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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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walk like a runway model

A participant walks like a runway model at a New Jersey mall in 1992.
Photo: MTV

Season: 4 Episode: 13
Title: Winter '92
Original Airdate: 2/26/92
Appearances: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Iman

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: LEARN HOW TO WALK LIKE A MODEL AT THE MALL

Unfurling a length of red carpet on the main floor of the Garden State Plaza Mall to teach shoppers how to “Walk Like a Supermodel” seems hokey, but you have to remember that this was back when girls were getting ripped off by fake modeling classes and sham photographers offering to take your head-shots for hundreds of dollars. It also predates the thousands of instructional videos and years of runway footage that we all now have at our fingertips on YouTube and happily take for granted. I’m not saying that this segment would’ve incited a quickening of spirit to the extent that some kid from Bumblefudgeville would have seen this and immediately thought, “Hey, wait a second, I can do that!” and then grow up to be Coco Rocha. I’m just saying that, were you thinking of pursuing modeling, it might be nice to hear the poised and gorgeous Christy Turlington talk about how angry she looked when she walked because she was nervous. Plus, there’s this great moment where you get to see how Naomi switches up her style each season, starting back when she was a wee n00b. We also get a priceless sit-down with the incomparable Iman, who has no idea what “learning to walk” implies. It’s a non-issue for her, because it’s all in the “presence.” Cue footage of Iman positively gliding down the runway in billowing Calvin Klein. It’s true: some people are born with it. Others are clearly space-alien paragons of perfection grown from spores and sent to marry other such stunning creatures named David Bowie. The rest of us have to learn in a mall.

Hitting the marble floor of a Jersey shopping center is just one of many ways in which Cindy Crawford shows she’s a mensch. Not only does she twirl and personably teach a bunch of random normalfolk how to do what she does, she even brings out Ellen Harth, President of Elite Runway, for further instruction. There are a pile of heels, a kid who’s a dead ringer for a young Eric Stoltz and even a darling proto-Glambert punk rock kid with a grip of wallet chains, who sells the bejesus out of his leather jacket by mimicking CC, and flinging it over his shoulders on his twirl. (Cindy is wearing a moto jacket, too. Though hers is much fancier. Naturally.)

+ WATCH WALK LIKE A SUPERMODEL


STREET STYLE: DYED DENIM FROM VERSACE TO CROSS COLOURS

colored denim

Colored denim for men by Moschino Jeans in 1992.
Photo: MTV

A piece on colored denim is the series’s first segment targeted towards men, and it does a surprising amount of heavy lifting. First of all, it cements the show as a fashion authority by granting dudes permission to wear something as adventurous as dyed jeans. It’s a fairly big deal considering how everyone wore pale blue dad jeans and faded black jeans at the time. I equate it to that moment when kids who listened to rap or skated understood that they had the go-ahead to wear tight pants despite the initial derision they'd experience. The styling is fantastic. Even though the models are very model-ish, with very model-looking hair and hyper-expressive mannerisms that make Delia’s catalog girls look natural (I have no idea why they are eating pie with their hands at the store), but the segment is laudable for its instructional elements. It basically teaches you how to style a bunch of looks. Some are great and some are comedy gold.

First of all, you have a Canadian Tuxedo (denim jacket plus jeans, a.k.a. a Texas Tux) with denim in two different, hyper-saturated colors. Then you have overalls that are fitted and cuffed, with boots and a printed button-up shirt (cloud print is huge at this point) that feels very Trad skinhead (not the racist kind). Then, you’ve got Cross Colours, which evokes all the very best memories, from TLC’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” video to “What About Your Friends” and those ads from Dr. Dre and Snoop, many of which you can revisit on Tumblr. Sure, again, that one model guy in the shoot looks awkward, but Carl Jones, designer for Cross Colours, puts it beautifully: “Colored denim is something new. Clothing without prejudice. It also means colors without prejudice, to show something new and to excite men about fashion. We try to design in a way where, if a kid has $20, he could afford something.” This is why absolutely everyone (and their dads) owned a CC baseball cap, but it also allowed men to peacock with the comfort of a silhouette they already owned and a brand that was cosigned by the music industry. And then to show the trends as interpreted by the high-fashion brands, we go into Versace denim for the skinny fit, the op art swirls, the Betty Boop print and all the other detailing that I would pillage all of eBay for.

