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cindy crawford house of style

Cindy Crawford in Episode 1 of 'House of Style' wearing Azzedine Alaia in 1989.
Photo: MTV

Season: 1 Episode: 1
Title: Summer Fashion (Series Premiere)
Original Airdate: 6/2/89
Appearances: Salt N' Pepa, Spinderella, Gael Love (Fame magazine), Kurt Andersen (Spy Magazine), E. Graydon Carter (Spy magazine), Jane Pratt (Sassy magazine), Stephen Saban (Details magazine), Herb Ritts, Winona Ryder

MUSIC AND FASHION: SALT-N-PEPA AND SPINDERELLA MODEL SUMMER LOOKS

salt n pepa fashion

Salt-N-Pepa wearing Betsey Johnson in 1989.
Photo: MTV

For the kick-off segment to the series, we've got Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella modelling summer looks to their own music and hamming it up something spectacular. It is as fantastic as you'd expect. Cheryl and Sandra have remained relevant throughout the years—we’ve seen them disband, star in a reality TV show for VH1, regroup and perform on The X Factor—so this is one of those “DAMN, these ladies were young in 1989!” moments. They aren’t quite media-trained yet, and that's not a dig: You can tell they don’t know what their faces look like onscreen and their voice overs are extra earnest. They dance-model with gusto and they're easygoing about the multiple outfit changes and the lo-fi appeal of the backdrop since most of the fashion show happens in a Mexican restaurant. Literally. As in, with sombrero wallpaper.

The labels range from Katharine Hamnett to Damsels in Distress and from Bryan Early to Betsey Johnson, and Stussy. It’s notable how contemporary recording artists are so conscious of fashion and labels, yet you can sorta tell that Salt, Pepa and Spin aren't completely familiarized. You get to actually watch Salt discover and fall in love with Betsey Johnson clothes during the shoot. If only we could have been a fly on the wall to watch a young Katy Perry put on head-to-toe Jeremy Scott for the first time, or Lady Gaga try on Mugler. That moment of fashion quickening is always wonderful to witness.

+ WATCH SALT-N-PEPA AND SPINDERELLA MODEL


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: RISE OF THE LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

kurt anderson spy magazine

'Spy' magazine editors E. Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen in 1989.
Photo: MTV

Here’s where House of Style gets “television news-magazine”-ish. In this trend piece on the proliferation of style magazines (“style” here denotes “lifestyle” in contemporary parlance), we speak to Gael Love, Editor-In-Chief of Fame. This is a lady who notoriously arrived at the office at 4:00pm to leave at 8:00pm, had previously worked at Interview and was glibly mentioned in Andy Warhol’s diaries. No big deal. After Fame folded in 1991 and several subsequent editorial ventures were dissolved, Love went on to pursue a law degree — a sabbatical from publishing that’s notable for the fact that she also worked part-time at a Chanel store. Hello employee discount.

Another beloved magazine, Spy also ended up folding, and there have been buyouts, relaunches and a coffee table book on the subject since then, but seeing as this is 1989, Spy is green, ruthless and making a huge splash within NYC and L.A. media circles. Hollywood hated them. It was great. Here we talk to a young Kurt Andersen and E. Graydon Carter (the “E” has since been lopped off). They’re so hungry and their eyes glitter with ambition and you can just tell they’re the cool kids of the bunch.

If you’re not familiar with Spy, you should search the Internet for vintage issues and rando scans because it’s one of the funniest magazines in the history of words. Full stop. In this clip, Andersen (who is now a Peabody-award winning radio host and novelist) is wearing dad/Jerry Seinfeld jeans and what appears to be a Gap flannel. He’s got wonderful, floppy, rich-guy hair, and despite looking unassuming, he says evil things like “People ask us, ‘Why don’t you have articles that celebrate people?’ Because that’s not what we do.” Chilling.

Carter, the leonine EIC of Vanity Fair wears a blazer (single-breasted; probably Anderson & Sheppard [a Savile Row tailor he’s since written a book about]) a spread collar shirt with French cuffs (obvi), patterned tie (with a tiny knot [also obvi]), a V-neck sweater and a pocket square. Though Spy would pack it in in 1998, the two would leave in 1991, terming their tenure “The Funny Years.”

Next, we have an interview with Jane Pratt AS A BRUNETTE *thunder clap*. If you’re not familiar with Jane, you’re doing it wrong. She was the creator and EIC of Sassy, a magazine that love-fried everyone's brains because it was a dazzling girls' magazine that talked like your best friend (FINALLY) on any topic, even the dicey ones like suicide, AIDS, and drugs. It also had the best sex advice that was honest and non-judgey and it kills me dead that it doesn't exist anymore. Pratt would go on to launch Jane magazine and the site xojane.com. Oh, and she has blonde hair now. And her eyebrows look different.

Next up: the original Details, which is not anything like the Details you see on newsstands these days. In 1989, Details was an NYC journal that chronicled the goings-on of the city’s underground scene. Here, we interview Stephen Saban, a nightlife reporter, but those of you who have any concept of OG Details probably know it from the documentary about New York Times fashion photography LEGEND Bill Cunningham. Cunningham used to work at Details, and there’s this whole part in the film about how he never once cashed a check from them (not even when it was sold for many, many boatloads of dollars) because he loved the creative freedom of working for free because it granted him license to print his stories at whatever length he chose. Of course, I would've tried to hustle the power and the money but it's because I'm a bad person and he is a unicorn saint.

Bonus Easter egg: This episode aired SO LONG AGO that it recounts the firing of 17-year veteran American Vogue EIC Grace Mirabella, and never once mentions by name the woman who succeeded her—Anna Wintour. I guess she’d yet to prove herself at the helm, which she has since done (understatement). Love you Anna! Never change!

+ WATCH STYLE MAGAZINES


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: GAP’S FAMOUS AD CAMPAIGN

herb ritts

Photographer Herb Ritts in 1989.
Photo: MTV

This segment runs through the origin story of the San Francisco label and its creator, Don Fisher, but then moves on to profile Millard "Mickey" S. Drexler, the creative director, who in 1983 enlisted the help of 20 fashion designers to create capsule collections that changed Gap’s brand positioning from the chain store that peddled fuddy-duddy khakis to purveyors of vibrant, relevant and trendy staples. Currently Drexler is the chairman and CEO of the J.Crew group and a director at Apple Inc. because clearly he is a retail genius.

