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dee dee ramone

Musician Dee Dee Ramone gets a makeover from designer Paul Smith in 1989.
Photo: MTV

Season: 1 Episode: 2
Title: Fall '89
Original Airdate: 8/26/89
Appearances: Dee Dee Ramone, Paul Smith, Jean Paul Gaultier

MUSIC AND FASHION: DEE DEE RAMONE GETS A PAUL SMITH MAKEOVER

Much has changed in the decades following the second episode of HOS, particularly the number of talented people who have passed since 1989. Among them is Dee Dee Ramone, bassist for the iconoclastic punk rock band The Ramones, who in this clip gets a makeover courtesy of the designer Paul Smith. Spoiler: It is AMAZING.

The allure of juxtaposing the punk rock bassist with the buttoned-up British clothier is pretty obvious, but the degree to which Smith and Ramone enjoy each other's company is a thrill. The segment begins with Dee Dee rolling out of bed, lighting a cigarette, drinking a Diet Coke and then rolling up to the Paul Smith flagship in mirrored aviator glasses, slicked-back hair, torn jeans and a heavily embellished vest with no shirt. It is crucial to note how hot he looks. Take a moment should you need to.

It’s a lovefest. Dee Dee makes a beeline for a jacket, strokes it and realizes that it's cashmere. This acts as some sort of signal because from there on out, Smith and Ramone are turned out and besotted with each other. Smith, for all his pointed Englishness, is not a stuffed shirt and the peacock-ish pieces he selects for the Pygmalion-ing are right up Dee Dee’s alley.

Smith (who looks fantastic in a red shirt with impossibly long collar tips, and a yellow polka dotted tie tucked into the shirt as if he’s a banker dining in a restaurant or a waiter at an up-market steak house) chooses a vest adorned with framed portraits of Indian deities, a shawl-collar tuxedo that fits the bassist like a dream, especially when paired with a burlap Guatemalan cumberbund. An additional vest is festooned with printed pheasant feathers. Then there’s the pièce de resistance: a neon pink raincoat.

Honestly, it’s basically every girl’s Pretty Woman shopping-montage fantasy, except with two hardcore, grown dudes who quite clearly want to draw cartoon hearts and emoji faces all over each other.

+ WATCH DEE DEE RAMONE'S MAKEOVER


MUSIC AND FASHION: HIP-HOP STYLE

dapper dan harlem

Dapper Dan in his store in 1989.
Photo: MTV

Hip-hop fashion in 1989 was marvelous and, given House of Style's base of operation, very New York-centric. We start with a talking head piece featuring Monica Lynch, the president of Tommy Boy Records (then home to De La Soul, Digital Underground, Biz Markie, House of Pain, Naughty By Nature), Russell Simmons, DMC, Posdnous, Trugoy and Queen Latifah, but it also includes a brief interview with fashion designer Dapper Dan. As immortalized in rap lyrics like “Wear a G on my chest I don’t need Dapper Dan” by Jay-Z, Dapper Dan is not to be confused with the boss of the Minnesotan Irish mob, Dapper Danny Hogan. Though, to be fair, both were very fancy.

Dan ran an atelier in Harlem that was open 24 hours a day, and his bespoke suits, that featured allover Louis Vuitton or Gucci monograms play a major part on various Eric B. and Rakim album covers. Any time you see Justin Bieber in allover MCM, consider it a hat tip to Dan. Speaking of which, remember when JB bought GF Selena all those monogram purses, too? Monica Lynch nutshells it perfectly: “Whatever the kids in hip-hop are starting today is what middle America is going to be wearing tomorrow.” Apparently, it’s also what Canadian megastars will elect to wear over two decades later.

MUSIC AND FASHION: THE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MERCHANDISING MACHINE

metallica concert t-shirts

Rock 'n roll merchandising and big hair in 1989.
Photo: MTV

Back in the day, there were two behemoths in the multi-million-dollar music merch industry: Winterland and Brockum. “We’re kinda the Coca-Cola and Pepsi of the industry,” says Dell Furano, president of the West Coast-based Winterland. (Brockum was on the east.) Winterland peddled merch for Springsteen, Madonna and George Michael, while Brockum screen-printed tees for Guns ’N Roses, The Rolling Stones and Metallica.