+ WATCH COLORED DENIM


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 13

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kate moss

Model Kate Moss in 1993.
Photo: MTV

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

todd oldham thrift store

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham goes thrift store shopping in 1993.
Photo: MTV

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

runway chanel

Highlights from the Spring 1993 runway shows.
Photo: MTV

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

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 19

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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford goes backstage to find out what models think of posing nude in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 31
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 6/9/94
Appearances: Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Calvin Klein, Manon Rhéaume, Kim Gordon, Daisy Von Furth, Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: THE NUDITY DEBATE

Fashion is one thing, but for this segment House Of Style interviews Cindy Crawford, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Niki Taylor on the subject of modeling nothing: in other words, posing nude. Of the models, Niki is the only one who opts out of nudity entirely: “My body’s for my man.” Cindy talks about her decision to do Playboy because it exposes her to a new audience that may not read fashion magazines (but who obviously get Playboy for the articles). Kate talks about the appeal of her Obsession ads, with Calvin Klein chiming in to comment on the sensual nature of perfume and how challenging it can be to sell a feeling. He believes the Obsession ads are compelling not just for the nudity, but for the expression on Kate Moss’s face.

Many of the models agree that your relationship with the photographer — and the resulting level of confidence and comfort — is a huge part of why they’d choose to do nude campaigns or editorial; they appear genuinely confused about the backlash. A nude Allure cover image got the magazine banned in some parts of California, and Helena’s topless campaign for Express Jeans led to some store boycotts. Stephanie Seymour sizes up the experience best when she equates nude photos with getting a tattoo: It’s permanent, and can haunt you forever, so you have to take your time to do it right, make sure you’re protected and ensure that the photos are done in good taste.

DEMOCRATIZING FASHION: KEVIN MANCUSO'S HAIR TIPS

kevin mancuso

Summer hairstyles by hairstylist Kevin Mancuso in 1994.
Photo: MTV

To be a teen in the ’90s is to know what it’s like to have a ridiculous hairstyle (or a series of them). It was the era of tiny hair barrettes, over-complicated pigtails, white-girl dreads and French twists. In this how-to hair segment, we have celebrity stylist Kevin Mancuso (trusted stylist to Natalie Portman and Taylor Swift in Central Park, displaying the bemusing summer up-dos that were all the rage in 1994. One liberally employs brightly-colored pipe cleaners. Another involves tiny Björk-style rave twists piled on the crown of the head with ends hanging down to create a fringe. Then there’s the repeated teasing and spraying that felts sections of hair into loose dreadlocks. Finally, there’s a side-parted, gelled, sleek look, with a wee pompadour for a rock-hard coif.

+ WATCH KEVIN MANCUSO ON SUMMER HAIR

POP CULTURE AND FASHION: MANON RHÉAUME, THE FIRST LADY OF HOCKEY, MODELS

manon rheaume

Professional female hockey player Manon Rhéaume in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Applying what the boys of Dirt magazine did in their fashion editorial, here we use clothing to call attention to someone regular House of Style viewers may not be familiar with. Manon Rhéaume was the first lady of hockey. A Quebec native, she started skating at 3, and was the first woman to sign to a professional team in 1992 when she joined the Tampa Bay Lightning. She’s the OG Roller Derby Girl and famously turned down an offer to pose nude in Playboy. She also happens to be beautiful.

Here, Manon models Patricia Field and Antique Boutique on the ice. There are metallic jackets with leggings; tiny denim shorts and shrunken shirts; mini-skirts and pigtails. The infantilizing (or “kinderwhore”) trend that was huge in the ’90s is kinda a buzzkill, since Rhéaume’s strong and talented, and the costume changes are interspersed with interviews with her male teammates, talking about her incredible capability and athleticism. In one portion, Rhéaume’s skating around eating a soft-serve ice cream cone, and it looks sort of porn-y. But then she takes a spill and lands on her ass in the changing room, cracking up riotously over the splat of ice cream on the floor, which makes you fall right back in love with her.

