Chloë Sevigny

An icon of fashion and independent film, actress/designer/model Chloe Sevigny became an "It Girl" of the 1990s thanks both to her impeccable sense of style, and uncanny penchant for being in the right place at the right time. True, Jay McInerey's 1994 profile in the New Yorker aided in the cause by literally christening her as such, but it was her Academy Award-nominated performance in "Boys Don't Cry" (1999) that cemented her lasting success. Sevigny was the younger of two siblings (older brother Paul was a NYC DJ) living in Springfield, Massachusetts when their insurance-salesman father relocated the clan to the upper-crust suburb of Darien, Connecticut. A childhood bout with scoliosis went untreated, leaving the well-mannered girl with a permanently-tweaked posture, but Sevigny passed the time reworking thrift-store scores into outfits that were two-steps ahead of anything in Vogue. The suburbs left Sevigny bored, and one day during an excursion to The Village, the seventeen-year-old was spotted at a newsstand by Sassy fashion editor Andrea Lee Linett. The budding model quickly landed an internship at Sassy. People were beginning to take notice of Sevigny, who, feeling like a bohemian outcast in her parents' posh neighborhood, fled to Washington Square Park to hang out with skateboarders like Harmony Korine. At the time, photographer Larry Clark was there planning his feature debut. Together, Clark and Korine conceived "Kids" (1994), a cinema verite drama about a group of self destructive street kids in New York City. The story centers on Jennie (Sevigny), and her quest to find the boy who infected her with HIV. The film was a critical hit, and Sevigny was singled out by critics for the tenderness she brought to such a harrowing film. Subsequent roles in "Trees Lounge" (1996) and "The Last Days of Disco" (1998) led to a soulful turn as the girlfriend of transgendered Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry" (1999). The role displayed a depth of acting talent heretofore unseen, earning her an Oscar nomination and an Independent Spirit award. Sevigny's ability to effortlessly alternate between transgressive fare like Korine's "Gummo" (1997) and Julien Donkey Boy" (1999) and more prestigious films like Lars Von Trier's "Dogville" (2003) and Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda" (2004) made it easy to overlook missteps like Vincent Gallo's critically-derided "The Brown Bunny" (2003). Personal experience made it easy for Sevigny to essay the role of a club kids in the kinetic true-crime drama "Party Monster" (2003), and she scored a Golden Globe as a wife of a Salt Lake City polygamist on "Big Love" (HBO 2006-2011). Sevigny stayed busy on the small screen with roles in "Portlandia" (IFC 2011-18), "The Mindy Project" (Fox/Hulu 2012-17), and "American Horror Story" (FX 2011-) all while continuing to blaze her own unique trail on the catwalks and the glossy pages of fashion magazines worldwide.