THE KIDS WERE ALL RIGHT

The American economy was growing at four — yes, four — per cent a year. A different kind of pandemic had cast its shadow. And history, we were told, was at an end. The 1990s had a raucous seize-the-day spirit, writes Stuart Husband, and New York was their ringleader. Nostalgia has seldom felt so good.

The dance floor at Club USA in Times Square, New York (Photo by Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)

In the late autumn of 1994, a New Yorker magazine article caused a bit of a stir. An icon of eighties Manhattan — the author Jay McInerney — had profiled an icon-in-the-making of nineties Manhattan: Chloë Sevigny, “the It Girl with a street-smart style and a down-low attitude”, as the magazine had it. The author of Bright Lights, Big City accompanied the 19-year-old model-actress-designer-whatever on her downtown peregrinations, hanging with the skater kids in Washington Square Park, showcasing a forties-style brown suit for Martin Margiela in the window of the Charivari boutique, presiding over the avant-garde clothing store/techno emporium Liquid Sky on Lafayette Street, and star-turning at the Tunnel nightclub in the company of her then boyfriend, the filmmaker Harmony Korine. “She’s definitely the girl of the moment,” Walter Cessna, of Paper magazine, told McInerney. “All the kids think she’s the shit, all the store owners think she’s the shit. What’s interesting about Chloë is she spans both scenes, the whole grunge thing and the whole rave thing.”

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Stuart Husband

Published

October 2021

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