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The actress, 29, tells PEOPLE she is on a "reintroduction tour" after publicly discussing her transition with TIME magazine in July. Since then, she says she's getting style inspiration from everyone around her.
"My joke is that this is my reintroduction tour. But it is," she said while attending the Chanel No.5 In The Stars event at New York City's Rockefeller Center on Friday. The legendary fashion house threw a celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Chanel No.5 fragrance, taking over the Rockefeller Center ice rink to kick off the weeklong event, which will be held from Nov. 6-12.
Dorfman, who attended the event as a guest, says, "I think I'm kind of making up for a lot of lost time and I'm inspired by everyone's creativity."
She adds, "I think we've all come through incredibly challenging and surreal experience together. We've come out more creative. We've come out as better storytellers. We've come out as stronger people. And I think stronger as a community. And so to be a part of the fashion Renaissance of Fall 2021 moving into Spring is a time I will never forget, honestly."
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Dorfman says she doesn't feel like her personal style has shifted much since publicly coming out, explaining, "I think in a way, I wear what I feel embodied by, and emboldened by, and excited by."
But when it comes to fashion, the actress says that Chanel in particular is a brand whose values align with her own as a woman. "Even just the expression of the last show was so powerful and it was so strong and it was so feminine. It was fun and it was young," she says. "It was all of the things that I feel aligned with … It feels like a perfect synergy for where I'm at in my life."
In a conversation with transgender novelist Torrey Peters published in TIME, Dorfman, who is known for her role as Ryan Shaver on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, said she had been "privately identifying and living as a woman" for a year.
"It's funny to think about coming out, because I haven't gone anywhere," she said at the time. "I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically. Coming out is always viewed as this grand reveal, but I was never not out. Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy."
"I just switched my hormones, and I've never felt better in my life," she told the magazine. "I spent 28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. I don't think I've ever been genuinely happy until this past year. I look at the Internet chronicle of photos of me since I started working, and I can see how f—— unhappy I was in every photo. It's wild."