+ WATCH MANON RHÉAUME

STREET STYLE: X-GIRL FASHION SHOW

sofia coppola spike jonze

Milkfed designer Sofia Coppola and video director Spike Jonze at the X-Girl streetwear fashion show in 1994.
Photo: MTV

X-Girl is the sister line to the X-Large brand, and to commemorate the launch of the collection designed by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and stylist Daisy von Furth, the crew throw a renegade fashion show on Wooster Street, across from Marc Jacobs’s show, produced by indie darlings Sofia Coppola and then-boyfriend Spike Jonze. It is an unspeakably cool gambit: There’s a white sheet spray painted with the logo strung up in the background, and a milling crowd comprised of the likes of Zoe Cassavetes, Donovan Leitch, Francis Ford Coppola, The Beastie Boys, J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., and My So-Called Life Christmas ghost Juliana Hatfield. Once the Marc Jacobs show lets out, Steven Meisel, Anna Sui, Bill Cunningham, Linda Evangelista and Linda’s then-boyfriend actor Kyle MacLachlan join the others. Actress Ione Skye (then married to Adam Horovitz) models, as does downtown “It” girl Chloë Sevigny. The director Mike Mills designed the X-Girl logo, and most of the clothes resemble thrifted sportswear pieces. There are carefully cut T-shirts that are inspired by deadstock football jerseys, tennis shirts, and ringer tees (a.k.a. the “uniform for indie rockers”). The two founding designers and Chloë Sevigny were the fit models, so the clothes run small, but the focus of the abbreviated clothes is not on being conventionally sexy. The A-line silhouette of the mini-skirts and thigh-skimming dresses was intended to be flattering, but Gordon and von Furth’s design philosophy eschewed lycra because it was too clingy. Built by Wendy's Wendy Mullin also worked on several of the first collections. She has a scrapbook on her site that recounts some of those early days, and she reminisces on how Kurt Cobain's death had happened so close to the show that it cast a pall over the excitement in the hours leading up to the event.

It’s interesting to note that a lot of the more mall-ready clothes of the era, from Judy’s to Contempo Casuals, featured a lot of slippery, tight near-100% lycra compositions for their baby dolls. X-Girl was more about architectural construction: The short-sleeved, crew-neck dresses were cut narrow but not tight, in order to graze the body without confining it. It was a nod to the crispness of mod, as was the choice for all the models to wear flats. Von Furth also makes sure to note that their trousers are low-slung and intended for the skater girl who does not have to relegate herself to wearing oversized boy’s pants that are not made for her physique. The stove-pipe leg is carried throughout, but with a low-slung, tighter fit around a waist with a flattering, thick band. Gordon is notably 7 months pregnant with a daughter she says she hopes is a riot grrl.

X-Girl was important because it was cool enough to be exclusive and fetch a hefty, limited-edition price tag, but none of the pieces ran north of $60 — a fact that was important to von Furth, who says that most of her peers buy their clothes at vintage stores. She is an obvious fashion and construction nerd, rattling off the exact years the clothes evoke; her deceptively simple design features contributed significantly to the line’s popularity.

X-Girl stores have closed since the production of this segment, though the label still exists in Japan. A collaboration with Nike Sportswear was only available in Japan; there have also been collaborations with various bag brands. Two years after this show, von Furth is quoted in Vice about her styling work on a recent story in Dirt: “There was this cute kid named Mark Ronson [ed note: !!!!!] and it was about the lost generation of 1978… Alligator shirts and puffy down jackets and Rod Lavers.” Kim Gordon continues to work in fashion as well, and collaborated with Surface to Air in 2012. But this segment in 1994 is a huge moment in terms of the way mainstream fashion is being upstaged by streetwear, and how the power dynamic has shifted from the runway to the cool kids downtown. At one point, Sofia points out, somewhat facetiously, “You too can have a fashion show.” The words are enormously prophetic.

+ WATCH X-GIRL FASHION SHOW

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 31

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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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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford and classmate Mike Dulin head to their 10-year high school reunion in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 33
Title: Fall Edition
Original Airdate: 9/21/94
Appearances: Stephane Sednaoui, Shalom Harlow

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CINDY'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

Cindy Crawford may have risen to supermodel status, but her origins lie smack dab in the middle of an Illinois cornfield. For her ten-year high school reunion, Cindy returns to her family home in Dekalb, where Cynthia was (unsurprisingly) a fantastic student. She was on the pep club, student council and the math team; her yearbook photos reveal that she looked exactly the same in her senior year as she does at the time this segment was filmed. Her childhood friend Mike Dulin accompanies her to the dinner and dance, and everyone she talks to acts like a deer caught in headlights when faced with a camera crew. While her classmates are wearing double-breasted suits and fusty floral dresses, Cindy is wearing a spaghetti strap, bias-cut, black evening dress, and stands a foot taller than those around her. To her credit, you can tell that she wore a deliberately flattering but inconspicuous dress. At one point, she does, however, torture a male neighbor by asking if he was aware that she sunbathed nude on her roof. He’s flustered. You can tell that Cindy is as ambitious and sweet now as she was in school, but there is definitely some formality and distance due to her status. Being the most famous person to graduate from your high school may be a vindicating experience if you were bullied or otherwise unpopular, but you can tell that Cindy’s always been effortlessly well-liked, so she makes a point of saying hello to as many people as possible. It reminds us that superstars sometimes come from inauspicious places, and it’s weird to see worlds and time periods colliding. (It also makes me wonder how many of the guys bought her issue of Playboy.)

