Anne Philippi meets Chloë Sevigny

©artwork by Charles Bals / Another Slang

It’s early evening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the guests are rushing in to the Art + Film Gala. Chloë Sevigny has this yellow dress from Gucci on, designed by the new Gucci guy, Alessandro Michele. On it are fruits and a tiger. Chloë is sexy in this dress, even though she’s not dressed as a hottie or bombshell. She’s dressed in her typical Sevigny way: it doesn’t please everyone and achieves a lot of Instagram likes even without being low cut or her sticking out her tongue. (For the photo of us that I posted on Instagram, I also received quite a few likes. Precisely because otherwise there wouldn’t be a Sevigny post overload.)

Chloë Sevigny is a girl that I’ve always watched from afar. She never captured my heart, but certainly my mind, in that I’ve filed her as a pretty cool, pretty eccentric person. A woman that I’ve secretly studied over the years because she can have a very hard, New Yorker-ish effect and at the same time is the person with the best sense of humor in the fashion world. (And without being Zoolander-y.) And even to this day I like to look at the image of when Chloë dressed up like Terry Richardson.

Not long ago I read an article in The New Yorker titled “Chloë Savigny at 40“, and it’s been in my thoughts ever since. The text raises the question of what it’s like when you’re an “it girl” at 40 and how that even happens. Can it happen? Why should it happen? It is somehow tragic? (Definitely not in Chloë’s case!) The New Yorker article has a very clever quote from Chloë right at the outset: “To me, the coolest thing is to keep something to yourself.” This is the opposite from what seems to be important in the times we live in – and yet it is one hundred percent right.

I looked very closely at Chloë on the evening in question. As always out of the corner of my eyes and of course not telling others that I was watching Chloë Sevigny. She didn’t stay on the red carpet for long, and tripped around a bit like a nervous horse. I could imagine that Chloë wanted to hide, because in front of her was a Kim Kardashian and Naomi Campbell statue, constructed in life size. Everything revolved around it. So Chloë pranced past the statue pulling her boyfriend’s hand. She disappeared into the dining hall. I didn’t see her anymore, it could be that she disappeared at the other end, through the restroom area. I really wasn’t cool with this, because I wasn’t done with my Chloë Savigny studies.

It was a long time ago that I met Chloë for the first time. Lars Jensen, an old journalist friend, dragged her with him years ago to Hamburg’s Golden Poodle Club. This club was a really unattractive place, it was foggy in Hamburger’s harbor at night, and Chloë froze as everyone smoked their cigarettes outside the Poodle. She looked like she wanted to ask: “Do I have to be here?” I would have liked to ask then what Kids meant to her. The film was a shock to me, a beautiful and horrible shock, which was recognized as such only in the years following.

Tonight isn’t the time to talk to Chloë about these things. She just bit into a sugared churro, the dessert after dinner and is on her way outside holding her boyfriend’s hand. He takes a photo of Chloë and I and she puts her arm tightly around my waist. My dress is backless and Chloë’s somewhat cold hand tickles my spine. Other then the tickling, Chloë doesn’t reveal anything about herself, and I think to myself that my Sevigny research has only just begun.

Special Thanks to our friend CHARLES BALS FROM ANOTHER SLANG for the Artwork
Translation: Alicia Reuter
Portrait Anne Philippi

Anne Philippi contributed to the Berlin pages of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Vogue and the German issue of Vanity Fair until 2009. She moved to Los Angeles, with a focus on interviewing Hollywood personalities. Today she partly lives in Berlin and published a book called “Giraffen”, a story that deals with the consequences of a so called existence of glamour.