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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford and 'Harper's Bazaar' Fashion Editor Evyan Metzner at Paris Fashion Week in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 27
Title: Paris Edition
Original Airdate: 11/24/93
Appearances: Helena Christensen, Richard Gere, Christian LaCroix, Amber Valletta, John Galliano, Max Vadukul


If you ever wanted to see Cindy in a pantsuit, this would be the time. In this segment, Cindy attends Paris Fashion Week with Evyan Metzner, fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. For the first show, Cindy shadows Evyan — who, during a typical fashion week, will attend 8-10 shows a day. Her schedule is an intricate grid that begins at 8:30 AM and often doesn’t end until 11 at night. Having previously learned what a typical fashion show at Paris costs and what it’s like backstage, this time we learn about the specific responsibilities of a fashion editor.

First of all, we learn all about the front row, and the unwritten politics of who gets to sit where. Remember, this too is way before the advent of the internet where the placement politics weren't common knowledge. We learn that well-connected editors, and buyers with large, important accounts, get to sit in front, along with celebrities and the models’ rock star husbands. Then, there’s the issue of a sketchbook. Long before the Instagram feeding frenzy and live-tweeted descriptions from every single attendee, you had to draw quick outlines so that you could remember trends as they developed over the week. A great example here is a shirt cropped so short that it reveals lower-boob cleavage (or “neathage,” as some of us call it). Cindy and Evyan go backstage to congratulate Christian Lacroix and conduct a quick interview.

For her second stint as fashion editor, Cindy goes solo, and we’re invited into her Parisian hotel bathroom to watch her get ready. It is here that we learn two important things: that there’s a travel blow dryer attachment that’s like one of those old-fashioned dryers that housewives from the ’50s would sit under to set their hair; and what Richard Gere looks like in a hotel robe. At one point, he even holds a boom mic. Cindy gets into another trouser suit, a choker, and lace-up boots, and this time Cindy mentions having felt a pang of envy at being on the other side of the runway, because Helena looked so beautiful walking down it.



Amber Valletta

Model Amber Valletta in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Kate Moss wasn’t the only model who signaled the arrival of a new era of beauty. Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta were a couple of the other “New Girls” anointed by the rainmaking photographers and editors. There was definitely a year in my childhood when Amber or Shalom or Amber and Shalom dominated most of the American Vogue covers. There’s a regal, expensive quality about Amber, like she was born in Monaco and attended regattas and races as a small child while learning 11 languages. Despite her bearing, Amber started out in Tulsa, Oklahoma at age 15; four years from the time of this interview. She mentions that she had to take a class when she started out, and that her walk was awful and ungainly. She was considered too awkward and too athletic in her modeling class, but it’s her boyish physique and innocent, wide-set eyes that made her an important face in the dreamy, grunge movement typified by Kate Moss.

Amber mentions being a peaceful person who prioritizes happiness; her humility doesn’t seem insincere, but it does seem somewhat practiced. Amber reads slightly media-trained in a way that neither the supermodels nor Kate Moss displayed, which also reminds us that the job of being a model has changed. This feels like the beginning of the trend when all models parroted the party line of having been an “ugly duckling” or a “tomboy” as a part of their origin mythology. This pre-packaged story and the distortion of the paparazzi lens would signal the beginning of the end of the candid interviews we’d previously enjoyed from the personalities involved in the modeling industry. At this point, MTV had ushered in the era of reality television with the first two seasons of The Real World. Non-actors became more aware of how they were being portrayed on camera and expected to have to talk about themselves. Unlike Cindy, for whom "having a voice" was a new experience, Amber anticipates interviews as part of the job of being a model and celebrity. You can feel this shift in the level of preparedness. Sadly, with this new type of access, we'd lose a lot of the authenticity. Basically, this person saying she's "peaceful" is the sound of a million publicists cashing checks.



todd oldham john galliano

'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham interviews designer John Galliano in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Todd hits Paris too, which blessedly means designer-on-designer interviews—a format, and a specific kind of chemistry, that we’ve yet to enjoy in the show. First off is Andre Walker, a downtown New York darling who held his first show at age 15 in a Brooklyn nightclub called Oasis. He worked with Willi Smith (the designer who famously created the gown Mary Jane Watson wore to marry Peter Parker in the 1987 Spiderman comic) after dropping out of high school. His fall 1993 showcase, entitled “Someone I’m In Love With Then,” is a mixture of surprisingly wearable cotton sportswear with off-kilter cuts and details.