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD'S HS REUNION

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: BEST AND WORST FASHION OF FALL 1994

marc jacobs

Model Niki Taylor on the Marc Jacobs runway in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, and Isaac Mizrahi all show piece-dyed, hyper-colored fur coats, and accents in the form of giant fur hats, fur collars and cuffs, and earmuffs. The toasty pieces are juxtaposed with tiny slip dresses and mini-skirts, but Calvin Klein bucked the trend with hemlines skimming the knee in somber 1940s cuts. Vivienne Tam took the somewhat out-of-vogue crochet trend for a patterned “grandma’s potholder” look, and Byron Lars ended his show with models dressed in skeleton bodices with floor-length black shirts, lifted up for the dramatic surprise of grass skirts tied around their knees.

+ WATCH '94 FALL FASHION SHOWS

STREET STYLE: MIXING HIGH/LOW IN NEW YORK

dom casual

Fall fashion trends from Dom Casual in 1994.
Photo: MTV

This piece employs the New York streets as the runway, and while it includes stuff from Anna Sui and Jean Paul Gaultier, the other fashion credits are Liquid Sky, X-Girl, and magazine editor/photographer/stylist Walter Cessna’s short-lived line, Dom Casual. All three are indie labels with a renegade staff and youthful attitude. Dom Casual’s claim to fame was that the first fall collection featured clothing made from blankets allegedly stolen from American Airlines. Walter was slapped with a cease and desist, which led the company to pull its dresses from Pat Field and TG-170, a boutique on Ludlow Street. Walter had also been preparing a spring season featuring terry cloth skirts made from towels jacked from the Ritz-Carlton, which met a similar fate. The controversy hobbled the fashion company financially. Walter then pursued an illustrious career in media: He published a fashion magazine called The Key, which poked fun at New York’s Fashion Avenue. He also contributed as a writer/stylist/photographer to NY Talk, iD, Paper, The Village Voice, Interview and Elle.

The rest of the street style segment features a slew of textured accessories: corduroy house slippers, shearling shoes, and fuzzy, animal-print hats. There are cross-dressing gents in Jean Paul Gaultier, horned hats à la Jamoriquai, exaggerated collars, sweater vests, and A-line miniskirts. Fur and feather accents dominated outerwear, like marabou cuffs and jacket trims,and poufs on sweaters. Socks are pulled way up and shirts shrunken to bare the midriff. Rave culture had definitely infiltrated the downtown scene for a few years by this point, and clothing and record store Liquid Sky (where Chloë Sevigny famously worked) contributed logo tees and ripstop nylon rave pants.

+ WATCH '94 FALL FASHION TRENDS

MUSIC AND FASHION: BOSS HOG'S CRISTINA MARTINEZ AND HOLLIS QUEENS GET GIRLIE

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Hollis Queens and Cristina Martinez of Boss Hog show off sexy style in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Since this is the episode that Cindy Crawford visits her hometown, the segment starts off with her remembering how she used to sneak off to her church's cemetery to hook up with boys and ends with how she and her friends were so broke that the three of them would share fries and loiter for hours at the local McDonalds to pass time.

The middle portion of the segment shows members of the American punk blues band Boss Hog getting extra girlie in a massive hotel suite with slinky dresses, tiaras and a grip of makeup. Boss Hog was the collaborated effort of Jon Spencer (of Blues Explosion fame) and his wife Cristina Martinez (who sang vocals), Jens Jurgensen is on bass, Mark Boyce on keyboard and Hollis Queens played the drums. In this segment Cristina and Hollis have a slumber party—they have a cocktail, nosh on room service shave each other's legs, have an impromptu photo shoot and spend the night.

