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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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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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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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supermodels

Supermodels Beverly Johnson, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Lauren Hutton gather for "A Model Conversation" in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 24
Title: A Model Conversation
Original Airdate: 7/93
Appearances: Beverly Johnson, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton

DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: A MODEL ROUNDTABLE

In many ways, this one-hour special acts as a State of the Union for the modeling industry in 1993. It’s a roundtable discussion between two generations of models, and features Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Beverly Johnson, Lauren Hutton, and Linda Evangelista, along with short interviews with modeling agents like Bethann Hardison and Monique Pillard, and editors like Anna Wintour and Gabé Doppelt. The supermodels talk about their careers, how each got her start and the taxing aspects of their jobs. They break down the politics of becoming a successful model and assert that it’s largely based on relationships with photographers and magazines. It’s an interesting time to be discussing the shifting ideals of beauty: The supermodels were still very much in the forefront of the fashion industry, but their influence was beginning to wane in light of the waifish, gamine look embodied by newcomer Kate Moss.

On starting out:
The models take turns describing how they were discovered: Cindy met a local photographer in Chicago; Christy posed for a portrait when she was on the competitive horseback riding circuit(!); Linda competed in a Miss Niagara pageant that a scout attended; Naomi was playing hooky from school with a group of blonde, blue-eyed friends when an agent approached her. Beverly had visions of becoming a lawyer and Lauren Hutton got noticed the hard way—hitting the pavement for 7-9 months before she got her start. Linda mentions that she used to get paid $20 for modeling in bridal shows (she always played bridesmaid) and $8 an hour for local department store ads. Long before America’s Next Top Model, we learn the term “go see” (what it’s called when models hit up agencies, editors and photographers with a book of their photos) and Cindy mentions how humbling the process can be.

+ WATCH STARTING MODELING

On being objectified:
The models talk about how frequently they’re mistreated. They’ve been on multiple shoots and sets where they’re often referred to as “it” and directed as if they’re not even in the room. In fact, when Cindy asks if her assembled peers have been objectified, Lauren scoffs, “Are you kidding?” Naomi talks about a time when, at age 16, she was felt up by a stylist for a Japanese client. Cindy recounts the time she asked to be let out of a steam bath; her protests went unheeded until she passed out.

+ WATCH PHOTO SHOOTS

On modeling contracts:
At the start of her career, Christy landed a major contract as the face of Calvin Klein, so she knows how and why it can be a mistake to take a contract too early. Beverly talks about how exclusivity to one client and aligning with one campaign can make a girl seem to lose access from other aspects of the business. The most salient point comes from Cindy, who readily admits how envious other models were when Christy landed her Calvin Klein contract. Cindy’s frank in acknowledging the pros and cons of any career decision, but you can tell from the exchange that it’s the first time Cindy admitted her jealousy to Christy in person, and it’s a revelation.

+ WATCH MODELING CONTRACTS

On degrading photos:
Cindy talks about the difference between choosing to participate in a sexy shoot now that she’s older, versus being manipulated into taking her top off for Elle magazine at 16 and having her parents and high school friends find out. She talks about how feminism doesn’t preclude steamier shoots, but that it’s about feeling empowered enough to choose.

+ WATCH DEGRADING PHOTOS

On relationships with photographers:
It’s obvious that a good rapport and a level of comfort with a photographer makes for a more positive working experience, but Beverly notes that it’s the entire vibe on set — from the makeup to the hair — that’s key: A good shoot is a team effort. Beverly also talks about the back-and-forth that comes naturally when you’re working with a photographer you trust. She discusses being “turned on,” and you’re reminded again of how much the end result is reliant not just upon the model’s face, body language, and the photographer’s technical skill, but chemistry. It's that attraction that leads to truly transcendent photographs.