The gathered and ballooned skirts are gorgeously cut, and despite zany stunts — like a dress called the “Nude Housewife,” with a back cut so low that it threatens to expose butt crack (and considering the bum cleavage made famous by Alexander McQueen, this is all excellent territory) — there’s an unmistakable calculation in the execution. Everything falls exactly as the designer intended. Andre says things like, “I knew [The Nude Housewife dress] was gross, but I had to take that risk. Tomorrow is gonna be grosser than today. ‘Go grosser’ is the motto of the season.” He also describes the silhouettes as “corny,” but the deliberately vague and distracting language does nothing to detract from the clothes or the fact that his flannel shirt is actually cut precisely to show an empire waist only from certain angles. Todd is smitten. Andre has since created a magazine called This Is What It Made Us Think About that’s sold exclusively in select boutiques. The first issue sold for $375. Another fashion tidbit that’s just as priceless? Andre worked closely with Marc Jacobs for a decade, until Marc fired him. Via text message. The two remain friends.

Despite the recent hullabaloo surrounding Galliano’s drunken rants and his subsequent displacement at Dior, in 1993, the designer was at the absolute peak of his career. There’s an elaborate fashion story behind this collection that follows an 1860s princess named Lucretia, who is banished while wearing enormous skirts and ringlet pigtails and shirts that are falling to pieces. She then somehow ends up in the Scottish highlands wearing jaunty, meticulously shrunken hats and hiked-up skirts because she’s met the “dotty duke” and “dotty duchess,” who ply her with gambling and gin. Of course, Lucretia then meets her prince and marries him, but this is like watching a porn with a backstory because the narrative does nothing other than to create a vehicle for the breathtaking breadth and depth of Galliano’s vision and talent.

Todd remarks how difficult it is to cut and sew pieces on the bias as Galliano does, and as difficult as it is to create volume for the 1860s period and then to hike it all up for the highlands, the real nut is how John Galliano creates everything at an angle. His slinky, silky, weightless dresses for the wedding scene are a miracle. And that he makes a see-through panel of scalloped edges in tissue-thin fabric, with pieces cut and sewn sideways to move and hug the topography of the female form, is unparalleled. Pun intended.



cindy crawford

Photographer Max Vadukul shoots Cindy Crawford for Italian 'Vogue' in 1993.
Photo: MTV

This could have been just another segment where we trail Cindy to the set of a magazine shoot, but this is about getting to see Max Vadukul’s unusual technique. Despite having worked multiple times with Max, the esteemed former staff photographer for The New Yorker, Cindy seems shy here. She clearly doesn’t know what to expect, and the editorial has Cindy completely stripped down, with unfussy, flattened hair and minimal makeup, so she seems particularly exposed.

Max — who is also known for shooting black-and-white Yohji Yamamoto ad campaigns — has a tiny mustache, circular glasses and a calm disposition. He takes complete advantage of Cindy’s rare vulnerability by asking her a series of disquieting questions to evoke new expressions. He asks how she’d feel if she discovered her husband in bed with another woman. He then asks her to leap and to show him her feet while closing way in to ask how she’d feel if she found out she was having triplets. There’s constant movement and you can tell that Cindy doesn’t quite know what she looks like. It’s refreshing to see her have to work for it. Because the questions and emotions require her to act, we see a new self-consciousness from our now familiar House of Style host, and a new facet of what it’s like on the set of this particular photographer’s shoot.



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todd oldham john galliano

'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham interviews designer John Galliano in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 28
Title: Best Of Edition
Original Airdate: 12/15/93
Includes segments from:

  • The Hippie Style Of Grateful Dead Fans (Episode 23)

  • Behind The Scenes Of The Dirt Magazine Photo Shoot (Episode 23)

  • Todd Oldham Interviews Designers Andre Walker And John Galliano (Episode 27)

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cindy crawford jon stewart

Cindy Crawford with MTV Correspondent Jon Stewart and Director of Elite Model Management Ann Veltri in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 29
Title: Winter Edition
Original Airdate: 2/9/94
Appearances: Jon Stewart, Todd Oldham, Sybil Buck


Before he was the silver fox host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart was a big deal at MTV, helming his own eponymous talk show from 1993-1994. His time slot pitted him against late-night stalwarts like Leno and Letterman, so his run ended up being short-lived. Which is a huge shame because the show was critical for two reasons. One, it featured musical guests who at the time could not otherwise get the shine: Marilyn Manson, Sunny Day Real Estate, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Slayer and Biggie. Another thing is that the producer of The Jon Stewart Show, Madeleine Smithberg, would go on to create The Daily Show, which has of course seen an extraordinary, award-winning run, with Stewart at the helm since Craig Kilborn peaced in the late ’90s.