+ WATCH BOSS HOG MODELS PROM

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: PHOTOGRAPHER STEPHANE SEDNAOUI

stephane sednaoui

Photographer Stephane Sednaoui shoots model Shalom Harlow for French 'Glamour' in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Downtown “it” girl correspondent Zoe Cassavetes is back again, this time on location for a Stephane Sednaoui shoot in Chinatown with model Shalom Harlow. Stephane, despite never having gone to school for photography or directing, would go on to direct a ton of critically acclaimed, highly-stylized music videos for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Give It Away”), U2 (“Mysterious Ways”), Smashing Pumpkins ("Today”), Björk (“Big Time Sensuality,” “Possibly Maybe”), and Alanis Morissette (“Ironic”).

Stephane is obviously an eccentric and a bit of an exhibitionist. He feeds off the energy of the rubbernecking passersby while marching down Bowery in a sarong. Shalom looks similarly gonzo in this shoot for French Glamour, which is intended to look like a “Futuristic Japanese comic book.” She sports dramatic makeup, and the fashion is hyper-colored and fun.

+ WATCH STEPHANE SEDNAOUI ON SET WITH SHALOM HARLOW

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 33

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MTV correspondent Jon Stewart backstage with models Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 39
Title: New York Fashion Week
Original Airdate: 4/11/95
Appearances: Jon Stewart, Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Calvin Klein, Tatjana Patitz, Simon LeBon, Todd Oldham, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Elle MacPherson

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: JON STEWART GOES BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN

Jon Stewart is his delightful, funny self at New York Fashion Week as he goes backstage at Calvin Klein and attends rehearsal. We’ve accompanied House of Style to several Fashion Weeks in New York by now, so we have a frame of reference for how our new host is being treated. Jon is regarded with suspicion, and we seem to be getting less access than when we’re with Cindy since she often walks in the shows she covers. He interviews Calvin Klein and the designer treats the comedian like an interloper. It's not total side eye with daggers but it's definitely screw-mouth emoji.

Jon, to his credit, stays cracking the jokes, pointing out the loose butane canister among the makeup and commenting on sleeping models backstage. It’s observational humor run amok, and we don’t learn anything new or servicey but it's hilarious. Jon is bowled over, understandably, by Kate Moss, and slinks over to her and Linda Evangelista, who have cracked open a bottle of champagne to toast the end of the week. You can’t help wondering if Cindy called ahead to ask them to be nice to the new guy.

+ WATCH JON STEWART BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: TATJANA PATITZ

tatjana patitz

Model Tatjana Patitz at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Tatjana Patitz talks about how she only uses nondescript duffel bags to cart her Fashion Week stuff because the fancy luggage tends to get stolen. Good tip if you had any designs on becoming a world-traveling supermodel. It’s interesting to see what a model packs since she’ll be wearing other people’s clothes for such a large part of the week, so this is a peek into what Tatjana will be wearing to dinner and parties. There are a number of pretty Tocca dresses, bright bras and Manolo heels.

So far, this episode has given us a renewed sense of how much models loathe working Fashion Week. We’ve heard countless stories about how they'd rather do editorial, how exhausted they are during show weeks and Tatjana even admits that every time she tells herself, "Never again." We shadow Tatjana at Betsey Johnson and Todd Oldham, and then follow her to events with the likes of Molly Ringwald, RuPaul and the ever-present patron saint of the rockstar supermodelizer, Simon LeBon.

+ WATCH TATJANA PATITZ


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HOW TO BUILD A TODD OLDHAM FASHION SHOW

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Finale of the Todd Oldham runway show at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Todd, ever the gracious host, opens his Fashion Week show to us with unparalleled access and hospitality. A mere 3 hours before his show, he is energized and not at all pitching a fit or freaking people around him with stressball energies the way some other designers would be. He wears a shrunken polo shirt with a long-sleeved tee underneath it and takes time out to talk to us about the months leading up to this moment. First he created the custom prints and embroideries, then he determined silhouettes, and finally he moved on to fine-tuning. There are typically 3-5 outfits per girl with a fitting for each. He shouts out his show producer Kevin Cryer, and we see the seating chart and have a new appreciation for the logistical nightmare that is a fashion show.

Twenty minutes before the show starts, Todd and Kevin go through the timing of the lights, the music and the order the girls will walk in. A quick visit to makeup with wizard Kevyn Aucoin shows us that the artist is taking brows to the next level by affixing a pair of slick, black vinyl ones on a stunningly young Tyra Banks. During Todd’s commentary about the various things that need to get accomplished, he mentions interviews that are required of him backstage, does one, and then returns to us moments before the first walk.

