Chloë Sevigny in Rodarte

Posted on May 16, 2013

Before we drown in stately Cannes gowns, let’s take a moment to spend some time with someone who has considerably less grandiose ideas about style.

Darlings, meet Ariadne:


Chloë Sevigny attends the ABSOLUT Elyx launch in New York City.

Rodarte Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Lina Zhang

Having made a living for several years selling jewelry made out of barbed wire at traveling flea markets and craft shows, Ariadne was convinced by friends and family members who don’t like her all that much to try out for Project Runway, reasoning that fashion design couldn’t be all that much different than making a tiara out of barbed wire.  Broke, and with several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of credit card debt, Ariadne was just desperate and delusional enough to give it a try. The producers all recognized immediately that she had no training or even an ability to sew, but she was weird and had a great backstory, so she was posing for promotional pictures for Lifetime inside a week. She quickly established herself as a soon-to-be fan favorite on the show by sticking her tongue in Tim Gunn’s ear during a critique and making a lewd gesture to Nina Garcia on the runway. Also: dressing like a mental patient. She wowed the producers (and repulsed a string of fashion-insider guest judges) by producing work that once caused Michael Kors to exclaim, “This shit looks like the scraps my janitor sweeps up off the design studio floor!” in a segment never aired to the public. Her antics and idiosyncrasies spurred the producers to keep her in the competition all the way to the finale, when she was eliminated first. This taste of fame and inadvertent encouragement to continue fashion design only spurred on her delusions. She now produces small collections made out of scraps she pays Michael Kors’ janitor to collect for her. She calls the line Duchess Shit. So far, there are no buyers.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • How does one give a standing ovation while sitting at her office desk, trying to give the appearance of working? I must find a way!
    Bravo TLo!! Bravo Ariadne!!

  • NMMagpie

    Straight up, not giving a damn.

  • MzzPants

    That’s the most interesting Project Runway has been in years.

    • Candice Richardson


    • NYCGlamourpuss

      It’s funny, ‘cos it’s true!

    • HomeOfficeGirl


  • Lord how you guys slay me. Thanks a million!!!

  • Diego!

    I don’t know… she doesn’t look THAT bad here. We’ve seen worst impersonations from her. I realize she went too much into the barbed wire, but overall she looks “OK”. I don’t like her make up tough. Semi-IN (?)

    • ampg

      I think she manages to look put together only because she copied the runway look exactly. And at the same time, she copied the runway look exactly, but still managed to look completely crazy. I give her props for being able to walk that line.

  • charlotte

    This is hysterical. Chloe’s alters never disappoint us.
    Why would anyone wear barbed wire as jewellery? Although it make even more sense for Chloe than for the Rodarte model to do so. Also: the writing to the wall makes it look like she is posing in a museum.

    • 3boysful

      Would be very useful if you had to go out with someone and you didn’t want him to get too close . . .

  • SugarSnap108

    Bless you for the backstory. This image now makes sense to me.

  • Pennymac

    Shit, the boss just walked by and wondered why I was laughing so hard……

  • RedRaven617

    You guys just made my day. Thank you.

  • alyce1213

    Barbed wire. I’m gasping for breath.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Hilarious and perfect.

    Funny that you said “dressing like a mental patient” because my first thought upon seeing that, uh, dress (or whatever it is) was something similar (though less p.c.) about the Rodarte sisters. They really do throw a lot of shit out there, don’t they.

    • lovelyivy

      Yup. I often find the love for them puzzling. Them, Stella and Marchesa are the Queens of WTFery.

      • BrooklynBomber

        As far as I’m concerned Marchesa is the Evil Empress! But between this and the Zoe Saldana dress from yesterday — how do these people even have a career as designers?

        • filmcricket

          I was wondering the same thing. How does this get sent down a runway? Except for the fact that I presume it’s all one piece, this looks almost exactly like the type of thrift store stuff my skinnier friends got away with in the 90s.

          • BrooklynBomber

            Home ec class makes costumes for dance class recital.

          • j_anson

            A really DEPRESSED home ec class.

        • 3boysful

          I think these were homemade valances that used to hang in someone’s basement. They were made from some unused 1970s yardage found lying around, and the sewer congratulated him/her-self on the free window treatment. Now that HGTV has come in and re-done the basement, these were in the trash on the curb, and the Rodarte gals drove by and said “Oooooh–we can wrap this around the model . . . .”

    • jetpackdino

      This is definitely one of those runway dresses that only looks interesting in motion. Standing there, slouched, it’s mental-patient crazy and boring at the same time.

      • BrooklynBomber

        I’m not convinced it’d look interesting in motion. Well, maybe “interesting” – I’ll give you that! But I do know what you mean, and I often think something that doesn’t look so good in a still picture probably looked good in motion.

  • Funkykatt

    No buyers until now. Just the fact that you featured her designs will make her a millionaire. I wish I could buy but my kid’s braces have put me in the poor house. Six thousand dollars for braces…that could buy me a shoe.

  • Meg0GayGuys6

    I always wonder what having a conversation with her would be like.