The capsule collections are shown briefly and feature over-dyed espadrilles, floral canvas weekenders and gingham satchels that would all be at home on a display in J.Crew today. There are also racks upon racks of denim overalls, which are so having another moment this fall. The part of the story that’s memorable for the fash crowd is how they hired photographers Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel and Herb Ritts to create a black-and-white campaign for print and billboard. Some of you will be too young to remember, but they were these sexy portraits of celebrities and regular folk, each wearing a Gap article incorporated into their regular wardrobe. The one of Jackie Joyner-Kersee in a white sleeveless tee and white underwear with sleek muscles rippling is captivating, mostly because it was an accessible garment shot in a high-fashion way on a gorgeous athletic physique. It was pure art.

DEMOCRATIZING FASHION: HOW TO HACK FRENCH STYLE

winona ryder

Actress Winona Ryder shares her opinion of French style in 1989.
Photo: MTV

It’s the Bienniale! Well, at least it was when this segment aired, which means that 1989 marked the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. To commemorate the occasion, HOS kicked it Francophilic. We look at Chanel suits and... well... knock them off. It's hilarious that a television show would teach you how to hack Chanel but then again House of Style frequently thumbed their nose at straitlaced fashion programming. Speaking of hilarious, there's also this absurd-wonderful moment, without any explanation, where we catch up with Winona Ryder on the set of a video shoot and she’s wearing a wedding dress with a veil and says, “French is very chichi to me…big lips and little dresses.” She smiles goofily in a way that makes her the most beautiful woman in the world and I just really wanted to point it out so we could talk about how she dated Johnny Depp and then later Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum and then Matt Damon when her bestie Gwyneth Paltrow was dating Ben Affleck because I can't be the only one storing such useless information in my head. Right?

+ WATCH FRENCH STYLE


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: "THE LOVE BALL”

OK, so we have no footage of this because we couldn’t clear squat and we only ran it momentarily with the end credits BUT I’d like to high-five series creator Alisa Bellettini for covering the first Love Ball. This was the year former boutique owner, bon vivant, and nightlife doyenne Susanne Bartsch presented the very first Love Ball at Roseland ballroom. Specifically, this is the moment “Voguing” reached the masses (VERY important). Amongst the attendees were Superstar DJ Keoki, Michael Musto (Village Voice), Stephen Saban (Details), Picnic Smith, Steve Rubell (co-owner of Studio 54), Lady Miss Kier and DJ Dmitry (Deee-Lite), RuPaul, Katy K, The Lady Bunny (infamous drag queen), Kim Hastreiter and Mickey Boardman (Paper), Keith Haring, Michael Alig (currently incarcerated for murdering fellow club kid Angel Melendez, which is covered in the documentary and film, Party Monster), Andre Leon Talley, Tony Award winner (and former Mrs. Bob Fosse) Gwen Verdon, Paris DuPree (as in Paris Is Burning), video artist Nelson Sullivan, Chic composer and guitarist Nile Rodgers, and filmmaker David Byrne. Major. The Love Ball has raised millions in the fight against AIDS. Dear Internet: I NEED a three-part documentary series on this subject please. Thank you.

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 1

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claudia schiffer

Model Claudia Schiffer in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Season: 2 Episode: 3
Title: Spring '90
Original Airdate: 2/17/90
Appearances: Claudia Schiffer, Giorgio Armani, Pam Hogg

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CLAUDIA SCHIFFER

claudia schiffer

Model Claudia Schiffer at the French 'Vogue' shoot in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Looking into the 19-year-old face of Claudia Schiffer is a weird experience. Especially when you consider that we meet her, in this segment, before she becomes a megastar and a major player in the supermodel industrial complex. Cindy even refers to her as the “Guess Jeans girl,” and the qualifier seems crazy since it’s been three decades, countless magazines, myriad billboards and miles of catwalk since this unknown from Dusseldorf starred in a black-and-white advertising campaign shot in Tennessee by the model-turned-photographer Ellen Von Unwerth.

This moment, captured in Paris during a French Vogue shoot, is right at the point when Schiffer’s been "chosen" (cue harp strumming and singing cherubs) by The Editors and The Photographers, but before she’s become a household name. It also makes one realize how infrequently we hear Claudia speak. It's not disappointing or incongruous at all (it's horribly jarring when that happens [see: David Beckham]). Turns out, she has a pleasant voice and a lilting German accent.

We see the Guess campaign shots: Claudia is the spit-and-image of Brigitte Bardot, except that she wears high-waisted faded blue jeans (mom jeans or irono hipster-lady jeans by contemporary standards). In March 2012, Guess re-released some of the original images to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the last of Claudia’s six campaigns. The iconic photos are presented alongside a new series shot in Italy and it's clear that Claudia lacks the decency to age like a regular human. You can’t really tell the difference because the appalling woman remains as taut and fresh-faced as ever.

In fact, Schiffer may have improved over the years. She confesses how nervous she was to walk for Chanel (her turns featured a cute, veering/speedy finish). She spins, bounces and smiles sheepishly. Even with the benefit of hindsight bias, it’s unsurprising that Claudia remains famous so many years later. It’s amusing, also, that Cindy’s voice-over speculates as to the new girl's staying power, musing about where she’ll be in ten years. “Married or going to school,” Claudia responds. “Have kids or something like that. What everybody does.” Ooooooooor there is always the option of becoming spectacularly famous.

