Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chloe Sevigny, she's got legs

This post is filed under 'Costumes to Cop', a label I devised to allow me to gush about my favorite movies on a style blog. Although Leonard Maltin I am not, I am cinematically omnivorous - I'll watch anything and everything. Like most people, I derive equal enjoyment from watching stars on and off the silver/small screen. The last thing Rachel Bilson did that held my attention was a 2-episode guest spot on Chuck, yet she seems to be everywhere... and damn, that gal has style.

So, celebs are wearing costumes (Well, if the average Jane Q. Public is seeing photographic or telegraphic representations of them, then they probably are.) Whether they are plugging their latest book, scandal, or just their own branded selves, keep in mind they are selling you something (A touch of sympathy would go out to those whose bodies are as good as billboards and relentlessly photographed, if they weren't so egregiously overcompensated. As Dirt's Lucy Spiller would say, "when you put on the red clown nose you expect people to point and laugh".)

Chloe Sevigny pulls off a tough look in HBO's Big Love; she's the wife in full-on Prairie Dress, complete with bouffant/braid updos and liberty-print floral maxi skirts. I imagine this transformation to be no easy feat (recalling my sister's Hutterite Halloween costume a few years back). A favorite episode was S4E8 in which she modernized her look to please husband Bill. This involved glossy Veronica Lake waves, a micro-mini, and a Clinique counter's worth of makeup. BAM! She looked startlingly like she does when posing for the paparazzi in 'real life'. This got me thinking about the tremendous about of time and effort (read: paid professional assistance) these gals are getting. Ensembles are artfully constructed and recorded, whether by a camera crew packed with beer-bellied teamsters and studio reps or by enterprising paps willing to follow young starlets as they grab Starbucks or walk their tiny dogs.
To be fair, Ms. Sevigny seems to be less manufactured and manicured than most. I loved her latest collaboration with Opening Ceremony (see: good little article about the megastore in Sept's Elle, the one with Her Right Toothiness Ms. Roberts on the cover). The capsule collection felt like ordering a sampling platter at a too-pricey-for-you restaurant - a worthy splurge on the chef's greatest hits. Much like Kate Moss's Topshop duds before, the garments seemed like things the actress would actually be seen in: washed leather, vintagey blazers, anything crotchtastically short, and booties so fierce they moved from gladiator to Olympian God status. For yet another contrived celeb/designer collaboration, it seemed awfully authentic. And isn't that why we buy branded goods instead of the generic, to get a little scrap of the dream. To feel a bit like Chloe, if only until laundry day.

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