We take a tour through both facilities, featuring cult collectibles like the “Metallican,” the Japan-only Metallica CD packaging that came in a can; and the Michael Jackson boxset book that was released when the King of Pop was at his prime. Roger Gorman, principal designer for the project, recalls what it was like to work on such a high-profile project: “I spent a day with [Michael Jackson], and we went through about 4,000 slides. He has a strong idea of what he wants in the book.” You couldn’t rely on the same degree of involvement for all the acts, Gorman tells us. “There are strange situations," he says. "Sometimes you don’t like a lot of the work and all of it rests on the approval of one...band member’s girlfriend.”

Despite the secondary market potential for a vintage Sugarcubes tee, Winterland is now defunct. The company declared bankruptcy twice despite $105 million in sales in 1996. The Brockum Group is dunzo, too: The company was bought out and eventually dissolved by BMG.

+ WATCH ROCK N' ROLL MERCHANDISING


MUSIC AND FASHION: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER’S SHORT-LIVED MUSIC CAREER

jean paul gaultier how to do that

Jean Paul Gaultier's music video, "How To Do That" in 1989.
Photo: MTV

At the end of this episode, we’re treated to a music video by French designer and “enfant terrible” Jean Paul Gaultier. His dance single, “How To Do That,” was released in 1989 on Fontana Records. It was then remixed as “Aow Tou Dou Zat” (amazing), which was subsequently released on Mercury. The video was directed by esteemed fashion photographer and videographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who famously directed Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and would go on to direct “Manchild” by Neneh Cherry, “Justify My Love” by Madonna and Björk’s “Violently Happy.” There’s really not much else to say beyond “gold thimble manicure,” “CLASSIC JPG cage dress,” “curlicue 3D braids” and “cigarettes galore,” because you should just get into the images. For those interested in seeing the whole thing (and have the time and funds to travel), check out the extensive and incredible JPG exhibition in San Francisco's de Young museum where they have this jam playing on a loop. It will melt your face straight off. Just, you know, do it before August 29.

+ WATCH JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: "HOW TO DO THAT"


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 2

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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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jean paul gaultier

Designer Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris Fashion Week in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Season: 3 Episode: 12
Title: Paris Edition
Original Airdate: 12/18/91
Appearances: Jean Paul Gaultier, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Karl Lagerfeld, Ellen Von Unwerth

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER IS AN ICON

From his TV interviews last fall with Lady Gaga to his current role as creative director of Diet Coke, few designers have become pop culture icons quite like Jean Paul Gaultier. It’s a marvel that the platinum-tressed couturier, who blazed onto the fashion scene in the '70s (he apprenticed under Pierre Cardin, launched his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and went onto couture in 1999), has retained relevance and notoriety as the enfant terrible of the French fashion industry for over 30 years. In 1985, he introduced sharply cut, midi-length skirt suits for men; in the ’90s, he famously created the cone bra for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour. This year, the two tow-headed stars have joined forces again: Gaultier outfitted her Madgesty for the MDNA world tour.

In this segment, Cindy goes to Paris to discuss taboo, the origin of Gaultier's fixation with corsetry and his reasons for making gender-bending fashion. Jean Paul Gaultier is honest and affable with zero pretension and it’s easy to see why, all these decades later there’s still joy to be found in Gaultier’s designs. It's unsurprising that new and exciting talents like Gaga still clamor to work with him.

+ WATCH JEAN PAUL GAULTIER


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: LINDA EVANGELISTA

linda evangelista

Model Linda Evangelista in Chanel at Paris Fashion Week in 1991.
Photo: MTV

Maybe it’s because it’s the Paris fashion episode, or because it’s a couple of years after our first supermodel interview, but Linda is the first model we speak to who has a firm grasp on how famous she is. Also, it strikes me that she speaks in technical terms regarding her work not unlike an actor talking to James Lipton on Inside The Actor’s Studio. Linda always wanted to be a model, even as a child, and in this segment she makes the interesting claim that models—especially the supermodels of the time—are like actresses, except that they are captured in still images rather than moving pictures. It should also be noted that the distinction is important—some would go on to pursue successful acting careers and others would have more trouble with dialogue.

During the ’90s, as the names of models, photographers and even fashion editors became more well-known, the magazine cover was the domain of the model, and not of the actress, as it is these days. Linda cites her versatility as a reason she’s such a cover and ad campaign mainstay. Legendary photographer Steven Meisel (in a rare on camera interview) confirms this assessment, and praises how completely she immerses herself in each character. We see that a change in hair color and clothes alters her look drastically. Linda also says that her mercurial appearance makes up for her lack of “All-American appeal” since she doesn't have the “button nose” or the “wheat-colored hair” that was so popular when she was growing up in Ontario, Canada. It's funny because it never occurred to me that looking like Linda Evangelista could ever be a crutch. Especially in Ontario, Canada. JKJKJKJK.

