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Chloë Sevigny on Hollywood diversity and female empowerment

Lending her dulcet tones to a spoken prayer for perfume brand Régime des Fleurs, we catch up with the actress to discuss the current state of the film industry


Proving there isn’t anything the imitable Chloë Sevigny can’t do, the actress-designer-model and ’coolest girl in the world’ has added yet another string to her bow, releasing a new spoken word track in the form of a prayer. Featuring an ode to to Saint Thérèse, a Catholic saint also known as ‘The Little Flower’ and made in collaboration with Los Angeles-based perfume brand Régime des Fleurs, the two minute audio – which has since been remixed by fashion’s right hand man Michel Gaubert – features Sevigny’s distinctive dulcet tones stripped back and reciting a prayer in honour of the influential Catholic figure.

“We wanted to do something unique and arresting, Chloë is Catholic and we are all about flowers and spirituality. Saint Therese is a muse to both of us”, says Alia Raza, co-founder of Régime des Fleurs. Written by Raza and fellow founder Ezra Woods, the duo take a nonconventional approach to fragrance, with the brand choosing to ground their fragrances with an honest approach to perfume as opposed to contrived marketing techniques, “It's amazing how many successful perfumers love to say their work is about memory. I cringe,” continues Raza. Following on from the tracks release, we spoke to Sevigny about her relationship with Alia and Woods, the increasing accessibility of film technology  and a rising sense of girl power in the entertainment industry.

When did your relationship with Régime Des Fleurs begin?

Chloë Sevigny: Ezra and Alia are old friends of mine. We've known each other for probably over ten years, Ezra worked at Cherry, which is a great vintage store in LA, and we had some mutual friends. I think we first met at a Morrissey concert actually, and we used to go dancing together all the time and I just was really smitten with him. I remember when I first met him, he was really young, he was like 20. The whole thing has a really nice feeling and they're both so bright and really want to do something more than just perfume. They have so much to offer and this is such an interesting platform to try and do that.

So, how did this collaborative prayer to Saint Thérèse come about?

Chloë Sevigny: Alia came to me at first and wanted me to do some sort of meditation mantra, and I was like I've never meditated once in my entire life, I don't know anything about it. I'm not really in depth into eastern philosophy or religion, so I was like it just feels very foreign to me and I feel like it will be kind of comedic. And so i suggested a prayer, I grew up Catholic and there's so much beauty and reverence in prayer, so she sent me that piece that she tweaked and I was so moved by it I practically started crying, that's kind of how it happened.

You’re someone that has always been vocal about supporting other women, but have you noticed a wider application of these views since feminism entered the mainstream? A sense of girls sticking together despite the media so often trying to pit women against each other?

Chloë Sevigny: There's been a major shift in the last year or so… You really feel that. And you know I think the media also helps propel that. It's kind of like a double-edged sword,  they got everybody excited about it – propelling this whole girl power thing and camaraderie or whatever. You know I've always been like that. All of my friends have always been girls so I've always been super supported by them so it's nothing different for me, but it's great that it's kind of infiltrating into a general consciousness, 100 per cent.

But can such a wider acknowledgement of these feminist ideas ever lead to tangible change?

Chloë Sevigny: Yeah, like even Beyonce you know, it's kind of a polarising thing to a certain extent but anything that brings up the word feminism and anything that can help people think about it in a broader sense – or in any sense – is a good thing.

“I've always had a complicated relationship with awards, period. I think it's important to help propel diversity in positions of power and creativity”– Chloë Sevigny

You’ve always championed independent filmmaking, but do you think the gap between big budget and indie cinema is depleting as technology becomes more widely available?

Chloë Sevigny: It’s such a budgetary thing do you know what I mean? Maybe that's just the way the world is going with no more middle class, especially because of the internet, it's just so much easier to get the word out there. It's kind of where the movie industry is now, it's either an $100 million movie or a $10,000 movie, so it feels like there's not so much of that in-between anymore.

However, diversity in Hollywood is still an undeniable problem. With award ceremony nominations still disappointingly white and male dominated each year, how do we combat these issues?

Chloë Sevigny: I mean I've always had a complicated relationship with awards, period. I think it's important to help propel diversity in positions of power and creativity. It's really got to start from there, you know? We've just got to be more open and not as concerned with the box-office. Obviously it's a business, but change has to start from the ground up in that sense.

Check out more from Régime des Fleurs here