DEMOCRATIZING FASHION: GIORGIO ARMANI CREATES THE EMPORIO ARMANI DIFFUSION LINE

giorgio armani

Designer Giorgio Armani on his new line Emporio Armani in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Giorgio Armani has always known exactly what he was doing. He has also always worn a tight black T-shirt in interviews. There’s something about the translator, and about the look of Mr. Armani’s face as a younger man, that make the interview feel a bit distant, especially since it sounds like he’s relaying schemes of world domination. Thing is, you can’t help but respect the Giorgio Armani brand for their diffusion strategy. Were you to chart the differences between Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni (white label) and Giorgio Armani (black label), you’ll see the entire low-high spectrum, most notably how each level caters to different, specific customers across all ages and price-points. Don't know about you, but this stuff really blows my skirt up.

In this segment, Mr. Armani discusses the recent launch of Emporio Armani (150 stores worldwide, with one in Manhattan at the time) and how it was created to be less expensive and youth-oriented. The runway footage selected to support this notion of a younger line rings sorta hilarious in 2012, since in 1990, most people, regardless of age, dressed like a 35-year-old tycoon. There are incredible double-breasted blazers that are streamlined due to their narrow lapels, with low-slung plackets and prints. The key here is the addition of logo tees and underwear, which was fantastically on-point for kids since this was a time when conspicuous aspirational branding was HUGE within youth culture. (Hello Calvin Klein).

It’s also genius that Armani discusses jeans, since it was a notable statement for anyone to send denim down the runway in Europe. Armani pushes the envelope further by showing a topless model. “I wanted the jeans to be the focus,” he says. “I like to entice and tease my customers with different variation on jeans, like how the kids on the streets personalize theirs. American youth has a great sense of style.” The man knows exactly to whom he was talking. Armani further differentiates Emporio from his other collections by pointedly steering clear of big-name girls:“I never use supergirls in my Emporio shows. The clothes should be the star… not the models.”

+ WATCH THE START OF EMPORIO ARMANI


STREET STYLE: LONDON

pam hogg london

Designer Pam Hogg in 1990.
Photo: MTV

We weren’t able to clear this segment due to music clearance issues, but I thought I’d touch upon it, since it features a rare interview (OK, more like three quotes) with Pam Hogg. And yes, I just really wanted the chance to talk about her because she rules and people should know about her. For the uninitiated, Pam Hogg is legendary on the London street style scene: look up her store, Hyper Hyper. Since 1990, she’s dressed Rihanna, Lily Allen, Siouxsie Sioux, Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, and Kate Moss, the last of whom wore a Hogg dress to last year’s NME awards. Hogg’s totally badass and has achieved full-fledged cult status in England; she’s also a director, screenwriter, actress and musician.

In this segment, Hogg’s in her store, rocking blonde dreadlocks; a floppy, furry animal-print hat; and a studded leather jacket with enormous, exaggerated lapels, AND THICK CHAIN FRINGE (suuuuuch a good idea, someone steal this and mass produce it right now [please don't talk to me about Balmain because I said "THICK" chain fringe and "mass produce"]); a ring tee; and a bunch of mixed silver and gold rings, with crucifixes dangling from her neck. Hogg offers this sage style advice: “It’s the attitude in who’s wearing the thing. I mean, some people can wear flares and look absolutely ridiculous, and other people know why they’re wearing them and they’ll last forever. It’s not a case of one thing is in and one thing is out…If you’re sensible and know the way you can actually dress, you can wear anything.” Preach.

The interview is interspersed with man-on-the-street interviews of kids running around Kings Cross and Camden Market. It’s notable for the style time capsule because we’re seeing flared, light blue jeans, hoodies, hats, MCM monogram, motorcycle jackets, overalls, oversized denim jackets, Dr. Martens and a Boy London T-shirt. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same stuff you’ve been seeing a resurgence of this year. Seriously, Boy London is EVERYWHERE right now (see: Rihanna photos and logo leggings at Patricia Field with T-shirts at The Cobrasnake store). Aaaaaaaand, speaking of Boy London, you should probably know that Boy London isn't '90s but a throwback to the 1970s, when Stephane Raynor first founded the fashion label for the punks and new romantics of the day. Much of the style feels surprisingly fresh. The hot-guy salesman in a skull scarf (classic Alexander McQueen much?) and a Native American patterned poncho would look divine on New York streets today. And by "today" I mean later this year since it is unseasonably hot this summer. Something, something global warming frowny face.

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 3

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cindy crawford linda evangelista

Cindy Crawford interviews model Linda Evangelista backstage at the Giorgio di Sant' Angelo show in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Season: 2 Episode: 4
Title: Summer '90
Original Airdate: 5/19/90
Appearances: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Veronica Webb, Franco Moschino

DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: BACKSTAGE AT MARTIN PRICE'S FIRST SHOW FOR GIORGIO DI SANT' ANGELO

There’s a lot going on backstage at this Martin Price show and even more that you don't see (don't worry, we'll get to it). It’s nearing the end of Fashion Week in New York, and you can register fatigue on the models’ faces. This is one of the segments where you get a real appreciation for Cindy’s access, not only as a model walking in the show but as a member of the supermodel clique. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Yasmin LeBon and Veronica Webb are all backstage applying their own eye makeup or getting their hair done and it’s hectic. This is Cindy’s 20th show of the week. Linda has just returned from Milan Fashion Week, having “skipped Paris,” but she and Cindy discuss 12-hour days with six shows a day, which is a challenge, since Yasmin has recently had a baby. (LeBon maintains, however, that she’s “regressing,” despite Cindy’s comment that they’re not the kids anymore. Respect.) Cindy interviews the hair stylist about how many models he has to style for each show. He says it’s around 25 or 30.

It’s an inside look into Fashion Week for those curious about the industry, but it’s during a time when supermodels were becoming so famous that their lives influenced pop culture. You can’t help wondering whether something this “insidery” would’ve been interesting to the MTV audience prior to the supermodel phenomenon.

For fash-nerds who want to go deeper, there’s another layer to this particular show that you’re not immediately privy to. Martin Price is a designer who now teaches at Parsons, but he apprenticed under Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, who was also his partner. Giorgio passed in August 1989 of lung cancer. This collection the following year, was only the second since Giorgio’s death, with Martin at the helm designing under his name. In two more years, Martin would sell the trademark because the process became “too emotional.” He would donate the entire archive of clothing and accessories to the Met.

