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A still-unfinished, floor-length tailcoat with dégradé sequined beading rests on a piece of tissue paper on the floor, while on hangers nearby there’s a long row of shirts: red satin with caviar beading; rose taffeta with gold sequins, purple silk lamé; one with a tromp l’oeil necktie stitched in sequins down the front. Scott is excited about so many of the pieces, from the feather embellishments to the caviar beading to the dishy leather jacket. “It’s got a subtle metallic sheen put on the leather so in the lights it will look really glam rock ’n’ roll. It won’t be sad — I don’t like anything that’s too flat,” she says. She gushes about one of the morning’s latest arrivals — “a short little frock coat with a little bit of tail movement” — and points to another embroidered jacket. “It’s quite fun, like a peacock. He’s sort of like a great peacock, really,” she says.
To a large degree, color inspired the costumes. “I have my teal palette; I have my purple-violet one, I have my dark, my black-and-white,” Scott says. “You can kind of work in your moods, and then you know you’re going to have three or four acts in your show, and it’s going to change, the lighting’s going to change, the vibe’s going to change. I wanted to make a hyper-tailored, glam look that deconstructs as he performs, meaning he keeps taking clothes off, and then maybe throws on some gorilla cape made of feathers — for fun — over a T-shirt. An artist needs his options to tell his story when he is onstage. I just think you’ve got to give choices. That’s how you approach it — the artist needs options.”
Jagger certainly has options galore: Some of the pieces will never be worn, many of the decisions will be made at the last minute, and the costumes will most certainly vary from show to show. He’ll maybe don the gorilla coat for two or three minutes, says Scott, adding that he’ll probably end up wearing three or four jackets and between five and seven shirts during the two-hour show. The outfit that Jagger wore to open the show is what Scott refers to as the black-and-white “zigzag swag” jacket. The silk number takes its cue from the matching houndstooth jackets the Rolling Stones were asked to wear for a TV gig in England in 1964. Jones made the fully zigzagged hat that went with the look. Scott says Jagger wanted a “nod” to one of the band’s earliest performances, but the mood is definitely “modern and now.”
And, back to Jagger’s assertion, comfort matters. He is famous for racing around the stage, swapping a guitar for a harmonica, and changing costumes in a matter of seconds. “He is onstage for two hours. When things are too tight or scratchy, forget about it,” Scott says. With allowing for maximum movement a primary goal, she constructs the clothes meticulously, often with seaming inside the underarm and across the back. “Architecture’s a big part of our design — how to make heavily constructed things that are comfortable,” she says.
The same goes for the brands with which she’s working. J Brand made the jeans to order after Scott whittled 20 styles down to six. “They’re making specific jeans for the show. They have a lot of stretch and are incredibly lightweight. They have to be lightweight. Once we get the fit right we make multiples.” The T-shirts are from Scott’s old friend Rick Owens. They are, she says, “superrefined, soft, and just sit on the body perfectly. They are just beautiful.”
In his 50 years performing, Jagger didn’t always have so many options. Examining the mood boards, he recalls wearing a pair of Giorgio Sant’Angelo cheesecloth trousers from the Seventies. “They were supercomfy pants,” he remembers. “It was boiling. It was really superhot on stage in the old days because the lights were very hot. These days the lights are not so hot.” He also names some of his favorite onstage outfits. “The simple Ossie Clark jumpsuit was very comfortable. But then, there were some that were super-uncomfortable because they had metal holes, and they would scar my skin! So I had to adapt those. The jumpsuit is a very comfortable garment. You zip it up, and don’t have to think about separates, and ‘Does that go with that?’” He points to a picture from a 1969 concert in Hyde Park, where he’s dressed in a billowy shirt that looks like an extra’s outfit from Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet.” “It was like a shirt-waistcoat with big puffy sleeves — very comfortable. I took it off, and I was wearing a singlet.”
Jagger’s offstage style is more low-key: He rehearses for concerts in Nike sweats (his pre-concert workouts run for five days, and he alternates between dancing and the gym). When not sweating it out onstage, he wears jeans “but not denim,” and labels including Lanvin, Rick Owens and Dries Van Noten. And while many may remember him in the three-piece Tommy Nutter suit the day he married Bianca Jagger back in 1971, he’s moved on. Timothy Everest makes his bespoke suits now — as does Scott.
“Shirts, suits, jackets — sometimes I’ll see great fabrics and I’ll just buy them for him and say: ‘I’ve got these beautiful fabrics to make great little jackets or suits for you,’” says Scott.
More than two decades younger than Jagger (she wasn’t even born when the Rolling Stones staged their first concert in 1962 at London’s Marquee Jazz Club), Scott says she hasn’t let herself dwell too much on images of the band through the years, including those in the new book “The Rolling Stones: 50” (Thames & Hudson).
“It’s better that you don’t think about it,” she explains. “But it’s quite fun to be shown the pictures. I really didn’t see them before. As I wasn’t really listening to that music — I didn’t listen to rock ’n’ roll. I do now. I grew up listening to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and lots of blues, R&B and Motown. I was happy to see Mick play with Buddy Guy and BB King [in February at the White House].”
The clock is ticking, and Jagger says he’s “quietly optimistic” about Sunday night. Scott notes that she will watch all the shows from her favorite place — the light booth. “It’s fun — and I’m there just in case a sequin needs sewing, or feathers need replenishing.”