+ WATCH PHOTOGRAPHERS

On eating and traveling:
For all the well-intentioned segments that House of Style aired on eating disorders, and on the societal pressure to emulate a certain idea of beauty, there’s something tremendously powerful in hearing Beverly talk about her dysfunctional relationship with food. She doesn’t go into any gory details, but she sounds rueful and tired. Linda admits that she could eat anything she liked until she was 25, at which point she had to actively start watching her intake. But Cindy brings up an interesting point that people rarely consider apart from the weight question: the awkwardness of looking like you’re 25 despite being 16. Cindy says that looking like an adult and being made to look like an adult can be extremely unhealthy — people assume it's ok to offer you drugs or ask you to remove your clothes. There are men coming on to you, and it's not considered gross or unseemly.

Lauren quips that all models should be at least 30 years old before they start, and Naomi chimes in to say that she put a lot of pressure on herself to act mature because her mother had just had a baby when Naomi was 15 and starting out in the business.

Then each of the models discusses how lonely it can be to travel, despite the exciting cities they visit. Christy expresses how much she hates Paris. Naomi agrees that Paris can be brutal, because they don’t care whether you’ve worked 7 days in a row for 20 hours a day; she says she sometimes cracks up and cries because she works until she’s fried. Cindy admits that the money is a great incentive, and that she’s worked on shoots where the photographer and the clothes were awful and led to her doing division in her head to calculate how much money she’s making per second in order to make the experience worthwhile. Lauren then chides everyone who’s complaining about the long hours because being a model is a ridiculous, absurd, obscenely lucky job. It also becomes apparent that the savvier you are as a businesswoman, the better you are at controlling your career. Linda equates their work as a sort of commission taxed on the deals of multibillion-dollar conglomerates and Christy counters that their clients are not stupid and that they wouldn’t be making the sort of money were it not worth the companies’ while. Linda is clearly the one who wanted to be a model the most, and says simply that her job is a dream come true.

+ WATCH PROBLEMS AND PERKS

On ever-evolving standards of beauty:
The models talk about falling in and out of favor with photographers and magazines. They generally understand that this is a matter of course and seem nonplussed, but Naomi is visibly angry when the question of racism comes up. Without naming names, she says that certain magazine editors tell her, “You can’t be on the cover because you were on the cover three years ago and we can’t have another black model on the cover right now.” She also says she’s been told that an alarming number of times, and that she’s determined to change this thinking and behavior. She speaks of her gratitude toward Beverly and Iman for opening the door for younger black models, particularly the August 1974 issue of American Vogue, on which Beverly was the first African-American cover model.

Funnily enough Lauren Hutton played a part in Beverly’s historic Vogue cover. They were in Richard Avedon’s studio: Lauren had been called in for a cover try, saw Beverly and told Polly Mellen (legendary stylist and editor for a number of fashion magazines) to do a cover try with this “beautiful woman.” Lauren was also a pioneer in a manner of speaking: She refused to fix the gap in her teeth, which Cindy always admired (Georgia May Jagger and Lindsey Wixson also have Ms. Hutton to thank), since she was badgered to have her beauty spot removed from her face. Naomi confides that she’ll never remove the scar on her face. Lauren talks about how important their jobs can be to hold up different ideals of beauty, and then agrees that modeling in 10 hairpieces, after 5-hour makeup sessions, with taped boobs can be misleading.

+ WATCH STANDARDS OF BEAUTY

On the fashion industry powers that be:
In this complementary segment, House of Style interviews the people who decide which girl is “it.” We speak to former model, now agent Bethann Hardison; agents Monique Pillard and Ann Veltri; editors Anna Wintour, Gabé Doppelt; and Polly Mellen; and photographer Sante D’Orazio. The industry insiders talk about that moment everything gels. The agent knows when he or she has met someone special, and sends her to meet editors. Those editors impatiently complain about why they’ve never met her before. That’s when the “go see” results in exposure in Mademoiselle (R.I.P.), Elle and Vogue, which in turn creates “miracles” seemingly overnight. American Vogue EIC Anna Wintour cautions viewers not to overestimate what Vogue can do (a notable and rare moment of candor about the limits of her power), explaining that the photographer often launches the career. Sante confirms this, and says there’s a moment behind the lens when you know that a model has never looked more beautiful, and that it’s often that instant or that point-of-view that clinches a model’s ascent. Anna also reminds us that, many times, a photographer can also end a career, noting the moment when Steven Meisel not only invented Naomi, Christy and Linda, but also decided when fashion needed new faces like Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta.

