Jeremy O. Harris Was Starstruck by an Enormous Whale at the CFDAs
Interview‘s very own Jeremy O. Harris woke up from a “really weird dream” on Monday, turned on the Trump fraud trial, and threw on a leather Coach trench to head to the 2023 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards at the Natural History Museum. There, amongst walruses and blue whales, the playwright and man-about-town pow-wowed with celebs like Ayo Edebiri, Hari Nef, and Lola Tung, toasting to this year’s CFDA-award winners Willy Chavaria (American menswear) and Catherine Holstein (American womenswear). The morning after, Harris called us to debrief, detailing his getting ready routine, the best-dressed attendees, and how Emily Ratajkowski saved Odell Beckham Jr.’s party from phone-induced boredom.
What did you eat on CFDAs day?
I had a really weird dream last night, so I woke up not wanting to eat and more wanting to write, so I wrote a bit. Then I came to the Mercer where Coach had given me a room to get ready with my agent Luc, which was very fun, and the lovely Susy came by to do my braids. I decided it was probably time for me to eat, so we called downstairs and I ordered the cavatelli and an iced americano and a green juice because I needed to offset all the carbs with a little greenery.
What else was in your system?
Last night I ate amazing Persian food in Harlem, so I guess some of that was still swirling around, which was probably was what gave me those amazing and odd dreams last night.
I am wearing an amazing brown leather trench from the latest Coach collection with a black turtleneck from Coach and just some Tom Ford underwear beneath. Black, if you’re feeling nasty and want to know. Some very nice leather boots as well, and a symphony of amazing accessories from Coach. There are these tiny figurines of various reptiles, from dinosaurs to lizards, that are dotting my braids and accentuating my face. And then I also have on this amazing Coach bag.
Favorite Coach accessory?
Probably these little bobbles in my head. I also love this bag because it has a lot of different recycled leathers in it, so it’s textured nicely.
How long did it take you to get ready?
My braids took about 2 and a half hours. We had some breaks, but it was a very fast job by Suzie. I was very impressed. I wanted some Iversons, I haven’t done that in a while, and she gave me the classic Iverson-esque braids.
What were you listening to?
Honestly, I was listening to was the Trump trial, which is disappointing because you want to have a little more levity before the CFDAs. I needed to go dark and heavy and find out what’s going on in our country so I listened to CNN the entire time I was getting ready.
What scent did you wear?
I’m wearing a scent that I sort of concocted myself. It’s a bit of tobacco, a bit of oud, and a bit of rose.
Who were you sitting with?
Before we got there, Jonathan, JW Anderson, had told me that his table was gonna get the most drunk, so I told Stuart [Vevers] and everyone else at our table like Dove Cameron and Cami Mendes that we had to get the most drunk. So our table got incredibly lit and Virginia Smith regaled us with some really fun stories.
What was the venue giving?
The evening was giving opulence and glamour. It was really, really beautiful. I have been to a couple CFDAs and I have never seen the CFDAs be so ornate.
Highlight of the night?
I think Thom [Browne] was truly the highlight of the night because Thom stewarded in a new era for the CFDAs. Another highlight of the night was seeing Willy Chavarria win. Willy is one of my favorite designers. I’ve worn him a couple times and to see the kind of menswear he is making be celebrated at that level was really affirming for his fans, and it was a very emotional speech.
Who was the best dressed?
I’m not Joan Rivers, I’m not going to rate my friends. There was no misstep of the night, I’ll say. People really showed up to the uppers looking their best. One person that really took my breath away—she always does—was Hari Nef. She looked gorgeous and also Ayo [Edibiri] had that effortless glamour in an all-black slip dress, and she’s really stepping into her screen siren era right now. She also had one of the funniest introductions of the night.
Did anyone have you starstruck?
I was starstruck by the walrus and whale, being in the Museum of Natural History. Seeing those two things up close unencumbered by tourists was really cool. Also, every time I see Teyana Taylor, I get a little starstruck because she is one of the great icons of our time. Greta Lee was also there, and Greta Lee always sort of inspires awe in people.
What category do you want to invent?
I’m shocked that there is not a shoe designer award. There are some amazing shoe designers right now and I don’t always see them getting love. Also, maybe a stylist award, because there are some stylists out here who are really imagining new versions of people.
I went to two. JW Anderson had an after party at the Bowery for all his crew. And all of us went to Odell Beckham Jr.’s birthday party afterwards, which was in a great venue, but was also a bizarre experience because I’ve never seen so many gorgeous people in a room listening to great music but almost exclusively on their phones. But once Emrata got on the floor and started breaking it down with Hari and Greta and JW, a lot of people put their phones away and wandered to the middle of the dance floor. And when Kim K came out to wish Odell a happy birthday, the party really skyrocketed to another level.