There’s clapping and last-minute details. Even during the walk, Todd allows our cameras to stay with him. He points out with interesting details and even has a model remove her lumpy undergarments, which he sticks into his back pocket. We’ve talked to Cindy during shows, but a designer’s stakes are different and this is the closest we’ve been to the enormous pressure.

Just minutes later it’s over. The leathers, stripes, metallic brocades, sequins and quilted satins are well-received by no less than Ivana Trump and Susan Sarandon. A broken heel sends Todd into peals of laughter. We watch models as they ask to borrow clothes for various parties, and we have a new appreciation of Todd for his kindness and cool demeanor.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM PUTS ON A FASHION SHOW


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: WHAT IT'S LIKE FOR A BUYER

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'Seventeen' magazine Fashion Editor Marie Moss at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

With Cindy, we’ve sat front row and learned what it’s like to wear the hat of a fashion editor, but the other person who is politically entitled to prominent placement in the seating arrangement is the buyer. Here we talk to Kim Koshiol, buyer at Bloomingdales, and compare her experiences with those of Marie Moss, the senior fashion editor at Seventeen. This is a new target age group for us, and an important one since we're MTV so it’s interesting to note how high-fashion trends are adaptable for the teen fashion world.

When shopping for a department store, the entire collection must be considered for its overall appeal, price and quality. Instead of matching themes for an editorial shoot, the line has to be featured together on the sales floor, so cohesiveness must be considered.

For the fashion editor, trends across several different designers have to gel so that story ideas can be developed throughout the season and honed through additional showroom visits. What the 16 and 17-year-old girl will take away from the runway differs from the response of an older more affluent customer and styles need to assessed based on what will trickle down.

We interview designer Yeohlee Teng, who mentions that the fashion editor and buyer work in tandem. You need the editors in order to get your message out, and you need the buyers to get the clothes out. Longevity has to be considered. Betsey Johnson has good relationships with her buyers, and though her eponymous line recently filed for bankruptcy (much to our dismay) her runway trends have always resonated with The Youngs.

Most of the trends are texturally — or color-driven — basically, nothing that can't be mimicked across price points. For fall, it’s mixed textures, matching matte with shine, leather with suede, and the color brown. Betsey, of course, bucks trends, and makes a major play for hyper-color cowgirl.

+ WATCH FASHION WEEK FOR BUYERS


RISE OF THE SUPERMODELS: FASHION CAFÉ

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Models Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Elle MacPherson at the opening of The Fashion Café in 1995.
Photo: MTV

In 1995, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Elle MacPherson opened a restaurant devoted to fashion in Rockefeller Center. It was during the heyday of Hard Rock, and models were still fetching multimillion-dollar deals, so it’s understandable that naming plates of shrimp after beautiful women and showing runway footage while peddling buffalo wings wasn’t immediately noticed as being a total fiasco.

We know now that the investors were shady, and a couple of years later would be indicted as money launderers, but even in food critic Ruth Reichl’s write up for the New York Times, she nails the major problem with the business model: Fashion imagery makes you feel conflicted about eating middle-of-the-road bar food and Oreo-branded cheesecake. During the launch party, we admire displays of jewelry, iconic dresses and David Copperfield’s hair while he talks about how stoked he is (UM, remember when he and Claudia were engaged for a zillion years?). Something about the intersection of these factors and a ominous quote from music and fashion legend Malcolm McLaren (i.e. “[this is] probably the end of fashion as we know it”) makes for a vivid jumping-the-shark moment for the ’90s Supermodel. The Fashion Café would close three years later, but not before Naomi renounced her involvement by refusing to appear at events or be caught dead in the midtown restaurant. A promotional leather jacket from Fashion Café cost $1,500, whereas the most expensive item on the menu would set you back $18.95.

+ WATCH FASHION CAFÉ


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: BAD ETIQUETTE AT SHOWS

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Model Sibyl Buck gives her opinion on bad fashion show etiquette at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

This is the turning point in our Fashion Week coverage, as House of Style keeps it all too real regarding the drawbacks of the event. There are definitely some ugly moments in championing beautiful design, and we actually get to hear how loud it is in the press risers and backstage at the show. Wavy-haired, power-drunk producers and security people are rude and flagrantly abusive. People get trampled as spectators exit and enter the spaces. We even hear from Sibyl Buck that she and other models suspect designers of recycling used G-strings, and there’s a moment of Sandra Bernhard losing her mind at Michael Musto on the topic of sexuality. After the mayhem, however, everyone comments on how low-key this season has been compared to others. We get the impression that Fashion Week is like childbirth. Everyone forgets how excruciating it all is the moment it’s over.