There’s a fantastic 2010 Q&A in Dazed and Confused written by Al Mulhall in which Martin talks about Giorgio, and though in this segment the clothes are very much secondary to the infamous women wearing them, I wanted to share a couple of quotes from Martin on Giorgio’s design philosophy, because it contextualizes the silhouettes.

"Giorgio was in tune with globalization and multiculturalism long before they became buzzwords… his aim was to really free women from the stiff, structured mod or futuristic shapes that were popular at the time. Giorgio liked to refer to these dresses as ‘boxes with zippers up the back,’ which always made us laugh. He wanted to empower women, and that’s why he referenced Greek goddesses.”

“I feel like that his brilliant use of stretch fabrics, along with wrapping and tying the female form with fabrics to simulate clothes, is his greatest mark.”

With this in mind, Martin’s collection of diaphanous cowls, impeccably draped sheaths, cross-back dresses and toga-reminiscent bathing suits is a lovely homage. At one point as Cindy’s running out, she remarks, “I knew I didn’t do it right,” as she unties a complicated sash. Needless to say, despite the snafu she looks very much a goddess.

+ WATCH BACKSTAGE AT GIORGIO DI SANT' ANGELO


DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: FRANCO MOSCHINO HATES THE GAME

franco moschino

Designer Franco Moschino in 1990.
Photo: MTV

I love Moschino so much. Not only because I love the logo for its gloriously ’80s-’90s feel, but because Franco Moschino is a maniac. He's also brilliant in a way that makes me desperately wish he was still alive so we could see the entire arc of his vision over many decades. In this clip, we’ve settled on an angle and a black-and-white tile that make the interview look like it was shot in a bordello rave. Franco says things like “The challenge of being a fashion designer today doesn’t have any meaning. They call me this because it’s the only adjective they can put on my shoulders, but I’m not.” Also, “I should be ashamed of being a fashion designer today because the wrongest thing to do is to design new clothes.”

He argues that the cyclical aspect of fashion is formulaic, tedious and ridiculous. “I am very boring, as you see. I am using the same clothing, same styles, same music, the same models… The only thing that makes everything new and actualizes everything is how you put them together.” It’s this stank attitude, and his humorous, surrealist touches that make his clothes so unmistakably Moschino. Though he died in 1994 of a heart attack, that DNA has been faithfully preserved by the House of Moschino. In this FW 1990 collection, you'll see the boxy suits that were ubiquitous at the time, but his drip with gold sequins and feature bras in place of blouses. Moschino's "black suit with contrasting border" is rendered in leather with giant silver paillettes for a '70s disco first lady effect. There are miles of chains draped on every model’s hips; there’s even a classic black trousers/white blouse look that’s been remixed with a string bikini top made of pearls. Massive embroidered and embellished shoulders make suit jackets resemble armor, except that the sleeves are tiny and dainty in length. Moschino's sense of proportion is outrageous and if you're into that sort of thing, it's exciting to behold.

There are commedia dell’arte caricatures in ruffs and gold lamé onesies battling each other. Style tropes are brazenly cross-pollinated like a sailor suit exaggerated to cartoonish, infantilizing levels, coupled with blue trousers that feature white, fluffy cloud patch pockets and a cloud belt. Moschino even played with the cow motif, declaring that he was envious of them because they’re always so relaxed. The print was intended to symbolize fashion people, skewering them for the complacently bovine manner with which they pursued trends. “I’m telling them that they are stupid if they buy too many clothes," says Moschino. "And you know what is the reaction? They buy more.”

The hostility is a riot. Especially when you imagine its reception in the buttoned-up fashion landscape of Europe in 1990.

+ WATCH FRANCO MOSCHINO


STREET STYLE: HARAJUKU

tokyo fashion

Street style in the Harajuku section of Tokyo in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Unfortunately, we don’t have video for this segment, because of a medley of unrecognizable music that we couldn’t clear but I wanted to grab as many stills as possible as House of Style visits the Harajuku shopping district years before Gwen Stefani would popularize it. There are a slew of club collars, summer braids and nods to private school uniforms, and we’re introduced to Hitomi Okawa, the designer behind the Toyko brands Milk, Milk Boy and Obscure Desire of the Bourgeoisie. Okawa is dressed like some color-blocked jockey. Her stores are incredible. To give you a bit of back story, Milk opened in 1970 and was the first store to carry Comme des Garçons.

For more information on what kind of stuff Milk sold in 1990, look no further than a sleeveless, polo midi-dress with snap buttons fabricated IN RUBBER that I would kill for as a shrunken varsity jacket (can you imagine?). We then get a sampling of wares from other Japanese designers like A Rose is Rose’s Kiyoko Kiga: high-waisted denim RUFFLE shorts with quarter-sized grommets; fascinating textures in monochrome dressing; safari jackets; gonzo rattan hats; and floral, printed thigh-high stockings that tweens, teens, and grown-ass adults would kill for this year. Kiga may not be a recognizable name, but fans of America’s Next Top Model may recall that he was a guest judge on Season 3.

We then interview Hiromichi Nakano, who still designs the line Hiromichi by Hiromichi Nakano. His SS 2012 featured oversized silhouettes in garments either in black, white, black-and-white or steeped in shocking color. Looking at Nakano’s 1990 runway is bonkers because it features a silver cone bra that is very Jean Paul Gaultier circa Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour, and I cannot for the life of me untangle who predates whom. Nakano is also responsible for white, pleated, illusion baby doll dresses and girly printed, pleated, sister/wife dresses with a high-low hem that would look at home in Opening Ceremony and on the back of Chloë Sevigny right this second.

“If I had to describe it in a few words, it’s like trying to destroy the Japanese conservativeness that’s been around for so long,” says Nakano of his design philosophy. “I really like the fashion of the U.S. For example, the main fashion recently that I like is what Spike Lee was wearing in Do The Right Thing." Basically, bright shorts over black bike shorts, and throwback Dodgers jerseys. Timeless.

