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kate moss

Model Kate Moss in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 19
Title: Winter Edition
Original Airdate: 1/21/93
Appearances: Kate Moss, Todd Oldham

RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: KATE MOSS

Kate Moss’s arrival on the scene marks the fashion industry’s response to the grunge movement that dominated youth culture and music at the time. The doe-eyed British waif was notable not only because she was antithetical to the buxom, bodacious, big-haired glamour of the supermodels who came before, but because she stood at just 5’6”—a height that was widely considered undesirable in her line of work. The notable thing about Kate (and, of course, the passage of time and her relevance throughout the next decades would prove as much) is that she did not pave the way for a generation of shorter girls: Kate Moss was the exception and an outlier. Another effect of her stature within the industry is that she couldn’t typically be shot for campaigns and fashion editorial flanked by a pack of other girls. In any iconic “here are all the supermodels” round-up shot by Steven Meisel or the like, Moss would look odd, and was therefore frequently shot by herself, which only contributed to her air of vulnerability and her persona as a loner. The CK One group shot ads are obviously the exception, though it should be considered how stark the campaign is and how much the other models featured therein are similarly waifish and un-modelly.

Some argue that Kate Moss does not qualify as a supermodel (and the debate as to who coined the phrase and whether it stretches back far enough to include Lauren Hutton, or extends forward to members of later generations, like Gisele Bündchen still rages) but if you define the term based on money earned, status achieved, and impact, Kate absolutely qualifies. Her ascension represents a critical turning point and redefined ’90s beauty. She is the line between grunge and glamour. In this introductory segment, Kate smiles goofily, talks about how her shoulders are her best feature and how she didn’t get to hang out with Mark Wahlberg during the CK jeans shoot because his "posse" was there the entire time. She is also one of the few fledgling models who does not seem intimidated by any other models, established or otherwise.

+ WATCH KATE MOSS

DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: TODD OLDHAM TAKES US THRIFT SHOPPING

todd oldham thrift store

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham goes thrift store shopping in 1993.
Photo: MTV

As with the furniture in the earlier installment, Todd’s attitude is irreverent and inventive toward the clothes he thinks teens should be wearing. It’s reassuring once again that a world-renowned designer is giving kids the greenlight to shun brands and expensive gear; at one point, Todd even says that thrift-store finds could be considered analogous to couture because time has guaranteed that they’re one-of-a-kind. Todd suggests starting in the department that is your favorite, and looking for signs like empty hangers to see what others have “stashed” on the floor directly underneath. For the ladies, he suggests shopping in the men’s and little boys’ department and advises dudes to “paper bag” their pants and opt for a much larger waist size than they’d typically wear. A quick tutorial on “how to layer,” and why you shouldn’t be afraid to buy suits and discard the undesirable top or bottom ends the segment—but not before Todd instructs us to do our own alterations: Nobody cares if you screw up your own inexpensive stuff.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM GOES THRIFT SHOPPING

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: GRUNGE ON THE RUNWAY

runway chanel

Highlights from the Spring 1993 runway shows.
Photo: MTV

The ’70s look is still going strong, with platforms, wedges, berets, crochet dusters, bell bottoms and hot pants. But there's a notable migration into grunge with beanies, loose jackets, Dr. Martens boots, teeny-tiny eyebrows and stripes aplenty. There is slouchy sleepwear at Perry Ellis by Marc Jacobs (SUCH A PIVOTAL COLLECTION!!!), straggly lank hair at Calvin Klein. Millinery is all over the place from gigantic velvet “Blossom” hats to a straw pith helmet contraption at Byron Lars that is highly evocative of the black “Darth Vader” visor shown for 2012 by Nicolas Ghesqueire for Balenciaga that retailed for a cool $3,000. Details, people, details.