In this clip, we see Jon shadowing Cindy on her errands, to comedic effect. He cracks everybody up, but it’s sorta sadface because it’s like watching some poor bastard get “friend zoned” by a hot chick who just wants a smart, funny dude to tag along behind her like some neutered lapdog. They visit Cindy’s modeling agency, Elite, where they go through Cindy’s schedule with her agent and clown around. Jon’s recognized by some of the agency’s new faces, and gets to briefly man a casting couch. The floppy-haired comic then accompanies the model to her mani/pedi appointment at Stephen Knoll. He remarks upon how absurd it is that women sit around “pruning each other” while having his feet massaged and his hands moisturized, and then they hit the gym for Cindy’s workout with trainer Radu. Medicine ball sit-ups and basketball end the day; with Jon smoking cigarettes during his crunches.



runway spring 94

The highs and lows of the Spring '94 runway shows.
Photo: MTV

On the runways of Chloe, Byron Lars, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui, Marcel Marongiv, John Galliano, and Thierry Mugler, several trends are in raging for dominance. Underwear as outerwear, as seen in prior seasons, is still going strong, this time with long, spaghetti-strapped slips worn as dresses. Hair is piled high, curled and festooned with trails of ribbons. Anna Sui dominates the grunge baby doll scene with A-line mini-dresses with large collars on androgynous model (and Angelina Jolie ex) Jenny Shimizu, as well as on male models. Another male model, Donovan, does the robot on the runway in a metallic suit (also at Sui). And the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence walks hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, Helena Christensen at Thierry Mugler. Hutchence has a large silver spike through his nose, and Christensen wears a leather bustier dress covered in spikes and fringe.

The best show is John Galliano’s (discussed at length in an earlier episode). The worst, in my personal opinion, is a rare misstep from Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. The clownishly exaggerated “hip-hop-inspired” knee shorts with suspenders are unflattering, with a voyeuristic petting-zoo philosophy that borders on racism. The hair is vexing as well: Meant to evoke natural hair that has been poorly relaxed, it just looks bedraggled and messy.



todd oldham

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham makes layers look cool in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Todd Oldham is a godsend. Here, he teaches us a classic “from the runway to the real world” lesson in layering, starting out with an idea from his own show. For the runway, Todd paired a cropped crochet sweater over a long, patterned georgette shirt; for an alternate version, he advises us to shop in the kid’s section of The Gap for a tiny sweater vest to wear over any filmy shirt. Next up is a nod to the Comme Des Garçons trick of putting a fitted, thin, crew-neck, long-sleeved sweater over a suit jacket or blazer to reveal the large patch pockets of the jacket that now billows out slightly at the waist.

At Rifat Ozbek, a bra is worn over a mock turtleneck to showcase “underlayering” — putting what you’d typically wear underneath over your outside clothes. A prime example of this is to put a tank top over a long-sleeved shirt. Mixing seasons is another way to rethink layers, like wearing a summer dress over a sweater or a white cotton peasant blouse over a thick wool turtleneck. It’s more instruction on how to style things you already own, using cues from your favorite designers. Todd’s cheat sheet is all about understanding proportion, a keen sense of color and a hefty dose of attitude.



sibyl buck

Model Sibyl Buck in 1994.
Photo: MTV

In many ways, Sibyl Buck epitomizes the lifestyle aspects of the grunge movement. Kate Moss and Amber Valletta evoke a type of stylized grunge or “fashion grunge,” with their pale skin, doe eyes and seemingly meek dispositions. The critical difference is that they were also both versatile in a way that made them aesthetically malleable depending on the job or designer.

