The Digital Journalist
14 Dec. 2003 --- Chloë Sevigny --- Image by © Jack Chuck/Corbis Outline

Guy Aroch on Chloë Sevigny:

By Elodie Mailliet / © Corbis Outline

Chloë Sevigny and I started our careers around the same time. The first shoot we did together for Spin, in 1997, was a little while after Chloë had starred in Kids. I was still figuring out my career path. She didn't know me at all, but we clicked. Chloë and I are close to the same age—Chloë might be a little younger. We both live in New York City and share the same street sensibility. She looked good. The vibe was good. We did something funky and strong but without going too crazy, exploring a mannequin/doll-like concept. After seeing the first couple of Polaroids, Amanda, Chloë's publicist, told me, "I trust you one hundred percent." That freed me.

Chloë sums up cool New York for me. What I love most about her is the fact that she can go from so raw to so elegant. She's such a staple of downtown New York, but she also has the sophistication to cross into Chanel-ville. She can go from doing Purple magazine with Terry Richardson to doing a Louis Vuitton ad.

We tried a lot of different things together. In 2003, with independent releases such as The Brown Bunny, Shattered Glass, and Party Monster, Chloë wanted to go a little more mainstream and become more of a household name. At my suggestion, because I was working a lot with In Style at the time, we approached the magazine to do a beauty shoot. We decided to explore the good-girl/bad-girl paradox, that is, an In Style version of good girl/bad girl, not too edgy.

For IFC, we went a little more daring. One of Chloë's friends styled the shoot. We tried the rubber look. Chloë can wear something like this and give it a classy twist. Not many people can pull that off. I also think she wears red lipstick really well!

But whatever she does—classy or edgy—there's always that honesty. She knows herself and has a great sense of style. It's not something that's imposed on her by a stylist or a photographer. Style is who she is and that's what she knows. She is confident and doesn't need to have people around to make decisions for her.

My favorite shoot is one that was never published. I had this idea to do a snapshot series with Chloë. We met while she was staying in Los Angeles. I just followed her for the day. I would snap around, paparazzi style. At one point, we were walking around the hotel Chateau Marmont, taking pictures. I remember a security guard coming up and asking, "What are you doing?" All she had to do was turn around and he backed down saying, "Okay, it's okay." It was a cute moment. It was just us.

Why aren't there more shoots like that? So many good pictures have come out of that style. Look at Bert Stern and Marilyn. That's what it's about: candid moments. Forget the hair and makeup for a second and forget all the politics. If everybody could just chill out! That's when you have fun. Of course, an image needs to be pleasing to the eye, but an iconic picture is nothing more than a great moment captured on film. That's the thing with Chloë—she's willing to take more chances than most actors.