+ WATCH DEVELOPING MODELS

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 24

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Cindy Crawford goes backstage to find out what models think of posing nude in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 31
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 6/9/94
Appearances: Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Calvin Klein, Manon Rhéaume, Kim Gordon, Daisy Von Furth, Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: THE NUDITY DEBATE

Fashion is one thing, but for this segment House Of Style interviews Cindy Crawford, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Niki Taylor on the subject of modeling nothing: in other words, posing nude. Of the models, Niki is the only one who opts out of nudity entirely: “My body’s for my man.” Cindy talks about her decision to do Playboy because it exposes her to a new audience that may not read fashion magazines (but who obviously get Playboy for the articles). Kate talks about the appeal of her Obsession ads, with Calvin Klein chiming in to comment on the sensual nature of perfume and how challenging it can be to sell a feeling. He believes the Obsession ads are compelling not just for the nudity, but for the expression on Kate Moss’s face.

Many of the models agree that your relationship with the photographer — and the resulting level of confidence and comfort — is a huge part of why they’d choose to do nude campaigns or editorial; they appear genuinely confused about the backlash. A nude Allure cover image got the magazine banned in some parts of California, and Helena’s topless campaign for Express Jeans led to some store boycotts. Stephanie Seymour sizes up the experience best when she equates nude photos with getting a tattoo: It’s permanent, and can haunt you forever, so you have to take your time to do it right, make sure you’re protected and ensure that the photos are done in good taste.

DEMOCRATIZING FASHION: KEVIN MANCUSO'S HAIR TIPS

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Summer hairstyles by hairstylist Kevin Mancuso in 1994.
Photo: MTV

To be a teen in the ’90s is to know what it’s like to have a ridiculous hairstyle (or a series of them). It was the era of tiny hair barrettes, over-complicated pigtails, white-girl dreads and French twists. In this how-to hair segment, we have celebrity stylist Kevin Mancuso (trusted stylist to Natalie Portman and Taylor Swift in Central Park, displaying the bemusing summer up-dos that were all the rage in 1994. One liberally employs brightly-colored pipe cleaners. Another involves tiny Björk-style rave twists piled on the crown of the head with ends hanging down to create a fringe. Then there’s the repeated teasing and spraying that felts sections of hair into loose dreadlocks. Finally, there’s a side-parted, gelled, sleek look, with a wee pompadour for a rock-hard coif.

+ WATCH KEVIN MANCUSO ON SUMMER HAIR

POP CULTURE AND FASHION: MANON RHÉAUME, THE FIRST LADY OF HOCKEY, MODELS

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Professional female hockey player Manon Rhéaume in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Applying what the boys of Dirt magazine did in their fashion editorial, here we use clothing to call attention to someone regular House of Style viewers may not be familiar with. Manon Rhéaume was the first lady of hockey. A Quebec native, she started skating at 3, and was the first woman to sign to a professional team in 1992 when she joined the Tampa Bay Lightning. She’s the OG Roller Derby Girl and famously turned down an offer to pose nude in Playboy. She also happens to be beautiful.

Here, Manon models Patricia Field and Antique Boutique on the ice. There are metallic jackets with leggings; tiny denim shorts and shrunken shirts; mini-skirts and pigtails. The infantilizing (or “kinderwhore”) trend that was huge in the ’90s is kinda a buzzkill, since Rhéaume’s strong and talented, and the costume changes are interspersed with interviews with her male teammates, talking about her incredible capability and athleticism. In one portion, Rhéaume’s skating around eating a soft-serve ice cream cone, and it looks sort of porn-y. But then she takes a spill and lands on her ass in the changing room, cracking up riotously over the splat of ice cream on the floor, which makes you fall right back in love with her.

