Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer wears the most captivating looks of New York Fashion Week in—where else?—New York City.
Is there a city more associated with dreams than New York? Kurt Vonnegut came here “to be born again”; Joan Didion said in New York, “something extraordinary could happen at any minute, any day, any month.” This past New York Fashion Week delivered more of those extraordinary moments than we could’ve expected. They left us with feelings of joy and hope (even Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs refuse to be jaded, instead focusing on the new decade) and an unbridled, futuristic kind of beauty. “Futuristic” because these are clothes that will resist trends, time, and rigid “rules”; they’re meant to be worn and loved however and whenever you please. They also felt like they were designed for a whole generation of people who are blissfully unconcerned with societal norms and banal conventions; people of every age, race, class, size, gender, and sexual identity.
Who better than the newly-minted Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer to embody the optimism of New York’s very best collections? Just after the shows wrapped, director Gordon von Steiner and fashion editor Jorden Bickham met Schafer downtown with a gaggle of friends: Lili Sumner, Zsela, Grey…, Gogo Graham, Ruby Aldridge, and many more. They’re filmed here wearing Spring 2020’s most memorable looks, many of which seem plucked from different eras: Is that Kors outfit vintage or new? And is that CDLM dress really a “tablecloth,” as Schafer jokingly calls it?
Hunter starts out alone doing her favorite activity, sketching, explaining that she grew up drawing the things she “couldn’t have or be, like princesses.” Then she finds her crew on the subway platform, hops on a downtown train, and reunites with more friends over boba and dumplings. Their night ends on a rooftop as a late-night party starts up, this time wearing brand-new looks (Schafer is in Tom Ford’s electric-green bra and skirt, with Euphoria-level eye makeup to match). It looks like the party of your dreams, essentially, and captures the spirit of downtown New York in an instant.
“It’s less of a spirit and more of a current, an energy that never dies,” says Grey…, a friend of Schafer’s. “Hunter captures this because it’s who she is—it’s who we all are. When I’m downtown, I’m so at peace and there is so much inspiration everywhere. You meet people on every corner.” In the middle of filming, that actually happened: A woman outside the East Broadway station stops Schafer, Sumner, and Zsela to rave about their ’70s-meets-right-now Marc Jacobs suits. “Is this what you wear on a regular day!?” she laughs.
It was a serendipitous reminder of the power of fashion: It connects us, expands our world, and breaks down boundaries, whether they’re uptown vs. downtown or the socially-constructed barriers between strangers. In Schafer’s circle, making new friends with a woman on the street is hardly novel. Neither is wearing a velvet suit and cowboy hat on the subway, we’d imagine. It’s one of many reasons we’ll continue to be inspired by her (and all of her friends!) as we head into 2020, armed with a new cache of Spring’s colorful, confident, self-affirming clothes.
An afternoon of sketching and lounging at home calls for a slipdress—and if you’re really lucky, it’s a tie-dyed, curve-hugging one from Rihanna’s sensational Savage x Fenty show.
Schafer used to sketch to make things she “wanted to be, like princesses.” Let’s call CDLM’s wiggle dress in upcycled fabrics the modern girl’s “princess dress.” Now, she draws anything that catches her eye, like Apex Forte and Amelia Rami in cutting-edge Pyer Moss.
It doesn’t get more magical than Area’s gilded cage dress, which toes the line between “real” clothing and sculpture like something out of a dream. Dripping with crystals (don’t miss the face jewelry!), Schafer ducks into another world, if only for a moment.
And just as quickly, she’s on the subway… This time in a ’70s-ish shirtdress and cowboy hat by Marc Jacobs, with Zsela and Lili Sumner in similarly groovy looks. Only Marc can so deftly borrow from the past without losing any sense of the present.
On East Broadway, Schafer and her crew hatch their plan for the night—starting with dumplings, obviously—in a full range of looks, from polka-dots to gingham to florals, just like any other group of friends downtown. “It felt authentic, because we are those kids in real life,” Grey… says.
For the last party of the summer, you have “pull looks,” as Schafer says. She changed into Tom Ford’s electric-lime bra and trousers (with matching eyeshadow!); Ruby Aldridge sparkled in Rodarte; Olivier Wight wore tangerine sequins c/o Eckhaus Latta. In other words: not your typical “party clothes.” Not your typical party (or party people!), either, and thank goodness for that.