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dolce and gabbana

Cindy Crawford and designer Domenico Dolce at Cindy's model fitting during Milan Fashion Week in 1992.
Photo: MTV

Season: 4 Episode: 18
Title: Milan Edition
Original Airdate: 12/16/92
Appearances: Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce, Linda Evangelista, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Mario Testino, Stephen Sprouse, Kevyn Aucoin

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: CINDY GOES TO A DOLCE & GABBANA FITTING

We’re in Milan to see what goes into a model fitting there. Cindy tries on Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring ’93 collection, and the Italian duo feature more of the long, lean, lithe, Brit-rock-gone-hippie looks that were popular that season. We're talking floppy hats, clogs, chunky heels, peasant blouses, maxi skirts, chokers, patchwork, and massive ’70s collars. There’s even a bit where the girls dress up in matching, shrunken mod suits like the Beatles in the early Brian Epstein years. Linda Evangelista, with her perfectly bobbed hair, plays John Lennon, and is slightly embarrassed by the prospect of fake-playing a guitar.

Cindy talks about the process: finding your rack, going through all the adjustments, having your Polaroid taken for reference so you know how the pieces go together and what accessories go where (this was the year, after all, when everyone wore gobs of necklaces, gold rings, massive cameos, hats, feathers and scarves) and how her assignment—number 11—sets her order in the show. She jokingly remarks that she’s been bumped down from having opened the show last year.

Cindy introduces us to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and then sits down with them as a journalist to discuss their inspiration for the season and their shared appreciation of breasts—their favorite body part on a lady. It’s amusing to note that Carla Bruni is wearing a replica of the Queen’s crown given that she’s since been First Lady of France. But it’s a beret-wearing Madonna, with overly plucked eyebrows and perfectly in-sync circle Lennon glasses, jumping onstage for the encore that steals the show. Asked about her presence, Madge simply replies that she and the designers are friends. The collection is sprawling and stunning, and it’s lovely for us to see a runway show in the time before livestreaming and backstage cams from this many vantage points.

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD'S DOLCE AND GABBANA FITTING

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: NAOMI CAMPBELL WEARS ZIT CREAM

naomi campbell

Model Naomi Campbell in her hotel room at Milan Fashion Week in 1992.
Photo: MTV

We’re at Fashion Week after hours with Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Kristen McMenamy. The three striking women are visibly fatigued after a long day of fittings and shows, and we get a genuine, loopy vibe from them that gives this behind-the-scenes footage a sense of honesty. They’re just too beat to put up veils. Not that Naomi has ever had any problems being herself, but seeing three supermodels sitting on the floor of a hotel bathroom (a very nice hotel bathroom, mind you) holding up chicken cutlet boob inserts and commenting about their lack of “tits” is remarkably engaging.

After Linda goes home, Kristen and Naomi play dress-up. Naomi puts on a dress that cost her $15 with a $10 poncho. Kristen models a number of her characteristically gothy black dresses, and then Naomi shows off her one-of-a-kind purple suede Anna Sui ensemble. Kristen leaves (only after jumping all over Naomi’s enormous bed), and then Naomi begins her nighttime ablutions. She’s wearing an oversized tie-dyed tee as she washes her face and exfoliates. It’s an intimate, memorable moment not only because she muses about her future husband, but also because, when she’s traded all her pretty togs for a night shirt and no makeup, she looks very much the young girl that she is. Then she does something awesome: Without any self-consciousness about being on national television, she applies zit cream to her face with a Q-Tip: “I’ve got zits so I’m going to put my spots cream on and I don’t care. Everybody has zits.” It’s humanizing and feels impossibly far away from the Naomi we know today, what with the phone-throwing tantrums and diva behavior.

+ WATCH NAOMI CAMPBELL AT FASHION WEEK

STREET STYLE: MARIO TESTINO'S STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

mario testino

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

Street photography is nothing new now, what with the proliferation of work from Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) and Tommy Ton (Jak & Jil) and every subsequent riff on the theme, but it’s interesting to see how legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino shot scenes from Milan. First of all, we can’t neglect to mention how beautifully dressed the photographer is, in an impeccably layered, unmistakably Italian ensemble: French cuffs, a jolt of color in his cardigan, a tartan umbrella and a navy blazer with an ASCOT. It’s everything you’d see in a GQ gallery of the Italian trade show Pitti Uomo today (though I appreciate that Pitti happens in Firenze).

Testino talks about how much he loves shooting architecture in black and white (accompanied by the requisite shots of the Duomo), but he also talks about how much he loves shooting details like messy electrical wiring above a storefront. The end results are unfussy and lovely. Testino describes how much he loves taking photos of children and older people when he’s shooting for pleasure, adding that older generations have all the style. It’s an admirable quirk for an artist renowned for capturing the most beautiful supermodels of the time, but he’s not alone in this sentiment. Check out Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog, that features chic women in their 80s and 90s. It's fabulous... As is Mario’s admirably thick head of hair.

