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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford at the American 'Vogue' shoot with photographer Helmut Newton in Monte Carlo in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 3 Episode: 10
Title: Fall '91
Original Airdate: 9/18/91
Appearances: Helmut Newton, Andre Leon Talley, Calvin Klein

DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: HELMUT NEWTON SHOOTS CINDY FOR 'VOGUE'

If the ’90s was the decade of supermodels, it was also the decade of super-photographers. The artistry of key figures like Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Ellen Von Unwerth and Helmut Newton contributed to the stratospheric rise of the glamazons while boosting the influence and acclaim of the fashion magazine. In this clip, we go to Monte Carlo, to the set of Cindy’s shoot for the November 1991 issue of American Vogue. Also on hand are photographer Helmut Newton and (then) creative director Andre Leon Talley. Cindy is in full high-fashion mode: Her hair is enormous, her body is brolic and she never once cracks a smile. She is there to work and shoot beautiful, hypersexualized photographs in Newton’s classic “King of Kink” style. “I wanted to do Helmut Newton photographs,” Cindy says. “I didn’t want him to photograph me looking like the Madonna. Not Madonna. The Madonna. Because he’s one of the few people who can get away with it and it doesn’t look raunchy.”

Cindy quickly sheds her all-American innocence. In one shot, she lies on the stage of a ballroom in a white bathing suit, twisting her body towards a blindfolded orchestra made up of old men in tuxedos. According to an interview with Newton, the image was designed to recreate a “chambre separée, when elegant people used to have private, elegant orgies.”

Another scene involves Cindy arching her back and scowling from a sweltering construction site, while hard-hatted crew dudes crane their necks to catch a glimpse. Yet another set-up has Cindy walk across a stone plaza in heels and a black bathing suit, hands outstretched against a cloudless blue sky, trailing a black veil. “[It’s a] photograph of Cindy with the swimsuit,” says Talley (who’s wearing an outfit befitting the glitzy principality: seersucker suit, sunglasses, a yellow straw cap and a matching neckerchief). “Then, suddenly, we put a tulle veil over it from Chanel and see her, like, maybe there is a sort of cinematic, theatrical glamour.” As with all Newton shoots, the magic is in the details. The added wisp of fabric creates a Felliniesque, 1960s European bombshell vibe, transforming our normally affable host.

If you’re familiar with Newton’s work but not the man, it’s surprising how unassuming he appears. He has a thing for loud, printed shirts. He wears a Hawaiian short sleeve one day and a shirt with an all-over print of small white dogs on another. But he has a decisive, Teutonic air when he shoots. He knows exactly how Cindy should “undulate” under the veil, and advises her on her form during the orchestra scene so as to keep the shot within the realm of “American decency.”

Watching Newton work is a revelation and a treat. It’s a lovely, rare opportunity to hear the photographer talk about himself instead of being studied and discussed. “I think that the only thing I’ve brought to fashion photography was a certain kind of sexuality,” he says. And referring back to Cindy’s comment about how Newton can shoot aggressive sex without tawdriness, the photographer attributes it to his palette. “Everything looks wonderful in black and white,” he says. “It is so pure, especially when it comes to photographing very daring, sexual images. I think that, in color, it becomes questionable.”

This segment again shows off Cindy’s range, despite her coloring, she submits to a quintessentially Newtonian aesthetic. Newton liked to take pictures of similar subjects and is most famous for his admiration of blondes. Writer Anthony Lane described Newton’s favorite sorts in The New Yorker (upon the release of Newton’s biography in September 2003) as “strapping Prussian nudes, their marble-hard limbs girt in sheer stockings and the pelts of severely endangered species…” Or else “glaciers with breasts.” As fashion fans will remember, this meant lots of pictures with six-foot model/ice queen Nadja Auermann. “Helmut was very clear that he liked a big girl and blonde girl, in an impeccable suit and high heels,” said Anna Wintour, in the 2004 Newton obituary that ran in the New York Times. "He would take that girl and put her in some wicked or naughty situation, kissing another woman or in handcuffs." Helmut Newton died in a car crash in Hollywood when he collided into a wall at the Chateau Marmont. He was 83.