Sibyl Buck, with her septum piercing and dreadlocked red hair, was often hired for her specific look. During a tour of her apartment, we go through her music collection; she cites The Melvins and Bad Brains as favorites. Some headbanging takes place before she shows off her overalls collection; then we’re taken up to her roof to watch her skateboard. She is very much a tomboy — all elbows and knees — and she notes that her clients hate how often she shows up for jobs with scabs all over her legs. Sibyl quit modeling in 1998 to focus on a music career: She currently plays bass for The Lonely Astronauts.



snowboard style

Snowboarder style on the slopes in 1994.
Photo: MTV

In 1994, long before it was an Olympic sport, snowboarding was still very much defined as an alternative to skiing. The aesthetic, as such, was a sharp departure from neon, preppy, matching outfits, and much more closely aligned with skate clothing of the era. The jackets were oversized and the pants were “phat” (true story) to allow for layering and warmth. The really interesting part of this segment is how far technology has come since snowboarding grew as an industry. Back then, the larger clothing allowed for higher mobility, whereas contemporary textile technology allows for four-way stretch in waterproof, shell-covered fleece that’s infinitely less cumbersome and less reliant on layers.

The snowboarding kids of almost 20 years ago employ an admirable degree of DIY ingenuity to combat such functional shortcomings. They saw off the top of soft boots for added movement, layer boots, wear several mitts or “hot pads” together keep their hands warm, some layers even looking like they’re covered in duct tape. In 1994, snowboarders were still the “pirates of the mountain,” and the long-haired kids freezing their asses off definitely show a great deal of commitment.



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alexander mcqueen

Designer Alexander McQueen at London Fashion Week in 1997.
Photo: MTV

Season: 9 Episode: 58
Title: London Edition
Original Airdate: 4/1/97
Appearances: Antonio Berardi, Hussein Chalayan, Clements Ribeiro, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Cindy Crawford


British designers are super complicated and cerebral. Case in point: When we talk to Antonio Berardi and he informs us that his collection is about “voodoo and the Gunpowder plot.” Sold! But also, what?

In this rapid-fire tour through the greatest designing minds showing at London, we have the privilege of talking to Hussein Chalayan (later to be the designer of the Lady Gaga Grammys egg) about his Fall/Winter 1997 collection, inspired by seeing the weather as “some kind of god.” It translates into cobwebby, floor-skimming dresses with exaggeratedly long sleeves and turtlenecks. There are also impeccably-cut fluid capes of varying length.

Clements Ribeiro shows leather dresses as well as an interesting maxi seersucker effect on some trousers (the vertical, wrinkly line bits are magnified). Vivienne Westwood shows structured, ladylike suits, plaids, strong shoulders and canny layers for her Red Label. She, of course, also offers up the best quotes. “I love to have these girls looking like little ladies ready to enter the world,” she says. “Instead of wasting their time jumping around in sloppy, horrible clothes.”

Workers for Freedom, the now defunct brand created by partners Richard Nott and Graham Fraser, showed a brilliant line that called attention to tonal dressing in North Africa, and tailored silhouettes with tie closures for a fluid wraparound look that was SO NOT British and so quietly exciting. There’s Owen Gaster with characteristically English suiting, pencil skirts, precision tailoring and box pleats.

And then we have a quick interview with Alexander McQueen about his “It’s A Jungle Out There” collection. We're shown live footage of the pony skin jacket with impala horns that was featured in his posthumous Savage Beauty exhibit at The Met and beautiful pelts fashioned into Flintstonian smocks. There's enormous hair teased into wild manes, fur burnout brocade that makes my brain bleed to consider the labor, catsuits that move with surreal tensile fluidity and floor-length pony dresses that a Dothraki queen would give her and her blood riders' eyeteeth for. “It’s about humans being savages,” says McQueen. “The cavemen; this is how they clothed themselves. They didn’t have a sewing machine in a hundred million years B.C. I do these things for a reason. I don’t do it because of some blasé fashion thing.”



john galliano cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford interviews Christian Dior designer John Galliano in 1997.
Photo: MTV