+ WATCH FASHION WEEK ETIQUETTE


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TRENDS OF FALL 1995

marc jacobs

Marc Jacobs had the best suits of the Fall 1995 collections.
Photo: MTV

It’s all about the headkerchief in every fabric from cotton to leather. The models at Miu Miu are morose. Marc Jacobs and other designers celebrate the lady and show a great deal of shrewdly cut suits without any of the vestigial influence of the ’80s power suit. There is, of course, the deeply upsetting ubiquity of the most fuggo shoe silhouette from the mid-’90s: the calf-length boot with a kitten heel. Barf. Also, CANKLES.

+ WATCH '95 FALL FASHION SHOWS


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 39

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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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calvin klein

Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries in designer Calvin Klein's "Musicians in Dirty Denim" campaign.
Photo: MTV

Season: 11 Episode: 70
Title: 10 Year Anniversary Special
Original Airdate: 11/23/99
Appearances: Moby, Dolores O'Riordan (the Cranberries), Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Donatella Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Helmut Lang

MUSIC AND FASHION: MOBY MODELS FOR CALVIN KLEIN

Calvin Klein’s a master when it comes to branding. He just is. In another canny marketing move, the designer enlists musicians ranging from Left Eye (R.I.P.) to Shakira and Moby to David Silveria of Korn to be his models for an upcoming denim campaign shot by Steven Klein. In this segment, we go on set with Moby, David and Dolores O’Riordan (from the Cranberries) for their shoots. The denim is dirtied up this season, and to complement the look, the backdrop is dark, with the lighting creating a bluish cocoon of shadows.

Creating portraits that capture the mood of the collection without compromising each artist’s image is tricky. Styling, makeup and hair are all considered with special care so as to not alienate their fans.

+ WATCH CALVIN KLEIN'S DENIM CAMPAIGN SHOOT

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: THE BEST OF SPRING 2000

marc jacobs

Designer Marc Jacobs in 1999.
Photo: MTV

Remember Y2K? The hoopla surrounding the turn of the millennium was all anything anyone talked about at the time, and here we look to the runways for the first collections of 2000 to see if anything’s changed. It's sort of like staring into the mirror on your birthday to check if you’ve grown or gotten more good-looking overnight. We look to Marc Jacobs for a new take on cotton. “I sort of felt going into the year 2000,” he says. “It was a sure thing [to] play with the notion of what it feels like to wear jeans and a T-shirt. That just always seems contemporary.” The denim is offered in a slightly shiny, trouser-cut silhouette that dominated the early part of the aughts, as well as knee-length, flat-front shorts. The tees are offered in silhouettes ranging from stylized embroidered white peasant blouses to sequined tube tops.

Anna Sui takes the peasant look further, maintaining a tight thematic focus to keep it from devolving into role-playing. “I’ve really been celebrating handicrafts,” she says. “I was trying to make it casual enough that you could walk down the street without people thinking you came out of a costume epic.” Her ensembles feature embroidery, intricate lace and beadwork. A romantic flourish is preserved in soft, flowing silhouettes and relaxed, tissue-thin ruffles.

Oscar de la Renta is as glamorous this season as you’d expect. He offers massive, reflective paillettes in soft colors. Embroidery is featured here too, but the interesting thing is that even he opted for some casual notes, like the evening two-piece that was widely beloved by starlets. You’ll recall the shiny balloon skirts (some going so far as to feature pockets) that were paired with scoop-neck tees and tanks, for an unfussy but pulled-together look. (Sharon Stone famously wore a full skirt with a GAP tee, as you may recall.) He also flips the script on denim, to show blue twill as a luxury item.

At John Bartlett, it’s all about the “Guerilla Ballerina”: the interplay between a militaristic palette, utilitarian trousers and sheer, pale, blouses and shells. And, of course, there’s also summerweight leather. Helmut Lang’s signature erogenous zone has to be the sternum, and this season we see plunging, asymmetrical necklines in elegant fabrics. It’s crispness galore, with delicate knits and a fascinating retooling of eveningwear by way of a sweatshirt and sweatpant combo rendered in the most ethereal fabric. With Yeohlee, it’s all about the absence of black, and a thorough study of sheen, with pearlescent textiles creating texture in thick strapped tanks and cropped jackets. A fresh-faced Michael Kors did then what he’s always done best: a collection featuring wrap skirts, bold color and a motif he dubs “Palm Bitch.” It’s classic Kors all the way: resort wear that looks unmistakably American.

