Around this time last year, Teen Vogue's then-new editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner brought back the title's famous Young Hollywood party (yes, the one Heidi and her friends crashed on "The Hills" many moons ago), following a brief hiatus. The line for the step-and-repeat snaked outside and around the block, while inside the scene was set for a massive blowout complete with a live performance by a hot TV star's band.
For 2020's celebration, Peoples and her staff pulled a 180, eschewing the chaos of a big party — instead, Teen Vogue hosted an intimate seated dinner celebrating the Young Hollywood edition's cover stars, most of whom arrived with a mom or sibling. The vibe was relaxed and wholesome.
"This is a weird midwesterner thing, but I like to actually talk to people," Wisconsin-bred Wagner told me during cocktails of the decision to shrink the guest list. "This is just nice to have a community of people that you can talk to about the same things that you're also struggling with like everybody here is just trying to make great work and trying to find their way in a really crazy industry."
In the midst of the award show circuit, "Booksmart" actor Kaitlyn Dever appreciated the event's chill vibe. "I feel like I go to all of those parties all the time so I crave moments like this," she said. "It's a breath of fresh air."
Speaking of those parties, Dever has been winning the red carpet this year, from her voluminous Valentino moment at the Golden Globes to her sleek pink Ralph Lauren at the SAGs to that dreamy Miu Miu gown at the BAFTAs. We had to discuss.
"It's been so seamless because I work with Karla Welch," Dever explained of her red-carpet journey. "I just love her and cherish her 'til the end of time; she makes everything easy."
Dever was just one of this year's cover stars in attendance, along with actor/musician Sofia Carson, "Waves" actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. and "A Quiet Place" star Millicent Simmonds.
"I'm really critical about the people we put in it," said Wagner of the vetting process for the Young Hollywood issue. "I feel like the industry does sometimes perpetuate the same people over and over again just because they're in campaigns or just because of superficial reasons and I really want to make sure we're challenging that and we're pushing people doing really important work."
"Young Hollywood means a lot to me because it's a huge honor to be seen by so many people [who are] supportive of me," said Simmonds via sign language, translated on-site by her mother. "It's powerful and what I want to see more of and encourage more of is diversity and different voices and to have little kids be able to see someone like them represented on screen is very important to me."
"It's maybe taken on a different meaning now," said Dever when asked what "young Hollywood" means to her. "I think young Hollywood to me feels very loud right now, in a good way, in a progressive and evolved way."
Click through the gallery below to see more from inside the 2020 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood dinner.