Friends refer to Scout’s ensembles as “scoutfits.” There is no mistaking Scout or her clothing combinations for anyone else’s. She is an open spirit that warms and lights up any cold space or empty soul within range. “I fall in love with everything,” she says, which is simply a mirror to the fact that everyone falls in love with her, including myself.
After a semi-nomadic childhood spent moving with her parents for their careers, Scout feels, “Anywhere I live has to be really me. I have to deck it out and move in and make a little nest.” Her college dorm room is stuffed with heaps of her personality. There is everything from pictures of JFK and Marlene Dietrich, who are among her style icons, to numerous vignettes of skulls, candles and rabbit’s feet to a plush white sheepskin rug and a giant American flag. One is quick to forget that you are in anything resembling an educational institution. A huge box of vintage clothes sits under her bed and Victorian dresses and shawls hang from the walls with kimonos piled on the back door. It is an eclectic menagerie from which Scout creates certain narratives for herself. She says, “It’s not becoming different people, it’s bringing out different sides of me with clothes.” While most would crash at four in the morning after studying for an exam, Scout has been known to end up in the bathroom, trying to recreate a pompadour resembling Elvis and James Dean’s.
In over-the-knee navy suede boots, jean cutoffs, her mom’s cream pirate-style blouse and a fur hat, Scout has the sophisticated presence of an Ivy League collegiate somewhere in the vein of Love Story 2011 and prides herself on always wanting to be a student of something. She is a far cry from the “bitchy outcast girl” that she tried to portray during grade school in LA, attempting to define her toughness with green plaid bondage pants, vintage Spider-Man tees and black lipstick. Though she appeared resilient, in the end she did not push people away but magnetized them to her – Scout’s peers simply thought her pants were cool. No less fearless and every bit as influential these days, Scout rocks chunks of turquoise and considers the jewelry to be her talisman for good energy, with a suede fringed jacket and studded work boots in tribute to her fondness for anything Americana. “There is something about the idea of road trips across the south, buying masses of turquoise in New Mexico, sleeping outside, being a young kid in a small town, denim on denim, riding a bike everywhere, being a cowboy and having suburban adventures that screams summer to me,” she proclaims. I see a writer in the making.
A bookworm from an early age, the authors Scout reads go on and on with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Flappers and Philosophers, which her dad turned her onto, ranking as one of the most important, especially for the way that the legendary writer describes women. The book made her want to wear silk slips with her Vivienne Westwood pirate boots. Style favorites, A Bout de Souffle and the Royal Tenenbaums are two of Scout’s treasured movies. In fact, her favorite vintage fur coat that she has had since she was fourteen years old makes me think of Margo in the Wes Anderson movie – its lining was so torn to shreds that Scout’s dad surprised her with a red silk replacement. A ’50s greaser one day and in silk harem pants and a cotton blouse the next, what I find most poignant is that Scout’s dad gave her a necklace of a hand that she never takes off. It symbolizes, “I choose all.”