+ WATCH MANON RHÉAUME

STREET STYLE: X-GIRL FASHION SHOW

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Milkfed designer Sofia Coppola and video director Spike Jonze at the X-Girl streetwear fashion show in 1994.
Photo: MTV

X-Girl is the sister line to the X-Large brand, and to commemorate the launch of the collection designed by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and stylist Daisy von Furth, the crew throw a renegade fashion show on Wooster Street, across from Marc Jacobs’s show, produced by indie darlings Sofia Coppola and then-boyfriend Spike Jonze. It is an unspeakably cool gambit: There’s a white sheet spray painted with the logo strung up in the background, and a milling crowd comprised of the likes of Zoe Cassavetes, Donovan Leitch, Francis Ford Coppola, The Beastie Boys, J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., and My So-Called Life Christmas ghost Juliana Hatfield. Once the Marc Jacobs show lets out, Steven Meisel, Anna Sui, Bill Cunningham, Linda Evangelista and Linda’s then-boyfriend actor Kyle MacLachlan join the others. Actress Ione Skye (then married to Adam Horovitz) models, as does downtown “It” girl Chloë Sevigny. The director Mike Mills designed the X-Girl logo, and most of the clothes resemble thrifted sportswear pieces. There are carefully cut T-shirts that are inspired by deadstock football jerseys, tennis shirts, and ringer tees (a.k.a. the “uniform for indie rockers”). The two founding designers and Chloë Sevigny were the fit models, so the clothes run small, but the focus of the abbreviated clothes is not on being conventionally sexy. The A-line silhouette of the mini-skirts and thigh-skimming dresses was intended to be flattering, but Gordon and von Furth’s design philosophy eschewed lycra because it was too clingy. Built by Wendy's Wendy Mullin also worked on several of the first collections. She has a scrapbook on her site that recounts some of those early days, and she reminisces on how Kurt Cobain's death had happened so close to the show that it cast a pall over the excitement in the hours leading up to the event.

It’s interesting to note that a lot of the more mall-ready clothes of the era, from Judy’s to Contempo Casuals, featured a lot of slippery, tight near-100% lycra compositions for their baby dolls. X-Girl was more about architectural construction: The short-sleeved, crew-neck dresses were cut narrow but not tight, in order to graze the body without confining it. It was a nod to the crispness of mod, as was the choice for all the models to wear flats. Von Furth also makes sure to note that their trousers are low-slung and intended for the skater girl who does not have to relegate herself to wearing oversized boy’s pants that are not made for her physique. The stove-pipe leg is carried throughout, but with a low-slung, tighter fit around a waist with a flattering, thick band. Gordon is notably 7 months pregnant with a daughter she says she hopes is a riot grrl.

X-Girl was important because it was cool enough to be exclusive and fetch a hefty, limited-edition price tag, but none of the pieces ran north of $60 — a fact that was important to von Furth, who says that most of her peers buy their clothes at vintage stores. She is an obvious fashion and construction nerd, rattling off the exact years the clothes evoke; her deceptively simple design features contributed significantly to the line’s popularity.

X-Girl stores have closed since the production of this segment, though the label still exists in Japan. A collaboration with Nike Sportswear was only available in Japan; there have also been collaborations with various bag brands. Two years after this show, von Furth is quoted in Vice about her styling work on a recent story in Dirt: “There was this cute kid named Mark Ronson [ed note: !!!!!] and it was about the lost generation of 1978… Alligator shirts and puffy down jackets and Rod Lavers.” Kim Gordon continues to work in fashion as well, and collaborated with Surface to Air in 2012. But this segment in 1994 is a huge moment in terms of the way mainstream fashion is being upstaged by streetwear, and how the power dynamic has shifted from the runway to the cool kids downtown. At one point, Sofia points out, somewhat facetiously, “You too can have a fashion show.” The words are enormously prophetic.