+ WATCH HELMUT NEWTON AND CINDY CRAWFORD IN MONTE CARLO


DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: CALVIN KLEIN'S MILLION-DOLLAR DENIM CAMPAIGN

calvin klein

Designer Calvin Klein on his ad campaign with model Carré Otis in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Fashion advertising in the ’90s was exciting. You had the minimalist A Line ads from Anne Klein; the jarring, incendiary ads from Benetton; and the racially diverse ads from ESPRIT. Calvin Klein had been making headlines for his ad campaigns for decades, and would continue to do so in the decades following. For the 1991 October issue of Vanity Fair, Calvin Klein created an outrageously expensive ad campaign to promote his eponymous jeans line.

The series, shot by Bruce Weber, features a badass, curly-haired, full-lipped Carré Otis straddling a massive motorcycle on the streets of San Francisco. The camera shadows her day as the frontwoman of a fictional rock ’n roll band. We see Otis singing, stage-diving, and making out; Klein says he loved the images so much that, after selecting his favorites to use, he discovered that he had chosen 140 of them. The ad ran as a 116-page supplement to Vanity Fair, printed on the same paper stock as the magazine. Industry insiders at the time speculated that the ostentatious ad buy set the brand back $1 million.

+ WATCH CALVIN KLEIN ADVERTISING


DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: NAOMI WOLF AND CAMILLE PAGLIA ON EATING DISORDERS

naomi wolf

Naomi Wolf, author of 'The Beauty Myth,' participates in a discourse on beauty and feminism in 1991.
Photo: MTV

In this segment, MTV spoke with Naomi Wolf and Camille Paglia on the topic of eating disorders and the destructive effects of media in promulgating unrealistic beauty ideals.

While it would be easy to dismiss this as lip service to combat criticism of our role in promoting unhealthy body images, the footage is important when you consider MTV’s largely teenage viewership and how this segment predates an honest dialogue of airbrushing and Photoshop within the industry. We could not clear the clip due to issues with images and music, but we’ve transcribed quotes from Wolf and Paglia to highlight their stances on anorexia and fashion magazines as well as comments from Naomi Campbell and Jane Pratt. It’s an interesting moment when you consider the current criticism of pro-ana sites and the crackdown on “thinspo” on social networks like Tumblr and Pinterest. And it's also notable how most of these women focus on eating disorders as a white epidemic.

Naomi Wolf, Author of 'The Beauty Myth':
“Right now, a lot of people are telling women lies about what beauty is. The ideal we see in fashion magazines, for example: thin, white, young, surgically implanted. When you follow the advice of women's magazines, and follow one of these of these typical diets, it changes your brain chemistry and it addicts you, both physically and psychologically, to anorexia or bulimia.”

Camille Paglia, Professor of Humanities, University of the Arts, Philadelphia:
“Anorexia is the product of a particular kind of pushy, ambitious, socially upwardly mobile white family life. This idea of blaming it on the media is a sickness. It has got to stop. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing beauty. The pursuit of beauty is a noble human aim.”

Wolf:
“As soon as women start reaching for power, there’s been a backlash. That’s the beauty myth. The beauty myth put in the place of happy housewife, this Vogue model, [which] says that no matter how successful you are in any aspect of your life, you have to look like that or you’re worthless.”

Paglia:
“The last ten years, career women have taken back the paraphernalia, the regalia, the armament of female sexuality. And we feel more powerful with it.”

Naomi Campbell:
“We, as models, use beauty when we climb. We start off in the beginning, and we get more successful or [we] don’t. And that’s, in a sense, using beauty to gain more power in a certain way.”

Jane Pratt, Editor-in-Chief of 'Sassy':
“The models are six feet tall, weigh 95 pounds, and they’re blonde and they have blue eyes. All of them. Women don’t look like that.”

