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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


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.


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.



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.



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.



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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford interviews photographer Gilles Bensimon at a photo shoot for 'Elle' magazine in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Season: 7 Episode: 37
Title: Romance Edition
Original Airdate: 2/14/95
Appearances: Gilles Bensimon, Bridget Hall, Morris Lapidus, Zoe Cassavetes, Adam Horovitz, Luscious Jackson, Toure


By now, Cindy is a pro journo. While interviewing Bridget Hall, our host totally calls the young model out on being a hypocrite for telling girls to stay in school, since Bridget dropped out to make money. That's when things get real and they both bro down to talk about how grueling the job is.

With former Elle Magazine creative director and current America's Next Top Model photographer, Gilles Bensimon, Cindy is similarly about her business. She asks him how much control he exerts on set. He bristles at "control," explaining that his shoots are a collaborative experience and a group effort. Gilles maps out all of the looks beforehand, hiring a fit model to try on the outfits, which he then sketches to figure out if he likes the ensemble or not. This is an interesting contrast to the way Stephen Sprouse, Ellen Von Unwerth and Helmut Newton shoot.

Cindy has shot with Gilles for Elle covers before, and despite Gilles’s self-consciousness around our cameras, Cindy remarks that Gilles genuinely loves women. He looks slightly offended, as if she’s just called him pervy, but he's quickly disarmed. It’s nice to see Cindy so relaxed. Her hair is soft, she’s wearing a pastel cashmere tee with jeans, and she seems comfortable in her role as reporter. Gilles was formerly married to Elle MacPherson, but reality TV viewers may recognize him as the ex-husband to Kelly Killoren of The Real Housewives of New York City.



todd oldham morris lapidus

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham interviews architect Morris Lapidus in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Todd continues to interview people who inspire him creatively. For this segment, he speaks to architect Morris Lapidus about his contributions to the South Beach skyline of Miami Beach. Morris, who studied architecture at Columbia, designed the Le Fountainbleu and the Eden Roc. His aesthetic has been called modern and post-modern, but for our purposes, that means swooping, curved lines, whimsical details and an exacting sense of humor. With Fountainbleu, he went “hog wild,” creating a giant curve to eschew the notion that buildings had to be rectangular.

Morris and Todd walk around Morris’s properties to pluck out details — like the bowtie pattern on floor tiles (a hat tip to Morris’s sartorial particularities), and how he hates certain patches of wallpaper for covering what was previously a beautiful mural. We already know how interior design influences Todd’s fashion designs, so it makes sense that Todd would want to talk to creators from this disciplines. Morris, who passed away in 2001, was a riot. He says he got rid of his generation's critics by outliving them, and cuts his own interview by telling us to stop rolling.



adam horovitz

Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys goes Valentine's Day shopping for his wife Ione Skye in 1995.
Photo: MTV

As a kid, I thought it was awesome that Adam Horovitz was married to actress Ione Skye. Not only was it an example of two cultural worlds colliding (music and acting), it was awesome that two cool people in large cities felt compelled to marry so young. I thought it was SO romantic (less so now, ahem...). Ione, who you’ll also recognize as a model in the X-Girl show, seems chill, and the fact that Adam is unworried about what to get her for Valentine’s Day in this clip with Zoe Cassavetes is sort of fantastic. Everyone is being normal and relatable.

Zoe, at this point of the series, is our “youth culture correspondent,” and her IRL friendship with Adam makes a trip to Frederick’s of Hollywood for lingerie infinitely less awkward or annoyingly sexxxy. A sheer white marabou-feather-trimmed bed jacket and a black, vinyl trench coat (that you can totally tell Zoe's going to go back for) are considered too racy, so they swan off to a candy store.