+ WATCH X-GIRL FASHION SHOW

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 31

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Cindy Crawford plays dress-up with comedian Tracey Ullman at The Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 32
Title: Fifth Anniversary Special
Original Airdate: 7/19/94
Includes segments from:

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

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

  • Calvin Klein's Advertising Campaign (Episode 10)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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

  • Todd Oldham Refurbishes On A Budget (Episode 16)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • How To Pluck Your Eyebrows (Episode 18)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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

  • Eve Salvail Model Profile (Episode 22)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Carol Shaw's Makeup Tips (Episode 25)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

  • Cindy Crawford's Italian Vogue Shoot With Max Vadukul (Episode 27)
  • VIDEO | PHOTO

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

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linda evangelista

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

Season: 7 Episode: 38
Title: Best Of Edition (March Model Madness)
Original Airdate: 3/14/95
Includes segments from:

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kate moss jon stewart linda evangelista

MTV correspondent Jon Stewart backstage with models Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 39
Title: New York Fashion Week
Original Airdate: 4/11/95
Appearances: Jon Stewart, Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Calvin Klein, Tatjana Patitz, Simon LeBon, Todd Oldham, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Elle MacPherson

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: JON STEWART GOES BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN

Jon Stewart is his delightful, funny self at New York Fashion Week as he goes backstage at Calvin Klein and attends rehearsal. We’ve accompanied House of Style to several Fashion Weeks in New York by now, so we have a frame of reference for how our new host is being treated. Jon is regarded with suspicion, and we seem to be getting less access than when we’re with Cindy since she often walks in the shows she covers. He interviews Calvin Klein and the designer treats the comedian like an interloper. It's not total side eye with daggers but it's definitely screw-mouth emoji.

Jon, to his credit, stays cracking the jokes, pointing out the loose butane canister among the makeup and commenting on sleeping models backstage. It’s observational humor run amok, and we don’t learn anything new or servicey but it's hilarious. Jon is bowled over, understandably, by Kate Moss, and slinks over to her and Linda Evangelista, who have cracked open a bottle of champagne to toast the end of the week. You can’t help wondering if Cindy called ahead to ask them to be nice to the new guy.

+ WATCH JON STEWART BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN


RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: TATJANA PATITZ

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Model Tatjana Patitz at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Tatjana Patitz talks about how she only uses nondescript duffel bags to cart her Fashion Week stuff because the fancy luggage tends to get stolen. Good tip if you had any designs on becoming a world-traveling supermodel. It’s interesting to see what a model packs since she’ll be wearing other people’s clothes for such a large part of the week, so this is a peek into what Tatjana will be wearing to dinner and parties. There are a number of pretty Tocca dresses, bright bras and Manolo heels.

So far, this episode has given us a renewed sense of how much models loathe working Fashion Week. We’ve heard countless stories about how they'd rather do editorial, how exhausted they are during show weeks and Tatjana even admits that every time she tells herself, "Never again." We shadow Tatjana at Betsey Johnson and Todd Oldham, and then follow her to events with the likes of Molly Ringwald, RuPaul and the ever-present patron saint of the rockstar supermodelizer, Simon LeBon.

+ WATCH TATJANA PATITZ


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HOW TO BUILD A TODD OLDHAM FASHION SHOW

todd oldham

Finale of the Todd Oldham runway show at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Todd, ever the gracious host, opens his Fashion Week show to us with unparalleled access and hospitality. A mere 3 hours before his show, he is energized and not at all pitching a fit or freaking people around him with stressball energies the way some other designers would be. He wears a shrunken polo shirt with a long-sleeved tee underneath it and takes time out to talk to us about the months leading up to this moment. First he created the custom prints and embroideries, then he determined silhouettes, and finally he moved on to fine-tuning. There are typically 3-5 outfits per girl with a fitting for each. He shouts out his show producer Kevin Cryer, and we see the seating chart and have a new appreciation for the logistical nightmare that is a fashion show.

Twenty minutes before the show starts, Todd and Kevin go through the timing of the lights, the music and the order the girls will walk in. A quick visit to makeup with wizard Kevyn Aucoin shows us that the artist is taking brows to the next level by affixing a pair of slick, black vinyl ones on a stunningly young Tyra Banks. During Todd’s commentary about the various things that need to get accomplished, he mentions interviews that are required of him backstage, does one, and then returns to us moments before the first walk.

