but the logo, I like. The line itself is very body-conscious, and kind of a mish-mash. It grew out of what I was into as a kid — Depeche Mode, but also A Tribe Called Quest, so it’s this alterna-girl meets fly-girl kind of thing. And it’s by no means high fashion; it’s daywear. Casual, absolutely — a lot of cottons, comfortable fabrics. I still wish it were cheaper; it’s in the $100 to $400 range, because we used Liberty of London for the printing. They did an amazing job, of course — that’s why you get them. But I’d still like a high school girl to be able to afford it.”
On how she approached her debut collection:
“The difference with it, for me, is that I really thought about it as a commercial product. I really thought about the consumer, which is something that, well, I just don’t normally do. I really want it to be successful. I want people to buy it, and to like it. So I thought about a lot of the more universal aspects of the clothes: Does this work if a tall girl wants to buy it? Or a skinny, skinny one? And if the answer was no, we just didn’t make it, and moved on.”
On why she waited until 2008 to launch a clothing line:
“Well, it’s the first time somebody offered [to back it]. I was always thinking about it, of course, and everybody was always asking me why I hadn’t done something. For a little while, I was in talks with this Japanese company to do a one-off, just one piece with them, but every time something like that would come up, I was always under contract to some other company that involved restrictions. A deal with one company meant I couldn’t go out and do anything to promote another, so it never worked out.”
From Doingbird, issue #13 2008:
On how she got involved with Opening Ceremony:
“I was out at a party one night and Fashion Wire Daily was there, y’know, doing little areas and they said, ‘How come you never did a line? If you ever did one, who would you wanna do it with?’ and I said Opening Ceremony. Humberto [Leon], the owner of Opening Ceremony, read it online and called me the next day and said, ‘Do you really wanna do something like this? Let’s sit down and talk about it.’ So, it’s kind of lucky, being who I am, that, y’know, they would take notice and be interested in doing it with me.”
On why she picked Opening Ceremony:
“Well, it seems that, y’know, so many celebrities or models have been doing lines and collaborations with stores or things like that, and I always thought that if I did it I wouldn’t want to do it with some huge, mass-market company. I’d rather do it with a small company. And I also shop at their store and I like the line that they design, and it just seemed like a good fit.”
From He Magazine, issue February 2008:
On her debut collection in retrospect:
“Looking back now, I wish I had done a few more masculine pieces. We did some Oxfords, and a few blazers, and a few bigger, bomber jackets. But that was about it. [...] I think I would’ve done a fuller trouser, maybe a couple more oversized shirts. A lot of my girlfriends like to wear stuff that’s oversized — and then it would have been something at least for boys to buy… I didn’t mean to exclude them. To give them anything, you know, just to be able to buy!”
On her debut collection in retrospect:
“I would say it was probably more of a vanity project! To sort of design things that I’ve always wanted, to alter things that I already have in a way that I would prefer them to be. [...] I like to think I’m designing for the alternative girl everywhere.”
On how she approached her first collection:
“Well, I think I just wanted to do something young and trendy — you know, it’s not like I do this every season and have to come up with something, like that, to justify everything that I’m doing. I feel like more designers do that, you know? I was thinking about my own years, in junior high, thinking about what I was into then, grasping at my own youth — one last hurrah or something.”
From Interview, issue April 2009:
On why she decided to do a second collection:
“With my work making it unpredictable as to when I’m going to be in New York, I just did the women’s line and left it at that. But last fall I came back from shooting Big Love and Humberto [Leon, co-owner and co-founder of Opening Ceremony] was like, ‘What do you think?’ Basically, he convinced me. I said, ‘Well, if we do it, let’s do a unisex line,’ because when I did girls I was really frustrated that there wasn’t anything for boys to wear.”
On her inspiration for the Fall/Winter 2009 collection:
“I thought a lot about Miguel Adrover when I was designing — that balance of urban and ethnic. I used a lot of earth tones. Then I have specific inspirations. One silk shirt was inspired by Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode 101. On tour he wore this really thin white shirt that’s billowy and big. I wanted everything to be big and oversized. A friend of mine had given me this book called Skins & Punks by Gavin Watson, so there’s a little bit of a skinhead influence as well.”
From Elle.com, June 8 2011:
Describing the Resort 2012 collection:
“A lot of the collection plays with good and evil and dark and light and I saw them sort of shearing the white lamb which is the good lamb and they’d slayed the head of the dark lamb, like our inner conflict. [...] I thought it was very fitting. I liked the vibrancy of it. I wanted people to come in and have something to look at and something that would set a mood and kind of you know just, this is kind of the reckless sense of danger like something’s going to happen.”
On her inspiration for the Resort 2012 collection:
“It reminds me so much of my youth, it has the strongest sense memory, I think when a lot of people see that, kids my age or older, it’ll be really effective. I mean vision was like the biggest brand and the star skateboarders were like rockstars back in the day. It’s just so iconic.”
On the Resort 2012 collection launch:
“Unfortunately it’s only clothes. And not that exciting.”
From Vogue.com, June 8 2011:
On her approach to the Resort 2012 collection:
“I don’t really play by rules. [...] I basically make whatever my friends and I want to wear; it’s completely selfish!”
Below are some Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony-related media as well as off-site links that may be of interest to you.
• Ad Campaigns > Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony 2008 Promotion
• Ads Campaigns > Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony Fall/Winter 2009 Promotion
• Ads Campaigns > Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony Resort 2011 Promotion
• Behind the Scenes > ‘Purple Fashion’ (Fr) Spring/Summer 2008 Photoshoot
• Behind the Scenes > ‘Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony 2008 Preview Photoshoot
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘BlackBook’ (US) February 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Doingbird’ (Au) issue #13 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘He Magazine’ (US) February 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘i-D’ (UK) March 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Libération Next’ (Fr) March 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Page Six’ (US) February 3 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Purple Fashion’ (Fr) Spring/Summer 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Spur’ (Jp) June 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2008 > ‘Very Elle’ (Fr) Spring/Summer 2008 Scans
• Magazines in 2009 > ‘Interview’ (US) April 2009 Scans
• Photoshoots in 2007 > Photoshoot #004
• Photoshoots in 2008 > Photoshoot #003