    • My worst fear is that she is a pretentious know it all with no sense of humor. I want her to be as interesting and entertaining as the uncles have made her in my mind.

      • Beardslee

        She looks like such a dreary human being, I am certain that the best company she has to offer is that provided by her third party alters.

  • Call me Bee

    Brilliant, TLo! (I think I’ve seen Ariadne at a local craft show…)
    Actually–I think this is first time I’ve ever seen Chloe or any of her alters wearing an outfit exactly as it was shown on the runway–clunky boots and all.

    • formerlyAnon

      I agree that I can’t remember (though my fashion memory is a weak, weak reed to lean on) any other ensemble she took straight from the runway.

  • oh…no…

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Maybe we should have a virtual season, in which all of Chloe’s alters compete. Hey, it can’t be much less interesting than things have been for a while…

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      I love that idea!

    • formerlyAnon

      That’s kind of brilliant, though the first few weeks as they weed out contestants it’s going to be even harder than usual to remember who’s named what.

  • decormaven

    Best PR contestant ev-ah. Love it!

  • Tatiana Luján

    I love the story you made for Ariadne, but I don’t think she looks that bad. I even like it.
    She looks like someone who lives in San Francisco and makes conceptual art out of recicled ben pans.

  • Snailstsichr

    Coffee snorted on screen. You win!

  • AlisonS

    This may be my favorite alter story ever! So detailed! So full of life!

  • SewingSiren

    She really is a great actress , isn’t she?

  • kayleymaybe

    You guys need to send these story lines to The Mindy Project. She was woefully underused on that show.

    • jetpackdino

      Agreed. When she made that first appearance, I was like, “Snap! Heads are gonna roll, y’all!”

      But then… Well. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it, but don’t get your hopes up too high. Great show overall though, one of my favorites.

  • Judy_S

    In other words, Ariadne auf.

  • I think I’ve seen Ariadne’s work in a couple of “art” galleries in Northampton, MA.

  • lobsterlen

    Well done.

  • Stubenville

    Why does she always dress like a rag picker?

  • MilaXX

    I would totally wear Duchess shit

    • mhleta

      Just for the pure sake of saying it, right?

    • CurbGirl

      I would frame the tag.

  • Could you please, please, please be my uncles for real. I’ll make you tea properly and everything!

    Sincerley a crying laughing
    Bitter Kitten

  • Missy Covington

    Can we…have a PR season comprised entirely of Chloe’s alters? Please?

  • kaycem

    the judges would never oust someone with that much story first — they’d hand her the win, obviously!

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Okay, sorry, I have to over-share for just a sec.

    I opened the site, saw that there was a Chloe Sevigny post, and said to myself, “Y’know what? Hit the ladies’ room before you read this, because you don’t wanna have to pee while reading a Chloe Sevigny post.” Sorry, I know that’s TMI, but I swear to god, that literally happened.

    Because, no lie, you boys never disappoint with a Chloe post!

  • jetpackdino

    Well, if TLo go missing anytime soon, the police will know who to question first.

  • Oh uncles, your brilliance deserves a standing ovation.

  • Deb_Lynn

    What is boringly surprising is that she is wearing the EXACT outfit that walked the Rodarte runway. Why didn’t she add her own kook to the attire??

  • One of your best!

  • carnush

    She’s wearing the entire runway look, from head to toe. Usually not a good idea.

  • The_littlest_raspberry

    I’m sorry, the Duchess would never say “shit”. “Poo” maybe. But never “shit”.

    • HengRu

      “Poop”! As in “She’s pooping fabric!”

  • Qitkat

    There must be some reason she has been chosen as the Face of this vodka, because it’s certainly not evident here. Dreary clothes, not nearly as much fun as her alter. A high point in the Alter Series. I was nearly on the floor.
    Curious as to her looks through the years, I found something cool. Search for “The Chloe Sevigny Look Book,” and treat yourself to over 100 of her most memorable moments, over nearly 20 years. It’s from New York Mag. Girl has always been unique, props to her.

  • TheAmericaness

    What I treasure about this about her picture here is that she looks like she spent a night researching Absolut Elyx. Chole is no poser! Great story guys!

  • I am working at home today, so I do give them a standing ovation. Bravo TLo!!

    • drdarke

      I’m sitting on the toilet reading this on my iPad, so standing up would be – not recommended.

      But I share the sentiment, @annabelle archer….

      • TMI.


        • drdarke

          I confess, I did wonder about that a bit, @GothamTomato:disqus – but I felt “What the hey – it’s no worse than what she’s wearing in those pictures!”

      • JDK_COCO

        Oh my god I love you so much.

  • Possibly the best alter post ever.

  • mhleta

    I’d kind of prefer her in the role of Daisy Buchanan. She’d be wonderfully poisonous. Just the sort of girl a man could fall for and hate himself for it.

    • formerlyAnon

      I know nothing about casting but this strikes me as brilliant. Whether it was the writing, directing or acting, this latest Daisy (Carey Mulligan) was waaay too passive and too blank a slate to be compelling. I get that they wanted her to be of believably weak character, but they IMO totally failed to convey the element of self-centeredness? petulance? – something – that I thought was needed.

