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Travel John Waters and Patricia Hearst on Covid, the Met Gala, and 30 Years of Friendship

14:25  29 october  2020
14:25  29 october  2020 Source:   townandcountrymag.com

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Patty Hearst, John Waters are posing for a picture: John Waters catches up with his longtime friend about Serial Mom, Divine, and their brushes with fashion, as models and muses. © Hearst Owned John Waters catches up with his longtime friend about Serial Mom, Divine, and their brushes with fashion, as models and muses.

“Here we are, Town & Country. Wouldn’t both of our mothers be shocked?”

That was John Waters on the phone with Patricia Hearst, his longtime friend, muse, and comrade in troublemaking. They met 30 years ago at the Cannes Film Festival and immediately struck a friendship, going on to collaborate on five movies, including Serial Mom, in which Hearst, as Juror No. 8, is infamously killed by Kathleen Turner’s title character for wearing white after Labor Day.

A tireless provocateur, Waters maintains that it’s the only tradition, sartorial or otherwise, he’s willing to tolerate. As a matter of fact, the auteur known as the Pope of Trash has strong opinions on the subject of fashion. He is both a client and a perennial source of inspiration, and this year, suddenly, he finds himself not just on mood boards but in front of the camera, the subject of ad campaigns by Nike and, most recently, Saint Laurent, where he appears snarling at the lens, clad in black (he also designed the poster for this year's New York Film Festival). Hearst, an author who was herself once a model for Thierry Mugler, finds her old pal in constant motion, dashing from San Francisco to Provincetown to Baltimore, or “holding cell to holding cell,” as he puts it, an incorrigible éminence grise at 74, undaunted by yet another pandemic and with a lot left to say.

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a person lying on a bed: “Who ever thought I’d be a top model? Ha!” © Axel Dupeux/Redux “Who ever thought I’d be a top model? Ha!”

Patricia Hearst: Oh god, this Covid thing has really done it. I don’t know what you’re wearing. I’m in jeans and a sweatshirt.

John Waters: It is the worst thing for fashion. I just realized when I came back, I hadn’t been to the dry cleaner in three months, and I had all these outfits from my future stage shows, all of which were canceled, that I haven’t worn and the tags still hanging off them. Just yesterday I bought a few things to keep up my tradition of fall shopping. Speaking of, I have a line of masks called Filthy with my face on them and roaches crawling out of my mouth. I did try to exploit myself, ­fashion-wise, right in the beginning.

PH: Oh, good for you. You should have just kept the mustache and the sneer, like in the Saint Laurent ads.

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With a host like Anna Wintour, you can expect the Met Gala red carpet to be classy and stylish, always. Related: Guess How Much You Can Pay to See Bradley Cooper and Blake Lively at the Met Gala ?

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JOHN WATERS - FALL WINTER 20 #YSL32 by ANTHONY VACCARELLO PHOTOGRAPHED by @davidsimsofficial #YSL #SaintLaurent #YvesSaintLaurent @anthonyvaccarello

A post shared by SAINT LAURENT (@ysl) on Jul 22, 2020 at 12:00pm PDT

JW: Who ever thought I’d be a top model? Ha! Just call me Mahogany. With the Nike ad, I only wish my dad were alive to see that, because I have never caught a ball in my life, really. But you were a model too. You modeled.

PH: Yes, I did. Only in Paris. When I did it, James Brown was in it, and Tippi Hedren. Years later I ran into him at the Four Seasons in London, and a fire alarm went off. So my kids came running in, telling me we have to get out, and I looked at them and they were barefoot. I said, ‘You go back and put on some shoes. You can’t go out in the street like that.’ You have to be dressed, you know.

a person standing in front of a cake: Patricia Hearst, in her modeling debutin 1995, for Thierry Mugler. © Pool ARNAL/PAT - Getty Images Patricia Hearst, in her modeling debutin 1995, for Thierry Mugler.

JW: We all turn into a weird version of our parents, right? Mr. Brown was a saint in Baltimore. I saw him live at the Royal Theater, where I got beat up, and later I told him it was worth getting beat up just to say I got to see him perform when I was in high school. Talk about fashion. He had a look, I’ll tell you. By the way, who was your fashion icon when you were young? Because you were a good girl gone rebel. I mean before the troubles. Both you and I were probably raised to look very preppy and… Right?

