Courtney Love talks about her clothes the way Effie Trinket talks about Tributes—some will be treasured, some will be spared, and some very special items will be reaped from her luxury stashes. But her clothing culling puts the odds in your favor, as this week some of her most coveted items go up for sale at Heroine, the female-focused resale site from Grailed, with 10 percent of proceeds going to Stand For Courage, a foundation to fight bullying among both kids and adults.
Among the stash of sale items are red carpet veterans like a black Vivienne Westwood pouf, a pink Dior siren gown, and the pinstripe suit custom-tailored for Love to wear in Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent campaign. They were selected by Love with help from Anastasia Walker, a stylist for Blake Lively and Madonna among others, who’s become something of a CL protégé.
Here, the original queen of grunge glamour talks about her wardrobe purge, her celebrity shoe hoard, and her budding career as a gallery artist.
You’ve been a fashion muse for decades. What happens when you clean out your closet?
It gets scary, because I have a lot of clothes and I don’t always get rid of things. I collect stuff—accidentally, sometimes. So when I moved to New York the second time, in 2009, I had to cull my wardrobe for the first time in a decade. I felt my wardrobe heaving, and I had to hire someone to help me de-clutter. She starts putting all my clothes on racks, so I can see them all for the first time, and I’m like, “Wait, I have ten of that same dress? What’s this Margiela thing? I don’t think I need that anymore.” So off it goes. At least, it’s supposed to go…
And you hired Anastasia Walker to make sure it did?
Well, Anastasia came to me through [stylist] Arianne Phillips. She called me and said, “you need to meet this person,” and she’s very careful with her recommendations. She doesn’t do that often. So I knew she must be really special.
What do you want people to do with your clothes? Wear them, or like, frame them in their house?
No, wear them! I want you to wear them! That’s the goal. That’s why I picked Heroine, because the people who shop there are informed. It’s really a site for people who worship fashion; they’ll understand why this stuff is so special. And they’ve done it before—they did it with Chloe Sevigny a while ago, and I saw how they sold her stuff, and I thought it was brilliant.
I can’t believe you’re getting rid of that Hedi Slimane suit. You don’t think you’ll ever want it back?
I mean, those are the breaks. You know what I wish I’d never gotten rid of? My Dior saddle bags. Why did I do that? And also, anything I once had from Marc Jacobs’ Perry Ellis grunge collection.
You…wish you’d kept the grunge clothes?
I know he’s bringing it back. But he sent it to me once.
Do you believe clothes keep the energy of the wearer? If I buy something of yours, will I be able to channel some of your soul?
It’s interesting you’re wondering that, because I actually have a story about it. My friend is Anita Pallenberg’s son. I’ve been through a lot of stuff and so has he. He gave me his mother’s stiletto. I’ve shown it to some people and I keep it in a secret place. This is not something I would normally do, but it’s Anita Pallenberg’s. So it is infused with some magic. It’s amazing. So if you want to do that with my clothes, you can project onto them whatever you want. I’m done with them. I don’t need the pinstripe coat anymore. If you need it to be strong or glamorous or whatever you need, take it.
You’re partnering with your sister’s foundation, Stand For Courage, which helps stop bullying in schools. Did you get bullied as a kid?
Are you kidding? Of course I did. I’ve dealt with a lot of bullying, and my siblings have all had experiences with it, too–all of us were bullied in some way or another. My sister Nicole wants to eradicate that with teens and younger kids. It’s timely. It’s good. It also affects #metoo and because the fact that [#metoo] is still happening and still being perpetuated, that sucks. There’s a need for this right now.
What do you think is the best way to stop people from bullying?
That’s why I’ve got my siblings—they’re a bunch of lawyers and brilliant thinkers who can actually help solve [bullying]. They all bring in different essences and help create amazing stuff. I need their help on this, because I say things [in public] sometimes, and I feel like they’re not getting through. I’m not educated; I don’t have a degree, and that’s fine. I’ve been happy to go home to my wardrobe and my drawing, because that’s what I do.
Yeah, I’m working on more art. That’s what I’m doing right now; you’ll see more from me soon, I hope.