Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Scott James on Color, Style, and Global Inspiration

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BUZZED-ABOUT MENSWEAR DESIGNER

scott james

We love the fruit-hued style of menswear guru Scott James – so much so that we wanted to give Members an inside peek at the amazing color-on-color styling that he’s known for. (Check out the behind-the-scenes pictures from our photo shoot above!) We turned to the designer himself for his take on how to pull off these fresh spring combinations.

Rue La La: Your looks are all about color stories. Can you give us a few pointers for carrying off bright hues?
Scott: If you’re new to trying bright colors, start with one item -  like an orange shirt under a navy blazer. As a rule, try not to wear brights on both the top and bottom. Instead, pair a bright shirt with denim, khakis, or grey trousers – I love the Julian Stone Trouser or the Isaac in navy. It’s okay to layer brights on top though. A purple shirt and a tonal purple sweater make for a cool, monochromatic take on brights.

Rue La La: What’s your favorite color combination of the moment?
Scott: For Spring 2012 (already!), we have a soft grey with a soft orange that really looks great together. A few years ago, I was in a bathroom at the Airport in Turkey and saw the most amazing tiles of grey and orange. I photographed them, saved the picture, and have been waiting for just the right moment to use this color combination.

Rue La La: Besides your fashion sense, in what other areas of your life do you look towards color?
Scott: My wife and I have always loved to restore and recycle furniture. We often use apparel-inspired fabrics, prints, and textures for these restorations. And we have not been shy about using incredible color for wall paint and wallpaper. Even in winter my wife does an incredible job of always keeping fresh flowers at home, a small indulgence to keep our sanity through the winters. Last but not least, the color of fruits and vegetables around the world amazes me. I spend a lot of time in Turkey and go to spice markets not only to buy the spices, but also to see the color.

Rue La La: Walk us through your perfect spring outfit.
Scott: We use the word “utilitarian” at scott james. We love our clothes to be worn in many different ways, and a spring outfit is all about layers. A great linen shirt, cotton trousers, and a fine gauge cashmere sweater really is my perfect spring outfit.

Rue La La: Describe your signature style in three words.
Scott: Tuscan, classic, and preppy.

Rue La La: What are your favorite pieces in the Rue La La assortment?
Scott: The Adrian Jacket is one of those items that I can see pulling out of my closet several years from now. The linen fabric is really some of the best that I have seen – it’s from a small mill in Japan that we stumbled across a couple of years ago. I’m about to go on an around-the-world travel schedule for the next 30 days and this will be one of the jackets that I just roll up in my bag and take with me. The next item is the Donald shirt. This is a double-faced fabric – the Egyptian cotton has a softness that will blow your mind. Then the Paul Cashmere sweater – I keep in my bag every day of the year.

Rue La La: If you could dress one celebrity – who would it be?
Scott: Ed Westwick. He has that great international look. Our clothes look great wherever you are, no matter the country, city, or setting.

Our Mr. Style: Buzzed-About Fashion Boutique opens Monday, April 18, 2011 at 11AM ET.


April 18, 2011