“I only know pop. That’s the world I live in” and indeed that’s the market that Jeremy Scott serves. Britney Spears’s air hostess outfit in the iconic Toxic video was his creation. As was Lady Gaga’s in Paparazzi. The front row of his shows are often lined with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Rita Ora and Miley Cyrus. Like Scott, they are known for their playful personalities and mimic his sense of humour through their choice in costume and performances.
Jeremy Scott’s designs are loud, rule-breaking and free of fear. It can be hard to believe that his fashion journey begins on a farm in the conservative, Midwestern state of Missouri. His eponymous biopic looks back at his upbringing, his experience of bullying in high school, rejection from leading arts schools and homelessness in Paris before being appointed as Creative Director of Moschino. The film also goes behind the scenes in the run-up to his controversial, debut collection for the brand.
Scott had been hugely inspired by the founder, Franco Moschino. His presentations were satirical in nature – anti the fashion establishment. He was once sued by Chanel for irreverence, although considered a genius among others. Later, when Scott displayed his “mutant hybrid of Ronald McDonald and Coco Chanel” as described by Tim Blank of style.com in the A/W 14 Moschino collection, he provoked the same polarising reaction.
Jeremy Scott drew parallels between fast food and fast fashion. He moulded the McDonald’s golden arches into the classic, Moschino, heart-shaped motif. He overlaid Budweiser print and Frito-Lay on evening gowns that otherwise had the volume and lines of an haute couture robe. To the prudes, his style was gaudy and grotesque in its glorification of fast food and consumerism. Among others, he was celebrated for his bold, experimental and non-conformist approach. His collection had been influenced by his childhood aspirations of becoming a cartoonist, his fascination with bright colours and graphics, and his rejection of the homogeneity of traditional, French, fashion houses, which paid perfect homage to the Franco Moschino attitude.
The biopic ends with a heart-warming revisit to Scott’s hometown. He finds his grandmother’s sewing machine in the old farmhouse and connects with his creative lineage. In the same way that he has integrated the concept of packaging and waste into his apparel, he tells us that she made quilts of out scraps of clothes because growing up poor, “nothing was trash”.
In a comedic closing scene, Scott herds cattle wearing a Chanel t-shirt under denim dungarees. He reminds us that despite his fame and fortune as designer to the stars, you might be able to take the boy out of the country, but you still can’t take the country out of Jeremy Scott.
Jeremy Scott: The people’s designer is available to watch on Netflix.