Colors fly at Versace. Donatella hyper-saturates trousers, bandeaus and crop tops while masterfully injecting refreshing jolts of white. Declaring white the new black, she says it's the color (or lack of color) for the new rock 'n roll class.

+ WATCH FIRST COLLECTIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 70

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Rebecca Romijn interviews rapper Jay-Z (in Rocawear) at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV

Season: 11 Episode: VMA99
Title: House of Style at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, "A Night at the Opera"
Original Airdate: 9/11/99
Appearances: Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Lil Kim, Donatella Versace

MUSIC AND FASHION: JAY-Z WEARS ROCAWEAR ON THE RED CARPET

At this point, House of Style has evolved from being a fashion news show to becoming a red-carpet live report of MTV's major events. Here, Rebecca talks to Jay-Z at the 1999 VMAs. At the Movie Awards earlier that year, Jay had a more formal approach to his attire; our host remarks that he’s dressed down, to which he responds, “This is music, this is something I’m a part of,” implying that he can wear whatever the hell he likes in this arena. He also dubs his look “corporate thuggin’,” which of course calls to mind “So Ghetto” lyrics: “Jigga-Man you rich, take the doo-rag off… Won’t change for no paper, plus I been rich.”

This is kind of a big moment: Jay is debuting his Rocawear line with a red, blue and white outfit that’s not yet available in stores. Rebecca observes that he’s not quite wearing his clothes head-to-toe: He’s wearing Nikes. It’s a nice bit of foreshadowing to the S. Carter Collection by RBK deal that he’d sign with Reebok in 2003. They became the fastest-selling sneaker in the company's history.

+ WATCH 1999 VMAS: JAY-Z ON THE RED CARPET

POP CULTURE AND FASHION: CHRIS ROCK FINDS A HOSTING OUTFIT

chris rock

Comedian Chris Rock (in Calvin Klein) hosts the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV

This is a quick peek behind the scenes at the VMAs, and a look into host Chris Rock’s outfit for that year. The comedian/actor’s stylist Amanda Sanders talks about their relationship with Calvin Klein, who outfitted Chris for his comedy special in a black leather outfit. The wardrobe choice is particularly important with regard to the lighting and how the outfit will play against different sets. For 1999, Rock opted for an off-white suit. It was a clean, sharp look that was just as rock n roll as black, but drew the eye and held your attention. Perfect for a monologue.

+ WATCH 1999 VMAS: CHRIS ROCK IN CALVIN KLEIN

MUSIC AND FASHION: LIL KIM’S BOOB ATTENDS THE 1999 VMAs

lil kim

Rebecca Romijn interviews rapper Lil Kim (in a boobie onesie outfit) at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV

Of all Queen Bee's outrageous outfits, her sheer, metallic, catsuit took the asymmetrical cake with a neckline that plunged to the point of revealing a boob in its entirety. The dress was designed by Kim’s stylist (and Diddy’s ex) Misa Hylton. Of course, the areola was covered with a matching sparkling modesty pastie, but of course this proved to be more a bullseye than a shield when Diana Ross copped a feel, jiggling the boob with her right hand to prove its buoyancy.

Oh, and her shoes were Steve Madden.

diana ross lil kim boobie

Lil Kim's boobie moment with Diana Ross at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999.
Photo: MTV/Gif: MTV

+ WATCH 1999 VMAS: LIL' KIM'S ONESIE

DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: DONATELLA VERSACE STANDS UP FOR THE STREETS

donatella versace

Rebecca Romijn interviews designer Donatella Versace at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV

Donatella is amazing. In this clip, she’s asked about youth culture and personal style. Rebecca tries to goad her into talking about trends she dislikes or thinks will become regrettable, and our platinum-tressed hero never once takes the bait. “Anything they dare to do, they should do it,” she says. “I think kids in the street, they wear fantastic clothes. They have a good sense of style—especially in New York. I don’t think nothing is too crazy... as long as you enjoy it.” Correct.

+ WATCH 1999 VMAS: DONATELLA VERSACE

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM VMA 1999/a>

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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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