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PH: Well, yes, and nobody went to San Francisco without wearing gloves, and, I mean, my mother was big on the white gloves and the whole thing. But fashion icon? Joni Mitchell and John Sebastian and all that tie-dye, which I never wore, but I just couldn’t believe how cool it looked on everybody else.

JW: You weren’t really a hippie-looking chick, were you? Well, a little bit. You were a good girl gone a little rebel, then gone wrongly accused and back to the manor born with a little weariness and a tinge of troubled glamour. That’s how I would describe your style.

PH: Oh, thank you. I like the tinge of troubled glamour. I remember you saying you thought I was the only person who actually deserved to die in Serial Mom.

Patty Hearst and woman posing for a photo: At a screening of Serial Mom in New York, 1994. © Ron Galella - Getty Images At a screening of Serial Mom in New York, 1994.

JW: For defiantly wearing white shoes. Do you go back and look at clothes you wore? You said to me once that there’s one outfit that will be in your obituary—you know the one. And you said, “At least I was thin,” which is a really funny statement, Patricia. That’s a very good way to look at the bad past. Was there any style period that especially makes you cringe?

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PH: The ’80s. There are clothes that are sparkly and poufy, and part of you thinks, I wish I could still wear that. That’s when the other part goes, Oh, I can’t believe I bought it and wore it. We all did, though. Now I have friends that go, “I’ve only worn stretch pants.” Like, really? I don’t have any of those. I’ve not done that yet, but… Anyway, you’ve had a long journey in fashion. You told me that you used to be a shoplifter, and now you’re starring in ads. I can’t believe that you’ve never gone to the Met Gala.

John Waters that is standing in the dark: John Waters hosting the CFDA Awards in 2012, an experience he described as one of the toughest rooms he © Theo Wargo - Getty Images John Waters hosting the CFDA Awards in 2012, an experience he described as one of the toughest rooms he

JW: I wasn’t invited, ever, because Anna Wintour, I guess, didn’t like me. I mean, I only met her once, and I was heavily in with Comme des Garçons at the time, and she didn’t invite me that year. But that’s all right.

PH: I went only once to the Met Gala, before it turned into a costume party. I don’t even remember what I wore, that’s how unremarkable I thought it was. My daughter Lydia went once, in a divine outfit. It was gorgeous.

JW: Divine would have crashed it. That would have been good. You and I have gone to a lot of parties and stuff together.

PH: We have. We’ve known each other a long time now.

Selma Blair, Patty Hearst, Johnny Knoxville, John Waters sitting posing for the camera: Patricia Hearst and John Waters at the Baltimore premiere of one of their collaborations, A Dirty Shame. From left: James Ransome, Mink Stole, Selma Blair, Hearst, Johnny Knoxville and Waters. © Jeff Snyder - Getty Images Patricia Hearst and John Waters at the Baltimore premiere of one of their collaborations, A Dirty Shame. From left: James Ransome, Mink Stole, Selma Blair, Hearst, Johnny Knoxville and Waters.

JW: And it’s a very important friendship. I remember when you came to my mom’s funeral, how really, really lovely that was. All my mom’s friends were buzzing, “Patty Hearst is here! Patty Hearst is here!” It was so great for you to bring that glamour into the Catholic church in Towson, Maryland. Right?

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PH: I don’t remember what I wore to that, either.

JW: Well, it was appropriate. By the way, I think you look gorgeous, Madame Hearst, and I missed seeing you this summer. Hopefully, we will see each other in the fall after this interview comes out. I do have to say that I’ve been a subscriber to Town & Country, and you can check, for I don’t know how many years, but I bet 30. And I actually never thought I would be in it.

PH: There you go. You’ve made it. Now you’ve made it.

John Waters, Patty Hearst posing for the camera: A 30-year friendship: John Waters and Patricia Hearst at the opening of Hairspray on Broadway in 2002. © Jim Spellman - Getty Images A 30-year friendship: John Waters and Patricia Hearst at the opening of Hairspray on Broadway in 2002.

This story appears in the November 2020 issue of Town & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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