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 4

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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: 2 Episode: 5
Title: Fall '90
Original Airdate: 8/18/90
Appearances: Tracey Ullman, Lucie de la Falaise

DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: TRACEY ULLMAN AND CINDY CRAWFORD PLAY DRESS UP

Does everybody know who Tracey Ullman is? It really helps to be completely smitten with her before you watch this segment, because it’s a lovefest. OK, quick sidebar for those who aren't up on her: Tracey Ullman is a British comedian best known for her Fox variety show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which ran from 1987-1990 and was hysterical. Most notably, it’s where The Simpsons were born (they ran over 40 one-minute shorts), which is why a lot of the characters are voiced by “Ullman” actors like Dan Castellaneta playing Homer and Krusty. Paula Abdul was the choreographer for the show. Speaking of music and random facts, Tracey was also a singer signed to the punk label Stiff Records (which also reps Elvis Costello). In 2000, Tracey would launch a fashion shopping site purpleskirt.com (now defunct), and host a show about style for Oxygen in 2001.

Back to the segment.

This is one of my favorite moments with Cindy Crawford as host. Cindy and Tracey are at the Plaza Hotel, because the suites had just been redecorated by Ivana Trump (could that sentence BE more '90s??!!). It’s such a classic Eloise situation: Cindy and Tracey are clowning around, dancing on table tops and jumping on chaises with their shoes on. It’s the first time you get a real appreciation for Cindy’s versatility and intuition for improv--she just goes for it. At one point they Vogue. Poorly. It's fantastic.

The ladies take turns modeling Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Todd Oldham, Ronaldus Shamask and Moschino. It’s such a good universe crossover moment to see two women, successful in different industries, enjoying each other’s company. Plus, the dynamic is awesome since Tracey and Cindy play off each other beautifully. Cindy even does a quick impression of Ivana Trump in front of the Emmy award-winning actress, which is admirably ballsy. It’s so likable and cute. Cindy plays a solid straight man since Tracey’s doing this massive, hammy, room-filling schtick. And even though Cindy gets her hair done (in a French twist obviously, this is the ’90s) and struts like an expert, this is the moment she really comes into her own as a TV host. By the end they’re just pitching fake tantrums about the clothes and laughing at each other. A decade later, Cindy appeared on Tracey’s style show, massively pregnant, and they had a ball there, too.

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AND TRACEY ULLMAN


Cindy and Tracey Ullman | 'House Of Style' Collection On MTV Style

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: LUCIE DE LA FALAISE

lucie de la falaise yves saint laurent

Model Lucie de la Falaise in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Lucie de la Falaise might not be as immediately recognizable as a Naomi Campbell, but she was the face of Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics and is worth knowing for a slew of fashion trivia reasons. First of all, her aunt, the late Loulou de la Falaise, was a muse and collaborator for Saint Laurent, the brilliant bespectacled French couture designer, a generation before. Loulou’s mother Maxime was also a model and a food writer. Lucie, who was discovered by Andre Leon Talley, was one of the last brides (for those who don’t know, a wedding dress was often the finale for couture shows) for YSL in F/W 1998 right before the designer retired.

Lucie’s wide-set eyes and small, regal features made for an aloof countenance that was the perfect sort of posh for Chloé and Davidoff campaigns in the early '90s; she has also worked with Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber. Her brother, Daniel de la Falaise, was also a model, and appeared in Madonna’s book Sex. (Daniel is smoking hot. Seriously, go Google his name alongside Madonna immediately.) Funnily enough, in this interview Lucie mentions that she’d just seen the Rolling Stones in concert and is “quite keen on them at the moment,” which is gloriously portentous, considering that she’d go on to marry Keith Richards' son, Marlon Richards, after meeting him on a blind date. Marlon and Lucie have three kids; their daughter was a bridesmaid at Kate Moss’s 2011 wedding. In 2011, Lucie briefly returned to modeling for Giambattista Valli for Moncler, and in a Vanity Fair editorial, with Stefano Pilati, for YSL. Full circle, people.

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 5

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Cindy Crawford interviews rapper Will Smith on the set of the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Season: 2 Episode: 6
Title: Winter '90
Original Airdate: 11/28/90
Appearances: Will Smith, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-lite)

DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: CINDY HANGS OUT WITH WILL SMITH ON THE SET OF 'FRESH PRINCE'

The thing about Cindy was that you could send her anywhere. She's as down to visit a European atelier as she is to visit the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In this segment, Cindy hangs out with Will Smith at the “mansion” for a fourth wall-shattering tour of the brocade furniture-filled set, and for a snoop through Will’s wardrobe. This is 1991, so Will’s closet is filled with double-breasted blazers with enormous, peak lapels featuring wooden Afrocentric brooches, crazily patterned button-down silk shirts—like, straight up Cuba Gooding Jr. in Boyz 'N The Hood—and another shirt that I swear is the precursor to the dollar-sign-all-over-print that would dominate streetwear in another ten years. There's also a LEATHER black and white starter jacket that comes with a matching hat (also leather). The two play dress up, and it’s enjoyable because Cindy’s a nerd. Seriously, she brings a pair of Jordan Vs to show Will (Will is wearing Jordan warm-ups) and asks for his approval. She’s so proud of herself for not having removed the tags and wants scene cred because “Humpty Dumpty told me that.” Will then loses his mind laughing at her: “It’s just Humpty!” referring to the alter ego of Shock G from Digital Underground. It’s fantastic.

You know how models love talking about how awkward they were as kids and you never quite believe them? Well, in this moment you do. You see the relatable side of Cindy, and it is charming as hell. It makes you appreciate how young Cindy is—college-age in fact—and it’s the one moment that you see her socialize (albeit with an actor/rapper) in a youthful, peer-group context. It's a surprisingly revealing moment between two super-professional, famous young adults and another way of contextualizing fashion without designers, labels and the runway.

+ WATCH CINDY AT 'FRESH PRINCE' WITH WILL SMITH


MUSIC AND FASHION: LADY MISS KIER’S WORDS OF WISDOM

retro fashion

Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite in Patricia Field's original store in 1990.
Photo: MTV

The frontwoman for Deee-Lite, Lady Miss Kier, sits in Patricia Field’s boutique with an immaculately flipped coif and signature vintage duds. While we couldn’t get the video, I wanted to show you the interior of the store, because this is clearly not Pat’s current storefront on 302 Bowery or the new, new storefront that’s opened a few doors down, but House of Field! It’s the original shop on 8th Street between 5th Avenue and University Place, Pat’s first location for 40 years (Pat also lived on the top floor), before she moved in the early aughts.