There’s clapping and last-minute details. Even during the walk, Todd allows our cameras to stay with him. He points out with interesting details and even has a model remove her lumpy undergarments, which he sticks into his back pocket. We’ve talked to Cindy during shows, but a designer’s stakes are different and this is the closest we’ve been to the enormous pressure.

Just minutes later it’s over. The leathers, stripes, metallic brocades, sequins and quilted satins are well-received by no less than Ivana Trump and Susan Sarandon. A broken heel sends Todd into peals of laughter. We watch models as they ask to borrow clothes for various parties, and we have a new appreciation of Todd for his kindness and cool demeanor.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM PUTS ON A FASHION SHOW


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: WHAT IT'S LIKE FOR A BUYER

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'Seventeen' magazine Fashion Editor Marie Moss at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

With Cindy, we’ve sat front row and learned what it’s like to wear the hat of a fashion editor, but the other person who is politically entitled to prominent placement in the seating arrangement is the buyer. Here we talk to Kim Koshiol, buyer at Bloomingdales, and compare her experiences with those of Marie Moss, the senior fashion editor at Seventeen. This is a new target age group for us, and an important one since we're MTV so it’s interesting to note how high-fashion trends are adaptable for the teen fashion world.

When shopping for a department store, the entire collection must be considered for its overall appeal, price and quality. Instead of matching themes for an editorial shoot, the line has to be featured together on the sales floor, so cohesiveness must be considered.

For the fashion editor, trends across several different designers have to gel so that story ideas can be developed throughout the season and honed through additional showroom visits. What the 16 and 17-year-old girl will take away from the runway differs from the response of an older more affluent customer and styles need to assessed based on what will trickle down.

We interview designer Yeohlee Teng, who mentions that the fashion editor and buyer work in tandem. You need the editors in order to get your message out, and you need the buyers to get the clothes out. Longevity has to be considered. Betsey Johnson has good relationships with her buyers, and though her eponymous line recently filed for bankruptcy (much to our dismay) her runway trends have always resonated with The Youngs.

Most of the trends are texturally — or color-driven — basically, nothing that can't be mimicked across price points. For fall, it’s mixed textures, matching matte with shine, leather with suede, and the color brown. Betsey, of course, bucks trends, and makes a major play for hyper-color cowgirl.

+ WATCH FASHION WEEK FOR BUYERS


RISE OF THE SUPERMODELS: FASHION CAFÉ

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Models Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Elle MacPherson at the opening of The Fashion Café in 1995.
Photo: MTV

In 1995, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Elle MacPherson opened a restaurant devoted to fashion in Rockefeller Center. It was during the heyday of Hard Rock, and models were still fetching multimillion-dollar deals, so it’s understandable that naming plates of shrimp after beautiful women and showing runway footage while peddling buffalo wings wasn’t immediately noticed as being a total fiasco.

We know now that the investors were shady, and a couple of years later would be indicted as money launderers, but even in food critic Ruth Reichl’s write up for the New York Times, she nails the major problem with the business model: Fashion imagery makes you feel conflicted about eating middle-of-the-road bar food and Oreo-branded cheesecake. During the launch party, we admire displays of jewelry, iconic dresses and David Copperfield’s hair while he talks about how stoked he is (UM, remember when he and Claudia were engaged for a zillion years?). Something about the intersection of these factors and a ominous quote from music and fashion legend Malcolm McLaren (i.e. “[this is] probably the end of fashion as we know it”) makes for a vivid jumping-the-shark moment for the ’90s Supermodel. The Fashion Café would close three years later, but not before Naomi renounced her involvement by refusing to appear at events or be caught dead in the midtown restaurant. A promotional leather jacket from Fashion Café cost $1,500, whereas the most expensive item on the menu would set you back $18.95.