+ WATCH LINDA EVANGELISTA


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: PARIS FASHION WEEK

paris fashion week

Model Naomi Campbell in hair and makeup backstage at Paris Fashion Week in 1991.
Photo: MTV

We're backstage again, this time to unveil the secrets of Paris Fashion Week. There's a tangle of cameras jockeying for position on the press risers, and the close quarters reveal crews of models in various stages of preparation. Cindy dubs it as “glamorous as a supermarket sale,” and breaks down the math of how much the event costs: the invitations to “1800 fashion editors and 600 buyers in 42 countries,” the ushers, the location, the presents and, of course, the models. A single show can set a designer back $150,000, and the top-grossing girl can make upwards of $5,000 per show (this is, of course, in 1991 dollars and only an indication as to how much designers spend now). Christy Turlington justifies the math thusly: “When you look at it in terms of business and how much money we’re bringing in for companies, I think that our couple of thousand dollars are meager.” Karl Lagerfeld agrees: “They are the image-making persons of today," he says. "They are like the goddesses of the silent screen.”

Backstage, models are crammed beside racks, and everyone is smoking. On the runway for Spring 1992, we see frou-frou lace dusters for the pin-up, campy lingerie look. This is the year Chanel showed staid, predictable, box-suit silhouettes, but in cheeky pastel terry cloth. It’s also the season of Herve Leger’s first show. Michael Hutchence of INXS describes the prepping for such pageantry as “a hundred women getting ready for dinner—it’s terrifying.”

+ WATCH BACKSTAGE AT PARIS FASHION WEEK


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: ELLEN VON UNWERTH'S 'ITALIAN VOGUE' SHOOT

ellen von unwerth

Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth in 1991.
Photo: MTV

This is a beautiful, fun segment that illustrates at several points, the difference between a fashion editorial with actresses and one case with models. If you’ve ever been on-set for a celebrity fashion shoot, you can immediately see the difference. Models know what they look like. If you’ve ever seen America’s Next Top Model, you’ll know how challenging it is for a subject to look fantastic, while engaging in an activity and how critical it is to be able to command body language and facial expressions according to the demands of the photographer. It's in intuition, experience and anticipating that shutter snap. Here Karen Mulder plays a raven-haired Jane Russell and Eva Herzigova plays Marilyn Monroe. They romp around in cars, lounge in a hotel room, and pose with loads of cigarettes. The models are in their element.

Ellen's easy way with models may stem from her starting her career as one. A burgeoning interest in photography led to a campaign with British designer Katharine Hamnett. Ellen is generally considered one of the most dynamic photographers in the fashion industry (both then and now), and it’s fascinating to see how relaxed and personable she is behind the camera. She smiles a lot and her instructions are either casually gestured or a single word left open for interpretation (like "flamenco"), and you can see why, when you’re half naked on a set or in public, Ellen’s style might be confidence building. It’s also what gives Ellen Von Unwerth’s photographs an immensely voyeuristic appeal. She lets the actions run while she chooses what to capture. The end result is often like a scene from a movie, and this Italian Vogue spread that's inspired by the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes may be stylized in costume but appears totally spontaneous.

+ WATCH ELLEN VON UNWERTH


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 12

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cindy crawford

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

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

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: CINDY'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

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

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD'S HS REUNION

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

marc jacobs

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

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

+ WATCH '94 FALL FASHION SHOWS

STREET STYLE: MIXING HIGH/LOW IN NEW YORK

dom casual

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

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

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

+ WATCH '94 FALL FASHION TRENDS

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

boss hog

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

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

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

+ WATCH BOSS HOG MODELS PROM

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: PHOTOGRAPHER STEPHANE SEDNAOUI

stephane sednaoui

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

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

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

+ WATCH STEPHANE SEDNAOUI ON SET WITH SHALOM HARLOW

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 33

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las vegas showgirls

Makeup tips from Las Vegas showgirls in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 44
Title: Las Vegas Edition
Original Airdate: 11/27/95
Appearances: Las Vegas showgirls

DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: MAKEUP TIPS FROM SHOWGIRLS

With regard to beauty, there are two schools of thought amongst Vegas showgirls: eyebrows or no eyebrows. In this segment, we visit Las Vegas and go backstage to reveal makeup secrets of showgirls. None of them is applicable to real life (back in 1995 or now) unless you’re giving showgirl realness as a very well-blended drag queen, but it’s fascinating to see the tricks and shortcuts applied to a faceful of powders, creams and colors. Some girls swear by removing their brows because they like to vary the shape and color according to the mood required in the show. An arch denotes anger or tempestuousness, while a rounder curve indicates that the character is more subdued. Some even use a red lip pencil as liner on their lids and lips in order to match.

