The five young stars of Netflix's horror hit are finding their stride on the red carpet.
Stranger things have happened than child stars developing designer taste buds. Though Millie Bobby Brown has still been known to kick it in Converse on the red carpet, the days of old sneakers and ill-fitting ties are over for the young stars of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
“Part of me hopes that he carries this fun, youthful style that he has with him forever,” says actor Gaten Matarazzo’s stylist Lulu Bernard. “I hope he has this never-grow-up attitude about him, especially in this industry.” Here’s how Matarazzo and his co-stars are growing up — and growing into their own red carpet vibe.
As a 12-year-old, Brown already was dutifully reciting her style credits (“I’m wearing Valentino Red”) on the carpet. She’s since become Raf Simons’ muse at Calvin Klein and frequently makes best dressed lists alongside top talent — at age 14. For the blackout Globes, Brown wore a frilly black CK minidress — an over-the-shoulder shot revealed the stunning backless cut. At the 2018 Emmys, she wore a feminine off-the-shoulder princess gown, pink with white floral print. The young fashionista paired it with Cartier jewelry and pink Calvin Klein pointed-toe heels.
She has taken the fashion world by storm as a Moncler partner, Essie nail polish partner and Repossi jewelry partner. The New York Fashion week attendee (repping Calvin Klein in a purple velvet cheerleading uniform in February) also turns out for political activism, wearing a March for Our Lives jean jacket to the Kids’ Choice Awards.
The menswear expert among the young cast, McLaughlin donned a purple Garcon Couture suit at the 2017 Emmys and this year went all-white with Louis Vuitton. “He said to me, ‘Fashion is your thing, so I’m going to trust you.’ So I said, ‘You got it, boss.’ I call him boss,” says stylist Darryl Glover.
At the 2018 Globes, McLaughlin looked sleek in a black Ports 1961 tux with the Nerrebro watch from Uri Minkoff. “I had the vision in my head before I even started requesting clothing,” Glover says. “I sketched a turtleneck and a cropped pant and a boot, and he said ‘Let’s try it.’” Afterward, McLoughlin told him, “I never thought a turtleneck could make me look this good.”
Glover says his goal is to expose the star, now 17, to different silhouettes. The trick: don’t let McLaughlin see the look until it’s completely done and tailored. He even got McLaughlin in a Thom Browne shorts suit before LeBron James rocked the look. Afterward, Glover says his young client told him, “I guess you do know what you’re talking about — I did it first.”
As the star’s fashion draws attention, his stylist has been giving him talks: “He’s gaining more interest now, especially after the response that he gets with his looks. I’ve been speaking to him on the importance of fashion, for an artist, an actor, for young Hollywood how important it is to participate,” Glover says. “The eyes are on him.”
Matarazzo, 16, had his fashion breakout moment at this year’s Emmys with Gen Z yellow: a mustard-hued Dolce & Gabbana suede jacket and floral-embroidered navy pants. Stylist Lulu Bernard asked D&G for something “funky — he’s young, he wants to wear something a little wild,” she says, adding that the Converse footwear was the perfect finishing touch: “That was all him. He loves sneakers.”
Matarazzo donned Ted Baker Menswear and Suitsupply outfits for the 2017 Emmys and 2018 Golden Globes, respectively. Bernard says she stays true to his personality by using a lot of color, though “he would want to just wear a Star Wars or Spider-Man T-shirt and call it a day,” she notes. “I convince him sometimes to play a little, to wear something colorful or shiny or floral.”
The stylist eventually wants to get the actor into a motorcycle jacket. “I’m telling him, ‘This is a Los Angeles staple. This is so traditional,’ but he’s like ‘It’s just not me.’ I respect that so hard,” Bernard says. The closest she’s gotten is an Earth-tone suede moto-style jacket, which she calls a baby step. Another thing we won’t see Matarazzo in any time soon: skinny jeans. “That’s a thing sometimes that older guys get, but not with this kid,” Bernard says.
Though Schnapp stunned in a white Fendi suit at the most recent Emmy Awards, he’s been a Balmain boy for some of his biggest moments, including the Stranger Things season two premiere and the 2017 Emmys. At the 2018 Globes, Schnapp and stylist Philippe Uter had a custom black-and-white Balmain look made two months early, but swapped it for the #MeToo blackout: “We had the solution of bringing black accessories to make it more fashionable,” Uter says of jazzing up a “simple” suit with a black silk scarf and bow tie.
The Fendi suit was Uter’s favorite, though, and Schnapp texted him that “everyone was complimenting me. Thank you so much. I love this look,” Uter adds. “He wants to look dapper and at the end, he needs to look comfortable. At the Emmys after party, he half unbuttoned his shirt, rolled up his pants and went barefoot,” Uter says.
This season, the stylist wants Schnapp, 14, to wear tweed and brocade: “Those are two fabrics I really want to bring, because they are very luxurious.”
Stylist Rhonda Spies began working with Wolfhard for the 2017 SAG Awards. “He had one request: a bow tie,” she says.
“His style has been evolving ever since.” Lately he’s been leaning toward a retro aesthetic. As an actor and a musician, Wolfhard, 15, opts for vintage shirts, Levi’s and Vans — but his red carpet style is more “refined,” Spies adds. At the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, she and her client played up a “mod-esque” Prada outfit.
For the 2018 Emmys, it was Yves Saint Laurent. “He was immediately drawn to the velvet blazer and boots,” Spies adds.
This story first appeared in a November stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.