Model Kate Moss in 1993.
Season: 5 Episode: 19
Title: Winter Edition
Original Airdate: 1/21/93
Appearances: Kate Moss, Todd Oldham
RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: KATE MOSS
Kate Moss’s arrival on the scene marks the fashion industry’s response to the grunge movement that dominated youth culture and music at the time. The doe-eyed British waif was notable not only because she was antithetical to the buxom, bodacious, big-haired glamour of the supermodels who came before, but because she stood at just 5’6”—a height that was widely considered undesirable in her line of work. The notable thing about Kate (and, of course, the passage of time and her relevance throughout the next decades would prove as much) is that she did not pave the way for a generation of shorter girls: Kate Moss was the exception and an outlier. Another effect of her stature within the industry is that she couldn’t typically be shot for campaigns and fashion editorial flanked by a pack of other girls. In any iconic “here are all the supermodels” round-up shot by Steven Meisel or the like, Moss would look odd, and was therefore frequently shot by herself, which only contributed to her air of vulnerability and her persona as a loner. The CK One group shot ads are obviously the exception, though it should be considered how stark the campaign is and how much the other models featured therein are similarly waifish and un-modelly.
Some argue that Kate Moss does not qualify as a supermodel (and the debate as to who coined the phrase and whether it stretches back far enough to include Lauren Hutton, or extends forward to members of later generations, like Gisele Bündchen still rages) but if you define the term based on money earned, status achieved, and impact, Kate absolutely qualifies. Her ascension represents a critical turning point and redefined ’90s beauty. She is the line between grunge and glamour. In this introductory segment, Kate smiles goofily, talks about how her shoulders are her best feature and how she didn’t get to hang out with Mark Wahlberg during the CK jeans shoot because his "posse" was there the entire time. She is also one of the few fledgling models who does not seem intimidated by any other models, established or otherwise.
+ WATCH KATE MOSS
DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: TODD OLDHAM TAKES US THRIFT SHOPPING
Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham goes thrift store shopping in 1993.
As with the furniture in the earlier installment, Todd’s attitude is irreverent and inventive toward the clothes he thinks teens should be wearing. It’s reassuring once again that a world-renowned designer is giving kids the greenlight to shun brands and expensive gear; at one point, Todd even says that thrift-store finds could be considered analogous to couture because time has guaranteed that they’re one-of-a-kind. Todd suggests starting in the department that is your favorite, and looking for signs like empty hangers to see what others have “stashed” on the floor directly underneath. For the ladies, he suggests shopping in the men’s and little boys’ department and advises dudes to “paper bag” their pants and opt for a much larger waist size than they’d typically wear. A quick tutorial on “how to layer,” and why you shouldn’t be afraid to buy suits and discard the undesirable top or bottom ends the segment—but not before Todd instructs us to do our own alterations: Nobody cares if you screw up your own inexpensive stuff.
+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM GOES THRIFT SHOPPING
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: GRUNGE ON THE RUNWAY
Highlights from the Spring 1993 runway shows.
The ’70s look is still going strong, with platforms, wedges, berets, crochet dusters, bell bottoms and hot pants. But there's a notable migration into grunge with beanies, loose jackets, Dr. Martens boots, teeny-tiny eyebrows and stripes aplenty. There is slouchy sleepwear at Perry Ellis by Marc Jacobs (SUCH A PIVOTAL COLLECTION!!!), straggly lank hair at Calvin Klein. Millinery is all over the place from gigantic velvet “Blossom” hats to a straw pith helmet contraption at Byron Lars that is highly evocative of the black “Darth Vader” visor shown for 2012 by Nicolas Ghesqueire for Balenciaga that retailed for a cool $3,000. Details, people, details.
+ WATCH SPRING '93 RUNWAY WRAP-UP
+ WATCH MODELS RELAX BACKSTAGE