We speak to Lady Miss Kier about the huge ’60s revival in 1990, when everyone was dripping in Flower Power prints like daisies and sunflowers; John Lennon sunglasses; denim flares; and A-line mod shift dresses, because she embodies the decade visually and gives great, timeless advice. “Gravitate towards the things that you like, and feel comfortable in,” she says, “but don’t let anyone else tell you what’s in or what is out. Everything is taken from the past, but it’s really just knowing when to bring something that’s a classic back. Nothing is really new, it’s just how you bring it back.”

Lady Miss Kier knows fashion. She moved to New York to study Textile Design at FIT and subsequently dropped out to create clothing for her DJ friends before creating the look of Deee-Lite, including her characteristic groovy, zip-up catsuit/platform shoe/thick headband aesthetic.

MUSIC AND FASHION: PRINCE OPENS A CHAIN OF NIGHTCLUBS AND BOUTIQUES

prince glam slam

Prince's night club, Glam Slam in 1990.
Photo: MTV

True story: From 1989 to 1995, Prince had a chain of clubs called Glam Slam that also featured a boutique with the same name. Prince put Minneapolis nightlife on the map with Purple Rain by hanging out and filming at a local club called First Avenue, and he wanted to create a similarly memorable atmosphere called Glam Slam for its sequel—Graffiti Bridge.

There were four Glam Slams—the original in Minneapolis, Minnesota; one in Miami (Glam Slam East); one in Los Angeles (Glam Slam West); and one in Yokohama, Japan. All have either closed or are now unaffiliated with Prince, but the part that’s most interesting is the inclusion of a gift store in each of these nightclubs (MEEEEEEEEP!!! Can you EVEN imagine a string of boutiques stocking Prince-approved sundries that you can drunk-shop? Nuts!). The offerings were created by Helen Hiatt, the costume designer for Graffiti Bridge, and are largely based on the wardrobe for the film. There are loud suits, chain fringe leather jackets, jackets decorated with license plates (this was a HUGE design concept in the ’90s for reasons that remain mysterious [see also: the appeal of stuff made from seat belts]), and Prince symbol belts and jewelry. It sort of reminds me of how that irritating, guylinered bro-gician Criss Angel has a store in Vegas, except that Prince’s stores are infinitely cooler, and I can’t help thinking that a thoroughly curated museum collection would be an important contribution to the music/fashion canon.

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cindy crawford richard gere

Cindy Crawford interviews actor and boyfriend Richard Gere at the Gianni Versace AIDS Benefit in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 3 Episode: 7
Title: Spring Edition
Original Airdate: 3/6/91
Appearances: Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Richard Gere, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone, Betsey Johnson, Andre Leon Talley

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CINDY CRAWFORD AT THE GIANNI VERSACE AIDS FUNDRAISER

This clip is a jewel, not only for its peek into the Versace archive at a time when the clothes were at the apex of mixed-print, bold-hued richesse, but because you get to hear Gianni talk (albeit briefly) about a cause that was important to him. For the Friends of AIDS benefit, Cindy and the supermodels descend upon Chateau Marmont for a Versace fashion show attended by the most A-list Hollywood types. Cindy does double-duty for the evening, shooting a segment (with a “Cindy Cam” while she’s backstage) for House of Style, and walking in the show. Maybe it’s because Gianni Versace was a personal favorite of mine, or perhaps because he died so tragically, but the footage is notably bittersweet. Seeing how much the supermodels loved him and witnessing again how active he was, at the peak of his career, in the fight against AIDS is poignant — especially since this was at a time when the disease was swiftly destroying whole communities, and those who were HIV-positive were stigmatized by ignorance and hysteria. “For the problem of AIDS,” says Versace, “for the problem that touches many friends. I did this with the heart.”

Naomi serves formidable hair flip as she bounds down the runway. Claudia says she always feels pretty in Versace’s clothes. And in an odd transformative note, ever notice how Gianni Versace's Italian-ness rubs off on Christy Turlington? Her Versace billboards in the opening shot are a vision of sun-kissed, smoky-eyed, Sophia Loren-esque goodness.

Everyone backstage is calm, and the show runs smoothly. We’ve been seeing a lot of early ’90s Versace lately: Lady Gaga had a field day with the archive for a media blitz earlier this year, there isn’t a tony vintage store worth its salt that doesn’t carry a couple of pieces, Drake wore a printed Versace button-up to his birthday, and the ornate-bordered shirt has been knocked off countless times, but the differences are palpable when you’re seeing the clothes in this context—on the backs of these models—when Gianni Versace was alive.

The magic lies in the movement. Versace mixed polka dots and houndstooth, filigree and floral, with everything in electric, hyper-saturated tones, all on the finest fabrics. Watching the silk suits glide down the runway is unreal because the prints undulate and billow. Gianni Versace knew how to cut: The precision and structural integrity of what would otherwise be too-whimsical in its cavalier opulence make his clothes compulsively wearable. I never thought I’d type these words, but Sylvester Stallone says it best: “Versace has his feet firmly planted in traditionalism. But every now and then, he brings about an air of theatricality. So if you feel like being a bit bold, his clothes kinda bridge that gap.” The fact that Stallone is wearing a silk lapel, wing-collar shirt and has his nails buffed to a high sheen makes this pop culture nugget that much more satisfying. Another quotable tidbit comes from Sandra Bernhard: “I think the war has gotten Bush off the hook for a while, but AIDS is an ongoing war and battle that really hasn’t been properly fought.” And, of course, there’s Naomi Campbell, who displays startling honesty about the “most embarrassing thing in [her] closet." Let's just say, she talks about something of a deeply... um... penetratively... personal nature.

