Fashion

Jeremy Scott on the Power of Makeup, Sci-Fi, and Skincare

by Kristen Bateman
02.15.2018
The day after he presented his Fall 2018 collection, Jeremy Scott told us about his skincare obsession, how he used to wear makeup, and how those insane thigh-high Moon Boots came to be.

When Jeremy Scott decided he was going to do a makeup collaboration with MAC, he wanted to design everything, including the packaging. And that he did. Now, available in MAC stores and Ulta, the CD, cassette, and boombox-shaped palettes are just as standout as the designer's fashion collections, which also typically take inspiration from music in some way, shape, or form. The collboration took two years to complete. "It takes more time than it looks, more time than I expected," said Scott, at MAC Soho in New York City the day after his Fall 2018 fashion show. "I'm used to fashion, I'm like,' move, move, move, move, move.' But the most important thing was that not only the colors and makeup...even the outer packaging is something I'm proud of."

The boombox-shaped eyeshadow palette (with 29 shades, mind you) is just as OTT as you might think, and the CD-inspired cheek palette is extremely fun when it comes to packaging, but really delivers on on being the perfect solution to easy contouring. Here, we talked to the legendary designer about all things beauty, plus, his most recent runway show.

 

Have you ever worn makeup before?  

I used to wear tons of makeup. I used to wear eye shadow that would go right into my hairline, mascara, everything. I never really wore lipstick. Was always more into eyes.  

Did you have a favorite product? 

I wore and took anything that I could get my hands on that was a strong color. I mean if I could get a M.A.C. compact I was thrilled. I was always searching for whatever I could get my hands on.  

I know that the makeup collection was inspired by music. Would you say that your fashion is always inspired by music?  

Yeah. Absolutely. I always think my girls are either on stage, backstage, front of the stage — she's part of a girl group, she's the lead singer, she's in the band, she's with the band. It's always somehow like that because I always think that's kind of my world and what I love. It's all different music, because it's kind of different genres, it could be a do-wop girl group or it could be like some punk, you know? Early '80s girl group or some futuristic band from an outer [galaxy], I mean it could be whatever.  

 

How important is beauty to you when it comes to having a runway show?  

It's so important. It's really the final touch that really explains my story. I mean even with clothes as strong as they are, like from yesterday, if I had different hair and makeup it would...lets say I did some '40s [beauty] look, you know? It would be like "oh, okay well what is this? Is she a time traveler?"

So when you're designing your collection, do you think about that?

Yeah. In flashes, yeah absolutely. Of course, when it gets closer, a lot more especially as I see the look come together. 

Do you remember one of the most extreme runway beauty looks you've ever done for your shows? 

We did one with Kabuki [makeup artist] and Eugene [Souleiman, hair stylist] a couple years back, maybe five years ago, a show called Moving History, where, also similar to this time, Kabuki had created — I don't know what it's called, like a sticker or something. He had created some kind of stickers that were on the girls' faces as well as blue lips and all these different colors and Eugene had created a kind of crimped wig so that was definitely one of the strong ones. 

Are you into skin care? 

I'm obsessed. I don't think I've always been obsessed, more in the last decade or so. Once you get older you're like, "Oh, I've got to keep this together." Hydration.

What about hair products?

I'm really low maintenance about hair. I bought some hairspray that's only a couple of dollars but the smell is this baby powder thing and I was like, "oh man this is amazing." That's my biggest jump, like wow, I bought hair spray.

Do you have a beauty icon? Either, male or female? 

Peggy Moffitt, always and forever. I love her so much because she also creates looks with makeup. I mean she was an artist. She was more than a model or a muse. She really would see the clothes and understand the concept and bring something more to it. Not even just the makeup, the way she would walk...I mean, I've been privileged enough to get to talk to her about those days and it's so fascinating. She used to do her own hair and makeup. It's so crazy.  

 

Do you think there's a contemporary icon that's like on the same level today?  

There's no one like her, especially now. I mean there's other beauties that I love, of course, but I just think the way culture and society and the job have shifted — she had the ability to be more creative in that they did their own makeup back then. Like if Bella Hadid was like, "Oh, hi, I'm doing my own makeup." You know what I mean? Who is you? What you talking about? Did you hit your head?

What about the beauty look from your show last night?

I just called Kabuki and was like, "What am I doing today?" I want to be very futuristic, I really want to do this kind of colored wig. I also want to have something that feels like a sci-fi fun colorful movie. That's what's wonderful about being able to work with such talented people like Kabuki. He brought it.

What about the clothes? What was the inspiration behind the clothes?

I was just really thinking about sci-fi movies, thinking about sort of outer space disco, and just thinking about, you know, that kind of flamboyance in a way, of like, oh my God, people will never wear that. I kind of wanted to capture that spirit of Back to the Future 2. I wanted that kind of ridiculousness and that's why I was like, "Oh, let's do like sci-fi Moon Boots."  

Those were amazing. I was actually going to ask you specifically about those. How did that come about?

 I just had dreamt up this idea, so we reached out to Moon Boot and they were so cool. They're like "We love you, we'd love to do something." I got to work with the actual real Moon Boot company, and we shared our fabrics so we could create some that matched exactly the clothes and then use some of theirs for some of the silver and the neon colors and they just went there. I was like, "I want to make them thigh high, I'm talking model thigh high." I don't want them just being like over the knee. They need to be like ridiculous, and they went there.  

I was going to ask you about wigs because I know a lot of your shows you use wigs.

It's a way to really capture the look. Sometimes some of the girls don't have the hair to be able to do, either a short, short look or possibly something super long to be able to do some kind of thing. For the shows it's a great way to make magic happen.  

Is there one beauty trend or look that you hate?  

No. I'm really, I'm just, that's not my personality really, like I always think people should do whatever they think looks beautiful and they should — that's their thing, you know? And same thing with fashion. It's kind of like, there are a lot of different things going on, but I think, you know, people who like, like it, it's good because there's all these different frequencies. I'm doing my thing, you doing your thing. So I don't really have that initial reaction against any real style.  

Do you have a first memory or encounter with makeup?

I remember my sister had these palettes of makeup on her dresser and she was wearing these tight, tight, tight jeans and she would do this thing where she would, you know, be facing the mirror, do her makeup, she'd have her leg up this way, and I'd watch her from the back and it looked like she didn't have another leg, because it was so tight, the jeans. She would just do her makeup and I was just mesmerized.  

Do you think that fashion could exist without beauty?  

In a very unattractive way, I guess. Not in a way that I want to survive.  

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