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 10

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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford at the American 'Vogue' shoot with photographer Helmut Newton in Monte Carlo in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 4 Episode: 17
Title: Best Of Edition
Original Airdate: 10/28/92
Includes segments from:

  • Cindy Crawford's Vogue Shoot With Helmut Newton In Monte Carlo (Episode 10)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth (Episode 12)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Niki Taylor's Vogue Shoot In Miami (Episode 14)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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cindy crawford tracey ullman

Cindy Crawford plays dress-up with comedian Tracey Ullman at The Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 32
Title: Fifth Anniversary Special
Original Airdate: 7/19/94
Includes segments from:

  • Cindy Crawford And Tracey Ullman Play Dress Up (Episode 5)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's Vogue Shoot With Helmut Newton In Monte Carlo (Episode 10)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Calvin Klein's Advertising Campaign (Episode 10)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Linda Evangelista Model Profile (Episode 12)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Todd Oldham Refurbishes On A Budget (Episode 16)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • How To Pluck Your Eyebrows (Episode 18)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Kate Moss Model Profile (Episode 19)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Eve Salvail Model Profile (Episode 22)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Carol Shaw's Makeup Tips (Episode 25)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's Italian Vogue Shoot With Max Vadukul (Episode 27)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Amber Valletta Model Profile (Episode 27)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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mario testino

Photographer Mario Testino goes on a rainy day photo shoot in Milan in 1992.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 36
Title: Best Of Edition (Tribute To Fashion Photographers)
Original Airdate: 12/14/94
Includes segments from:

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helmut newton

Photographer Helmut Newton and 'Vogue' magazine Creative Director Grace Coddington in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 40
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 5/23/95
Appearances: Helmut Newton, Grace Coddington, Eva Herzigova

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HELMUT NEWTON'S EVA HERZIGOVA 'VOGUE' SHOOT

Helmut Newton is as much a household name as his models, and here we find him shooting again for American Vogue with legendary creative director Grace Coddington. In every way, this is a study in contrasts, and with Helmut, an entire shoot can hinge on him riffing on an image. For his notes on this shoot with Eva Herzigova (notably and unsurprisingly another Aryan-looking ice queen of a subject), he simply had the notion that he would oil her up and she would look like a young Greek goddess. He admits that he’s strayed from his original idea as the shoot progressed, and though you can see hints at Grecian cues in her blonde hair, curled and pinned at the base of her neck, that’s where all intentions fly out the door. It’s fascinating to see Helmut’s brain work, and he explains that inspiration for him is all about a “point of departure.” Were he to wait for the “divine spark to move Helmut,” he says, “we would have to wait and that other positions presented themselves.”

It’s amazing to watch how Helmut works, especially since he’s so articulate and aware of his process. Ellen von Unwerth, for instance, comes from a place of having modeled, and can evoke certain candid, sexy moods by remaining unobtrusive while encouraging girls to play as naturally as possible. With Gilles Bensimon, it’s an exercise in planning, deliberation and showcasing his admiration for women, and while Helmut clearly loves women too, his methods are about projecting fantasies from his own psyche. His point of view and perversions are very much his, and the process is far less collaborative; he talks about how mechanical and precise the resulting photos are. He asks Eva several times to move her fingers slightly or change the placement of a hand. It’s not a flurry of shots as much as it is changing details until he has exactly what he wants.

Helmut says that no aspect of his shoot is about intellectual instruction, but he is shrewd about the fashion photography climate. He abstains from red lipstick because it’s boring; he says he’s easily bored because he’s superficial and has no attention span. He rails against his critics because he thinks that political and social analyses of his photographs miss the point, yet he obviously knows exactly what feelings he’ll evoke, since he’s careful in sullying Eva’s otherwise pristine image by keeping the soles of her feet filthy, and by calling himself politically incorrect.

