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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 jon stewart

Cindy Crawford with MTV Correspondent Jon Stewart and Director of Elite Model Management Ann Veltri in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 29
Title: Winter Edition
Original Airdate: 2/9/94
Appearances: Jon Stewart, Todd Oldham, Sybil Buck

POP CULTURE AND FASHION: JON STEWART AND CINDY HANG OUT

Before he was the silver fox host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart was a big deal at MTV, helming his own eponymous talk show from 1993-1994. His time slot pitted him against late-night stalwarts like Leno and Letterman, so his run ended up being short-lived. Which is a huge shame because the show was critical for two reasons. One, it featured musical guests who at the time could not otherwise get the shine: Marilyn Manson, Sunny Day Real Estate, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Slayer and Biggie. Another thing is that the producer of The Jon Stewart Show, Madeleine Smithberg, would go on to create The Daily Show, which has of course seen an extraordinary, award-winning run, with Stewart at the helm since Craig Kilborn peaced in the late ’90s.

In this clip, we see Jon shadowing Cindy on her errands, to comedic effect. He cracks everybody up, but it’s sorta sadface because it’s like watching some poor bastard get “friend zoned” by a hot chick who just wants a smart, funny dude to tag along behind her like some neutered lapdog. They visit Cindy’s modeling agency, Elite, where they go through Cindy’s schedule with her agent and clown around. Jon’s recognized by some of the agency’s new faces, and gets to briefly man a casting couch. The floppy-haired comic then accompanies the model to her mani/pedi appointment at Stephen Knoll. He remarks upon how absurd it is that women sit around “pruning each other” while having his feet massaged and his hands moisturized, and then they hit the gym for Cindy’s workout with trainer Radu. Medicine ball sit-ups and basketball end the day; with Jon smoking cigarettes during his crunches.

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AND JON STEWART

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HIGHS AND LOWS OF SPRING ’94

runway spring 94

The highs and lows of the Spring '94 runway shows.
Photo: MTV

On the runways of Chloe, Byron Lars, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui, Marcel Marongiv, John Galliano, and Thierry Mugler, several trends are in raging for dominance. Underwear as outerwear, as seen in prior seasons, is still going strong, this time with long, spaghetti-strapped slips worn as dresses. Hair is piled high, curled and festooned with trails of ribbons. Anna Sui dominates the grunge baby doll scene with A-line mini-dresses with large collars on androgynous model (and Angelina Jolie ex) Jenny Shimizu, as well as on male models. Another male model, Donovan, does the robot on the runway in a metallic suit (also at Sui). And the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence walks hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, Helena Christensen at Thierry Mugler. Hutchence has a large silver spike through his nose, and Christensen wears a leather bustier dress covered in spikes and fringe.

The best show is John Galliano’s (discussed at length in an earlier episode). The worst, in my personal opinion, is a rare misstep from Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. The clownishly exaggerated “hip-hop-inspired” knee shorts with suspenders are unflattering, with a voyeuristic petting-zoo philosophy that borders on racism. The hair is vexing as well: Meant to evoke natural hair that has been poorly relaxed, it just looks bedraggled and messy.

+ WATCH '94 SPRING RUNWAY SHOWS

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TODD TEACHES US HOW TO LAYER

todd oldham

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham makes layers look cool in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Todd Oldham is a godsend. Here, he teaches us a classic “from the runway to the real world” lesson in layering, starting out with an idea from his own show. For the runway, Todd paired a cropped crochet sweater over a long, patterned georgette shirt; for an alternate version, he advises us to shop in the kid’s section of The Gap for a tiny sweater vest to wear over any filmy shirt. Next up is a nod to the Comme Des Garçons trick of putting a fitted, thin, crew-neck, long-sleeved sweater over a suit jacket or blazer to reveal the large patch pockets of the jacket that now billows out slightly at the waist.

At Rifat Ozbek, a bra is worn over a mock turtleneck to showcase “underlayering” — putting what you’d typically wear underneath over your outside clothes. A prime example of this is to put a tank top over a long-sleeved shirt. Mixing seasons is another way to rethink layers, like wearing a summer dress over a sweater or a white cotton peasant blouse over a thick wool turtleneck. It’s more instruction on how to style things you already own, using cues from your favorite designers. Todd’s cheat sheet is all about understanding proportion, a keen sense of color and a hefty dose of attitude.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM ON LAYERING

MODELS, THE NEXT GENERATION: SIBYL BUCK

sibyl buck

Model Sibyl Buck in 1994.
Photo: MTV

In many ways, Sibyl Buck epitomizes the lifestyle aspects of the grunge movement. Kate Moss and Amber Valletta evoke a type of stylized grunge or “fashion grunge,” with their pale skin, doe eyes and seemingly meek dispositions. The critical difference is that they were also both versatile in a way that made them aesthetically malleable depending on the job or designer.

Sibyl Buck, with her septum piercing and dreadlocked red hair, was often hired for her specific look. During a tour of her apartment, we go through her music collection; she cites The Melvins and Bad Brains as favorites. Some headbanging takes place before she shows off her overalls collection; then we’re taken up to her roof to watch her skateboard. She is very much a tomboy — all elbows and knees — and she notes that her clients hate how often she shows up for jobs with scabs all over her legs. Sibyl quit modeling in 1998 to focus on a music career: She currently plays bass for The Lonely Astronauts.

+ WATCH SIBYL BUCK

STREET STYLE: SNOWBOARDERS

snowboard style

Snowboarder style on the slopes in 1994.
Photo: MTV

In 1994, long before it was an Olympic sport, snowboarding was still very much defined as an alternative to skiing. The aesthetic, as such, was a sharp departure from neon, preppy, matching outfits, and much more closely aligned with skate clothing of the era. The jackets were oversized and the pants were “phat” (true story) to allow for layering and warmth. The really interesting part of this segment is how far technology has come since snowboarding grew as an industry. Back then, the larger clothing allowed for higher mobility, whereas contemporary textile technology allows for four-way stretch in waterproof, shell-covered fleece that’s infinitely less cumbersome and less reliant on layers.

The snowboarding kids of almost 20 years ago employ an admirable degree of DIY ingenuity to combat such functional shortcomings. They saw off the top of soft boots for added movement, layer boots, wear several mitts or “hot pads” together keep their hands warm, some layers even looking like they’re covered in duct tape. In 1994, snowboarders were still the “pirates of the mountain,” and the long-haired kids freezing their asses off definitely show a great deal of commitment.

+ WATCH SNOWBOARD STYLE

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 29

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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.

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