June 07, 2010
"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.