Helmut Newton is a boon to fashion photography, and even though there are plenty of talented photographers who are still around, there’s something about his very specific voice that I miss. While it’s awesome that technology has democratized fashion photography in terms of barrier to entry with easy-to-use DSLRs and the proliferation of fashion blogs, it’s heartbreaking that there are so few forums for truly romanticized fashion editorials that show off strong voices. The drama has suffered somewhat in favor of technical or journalistic photographs that show how Italian men layer or tie their scarfs or how kids on the street dress, and while candid shots have their merit, I can’t help thinking we have a long way to go before budgets like these will be supported for online-exclusive content without it being an ad campaign, or designed by an agency to look like an editorial. A lot of U.S. fashion editorials these days exist to illustrate a service or glamorize what’s essentially a clothing catalog, and it straight bums me out.

+ WATCH HELMUT NEWTON SHOOTS EVA HERZIGOVA


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: DAISY FUENTES'S SWIMSUIT SHOOT

This is sorta like the Cindy shoot in Mexico and predates MTV regular Daisy Fuentes becoming our host by two years, but it's interesting to compare the two calendars. Both of them were concerned about what this means for their image but recognize how important it is for their careers to acknowledge the dude-fans. Daisy opts for a female photographer which alters the dynamic somewhat.

+ WATCH DAISY FUENTES' SWIMSUIT SHOOT


DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: SWIMSUITS IN NYC

This season’s swimsuit trends range from metallic, detachable marabou feather trim, vintage cuts that resemble bras and girdles, and this newfangled stuff like looks like patent leather but is actually breathable and waterproof. To illustrate this, we’ve got a pair of models posing on fire escapes, using payphones, standing in front of fire hydrant spray and fixing motorcycles. It’s all a bit confusing and very much reminds me of hilarious stock footage on Getty. It’s basically women laughing alone with salad.

+ WATCH SEXY SWIMSUITS


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 40

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helmut newton

Photographer Helmut Newton and 'Vogue' magazine Creative Director Grace Coddington in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 51
Title: Best Of Summer Edition
Original Airdate: 7/22/96
Includes segments from:

  • Helmut Newton Photographs Eva Herzigova For Vogue (Episode 40)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford With Dennis Rodman (Episode 50)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford's swimsuit calendar shoot in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 9 Episode: 60
Title: Retrospective
Original Airdate: 6/3/97
Includes segments from:

  • Dee Dee Ramone Gets A Paul Smith Makeover (Episode 2)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford And Tracey Ullman Play Dress Up (Episode 5)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's Swimsuit Calendar Photo Shoot (Episode 8 )
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's Vogue Shoot With Helmut Newton In Monte Carlo (Episode 10)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Linda Evangelista Model Profile (Episode 12)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Niki Taylor's Vogue Shoot In Miami (Episode 14)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • The Beastie Boys And The X-Large Store (Episode 15)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Liv Tyler Goes Back To School Shopping (Episode 16)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Kate Moss Model Profile (Episode 19)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Todd Oldham's Swimsuit Pointers (Episode 22)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford Shops At Sears With Duran Duran (Episode 23)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford Goes Grocery Shopping With Onyx (Episode 25)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Amber Valletta Model Profile (Episode 27)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Shoe Shopping With Sheryl Crow (Episode 35)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Jon Stewart Goes Backstage At Calvin Klein (Episode 39)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Helmut Newton Shoots Eva Herzigova For Vogue (Episode 40)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Daisy Fuentes Shoots A Swimsuit Calendar (Episode 40)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Sexy Swimsuits In The City (Episode 40)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Naughty By Nature's Newark Style (Episode 43)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Kurt Loder Gets A House Of Style Makeover (Episode 43)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Jewel Goes Prom Shopping (Episode 49)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford And Dennis Rodman Try On Swimsuits (Episode 50)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Shalom Harlow Hangs Out With Gwen Stefani (Episode 52)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Jason Lewis Model Profile (Episode 54)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Todd Oldham's Lazy Guy Tips (Episode 54)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Pat Smear Goes Shopping With The Spice Girls (Episode 56)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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MTV Style follows how people express themselves through fashion and beauty, from our favorite pop culture icons to you, the reader. We cover the fun, loud side of the industry with news, trends, interviews, videos, and more — MTV Style is fashion at full volume.

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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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