+ WATCH SPRING '93 RUNWAY WRAP-UP

+ WATCH MODELS RELAX BACKSTAGE

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 19

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cindy crawford

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

kevin mancuso

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

manon rheaume

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

sofia coppola spike jonze

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

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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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

tatjana patitz

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

seventeen magazine

'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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carolyn murphy

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

tom ford gucci

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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calvin klein

Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries in designer Calvin Klein's "Musicians in Dirty Denim" campaign.
Photo: MTV

Season: 11 Episode: 70
Title: 10 Year Anniversary Special
Original Airdate: 11/23/99
Appearances: Moby, Dolores O'Riordan (the Cranberries), Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Donatella Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Helmut Lang

MUSIC AND FASHION: MOBY MODELS FOR CALVIN KLEIN

Calvin Klein’s a master when it comes to branding. He just is. In another canny marketing move, the designer enlists musicians ranging from Left Eye (R.I.P.) to Shakira and Moby to David Silveria of Korn to be his models for an upcoming denim campaign shot by Steven Klein. In this segment, we go on set with Moby, David and Dolores O’Riordan (from the Cranberries) for their shoots. The denim is dirtied up this season, and to complement the look, the backdrop is dark, with the lighting creating a bluish cocoon of shadows.

Creating portraits that capture the mood of the collection without compromising each artist’s image is tricky. Styling, makeup and hair are all considered with special care so as to not alienate their fans.

+ WATCH CALVIN KLEIN'S DENIM CAMPAIGN SHOOT

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: THE BEST OF SPRING 2000

marc jacobs

Designer Marc Jacobs in 1999.
Photo: MTV

Remember Y2K? The hoopla surrounding the turn of the millennium was all anything anyone talked about at the time, and here we look to the runways for the first collections of 2000 to see if anything’s changed. It's sort of like staring into the mirror on your birthday to check if you’ve grown or gotten more good-looking overnight. We look to Marc Jacobs for a new take on cotton. “I sort of felt going into the year 2000,” he says. “It was a sure thing [to] play with the notion of what it feels like to wear jeans and a T-shirt. That just always seems contemporary.” The denim is offered in a slightly shiny, trouser-cut silhouette that dominated the early part of the aughts, as well as knee-length, flat-front shorts. The tees are offered in silhouettes ranging from stylized embroidered white peasant blouses to sequined tube tops.

Anna Sui takes the peasant look further, maintaining a tight thematic focus to keep it from devolving into role-playing. “I’ve really been celebrating handicrafts,” she says. “I was trying to make it casual enough that you could walk down the street without people thinking you came out of a costume epic.” Her ensembles feature embroidery, intricate lace and beadwork. A romantic flourish is preserved in soft, flowing silhouettes and relaxed, tissue-thin ruffles.

Oscar de la Renta is as glamorous this season as you’d expect. He offers massive, reflective paillettes in soft colors. Embroidery is featured here too, but the interesting thing is that even he opted for some casual notes, like the evening two-piece that was widely beloved by starlets. You’ll recall the shiny balloon skirts (some going so far as to feature pockets) that were paired with scoop-neck tees and tanks, for an unfussy but pulled-together look. (Sharon Stone famously wore a full skirt with a GAP tee, as you may recall.) He also flips the script on denim, to show blue twill as a luxury item.

At John Bartlett, it’s all about the “Guerilla Ballerina”: the interplay between a militaristic palette, utilitarian trousers and sheer, pale, blouses and shells. And, of course, there’s also summerweight leather. Helmut Lang’s signature erogenous zone has to be the sternum, and this season we see plunging, asymmetrical necklines in elegant fabrics. It’s crispness galore, with delicate knits and a fascinating retooling of eveningwear by way of a sweatshirt and sweatpant combo rendered in the most ethereal fabric. With Yeohlee, it’s all about the absence of black, and a thorough study of sheen, with pearlescent textiles creating texture in thick strapped tanks and cropped jackets. A fresh-faced Michael Kors did then what he’s always done best: a collection featuring wrap skirts, bold color and a motif he dubs “Palm Bitch.” It’s classic Kors all the way: resort wear that looks unmistakably American.

Colors fly at Versace. Donatella hyper-saturates trousers, bandeaus and crop tops while masterfully injecting refreshing jolts of white. Declaring white the new black, she says it's the color (or lack of color) for the new rock 'n roll class.

+ WATCH FIRST COLLECTIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 70

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Featured Comment

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

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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