We also see Andre Leon Talley snap photos of our host, and for Cindy superfans, this is the first moment where Richard Gere (Cindy's first husband) has ever seen her in this role. He’s gobsmacked. You can tell he thinks himself the luckiest bastard in the world for having landed this woman (in super-sexy, head-to-toe Versace, having just MODELED it) holding an MTV mic cube and interviewing him like a real-life journalist.

“This is amazing because we’ve known each other for two and a half years and I’ve never seen you do this before,” Gere stammers. “This is incredible. I’m just kind of floored.” From Steven Seagal in a band collar with Kelly LeBrock (dressed like a sad clown) in tow, to a photo of Michael Landon and Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter in matching teased coifs, this was a wonderful collision of worlds, and we’re lucky that MTV was there to capture it.

+ WATCH THE VERSACE AIDS BENEFIT


DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: WHERE DO BABYDOLL DRESSES COME FROM?

betsey johnson

Designer Betsey Johnson in 1991.
Photo: MTV

The term “babydoll dress” may have not been coined by Betsey Johnson, but she can certainly lay claim to popularizing the '60s silhouette in the '90s. (The thing I love most about her floral versions is that they had pockets!) “This shape… à la maternity/pregnancy, I’ve been calling the babydoll,” she says. “It’s very naive, very sweet, very young, very innocent look. It’s a mystery after the bust. And that’s what’s interesting, because it’s got a very sexy little top part, and then after that it’s like, who knows? Is she hippy? Is she skinny? What is she under there?”

In this segment, we explore “warm weather dresses” and it’s a romp through Central Park with models in different versions of the summer staple, intercut with designers in their work rooms. There is a beautiful version by New York designer Carmelo Pomodoro, whose promising career would be cut short the following year when he died of AIDS-related pneumonia at just 37 years old. He calls this his “princess dress”: it features a demure, boxy, clavicle-skimming neckline (“I have a personal relationship with the clavicle. I think it’s the sexiest part of the body”) and a plunging back.

There is also a flowy, versatile, tank, A-line dress from Stacey Pecor at Hendris. The designer would go on to become a retail success story, founding the popular New York chain Olive and Bette's.

The final “picnic in the park” scene, with daisies and a somewhat slapdash “peace” flag, calls to mind an article entitled “Fashion: Baby Dolls, Naughty and Nice” by Anne-Marie Schiro, in an October 1990 issue of the New York Times. Schiro interviewed Kalman Ruttenstein, a senior VP for fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s, and Terry Melville, a VP and Fashion Director of the Junior/Contemporary category at Macy’s. The executives parsed the general silhouette of a baby doll (“high waist, high yoke, more fabric”; the textiles used: “chiffon, challis, stretch velvet and stretch lace”; and the predominant print: “florals… next in importance are dots, then geometrics and solid-color lace’). Melville and Ruttenstein also situated the dress as a revival of the “symbol of the 1960s youthquake.” I remember these dresses. We would wear them over tights with combat boots and a choker and your hair up in a French twist, or we’d wear them over a long-sleeved bodysuit; but I did not then or now consider them to be anything but very ’90s.

Even in 2012 with the high-waisted, floral print/lace ’90s dress enjoying a resurgence and the rising popularity of the choker on people born too recently to remember the decade—like Chloe Moretz and Sky Ferreira—I can’t help but wonder whether they know that the ’90s dresses are an homage to an earlier era. I certainly didn’t. If you show me a pair of silver clogs, I won’t think '1960s' I’ll always think '1991' because of the color and the execution. It’s the fingerprint that a decade leaves on a borrowed trend as it’s repeatedly revived in the future and I wonder what the effects will be as we look back on '80s trends from 2012 in 2032. Especially since these cycles shrink as technological innovations get faster and we become more peripatetic in pulling temporal inspiration. Colors change, mills introduce things like stretch lace, 3D printing becomes a reality and the price points for trends dip and democratize. Fashion is getting crazy accessible and it's fascinating. It's also interesting to see what’s picked up again with fondness and what’s left alone on each go 'round. We haven't yet seen the sleeveless white turtleneck bodysuit and the macramé flared-sleeve, calf-length duster but I’d bet money that they'll return. And I can't wait to see how they've changed.

+ WATCH WARM WEATHER DRESSES


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cindy crawford

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

Season: 3 Episode: 8
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 5/15/91
Appearances: Helena Christensen

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CINDY CRAWFORD'S 1991 CALENDAR SHOOT

There are a handful of key branding milestones in Cindy’s career as a supermodel: the Pepsi ads, the workout tape and the swimsuit calendar. In this clip, we go on location for her calendar shoot in Cabo San Lucas with Marco Glaviano (photographer), Ronnie Stam (hair), and Carol Shaw (makeup), and get a peek behind the scenes. Cindy is as unaffected as ever. She recounts the dietary restrictions of prepping for a swimsuit shoot and complains good naturedly about the heat. She quips that one of the bottoms is way too tiny and pointedly remarks that a swimsuit that looks cheap in real life can photograph beautifully. Cindy also takes a moment to distinguish the different responsibilities of a shoot that she herself commissions versus a regular paid gig. Half of the calendar's proceeds went to fund leukemia research; today, copies can fetch anywhere from $50-$100 on eBay.

The photographs are pretty T&A-heavy. There are a lot of suggestive poses—“backshots” with thongs that generously feature Cindy’s posterior; seriously small bikinis; a topless denim look; and some see-through mesh one-pieces. Cindy’s hair is flipped in a deep side part and tousled with a little saltwater crunch. It’s funny because by this point in the show you know Cindy’s face well enough that you can watch it transform from her regular, talking, House of Style face to her "model" face.

This is also one of the moments where you recall how major Cindy was. Girl is insanely hardbody. Sure, she's thin but it's her muscle tone in those hiiiiiiiiigh-cut late-’80s-early-’90s bathing suit bottoms that's mind-blowing. You can’t really compare it to the musculature of any working model today. It's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue-esque but even more... honed.

