Lo these several years ago, Chloë Sevigny participated in the now famous street-side runway show for Kim Gordon's X-Girl line. (She also served as the line's fit model.) Some 20 years later, with Sevigny at the helm of her own collection, Gordon returned the favor. She was one of several girl rockers whom Sevigny tapped to score and star in the presentation for her Opening Ceremony line, in what amounted to a sixties-style happening meets mini music festival: five bands, so of-the-moment you've never heard of them, rocking out in turn while models danced along. (The band names were painted on placards, but so were a series of inscrutable tags and messages. You could make a parlor game of picking out the bands from the blather: IUD, Finger Poetry, Thinner, Ham.)
It was a guerrilla assault on the traditional runway show, just as Gordon's had been two decades before. And that dovetailed nicely with the stated theme of protest—more or less. The hint of Occupy was in the air, but Sevigny said that that had mostly made her think of the earlier protests staged by youthquakers in the sixties. Whatever they might've been protesting for or against got a bit lost in the shuffle (Ham?), but Sevigny's interest is the clothes, and her medium is her message. "I feel like every teenager that's somewhat alternative goes through a sixties obsession and a mod obsession," she said. Her collection juggled mod-ish styles—little A-line dresses, thrifted-looking peacoats in wide-wale cord, patent leather booties, bow-front T-strap flats—with pieces pulled from other corners of her adolescence, like stretch skirts and dresses printed with Egyptian ankhs, hearts, and cherries, and sweats made with Vision Street Wear, the label her brother wore to skate.
It fit together only according to the helter-skelter logic native to teenagers, but that was fine for a celebration of youthful verve and fuck-it-all. The link to the past wasn't the sixties, but Chloë's own It girl nineties—in other words, to the X-Girl years. She suggested as much by modeling in this presentation, too. "Every collection is a nod back to my teen years," she confirmed after the show. "It's very narcissistic." But she said it with a laugh that asked, Is that really so bad? and it wasn't too hard to agree.