+ WATCH MARIO TESTINO IN MILAN

STREET STYLE: ARTIST STEPHEN SPROUSE RETURNS TO FASHION

stephen sprouse

Designer Stephen Sprouse returns to fashion with a collection shot for 'Harper's Bazaar' in 1992.
Photo: MTV

On hiatus since December 1988, the artist, photographer and designer Stephen Sprouse returned to fashion with “CyberPunk,” a 32-piece capsule collection made exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman. After a shoulder injury forced a switch to shoes with Velcro fastenings and a commission from Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses to create tour outfits, Sprouse decided to create a line of androgynous clothing that exclusively featured Velcro closures. To commemorate the occasion, the designer shot a fashion editorial for Harper’s Bazaar.

To give you a little background as to the significance of Sprouse’s return to fashion, you must first know that he was an important figure in the downtown New York scene. He made clothes for his neighbor Debbie Harry; he collaborated with Andy Warhol, creating prints with the artist’s camo silkscreens. Sprouse also worked with Keith Haring, who designed his signature “squibbles” for a number of garments in Sprouse’s 1983 collection. However, the younger generation may better remember Sprouse’s Day-Glo graffiti hand style from the 2008 Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton ads shot by Terry Richardson, where the designer appears naked with a “defaced” LV monogram weekender hiding his privates. The 2008 collection of “It Bags” were actually an homage to the collaboration between Marc and Steven in 2000, before the artist passed away due to heart failure in 2004.

In a Harper’s Bazaar article in 2008, Jacobs said of Sprouse, “He had this desire to take what he saw in the streets and elevate it. He was using all this stuff that was so costly, really beautiful materials, and he was doing it all so beautifully. There are so many people who try to affect a street style, but it doesn't have the integrity. Stephen's work was so stylistic, and it had street cred.”

Sprouse abandoned fashion to focus on his art career, but resumed making clothes for two collections. CyberPunk’s least expensive piece was a pair of men’s undergarments that retailed for $500, but it’s the luxe ponchos, floor-length hooded tunics, military detailing and post-apocalyptic armor plating that are notable for their fit and dramatic flair: streetwear gone wildly couture.

+ WATCH STEPHEN SPROUSE FOR 'HARPER'S BAZAAR'

DEMOCRATIZING FASHION: LEARN HOW TO OVERPLUCK YOUR BROWS WITH KEVYN AUCOIN AND CAROL SHAW

kevyn aucoin christy turlington

Makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin gives Christy Turlington perfectly plucked '90s eyebrows.
Photo: MTV

If you’ve never flipped through Kevyn’s books— The Art of Makeup, Making Faces and Face Forward, which show transformations of regular people into historical figures or turn Hollywood stars into… other Hollywood stars—you absolutely should. Before your favorite YouTube makeup artist showed off step-by-step instructions on how to turn herself into Jared Leto or Justin Bieber, there was Kevyn Aucoin (who died of organ failure, caused by an addiction to the prescription painkillers he took for a pituitary tumor), turning Martha Stewart into Veronica Lake and Christina Ricci into Edith Piaf. Kevyn had a featured column in Allure and was one of the most celebrated makeup artists of his day.

In this segment, Kevyn (along with makeup artist Carol Shaw) teaches us how to pluck our eyebrows. Or, rather, how to overpluck them, since this was the early ’90s, when a pencil-thin arch and a lip-lined pout were all the rage. It’s the video version of the magazine illustration that always told you to take a pencil and point it towards your nose and make sure your nostril and the fat part of the brow met at a certain angle. However, the best advice comes from Carol Shaw, who tells us to use a white nail pencil (a device that helped whiten French manicure tips—another beauty casualty of the decade) to mark where you wanted to pluck, and to use a stiff, angled brush and eyeshadow to fill in the brow and finish the look.

+ WATCH PERFECT EYEBROWS

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 18

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cindy crawford

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

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

DEMISTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: CINDY BECOMES AN EDITOR

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

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

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

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AS AN EDITOR

MODELS, THE NEXT GENERATION: AMBER VALLETTA

Amber Valletta

Model Amber Valletta in 1993.
Photo: MTV

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

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

+ WATCH AMBER VALLETTA

DEMISTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TODD OLDHAM INTERVIEWS ANDRE WALKER AND JOHN GALLIANO

todd oldham john galliano

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

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

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

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

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

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM WITH ANDRE WALKER AND JOHN GALLIANO

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: CINDY’S ITALIAN 'VOGUE' SHOOT WITH MAX VADUKUL

cindy crawford

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

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

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

+ WATCH MAX VADUKUL AND CINDY CRAWFORD

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 27

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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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