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Long before the start of Chloe Sevigny’s Q&A and book signing at West L.A.’s Bookmarc on Wednesday, a line of the style icon’s admirers began to form outside the store, stretching down Melrose Place. Given her almost cult-like status as the stylish embodiment of New York’s downtown scene, it really comes as no surprise.
Sevigny’s eponymous new photo book, which was released on April 21 by Rizzoli (Amazon, $35), is a chronicle of the actress/model/ designer’s unique and oft-emulated style through her 20-plus years in the public eye. But the book, says Sevigny, has more to do with her attitude, her curiosity and her own story than anything else. “The book really isn’t about style,” she told Pret-a-Reporter, “it’s more about mood and a ‘free in the streets girl.’ [It’s] not a how-to, but just more of an inspirational guide.”
Its pages are filled with photos hand selected by Sevigny, who says her intent was to “reclaim” her image. “In the age of the Internet, it gets so away from you and there’s so many horrible Google images,” said Sevigny. “So I got to go through like all the photos I’ve taken over my career with professional magazines and other things, movie stills, friends’ pictures, and stuff I’ve done on my own and just kind of like, make this little story book.” With a forward by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and an afterword by Orange is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne, it’s clear the book is cool from cover to cover.
Sevigny has starred in campaigns for Miu Miu and Chloe and graced the pages of countless indie magazines, all of which describe her elusive and seductive air as “cool without trying.”
“Oh, I try pretty hard,” said Sevigny, laughing. “If I’m going out with my friends, I feel like I try harder than, like, when I’m doing a red-carpet appearance.”
Though her au naturale look is trending at the moment, Sevigny’s decision to forgo heavy makeup isn’t a fashion statement, but rather a personal choice. “I just don’t like makeup,” said Sevigny. “I don’t like having my hair and makeup done — I’m just not a big makeup fan. I love red lipstick and I love mascara and that’s basically it. I like a lot of skin.”
Her own skin was radiant at the book signing, and the 40-year-old credits her less-is-more makeup approach, a healthy lifestyle and not having kids (“I think babies really age you, from the stress”) for her youthful look. As for skincare, the actress notes that Kiehl’s and Japanese brand Tatcha products are her preferred standbys.
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Though her book encapsulates her long career in the industry, the actress, who has been promoting Netflix’s latest drama Bloodline in addition to her book, shows no signs of slowing down, with plans to begin filming the next season of American Horror Story this summer.
Sevigny made it clear that she means the book to serve as an inspiration to young boys and girls, saying, “If you have a voice, if you have a vision, a point of view and a perspective and something you want to say and a strong sense of self — whatever you have to do to obtain that — then you know, anything’s possible.”
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