+ WATCH FASHION CAFÉ


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: BAD ETIQUETTE AT SHOWS

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Model Sibyl Buck gives her opinion on bad fashion show etiquette at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Photo: MTV

This is the turning point in our Fashion Week coverage, as House of Style keeps it all too real regarding the drawbacks of the event. There are definitely some ugly moments in championing beautiful design, and we actually get to hear how loud it is in the press risers and backstage at the show. Wavy-haired, power-drunk producers and security people are rude and flagrantly abusive. People get trampled as spectators exit and enter the spaces. We even hear from Sibyl Buck that she and other models suspect designers of recycling used G-strings, and there’s a moment of Sandra Bernhard losing her mind at Michael Musto on the topic of sexuality. After the mayhem, however, everyone comments on how low-key this season has been compared to others. We get the impression that Fashion Week is like childbirth. Everyone forgets how excruciating it all is the moment it’s over.

+ WATCH FASHION WEEK ETIQUETTE


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TRENDS OF FALL 1995

marc jacobs

Marc Jacobs had the best suits of the Fall 1995 collections.
Photo: MTV

It’s all about the headkerchief in every fabric from cotton to leather. The models at Miu Miu are morose. Marc Jacobs and other designers celebrate the lady and show a great deal of shrewdly cut suits without any of the vestigial influence of the ’80s power suit. There is, of course, the deeply upsetting ubiquity of the most fuggo shoe silhouette from the mid-’90s: the calf-length boot with a kitten heel. Barf. Also, CANKLES.

+ WATCH '95 FALL FASHION SHOWS


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 39

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Model Carolyn Murphy on the runway in 1996.
Photo: MTV

Season: 8 Episode: 46
Title: January Edition
Original Airdate: 1/29/96
Appearances: Carolyn Murphy, Spacehog, Lauren Martinez and Anne Christensen ('Vogue')

MODELS, THE NEXT GENERATION: CAROLYN MURPHY

This shouldn’t be taken as an invective against Carolyn Murphy’s character but this interview kinda bums me out. The model is extremely versatile, and both Joe Zee (then associate fashion editor at W) and makeup artist Laura Mercier mention in voiceovers that a large part of her magic is that you can do anything with her. They praise her look for essentially being a blank canvas. Carolyn Murphy is beautiful, and I like her hair and the throwback Prada spring 1996 suiting that she’s wearing here. I even like her print campaign from the season, as I do all of the ads she appeared in for Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Estee Lauder, Tiffany & Co., Calvin Klein and Max Mara over the years.

The issue is that I don't love her. Her face is hard to read. I believe that she was a tomboy as she recounts in our interview, but I don’t believe her older brother gives her swirlies on her visits home. The expectations for what models say in mainstream broadcast interviews are very much established at this point, and even though you feel Todd's warmth there’s nothing in this interview that feels special or revealing. I miss Naomi in zit cream talking about her future husband.

+ WATCH CAROLYN MURPHY


MUSIC AND FASHION: SHOPPING WITH SPACEHOG

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Brothers Royston and Antony Langdon of Spacehog at Smilin' Nylon in New York City in 1996.
Photo: MTV

Most of what I know about Spacehog comes from Liv Tyler's five year-marriage to bass player and singer Royston Langdon. That said, this segment is charming. There isn’t too much of a service element, since it’s basically about a bunch of English dudes riffing on clothes they’re obviously not keen on wearing for real, but the camaraderie is entertaining, and we get to look at some great New York stores when W. 8th Street was a whole different story, before NYU set on it like a boa constrictor swallowing an egg. Here we have Antony Langdon, Jonny Cragg, the aforementioned Royston and Richard Steel at a now defunct store called Smiling Nylon and The Eye, an aptly named eyeglasses boutique. It is a romp through “very lurid,” gender-bendy, flammable clothing and bug-eyed sunglasses.