While we’re at London fashion week, Cindy’s in Paris with the designer John Galliano to interview him as the head of the House of Dior. The designer talks about Christian Dior (the inventor of the New Look), in hallowed terms and says he sees Dior as “God.” Dior used to show 200 outfits at his atelier, with some collections taking over two hours to run through. Galliano may not be as prolific, but he did bring tremendous success to both his line and to Dior during most of his tenure. It’s interesting to see Galliano’s incredible technique evolve as it melds with the most notable influences of the esteemed fashion house. Galliano brings his love of the bias cut to Dior, but this time all the slipperiness is anchored by foundation garments. The effect is palpably different — a little more serious. We accompany Cindy to her fitting and the segment ends too quickly. I could watch an hour of Galliano in his heyday and it makes me terribly sad to think about what's become of him since.



voyage boutique london

Daisy Fuentes and model Karen Mulder visit Voyage boutique in London with owners Tiziano and Louise Mazzilli in 1997.
Photo: MTV

Opened in London by husband and wife Tiziano and Louise Mazzilli in 1991, Voyage gained notoriety for its expensive clothing (a silk dress was about $1,000 with coats costing about $2,500), and for turning away customers like Madonna, Julia Roberts and Naomi Campbell. The collection was only offered in one size, no fashion designers were ever allowed in and customers were permitted entry on an invitation-only basis. In 1996, it was reported that the Mazzillis had made over $10 million in sales, but by 2002, Voyage was about 3 Million GBP in debt. The store is now shuttered, and the couple have since divorced. According to fashion insiders, the company was spending wildly, as evidenced by full-page ads, taken out in prominent magazines, that featured members of their family. There’s a great one in the Daily Mail with their kids Tatum and Rocky posing in front of a Union Jack dressed like raver pirates. They’re also referred to as British fashion’s “Addams Family.” “The whole ad campaign was so self-indulgent,” says a source, “with the family striking these creepy poses.” It seems they don’t advertise to create business, they advertise through pure vanity. They’re essentially the original Kardashians, but with one key difference: They’re actually incredible designers.

(Warning: medium-sized tangent ahead so feel free to stray.) I can’t help it, I think this family is amazing. There’s a pretty recent wardrobe visit with Tiziano on StyleLikeU, where he shows us his Savile Row vests, bedazzled Puma Clydes (that he mistakenly calls Nikes), a skull Lego Jesus piece, a massive, plastic engagement ring bracelet (because he’s “engaged with himself”), and an exquisite metallic python moto jacket that looks like chainmail. Tatum and Rocky, his daughter and his son (respectively), have grown up to become designers as well. Tatum has a laser-cut acrylic jewelry line called Funky Bling; Rocky, who has long green hair and wears a grip of tribal face paint and lipstick, has a line called Year Zero. It is beloved by Nicki Minaj and 2NE1. Rocky designs it with his mother, who now has bright yellow hair, a shorn portion of which is dyed to resemble animal print. All four wear heaps of plastic jewelry, making them look like an 8bit MDMA fever dream.

(Note: Tangent over.) Voyage was masterful. Granted, the offerings were outrageously expensive and the family’s eccentricities were a bit much, but in this segment you can’t deny that a dress Daisy Fuentes (our new host for a couple of episodes) and Karen Mulder can both try on is nothing short of magical. If you looked at the recent video of Tiziano and Louise, you’ll be shocked at how they look in this segment. They both look so normal. Tiziano is wearing silk pajamas (very S/S 2012) and Louise has politician-lady hair. I can’t accurately speak on what their collection looked like in later years, but in 1997 this couple knew how to whip up a tissue-thin dress that looks divine and plays opaque against skin. There’s one dress that Karen calls a work of art. It looks as if a lightning bolt and a rainbow shining off an oil slick made a baby. It’s unbelievable. But the best part of this footage is that there’s something so down-to-earth and unpolished about Daisy that she doesn't give a crap about pricetags when she grabs whatever she feels like trying on. You can feel the Mazzillis’ side eye and it buuuuuuurns.



london street style

London band Everything But The Girl in 1997.
Photo: MTV

According to everyone we talk to in London, and interviews with Goldie and Bjork as well as Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl, all British young persons are wearing vintage clothing. There are secondhand blazers, tattered faux fur coats inherited from moms, plaid pants, old-school anoraks and studded leather jackets. As for footwear, it’s pretty much the same over there as it was here—adidas, Pumas, creepers and Dr Martens. There’s a bit of good-natured ribbing as to who’s got better style, Brits or Americans, but it’s actually hilarious to see that kids in London and kids in New York are all too broke to buy flashy new duds, and are dyeing their own hair for a quick makeover because the rent is too damn high on both sides of the pond.



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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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