JEREMY O. HARRIS IS IN THE MIDDLE of ordering his coffee when I call him. After speaking in a perfect French accent to the barista, he assures me that it is a good time to talk. Having just left the Dior Men show at Paris Fashion Week, the renowned playwright is the most fashionable person in the café.
“I’m wearing a brown Dior T-shirt over a take on cream painter-style denim pants with brown stitching. And I have a striped red button-down overshirt on top of it,” Harris tells me. He’s embodying the true charm of Dior and a collection that Dior describes in a statement as “a combination of the formal and the casual in individual garments, a uniting of luxury with utility.”
It’s a bit different from his normal look. “Usually I take inspiration from the 1960s photobook ‘Take Ivy’ for my everyday style. But every now and then I like to switch it up, and for the Dior show, it was really fun to imagine that I might be some hot stepbrother visiting from Nantucket,” Harris says. “Like with the clogs, the hat on, and this sort of painter’s outfit. There was something that felt casual and dangerous in this casualness that told that story to me. Because everytime you wear an outfit you’re telling a story.”
And boy, does Harris tell me stories today. From his niche fears to his deep appreciation for first edition Virginia Woolf books, the Tony-nominated icon has me bursting into fits of laughter all conversation long. But I’ll let you see for yourself.
The Dior show was absolutely beautiful. Kim [Jones] has given a show that is otherworldly. He’s so brilliant at shaping theatre around what he does, and not only that, but the clothes were also stunning. There was amazing detailing on cardigans, stunning shorts on many of the boys, and the experience of being in the room as the models all arrived — it was like these perfectly kept dolls coming up from beneath the ground. It was a stunning piece of theatre, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a while. And I was sitting next to some of the most beautiful people in the world. There was Demi Moore, then Maluma, then Aron Piper. I think people wonder, like, why I am here with Dior, but it’s because I have an appreciation and understanding of theatre and storytelling.
I’m friends with Kim, and he’s invited me to his house many times. One of the things I’m most enthralled with is his first-edition Virginia Woolfe books, and I love touching them, staring at them, marvelling at them, smelling them. Because just like clothes, that’s how you should interact with great first editions. Every now and then you open them up and read them or put it on and wear it.
A Niche Fear
My number one fear is probably dying in a way that people would snicker at or see as something totally avoidable. That was born out of the fact that when I was in the Mediterranean with my fiancé and some friends last year, I went water skiing for the first time. Whenever someone invites me to a white activity that might lead to death, I’m the first to be like absolutely not. But I tried it, and I fell, and I was under the water for what felt like 45 minutes (but realistically was just a couple of seconds), and in those seconds I thought to myself like, if I die, I would hate for the headlines to be like “Jeremy O. Harris dies in a tragic water skiing accident.” Like why did he do that? That was totally avoidable. He is not someone who needs to be skiing on the water.
People need to read more. It makes me so angry that people don’t read. Even, like, download Audible if you’re going to listen to something. I don’t think ignorance is bliss. I think ignorance is hell.
I just think that cardigans are the most underrated fashion item. The cardigan was on display a lot during the show, and it made me think about how underrated a fashion item it is. There’s something just sexy about a man in a cardigan. Also, men should absolutely wear suits more. I think that people should engage more in attempting to woo people with fantasy. And there’s something about wearing a suit that reminds you of your dad or teacher or any other person in your life of authority. And it’s summer, people are horny, and sometimes you might just want to engage with that fantasy.
Grooming by Dior Beauty.
This article originally appeared on Esquire US.