+ WATCH SPACEHOGS SHOPPING


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: RAIDING THE 'VOGUE' FASHION CLOSET

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'Vogue' Fashion Editor Anne Christensen and Senior Market Editor Lauren Martinez in the 'Vogue' fashion closet in 1996.
Photo: MTV

OK, this is not the fashion closet of Ugly Betty’s Mode magazine. Nor is this the well-lit, rack-filled paradise in a fantasy Vogue that pays Carrie Bradshaw $5/word. This is the real-life Vogue closet (before such closet tours were everywhere on the internet and demanded that all your sneakers be color-coordinated in tidy cubbies… ahem, GQ) and the tour is conducted by the lovely Anne Christensen (presently the Executive Fashion Director at Glamour) and Lauren Martinez (who, in a particularly fashiony move would go on to marry a Dupont [of the textile magnate Duponts]). The lighting is suboptimal and there are moments when the room is reminiscent of a grandparent’s attic, but we do get a lovely look at the mixed prints, shrunken sweaters, dyed leathers and retro colors that were huge in spring 1996.

Speaking of grandparents’ attics, many of the clothes harken back to the browns, moss greens and burnt oranges of the polyester housedresses and retro kitchen appliances ubiquitous in previous decades, and it’s interesting to see how the runway shows of the year are celebrating clothes that look thrifted and are mismatched. Spring 1996 fashion in a nutshell? The ouroboros of a Vogue editor wearing a beautiful Prada coat that looks like it came from a charity shop advising us on how to thrift a similar look. Where is Todd Oldham when you need him?

+ WATCH THE 'VOGUE' CLOSET


DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TOM FORD KILLS IT AT GUCCI

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Model Linda Evangelista in Gucci by Tom Ford in 1996.
Photo: MTV

As a huge Madonna fan, I was absolutely blown away by how incredible she looked at the 1995 VMAs, when she rocked up to the stage in a satin turquoise Gucci blouse unbuttoned to reveal a sheer bra, and low-slung black trousers, with her blonde hair pouffed and pinned in a half pony. It was fashion magic. Tom Ford had been hired as the Creative Director for Gucci in 1994, and during his first several seasons, he was a beast who seemed to know exactly what type of sexiness we wanted from the then somewhat fusty Italian fashion brand and leather goods label.

Ford came out of the gate hard, channeling the enthusiasm for retro-chic with slightly belled sleeves on micro-mini dresses; sumptuous fabrics like satin and burnout velvet; and wickedly cut trousers. THe knew that a wrapped leather cord that resembled a bolo would look cool and ease us out of our choker rut and injected real glamour back into the house during a time when everyone else was doing quirk. His ads, styled by Carine Roitfeld and shot by Mario Testino, were impeccable, and between 1995 and 1996, the company’s sales increased by 90%.

This runway footage is a continuation of an aesthetic and attitude that Tom Ford mastered during his tenure at the label.

+ WATCH TOM FORD FOR GUCCI


MUSIC AND FASHION: THE FIRST FASHIONABLY LOUD

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Model Shalom Harlow walks in the first Fashionably Loud in 1996.
Photo: MTV

The marriage of music and fashion culminates in the first “Fashionably Loud” that aired in February, 1996. This clip is regrettably brief because of various licensing issues but we thought we’d at least give you a quick glimpse if for no other reason than to see Brandy Norwood walk a runway. It was an-hour long MTV show and for this inaugural event, Chris Isaak hosted. There were models galore with Cindy, Shalom, Amber,Helena, Kate, Linda, Naomi as well as musician-turned-model Debbie Harry. Milla Jovovich our stunning special correspondent pulled double duty to walk and interview audience members.

The designing lineup was just as stellar with collections from Marc Jacobs, Todd Oldham and Anna Sui. The models walked in time to live performances from Coolio, Filter and Elastica (MAJOR girlcrush on Justine Frischmann [ed note: UM, remember when she dated Brett Anderson and founded Suede and then dated Damon Albarn from Blur and inspired a GRIP of music and then co-wrote Arular with her roomie M.I.A? No? Learn about it. Stat.). Totally going to go off and listen to “Connection” right now. That guitar riff is EVERYTHING.

+ WATCH FASHIONABLY LOUD


+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 46

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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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About This Blog

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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Editorial Director
Sophia Rai
Staff Editor
Gaby Wilson
West Coast Editor
Chrissy Mahlmeister
Assistant Editor
Maeve Keirans
Editorial Assistant
Jessie Peterson

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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