Whether your brows are drawn in or not, makeup time can run anywhere form 20 minutes to over an hour, and the advice varies from not having your eyeliner extend past your brow to having a “mobile mole”: a traveling beauty spot that disguises blemishes. It’s captivating to watch makeup routines that are enacted in the cloistered environment of a Las Vegas show, since they’re totally unrelated to the trends of the time. You may find the painstaking results appealing or garish, but you can’t knock the effort.

+ WATCH SHOWGIRL MAKEUP TIPS


DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: LAS VEGAS SPECIALTY BOUTIQUES

At first you'd think this would be a segment that would be more at home on a travel show, especially given the butch, gravelly voiceover but the bit I love is that we visit with Ms. Rita Hart at Quality Liquidators where they sell furniture from closed down hotels and casinos (and please also check out Rita's windbreaker ensemble because it's amazing), Stephen C. Serge, the proprietor of Serge's Showgirl Wigs and Mordechai Yerushalmi a.k.a. Jeweler to the Stars. It's exactly the sort of anthropologically marvelous stuff I'd want to hit up if I visited a touristy spot. Plus, we've got a clip of Marty Scorsese talking watches.

+ WATCH LAS VEGAS HISTORY


DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: TODD GOES TCHOTCHKE SHOPPING

Trust Todd Oldham to hit up Las Vegas in doubled up animal print (python satin shirt and leopard print pants) to shop at the "largest emporium of crap." We look at numerous wedding-themed bauble, every manner of Elvis gee-gaw and a slew of naked lady pens.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM SHOP IN LAS VEGAS


DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: THE SPRING '96 RUNWAYS

The middle of the decade showed strong color, pattern, and texture for spring. Neons, lurid burn out patterned velvet, lace, sequins, ostrich feathers, plaids, stripes, and a ton of zebra print. Silhouettes were either mega diaphanous like slinky satin and clingy chiffon or else super structured with denim and khaki showing up in everything from suiting to onesies. Baby tees and halters continued to rage (they'd be big all through the '90s) and navel gazed all the exposed midriffs from Anna Sui to Gaultier and even Chanel. Knee-shorts were hot but hot pants were hotter, but the takeaway might be that white-girl cornrows and dreads were a thing and that's just real :(

+ WATCH SPRING '96 FASHION WEEK SHOWS


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 44

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jean paul gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier runway at Paris Fashion Week in 1996.
Photo: MTV

Season: 8 Episode: 48
Title: Paris Edition
Original Airdate: 4/15/96
Appearances: Ann Demeulemeester, Emma Balfour, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jerry Hall, Julien D'Ys, Jean Touitou

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: PARIS FASHION WEEK

A couple of things make this segment extra-special for me: the fact that we have a rare interview with the incomparable Belgian genius Ann Demeulemeester, and that hearing model Emma Balfour speak so eloquently about her sent me into a weird fact-finding mission that led to the discovery that Emma became a poet! It’s not every day you hear from a model who has been compared to Raymond Carver. Seriously.

The F/W 1996 Ann D collection is pretty special. She’s such a master and cuts a mean, lean silhouette with this fantastically somber Antwerpian gravitas, yet there are off-kilter details like asymmetrical sleeves or meandering plackets that deliver tension in this wonderful contrapposto — it's the sort of bound agony you see in Greek sculpture from the Hellenistic period. It's great. This is what Demeulemeester says about the process: “When I start the collections, most of the time I start with a certain movement. So the movement of this collection is that I tried to work on a twisted body.” What? Can you just think about that? It's so insane to think that her point of inspiration is how fabric behaves on a screwy form. It shouldn’t be surprising, since she can command textile to do whatever she wants, but honestly, could she make the terrain any more challenging?