  • Sara__B

    I’m pretty sure Ariadne worked at the studio where my daughter took dance lessons before she became a jewelry designer. She always wore leotards and leggings with loose flowy tops, just like the other instructors.

  • Lilithcat

    Ariadne has had a bit too much of the Absolut.

  • stubbornthoughts


  • Color me uncool, but I can’t tell if your backstory is serious or not.

    I’ve watched Chloe, and I know how weird she can dress, and sometimes I appreciate what she does. This is butt-awful. It looks like somebody took the most basic and easy dress (to make) and lopped off a third or half of it and put it on Chloe.

    I think Project Runway is in need of good designers. I’d give it a try (I’m no professional) but I’m too old and far too slow and methodical. I’d be like Stanley, sewing and pinning at the last minute. The contestants must have nerves of steel. I do think the show lets in people who aren’t good enough. I was surprised that the woman who’d just learned to sew won a few seasons back. Her win made a travesty of the show, IMHO.

  • Fabulous! I’m sure I’ve seen Ariadne in Austin. She’s everywhere.

    • MissAmynae

      If I saw her on Congress, I’d stop her and ask where she got it. I love this–but only on our dear Chloe.

  • j_anson

    It is amazing how she managed to dumpify that outfit, given that she copied it move for move from the runway. :

  • TLJezebel

    Duchess Shit!!! LMFAO.

  • another_laura

    Love you guys especially for posts like these.

  • nannypoo

    No worse than usual for her.

  • anotherkate

    Worlds merging! This is your best Chloe alter yet. Hilarious.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    The image of Chloe sticking her tongue in Tim Gunn’s ear won’t leave my mind anytime soon (I can just imagine how beet red he would get and how he would try to politely get out of the situation).

    On a side note, with all the reality shows with “celebrity” versions, I’m a bit surprised they haven’t tried that with Project Runway. At this point the show really isn’t focused that much on quality construction, so why not have the d-list celebrities come on (perhaps with the help of seamstresses) and really “spice things up!” [LOL]

  • janneyb

    I think the collected works of Chloe’s alter egos would make a fabulous coffee table book. (title suggestions, anyone?) I would buy in bulk to give to friends for Christmas! Thanks for yet another hilarious post, TLo.

  • Anniebet

    Great scenario, uncles. Now we need so send her to rehab.

  • I don’t use the word “Genius” very often, but this post certainly qualifies.

  • jw_ny

    Rumor has it that Ariadne is being sought by Joe Zee for an All On The Line Episode. Unfortunately she’s not willing to agree to his main term of changing the brand name “Duchess Shit” to “Duchess Doo”…

  • dickylarue

    I know when I think of Vodka made from a harvest of Swedish Winter Wheat, I immediately think of Miss Sevigny. She could sell meat on a stick to a vegan.

  • Cathy S

    I think I love her. Plus this was the best Chloe alter write-up ever.

  • Thank you for this.

  • I would buy anything called “Duchess’ Shit”

  • Rodarte rethinks one of Kors’ failed resort dresses, then? Now it all makes sense!

  • formerlyAnon

    When worlds collide!
    From another thought process, no-one over 30 should be able to look that . . . not entirely inappropriate? in that ensemble. She really is a little magic fashion elf.

  • That head band looks almost as painful as her facial expression!

  • l_c_ann

    At least she had fun the night before; her face tells us that.

  • zelavie

    Best one yet!!

  • MartyBellerMask

    Love this!!

  • Dan_In_NYC

    I secretly hope you intended to type Adriene – realized it was a typo, and then said “Eh, actually that works!” I love Ariadne.

  • Synnae

    Love love love love love love!

  • Oh Chloe, what are we going to do with you?

  • macwell

    OMG – I am tires of this b—b tbumbing her nose at it all. I liked her during her ‘Kids’ and ‘American Pyscho’ era. After that – she went beyond hipster….

  • You know, they should just stop filming Project Runway and let you guys write instead. It could exist entirely as a comic book and would be much better than the show which, at this point, is just the equivalent of a has-been actress appearing on The Love Boat.


  • I am so not worthy.

  • StillGary

    Adriade is who I remember the most from the past few seasons!

  • I_Heart_TLo

    Unfreakingbelieveably awesome

  • Chloe has some fashion advice for Gwynnie at the Met Gala, apparently, which is classic stuff!

  • Contralto

    Snorting most unattractively here. Y’all had me at ‘Ariadne’.

  • ItsDicey

    OMFG! Tremendously rough day at work and I come home to this. LOVE YOU GUYS!!! xoxo

  • The barbed wire necklace & headband and the abscence of make up were punk, but the dress was limp bat wings with bird crap so what does she want to tell us with this outfit? Is it editorial? Is it intentional? Has she lost it? Questions over questions.

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL


  • I’m actually kind of in love with the barbed wire jewelry. Not all at once like that, but it’s kinda cheeky and fun.

  • Mary Lauer

    Am trying to understand having a face totally free from makeup EXCEPT for false eyelashes?!