There will be no heart-shaped Russell Stover box for Ione. Instead, they go to a bulk candy joint and go nuts with scoopfuls of jelly beans, chocolates, a Ring pop and an Astro pop. Then there’s a quick stop into a photo printing store, where Adam gets an I Dream Of Jeannie-themed picture of himself on a mirror, and his shopping is complete. The experience is low-fi and there's nothing that Adam bought that any college or high school kid couldn’t afford. It's too bad Ione bought him a diamond-encrusted Ducati Desmosedici RR superbike! JK. She didn't do that. Especially since he sold his gold helmet to buy her the mirror.



luscious jackson

Luscious Jackson and Theo Kogan of the Lunachicks at Perfidia's Hair World in New York City in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Luscious Jackson was an all-female group signed to the Beasties’ label Grand Royal. You may remember “Naked Eye,” the first single from their second album, Fever In Fever Out. Or “Here,” on the Clueless soundtrack. They disbanded only to reunite in 2011. This segment was filmed a full two years before they would hit it big in the Billboard charts in 1997, and it’s cool to see the ladies in their hometown of New York, and finding out what stores they frequent.

It’s awesome to get to see the original Perfidia’s Hair World in Patricia Field’s former location on 8th Street. The musicians are outfitted with enormous, stylized pieces: a look for a retro stewardess, rainbow layers, Wynonna Judd hair. You may recognize the aplomb and potential for humor when you realize that Perfidia of Perfidia’s Hair World was also responsible for Jerri Blank’s hair on the Amy Sedaris TV show Strangers With Candy. So classic.

We then run into the incomparable Theo Kogan of Lunachicks (and now Theo and The Skyscrapers), who looks sensational in massive strappy platform heels and socks, a tiny black and white dress, enormous red hair, and a head band that features wire bunny ears that predates Marc Jacobs’s bunny ears for Louis Vuitton, which Madonna famously wore at the 2009 Met Gala.

The group then goes thrift shopping at Housing Works, a charity shop that benefits homeless people in New York living with HIV and AIDS. The girls buy cardigans and puffy ski jackets that express their love of orange and beige. Then it’s a surprising trip to Brooks Brothers, where they pick up mixed-pattern shirts and clashing, hyper-preppy argyle sweaters, because menswear lasts longer and is often cheaper than comparable ladies’ clothes. It’s a lesson in perspective; counter-culture clothing can sometimes just be mainstream stuff flipped on its head.




Massage and aromatherapy with TV personality and novelist Touré in 1995.
Photo: MTV

This is a Valentine’s Day themed package on essential oils, but it’s also a reminder of how aromatherapy dominated the marketplace in the mid-‘90s. There wasn’t a gift shop in the world that didn’t sell a diffuser, and we all suddenly knew about the effects of sandalwood and what ylang ylang was. Admittedly, part of the reason why I wanted to share this footage is that it includes a very young Touré.

The Rolling Stone contributor, novelist and TV pop culture pundit learns about acupressure and reflexology from the comfort of a bathrobe and speaks in soothing tones as he is massaged in the cover of candlelight. It’s all very ’90s, back when we thought alternative therapies and not standing desks would SAVE OUR LIVES.



sofia coppola

Sofia Coppola at the fashion show for her clothing line Milkfed in 1995.
Photo: MTV

Did you know that Milkfed was still being sold in Japan? No idea what the hell a Milkfed even is? Back in 1994, before she was an Oscar-winning director, Sofia launched a clothing brand. She started out with logo and graphic tees (you'll see a SUPER early version of the Che Geuvara joint in our footage) and I recall being especially fond of their tanks because there were super flattering at the arm and didn't give you armpit fat even if you were wearing the wrong bra.

Milkfed also made cut-and-sew items like A-line minis and simple pinafores and even if Sofia talks about her designing shortcomings (she does NOT consider herself a designer), this ex-Chanel intern definitely knows her audience. All of her clothes were affordable without being mainstream, like, the GAP and she simply made clothes that she and her friends liked that couldn't be found in stores. Boom.



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MTV Style follows how people express themselves through fashion and beauty, from our favorite pop culture icons to you, the reader. We cover the fun, loud side of the industry with news, trends, interviews, videos, and more — MTV Style is fashion at full volume.

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Editorial Director
Sophia Rai
Staff Editor
Gaby Wilson
West Coast Editor
Chrissy Mahlmeister
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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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