23-Nov, 17:54

15:45, February 22 299 0

2017-02-22 15:45:14
In the Studio: Jeremy Scott Is Having a Cardboard Moment

MILAN — In the latest installment of this series that goes inside the private working worlds of designers, Jeremy Scott, creative director of Moschino and the founder of an eponymous line, discusses his life in Milan and Los Angeles, his love of stuff and why he is happy to stay a fashion outsider. And that’s just what didn’t make it into the video.

I started at Moschino Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, 2013, and now I go back and forth between Milan and Los Angeles, where I live. Fundamentally I think about myself like a subway station, and I feel like either the Moschino collection or the Jeremy Scott collection goes on these tracks. Maybe they both stop in the station, but they end up in different destinations.

I moved to Paris around 1995 or 1996; my first collection on the runway was in 1997. This September will be my 20th anniversary. I went to Paris to learn and absorb some of the amazing ambience I was enamored with growing up in Kansas City. I didn’t go there to start my own collection. But I never could get an internship, so finally I was left with just doing my own show. I’ve always felt like an outsider, and I’ll probably continue to always feel like an outsider. Hopefully that’s a good thing. I feel like I approach things differently than other designers.

Having a house like Moschino, with ad campaigns and all these other elements, gives me maybe more legitimacy for a lot of people. But I’m the same. Except that now I have a different megaphone to the world.

My schedule in Milan is based on fittings and shows. There are times I might be here for a couple of weeks, then I might not be here for another month. I’m always here for a concentrated amount of time, and I go into this bubble and work sometimes till 4 in the morning. They have a restaurant here at the office and create special vegetarian meals for me. I walk to and from the office to the hotel, so I’m basically in this little Moschino world.

In Los Angeles, I probably go to the movies or to a restaurant more than I would here in Milan, but I don’t go out to clubs and bars and places. I have a very hermetic life. I’m pretty much at the studio, home or at SoulCycle. It’s one of the three places you can find me if you’re looking for me intently enough.

I love having things around that reflect my personality. I feel like you always create best when you’re in a happy mood. I love stuff. I would say it’s junk, but it’s treasure to me. It started as, “Oh well, I’ll put this backpack on the shelf.” And then I was like, “Oh well, put the new backpack on.” And then I ended up having a bit of a history of my collections. There are little tchotchkes, vintage cups, the Looney Tunes characters wearing Moschino jewelry, the hard-hat invitation that had been for my construction collection and the first Barbie from the Barbie collection. That was made as a gift for the front row, so she’s very exclusive. I think there were only 300 made.

This desk is actually one that Franco (Moschino, the founder of the company) designed and I had recreated for my office. It’s a vintage table that’s been sliced in half, glass added, and then half of it has been gold-leafed. The most sentimental piece I have may be the teddy bear chair. Franco created one, and I’ve created a new one. So I have an original, and then I have the one that I made. I cherish that chair.

When I first came to Moschino, I definitely wanted to see Franco’s sketches and elements of his actual hand here. It was quite magical for me to be able to thumb through pieces of paper that he drew on and see some of the things I thought were so iconic. There’s a table in the other room that he had in one of the first offices, and it kept moving with him. It’s a table where we still sit and work together. I feel like it makes him present for me in that way.

There’s not one formula to a collection, but often there is an idea or a mood. Sometimes it’s coupled with a fabric or an image. For instance, with the current collection (to be shown on Thursday) I had thought: What if you had to build your wardrobe out of cardboard boxes? Then it evolved into: What if you then took these glossy magazines, these fashion editorials, and ripped them out? So you’ve taken the bra top that you love, and you’ve taped it together with some glamorous, bold Moschino belt and taped that together with some chic froufrou skirt or sequined gown, and you’ve Scotch-taped yourself an evening dress or something. Then it evolved to going to some fancy event and trying to create from this refuse, like a fancy Persian rug that’s been tossed aside and now become an elegant evening gown.

When you can recontextualize something, that’s what is really exciting. For instance, Barbie, who is basically part of everyone’s popular culture. Whether you played with her or not, we’ve all grown up with her. She’s the perfect muse for a fashion designer. I’d love for the people who are watching my show, in Paris or Milan, New York or any other fashion capital, to be able to understand it just as well as someone in Mumbai, Timbuktu or Kansas City.

I love people to have my clothes. That’s why I designed a baby stroller. To think that someone’s baby is in that baby stroller, and then one day they’re showing those baby pictures to a future spouse, and they say, “Wow that’s an amazing stroller,” and the first person says, “Well, that was a Jeremy Scott stroller.” That’s one of the ultimate compliments for a designer.