Chloë Sevigny Brought Her Own Vintage 19th-Century Dresses to Wear in ‘Lizzie’

Plus, costume designer Natalie O’Brien explains how Kristen Stewart would sneak jeans and Converse under her 1890s housemaid costumes.

Warning: Spoilers for ‘Lizzie’ the movie and the 126-year-old true story of Lizzie Borden below.

Producer and actress Chloë Sevigny spent nearly a decade bringing the latest dramatization of Lizzie Borden’s alleged 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother to the big screen. Her vision for “Lizzie,” written by friend Bryce Kass, explores the lead-up to the still-unsolved grisly murders, and the famous trial of the accused murderer, played by Sevigny, from a feminist and “smash-the-patriarchy” point of view. 

As a decision-maker in front of and behind the camera, she was fully invested; she even spent a night in the Fall River, Mass. murder house (now a museum and a bed and breakfast, which can’t not be haunted, honestly). That meant everything in the film, including the costumes, required meticulous dedication to authenticity. Because of the salaciousness and brutality of the hatchet murders — and the fact that the Bordens were prominent members of the community — the case was like the O.J. Simpson trial of the day. So, the costume department had copious old photos, sketches and documentation surrounding the proceedings to analyze.

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