As a fashion designer, Jeremy Scott has been on the scene since the late ’90s, but his work has remained largely under the radar, as far as being a household name is concerned. Maybe that’s why, for a documentary, Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer doesn’t quite seem like the right title to sum up his career. A better title might be Jeremy Scott: He’s A Person Too, to go along with director Vlad Yudin’s highly-edited glimpses of Scott’s work, family roots, and slightly controversial persona.
I half expected the style of the doc to be all about the irreverence and punk artistry of Scott, who, at 40, has never played by any of the traditional rules set by the fashion elite, choosing instead to slam pop culture and mass advertising slogans right into the centre of his designs.
What drives Scott to devote whole collections to Minnie Mouse and pumping out Adidas high-tops with wings, when other designers completely shy away from such symbols? Unfortunately, the documentary doesn’t really provide any insight or even half-baked theories courtesy of a fashion historian or two. Still, if you’re really a fan of Rita Ora, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus, there’s enough cameos from these women to know who they have to thank for some of their most outrageous outfits.
Even with the lack of non-celebrity talking heads who actually wear Jeremy Scott, the footage of behind-the-scenes chaos leading up to one of his fashion shows is worth all the pop star highlights put together. The real star of this doc isn’t totally Scott himself – it’s the scene-stealing French stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, whose blunt attitude and four-letter words command attention.
No doubt the woman is a little certifiable, but the way she gesticulates and says things in a melodramatic drawl like, “All these models we saw today… Sh**!” is great, especially when all of Scott’s staff seem paralyzed with fear. At one point, she even goes after the doc’s camera crew, who obviously aren’t shy about filming her tirades.
In contrast, Scott comes across as very quiet, reserved, and guarded about anything other than his wanting to express himself in fashion on his own terms. His personality comes through a little bit during the stress leading up to his first runway collection for Moschino in 2014, but the time spent with his parents and sister (and cows!) on the family farm in Kansas City feels like it could either be focused on longer or dropped altogether, because Scott’s demeanour hardly changes.
Hopefully, as creative director for Moschino, Scott will finally reach beyond some of the critics and fashion insiders who’ve dubbed him one of the last “bad boys of fashion” for so many years. Maybe then a proper documentary might emerge that goes deeper into Scott’s life and ultimately does his favorite thing – gets people talking.
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer plays at Cinéma du Parc on September 18-24, 4:30 and 8:45 p.m.