There’s a ton of excellent stuff in this season as a whole. HoS fave Jean Paul Gaultier is going through a sculptural period and is heavily into moving cubes and spheres. There’s this great moment with Jerry Hall, who remarks that she’s modeling as a madwoman who doesn’t realize she’s mad and sounds totally unhinged as she's describing it. From Rifat Ozbek to Romeo Gigli, there are mixed prints, velvet, skinny maxi skirts, sweaters, bright evening suiting, tartan ball gowns and fur stoles; on the beauty side, this is the season of the top-knot, fashion Mohawk, glittery face makeup that appears to have been cried into smears, and dark bars painted over eyes in place of liner.

+ WATCH MODELS AT PARIS FASHION WEEK


DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: HAIR TIPS FROM STYLIST JULIEN D'YS

julien d'ys

Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta visit hairstylist Juline D'Ys in Paris in 1996.
Photo: MTV

OK, I had never heard of Julien D’Ys so I didn’t have an appreciation for how wonderful this segment is and just thought it was cool that he invited Shalom and Amber over for some hair tips. Apparently, at the time of this taping, Julien is “one of the most revered hair masters working today.” Julien is the guy who, since 2005, has been doing all the head-dressing at the Costume Institute Exhibition at the Met; he’s also been collaborating with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons for over two decades, and you know how particular (and brilliant) Rei is. Most recently, you may have seen Julien’s flawless pin curls on Katy Perry’s Old Hollywood transformation for the June 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, but more importantly, Julien is also a photographer, set designer and a painter.

Last year, Julien had his first painting exhibition, and it’s so rad that we get to see all of his canvases from 1996 in his apartment while he teaches Amber how to use tinfoil and molding clay to curl her hair. He then puts wigs on Shalom and shows us how a cut-up piece of panty hose can act like SPANX for her real hair so that everything lies flat under the hair piece. All very cool and 100% applicable to life, but I just really liked the bit where he talked about his paintings because it’s so clear how passionately he feels about being a fine artist. Plus, the part where his blowdryer (and probably all of our camera lights) blows a fuse in his crappy New York apartment is super-relatable as well. That’s the magic of House of Style: You could go from knowing nothing to wanting to hang out with a person based on footage that was shot 16 years ago.

+ WATCH JULIEN D'YS' STUDIO


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: A.P.C.'S JEAN TOUITOU'S FASHION PHILOSOPHY

jean touitou

A.P.C. designer Jean Touitou in 1996.
Photo: MTV

On the topic of people I want to hang out with, A.P.C designer Jean Touitou is definitely one of them. Even if he sort of terrifies me. This reminds me so much of the Franco Moschino interview in that he’s so clever, quick and controversial that you can never tell if he’s mocking or goading you (“Cynicism is a humor that suits me” he’s said in a T magazine profile). It’s been eons since the artisanal jeans movement stormed the gate (denimgate?), so I’ll go ahead and presume you all know the brand A.P.C. (atelier de production et de creation). It started in Paris in 1986, it’s a line that makes jeans that you have to work very hard to break in, and "A.P.C." is the universally agreed-upon, male, fashblogger-approved response to, "What jeans are you wearing?"

All of this, obviously, is by design. Touitou has pursued music from the beginning as well and is just as unorthodox in that arena in terms of how he likes to do business. He releases his own music and creates compilations with like-minded friends. According to T, he even built a recording studio at A.P.C. HQ, a haven for employees who want to record with their bands, and where parts of the score for Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox were recorded. I’m going to do that annoying thing where I just pull out some responses and cut-and-paste them, not (only) because I’m lazy, but because his quotes are great unmolested.

On A.P.C.’s iterative processes:
“Here we make the fabric, we design, manufacture, we mail order. It’s invisible work and it takes a long time to do.”

On fashion shows:
“The fashion show for me is purely a spectacular nonsense. It’s all related to how much hype you get at that period of time. Everybody’s going to think you’re fabulous or not and it’s not based on your work and your clothes.”

On releasing music:
“I decided to produce music when I had the means to do so. We decided to do a first album and to be totally independent. I’m sorry, but I do not want to talk to the music industry.”

On logos:
“Everybody wants to be a star very quickly, and so anybody will do a label and have his name on it. So I didn’t want no name at all at the beginning….The first collection was just the label with the name, with the date actually. The first one was called ‘Winter ’87.’”

On tawdry clothes:
“I don’t like the clothes too loudly sexy because sex, when it’s too loud, is not sex anymore. It’s an image of sex, and you don’t want the image to want sex.”

For more on Jean Touitou, follow his Twitter feed. Or watch this video. Also, read this.

+ WATCH A.P.C.


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 48

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I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

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