Society / The Seen

Park House Co-Founder Deborah Scott Takes Us Back To the ’80s, and Explains the Origin of Her Jumpsuit Fetish

A Clothing Item That Suits Her Current Social Lifestyle, and a Haircut That Personified a Decade

BY // 03.08.21

Whenever the word fetish is thrown out there, I’m instantly intrigued. You might know this month’s “Bomb girl,” Deborah Scott, due to her Instagram handle, @jumpsuitfetish. But more on that in a minute. I first met Deborah shortly after arriving in Dallas over 15 years ago, when I had begun my tenure at the Dallas Museum of Art. She had been a longtime supporter of the organization and was joining a new group of donors. I vividly remember pulling into the driveway of her well-appointed Highland Park home and noticing the vintage Mercedes convertible perfectly placed out front, almost like an accessory from some chic shelter-magazine photo shoot or a whimsical Barneys window designed by Simon Doonan.

Deborah has the distinction of being my only Kiwi friend. Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, she was the quintessential ’80s girl. She confesses to regularly climbing out of her bedroom window as a teenager for a night of clubbing. Deborah was a mall girl, due to the fact that she worked at the hippest men’s clothing store, Barkers, which had a wide assortment of looks that seemed straight out of an episode of Miami Vice. She would bop about town with the latest tapes from Spandau Ballet and INXS in her Walkman. She met her husband, John, when they were both working in Asia in the late 1980s. I adore the stories she shares of dates spent enjoying sunsets in Saipan with a four-pack of wine coolers. They’ve now been married almost 30 years and are close to being empty nesters, with only one of their three children still at home. Their youngest, Jack, is at Episcopal School Dallas, while their two older daughters, Bella and Olivia, are away at college.

A few years after my first encounter with Deborah, she and Team Scott moved to London when John assumed the role as CEO of Belmond Ltd., formerly Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. During their four years abroad in the swinging UK, they became members of various private, members-only clubs, including Soho House, 5 Hertford Street, and The Arts Club. When they moved back to Dallas, they had an idea to launch their own private social club, along with partners Megan and Brady Wood.

In December 2018, they opened Park House in Highland Park Village. Their member’s roster, which is strictly hush-hush, is a veritable who’s who of the social set. Back to your fetish, Mrs. Scott. Can you share why you are such an ardent admirer of jumpsuits? And, perhaps an even better question: Do you have any advice on getting in and out of the restroom quickly in said staple? Deborah launches into a story of one her first encounters with a jumpsuit.

In New York, she was leaving The Carlyle one morning and noticed a “fabulous purple diamond-patterned stretchy jumpsuit in the Allegra Hicks store window. It was very mod and reminiscent of the 1960s and a look one might have seen on Penelope Tree or Twiggy. I tried it on, and it felt so comfortable and perfect for my lifestyle. I fell in love and I still have it.” Okay, on to the bathroom question: “Well, my number-one bit of advice is to head to the bathroom before you really need to.

Also, some flexibility is very helpful.” Well, dear reader, you heard it from an expert. I’m so pleased she found this picture, as it reminds me of Duran Duran’s iconic Patrick Nagel album cover — a highly stylized brunette just waiting to enter a club filled with boys, with moussed and poufed hair, ready to dance until the sun comes up.


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Deborah Scott submission to PaperCity’s “She’s the Bomb” column, taken in the mid-1980s.

Approximate date of the photo.
Mid-’80s. I was 14.

The occasion.
A trendy Auckland hair salon asked me to be a hair model.

What you were wearing.
Pretty much yellow and orange makeup! Maybe that’s where my love of orange comes from.

Why this is a picture.
Well, for a start, most of my family and friends don’t think it even looks like me, so I like to bring this photo out once in a while. It was such a look from the ’80s.

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