The reason why this shoot is a big deal is because the calendar is such a savvy business move. It recognizes how fickle the high-fashion industry is by broadening her appeal exponentially. Even amongst supermodels, this is what makes Cindy exceptional: She knows that hanging in the back office of a garage or the wall of a college kid's dorm does not preclude selling the romance of a $30,000 evening gown. It’s not about getting bullied by an d-bag photographer and pushy stylist on the set of a men’s magazine shoot. This is a multiple-page advertisement for Cindy by Cindy. “For this kind of thing, because it’s my project, it’s my calendar… I want to see the Polaroids,” she says. “We don’t shoot until Marco and I have agreed that we both think it looks good.” The images are timeless. Marco explains, “I believe that this type of photography, even though they may seem simple now and pin-up-y or whatever, years from now they’re going to weather and age better than the other pictures we do, which are maybe more artistic.”

+ WATCH CINDY'S CABO CALENDAR SHOOT


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: HELENA CHRISTENSEN

helena christiansen

Model Helena Christensen in Paris in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Helena is sort of like Claudia Schiffer, in that it feels weird to have ever had to introduce the Danish supermodel to fashion fans. For a lot of us, she rolled into our lives in the black-and-white Herb Ritts music video for Chris Isaak’s multiplatinum “Wicked Game.” In it Helena appears near-naked and writhes around in the sand with a super sprung Isaak. The imagery is bewitching and the chemistry bonkers. “She walked up on the set and our eyes made contact,” remembers Isaak. “It was like there was an open book: Everybody read it and said, 'There is a magnetism between these people.'" The three-day shoot in Hawaii came after Helena modeled in Paris for two years, but before that, the 5’ 10” beauty was huge on the pageant circuit. Helena Christensen was crowned Miss Denmark and went on to represent her country at the 1986 Miss Universe pageant.

In fact, if you break down all the supermodels’ CVs and pedigrees, it’s like they’ve been engineered by a secret society of master eugenicists. Being the hot girl in a major video and being a beauty queen is cool but she's also a master linguist. “A model from South America taught me Spanish,” she says. “When you’re from Denmark, you learn a lot of languages because no one speaks Danish. You learn English, German, French. And then I speak Swedish because I’ve got lots of Swedish friends and it’s quite similar. It’s great to be able to speak languages in this business.” She'd also go on to become a respected photographer, open a store in the West Village (Butik), and be appointed creative director of Nylon magazine. No. Big. Deal.

Helena seems appealing and approachable here. She talks about her love of vintage clothing (her mother owned a vintage clothing store in Denmark) and looks unpolished. Whether it’s a post-beauty queen grunge period or her youth, Helena wears simple clothes, looks a wee bit wan and has mussed hair. She looks unkempt and totally badass.

+ WATCH THE HELENA CHRISTENSEN PROFILE


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cindy crawford richard gere

Cindy Crawford interviews actor and boyfriend Richard Gere at the Gianni Versace AIDS Benefit in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 3 Episode: 11
Title: Best Of Edition
Original Airdate: 11/28/91
Includes segments from:

  • Cindy Hangs Out With Will Smith On The Set Of Fresh Prince (Episode 6)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Gianni Versace AIDS Fundraiser (Episode 7)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's 1991 Calendar Shoot (Episode 8 )
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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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


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Cindy Crawford hangs out with actor Denis Leary in Hawaii in 1992.
Photo: MTV

Season: 4 Episode: 14
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 4/29/92
Appearances: Denis Leary, Niki Taylor

POP CULTURE AND FASHION: CINDY CRAWFORD DRAGS DENIS LEARY TO HAWAII

What's better than a throwing a cranky Denis Leary into the Hawaiian surf with Cindy Crawford? Getting a cranky—and pale—Denis Leary to hop into swim trunks, go boogie boarding (unsuccessfully) and then climb onstage with Don Ho to warble "Tiny Bubbles" to a crowd. This was waaaaay before Leary was in movies and the FX fireman drama Rescue Me, and just after he wrapped his three-year writing/acting gig at MTV's game show Remote Control, on which he played Keith Richards and Andy Warhol in a number of skits. Remote Control was the channel's first non-musical program, and launched the careers of comedians Colin Quinn and Adam Sandler.

This segment was clearly aimed at broadening the show's audience by enlisting the Boston comedian (who had, by that point, already deployed his high-speed ranting in MTV television commercials) to undertake touristy activities with our host. Leary might not have been so obliging a year later, when his stand-up album No Cure For Cancer came out and identified him with its signature song: "Asshole."

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AND DENIS LEARY


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: NIKI TAYLOR'S 'VOGUE' SHOOT

niki taylor

Model Niki Taylor at her American 'Vogue' shoot in Miami in 1992.
Photo: MTV

If you were in high school in the early '90s, 16-year-old Niki Taylor was one of the more relatable models. Sure, we're on the set of her Vogue shoot, and of course she's tall, thin and blonde but at the time, Niki was still attending high school in Florida and aspired to be a marine biologist (not unlike every 16-year-old in 1992. Ed note: What was it with marine biology and the '90s?).

These days, it's entirely typical for coltish 13-year-olds to get plucked from obscurity from tiny Eastern European villages to travel the world with their moms, but with Niki, modeling was a hobby before it became a career. Even when adults like Vogue Fashion Editor Elizabeth Saltzman talk about how well Niki will do, provided she "doesn't get caught up in the fashion world," you have faith that Niki's sweetness will keep her on the straight and narrow. This is our most young and American (and in some ways the most reality TV-like) segment so far.

I remember adoring Niki, a familiar face in a slew of teen magazines even if she was a little milquetoast for models back then. She just seemed like a lovely girl with good genes and after her younger sister Krissy joined the modeling fold and was just as pretty and humble, I enjoyed seeing them walk and do shoots together. It was shocking when 17-year-old Krissy overdosed on an asthma inhaler and died from complications due to what was discovered to be a rare heart condition on July 5, 1995. There were multiple news stories on the side effects of over-the-counter medications containing epinephrine and it was tragic and scary that a life was cut short not by drugs or reckless behavior but by something that could've happened to anyone. It was just another way–a terrible way–that these girls were so relatable.

+ WATCH NIKI TAYLOR FOR 'VOGUE'


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 14

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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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