The three words that best describe Hunter Schafer’s Vanity Fair Oscars party look? Less is more.
But more than just creating a headline-grabbing moment, Schafer’s ensemble was clearly considered. Fresh off the Fall-Winter 2023 runway, the look debuted earlier this month at fashion house Ann Demeulemeester’s show in Paris. It was designed by Ludovic de Saint Sernin, the label’s creative director since December.
For his first Ann Demeulemeester collection, De Saint Sernin was inspired by “fashion-making as an authentic act of self-involvement.” It was a love letter — almost literally — to the Belgian label’s founder, with the imagery of “authorship and autobiography” baked into the clothes (Sernin called his feather bandeaus “quills” in the show notes).
Hunter Schafer’s barely-there Oscars after party look was more poetic than it first seemed. credits: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
These ideas of self-expression, self-love and self-definition took on a new meaning worn by Schafer. As a trans woman whose ascent to fame was inextricably linked to her gender identity — her big break was playing trans teenager Jules in HBO’s “Euphoria” — Schafer’s body is subjected to constant scrutiny online. The comment sections on her Instagram posts often descend into open forums, where users feel entitled (and seem compelled) to ask intimate questions about the trans experience or challenge Schafer’s womanhood.
Fittingly, there is a long lineage of gender-defying sentiments stitched into Schafer’s outfit. Founded in 1985 by Ann Demeulemeester and her husband Patrick Robyn, the brand boasts a long legacy of gender-non-conforming fashion.
Schafer’s outfit debuted on the Paris runway earlier this month. credits: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
In his latest co-ed collection, De Saint Sernin — who is renowned in the industry for his eponymous, gender-fluid label — brought his androgynous world view to Ann Demeulemeester with fitted, romantic menswear silhouettes and sensual fabrics for all (think skin- tight mesh tops, leather, and open shirts made from a translucent organza material).
A quill strapped across her chest, Schafer let us know she is still writing her narrative — and defining herself on her own terms. There’s an entire story contained in those two garments. As De Saint Sernin said in the show notes: “Thirty-six looks, each one a heartfelt sentence.”