miss jason by walter pfeiffer: meet the new queen of clubbing
Miss Jason is the YouTube sensation infiltrating London’s hippest party scenes. Host of Jason’s Closet, if you can imagine American talk show host Wendy Williams on a pinger at Bar A Bar, you’re almost there.
Photography Walter Pfeiffer. Styling Ibrahim Kamara. Left: Yasser wears shirt and trousers Fendi. Skirt Chopova Lowena. Hat Caroline Ohrt. Gloves Paula Rowan. Tights IbKamaraStudios. Shoes Gucci. Miss Jason wears dress Fabian Kis-Jubasz. Boots Givenchy. Right: Yasser wears top Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY. Skirt Byblos. hat amy crooks. Glasses Chanel. Tights IbKamaraStudios. Shoes Vivienne Westwood. Mitchieboo wears coat Masha Popova. Underwear and shoes model’s own. Necklace Cartier.
Last December Miss Jason burst onto our screens, pirouetting through Dalston’s Gillett Square in a minute-long trailer that owed more to the telly of the 90s and 00s than your typical YouTuber fare. “Who’s that girl?” asked a visibly shellshocked bystander in the clip. “That’s Miss Jason,” another replied. “She’s incredible”. Of course, Miss Jason never set out to make anything typical. “I want to make trash TV,” he says. “Seeing people trashed, seeing people have a good time, and seeing what our experiences are like with one another.”
For the uninitiated, Miss Jason is the host of Jason’s Closet, the “obnoxious, loud and very out-there web-series” infiltrating London’s hippest party scenes. Featuring our intrepid host, Miss Jason, as he hits various club nights across the capital, it has developed a cult, largely fashion-forward following for its documentation of club kid style and highly covetable “H2T”s — a head to toe camera shot reserved for the show’s biggest personalities.
The main selling point is Jamaica-born, London-raised Miss Jason himself. What we love about him here at i-D is that he ‘gets it’. He gets that clubbing is literally the single greatest thing you can do with your time. He gets that club kid style is not something to be studied like a dusty old anthropologist, but lived and breathed. You can feel it in how naturally the show came about — a continuation of the MCing he was doing at PDA (the east London club night described in the pages of this magazine as a “living, breathing, impeccably turned-out embodiment of London’s creative movement”). “I’d been going for a long while and become friends with everyone,” he says. “I decided to get on the mic, talking absolute nonsense and people loved it! From there everybody was saying you have to do something with Miss Jason.”
The show was developed with PDA co-founders Mischa Mafia and DJ Larry B, who took the idea to director Cieron Magat with the premise that “we don’t want to talk about the economic climate anymore. We don’t want to talk about how we’re feeling as people or how everything’s shit”. They wanted to make something that spoke to the escapist power of the dancefloor. “That’s what clubs are,” Miss Jason says. “Clubs are where you can go to forget everything and fuck everything.”
Raised in a Christian household — “My mum is Pentecostal, and my step dad is Anglican, so we went to church every Sunday” — it was clubbing, and the accompanying styles he encountered, that shaped Miss Jason’s formative years. “I felt like you had to be hyper-masculine,” he says, of going to a Church of England boy’s school. “I think my mum was hoping that by sending me there she could pray the gay away. Then when me and my best friend went to uni together we were like, do you know what? Fuck this, there’s still something inside us that needs to come out. Let’s out-dress everyone. So that student loan got finished.”
At least now he can write it off as a work expense. In the first series of Jason’s Closet he visits nights as disparate as gay dance party Chapter 10 and infamous dark scene gathering Slimelight, before making an appearance at dancehall legend Mitchieboo’s birthday celebration. The effect is like an Argos catalogue of club culture — one that highlights the permissive attitude that unites all of London’s clubbers, regardless of their subcultural affiliations (outrageous outfits, progressive politics, the intimate excitement of any dancefloor post-2am).
“I wanted to do completely different scenes, I didn’t want people to necessarily know each other,” he explains. “I wanted to go around and see what the people were like, and how they differed. One thing I’ve realised is that there are crossovers everywhere. I went to Slimelight, and people that go there also go to PDA. There’s always a connection somewhere!” Miss Jason puts our burning need to party down to the hyper-polite affectations of British society. “The second we have a chance to escape, the second we have a chance to experience something we can’t necessarily experience in our everyday lives we do it,” he says. “Because we’re so constricted, so polite, so uptight all the time, we love to get to be a little bit outspoken and a little bit goofy. We escape through music, we escape through fashion. In this country, we’re allowed to dress how we want — so we take advantage of that.”
The sounds and styles of the country are something he’d like to see more of in the show’s second season. At the time of writing, a GoFundMe is raising money to buy the appropriate camera, sound and lighting equipment, as well as cover shooting costs from the first season. Once complete, Miss Jason hopes to use the funds to take his show out of the capital and explore whatever provincial pandemonium he can get his hands on.
“I don’t want to go anywhere where my friends or my crowd are going to be,” he says. “I want to do Kenwood House. I want to experience farms. I need to go to sound systems. I know there’s stuff that happens in Hackney marshes.”
And after all that? “If I’m going to do Jason’s Closet, it needs to be all of these things that I watched growing up, everything that I was obsessed with.” he says. “Loose Women, Trisha, The Wendy Williams Show. I want the couch, I want the purple chair, I want the talk show. Jason’s Closet is eventually going to be a huge talk show. Let’s give it three years.” You know what? It’ll be worth it just for the afterparty.
Photography Walter Pfeiffer
Styling Ibrahim Kamara
Hair Virginie Moreira at Saint Luke using Sebastian Professional. Make-up Thom Walker at Art+Commerce. Photography assistance Jess Mellis. Digital technician Rhys Thorpe. Styling assistance Joseph Bates and George Smith. Hair assistance Isaac Poleon. Make-up assistance Velta Berzina, Charlotte Fitzjohn and Aska Fukuda. Production Lauren Maclean and Megan McDermott. Models Miss Jason, Mitchieboo, Yasser, Carrie Stacks, Ginger, Shygirl and Liz.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.