“We’re matching… We’re twinning. I think that’s the word on the street these days,” said Katy Perry, glistening in a black sequined gown, as she accompanied designer, documentary subject and friend Jeremy Scott down the red carpet at the premiere of “Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer” at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday night. “Jeremy is always so kind to let me borrow things. Because I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.”
“The most beautiful pumpkin you’ve ever seen,” quipped Scott, clad in the masculine complement to Perry’s outfit: a black tuxedo he covered with Swarovski crystals (“so it would sparkle and shine”). Fittingly so, as standing out is something to which the two are not only accustomed, but have trademarked.
“I like when people go against the grain and are a little bit of the black sheep,” said Perry. “Jeremy, in general, is a very authentic person, and naturally, I’m drawn to people that are authentic and true to themselves, and that have a great sense of humor, and you can see that in everything Jeremy creates.”
The film’s director, Vlad Yudin, was also drawn to Scott’s edgy originality. “I think Jeremy’s one of the most exciting designers of our generation,” pledged the documentarian, who sought out the controversial artist (whom he felt was “from the people and makes clothes for the people,” and who fans “follow as if he’s a pop star”). For nearly two years, Yudin and producing partner Edwin Mejia trailed Scott, who they knew — even with their limited fashion repertoire — would make for a riveting subject. “He’s so humble and he comes from a small place, and he has a strong following even though he was never truly accepted by the fashion world,” Yudin said.
Their film chronicles Scott’s career milestones and challenges, from his upbringing on a remote Missouri farm, to his move to NYC (in spite of being rejected by FIT on the grounds of not showing creativity), to the first fashion show he staged in Paris (after Jean Paul Gaultier refused him an internship), to his appointment as creative director of Italian fashion house Moschino and partnership with Perry on Super Bowl halftime.
“Katy is the arc of the film,” said Scott of his songstress friend — who he believes “touches pop culture” and is “constantly pushing the boundaries, not only with her image, but her songs.” Scott thinks audiences will enjoy the inside glimpse at their relationship: “There are these iconic moments that everyone knows, like her on the field for the Super Bowl … but you have the moments prior, of us right before she goes on the field, us talking. … You have the iconic moment of us at the MET gala on the stairs, and me kissing her hand. But you have us in the car, and me nervous, and her making me laugh, and putting me at ease.”
“Do you have the moment where I spelled out Moschino on my nails, and I spelled it wrong?” joked Perry, who’s performed 141 shows of her world tour and has 10 more to go in South America, making a Labor Day pit stop at Burning Man. “I think it was like the ‘s’ and the ‘c’ were the wrong way, and I was like, ‘look, isn’t this so cool?’ And it was totally wrong, and I looked like an idiot, and I was fumbling trying to do it in the car and superglue my nail back on!”
Of Scott’s custom designs for her (which he hopes “turn up the volume on all the wonderful things she’s trying to say”), Perry has her favorites. “Definitely the flame for the Super Bowl, because I felt really lit, and I felt like I was a torch, burning fire throughout the Super Bowl. … I loved wearing the MET Ball dress. I loved the very first costume that he let me borrow, an ice cream dress, for Jeremy Scott. And everything has a sense of humor, and I just love that. Because I never really take myself too seriously at all.”
While cameos from his celebrity fans like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton, Kanye West and Rita Ora dot the film, Scott calls Perry “more than a muse” to him. “We have a wonderful longevity of history,” he said, recalling how the singer approached him even before her album came out and gushed that he was her favorite designer and she hoped he would dress her. “And she’s made all of her dreams come true and brought me along to share in her dreams, and I feel very blessed to be a part of them.”
“You can call it muse, but I think it’s really a bond and a friendship,” Perry attested. “He’s like family. I brought tissues tonight because I’m definitely going to cry.”
Sure enough, when the two took their places before the bulging crowds surrounding the red carpet, readying to stick their hands in wet cement (as part of the TCL Chinese’s pop culture riff on the traditional hand and footprint ceremony), things indeed got emotional.
“I’m so honored to be the first fashion designer to ever do this. I’m going to cry, if I can get it out!” began Scott. “It’s such an honor to imagine that my hands are going to be immortalized where I’ve been so inspired by so many of the icons of cinema and pop culture who’ve graced this amazing theater — and to do it with my best friend, who I love and adore.”
Perry wiped her eye and looked to Scott, who she’d moments later drop down to her knees alongside, and would even later kiss adoringly at the film’s intimate after-party atop the Roosevelt Hotel. She grinned excitedly. “I guess this is happening.”
“Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer” opens in theaters on Sept. 18.