The Paramount Ballroom was once the grand dame of Shanghai’s nightclub scene in the ‘30s, back when the city was renowned as the “Paris of the east” and Charlie Chaplin was a revered guest. Tonight, Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott celebrated the global launch of his Moschino X Budweiser collection with a dinner and a party in its Art Deco halls.
“I like things that are unexpected,” he remarked as Jasmine Chen performed a series of Chinese jazz classics including "Shanghai Night" and "Rose Rose, I Love You" on stage. (To note: Chen gained higher visibility with an international audience after appearing in Crazy Rich Asians.)
Well-known for merging mass-market cues with a high fashion spin, Scott and Budweiser (“the world’s most enjoyed beer”) already had some shared history. Not only did the designer feature a ‘Budweiser dress’ in his debut collection at Moschino in 2014 (which re-entered the public consciousness via this year’s Camp: Notes on Fashion exhibition at the Met), but, going back to the very beginning, one will find that they both hail from Missouri.
“It’s something that I grew up around. The iconography is such a big part of America and Americana, I love that pop culture element.” It came full circle when Budweiser approached Scott about a collaboration, which resulted in two limited edition beer bottles for the Chinese market, and a 15-piece limited edition collection available worldwide today. An American re-working something so intrinsically U.S.-of-A. for an Italian fashion brand to debut in Shanghai? It’s this exact combination of the unpredictable that was so attractive for Scott.
It surely won’t be long before the collection shows up on Scott stalwarts like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey, but the focus, the designer promises, is on the wearable. “There are a lot of things for people to interpret,” ranging from sweatpants to a swimsuit that can be paired with jeans, bags playfully shaped like beer cans and more affordable pieces like earrings and Moschino’s much beloved iPhone cases.
As he wraps up this project and concludes his trip to Asia, Scott talks to W about fun and festivities, and why the holiday season is the perfect time to take a break from it all.
W: How would you describe your aesthetic… in a cocktail?
Scott: A Kir Royale! Something sweet and fruity, but sophisticated and bubbly at the same time.
Halloween has just concluded, and it seemed like everybody was going all out this year. The timing of your Halloween-themed Resort 2020 collection was spot on.
I was just in Tokyo during Halloween for the first time and I was shocked! There were police everywhere at the Shibuya intersection, trying to keep things organized because there were so many excited people in costume.
What was the response to your show like?
It was probably one of my most exciting shows because it was live theater. For a normal show, there is a pace and timing that’s understood, so even for me this was a totally different experience. I had these different monitors and I was directing the models who were all coming in from different places on the Universal Studios lot, it felt like you were in a movie, watching it live.
Do you still find social media engaging or do you feel Instagram is played out?
It’s still great to be able to share things and it’s still very valid, but though it sounds ‘dodo-ish,’ I do worry sometimes about setting unrealistic expectations for kids…
Being based in LA, do you feel you are more in the thick of it?
Definitely, the city is such an antennae to the world. Compared to 10 or 15 years ago, with pop culture and the world we live in now, everything goes through LA. Whether it’s happening in China, Korea or Europe, there’s always a bit of Hollywood mixed into it.
Any fun vacation plans coming up?
For Thanksgiving, I’m going to go see my family in Kansas City but I haven’t planned Christmas yet. I would love to go to the Maldives, cold and snowy just isn’t my vibe. Give me beautiful sunsets and warm ocean water!
Do you deck the halls during holiday season?
I’m always busy working, so why am I going to put my house through that just to take it down, when I’m not even here?
How do you like to bring in the new year?
There’s so much pressure for it to be a big night it’s almost like asking for failure. For my job, I have such wonderful events like tonight all year around, I don’t need that one party.