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helmut newton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ WATCH HELMUT NEWTON SHOOTS EVA HERZIGOVA


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: DAISY FUENTES'S SWIMSUIT SHOOT

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

+ WATCH DAISY FUENTES' SWIMSUIT SHOOT


DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: SWIMSUITS IN NYC

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

+ WATCH SEXY SWIMSUITS


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 40

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alexander mcqueen

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

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

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: BRITISH DESIGNERS

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

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

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

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

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

+ WATCH '97 BRITISH FALL FASHION WEEK


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: GALLIANO FOR DIOR

john galliano cindy crawford

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

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

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD INTERVIEW JOHN GALLIANO


POP CULTURE AND FASHION: VOYAGE, THE MOST EXCLUSIVE STORE IN ENGLAND

voyage boutique london

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

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

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

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

+ WATCH KAREN MULDER AT VOYAGE


STREET STYLE: LONDON

london street style

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

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

+ WATCH LONDON STREET STYLE


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 58

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cindy crawford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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House Of Style

House Of Style MTV Style House Of Style

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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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