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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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cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford and 'Harper's Bazaar' Fashion Editor Evyan Metzner at Paris Fashion Week in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 27
Title: Paris Edition
Original Airdate: 11/24/93
Appearances: Helena Christensen, Richard Gere, Christian LaCroix, Amber Valletta, John Galliano, Max Vadukul

DEMISTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: CINDY BECOMES AN EDITOR

If you ever wanted to see Cindy in a pantsuit, this would be the time. In this segment, Cindy attends Paris Fashion Week with Evyan Metzner, fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. For the first show, Cindy shadows Evyan — who, during a typical fashion week, will attend 8-10 shows a day. Her schedule is an intricate grid that begins at 8:30 AM and often doesn’t end until 11 at night. Having previously learned what a typical fashion show at Paris costs and what it’s like backstage, this time we learn about the specific responsibilities of a fashion editor.

First of all, we learn all about the front row, and the unwritten politics of who gets to sit where. Remember, this too is way before the advent of the internet where the placement politics weren't common knowledge. We learn that well-connected editors, and buyers with large, important accounts, get to sit in front, along with celebrities and the models’ rock star husbands. Then, there’s the issue of a sketchbook. Long before the Instagram feeding frenzy and live-tweeted descriptions from every single attendee, you had to draw quick outlines so that you could remember trends as they developed over the week. A great example here is a shirt cropped so short that it reveals lower-boob cleavage (or “neathage,” as some of us call it). Cindy and Evyan go backstage to congratulate Christian Lacroix and conduct a quick interview.

For her second stint as fashion editor, Cindy goes solo, and we’re invited into her Parisian hotel bathroom to watch her get ready. It is here that we learn two important things: that there’s a travel blow dryer attachment that’s like one of those old-fashioned dryers that housewives from the ’50s would sit under to set their hair; and what Richard Gere looks like in a hotel robe. At one point, he even holds a boom mic. Cindy gets into another trouser suit, a choker, and lace-up boots, and this time Cindy mentions having felt a pang of envy at being on the other side of the runway, because Helena looked so beautiful walking down it.

+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AS AN EDITOR

MODELS, THE NEXT GENERATION: AMBER VALLETTA

Amber Valletta

Model Amber Valletta in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Kate Moss wasn’t the only model who signaled the arrival of a new era of beauty. Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta were a couple of the other “New Girls” anointed by the rainmaking photographers and editors. There was definitely a year in my childhood when Amber or Shalom or Amber and Shalom dominated most of the American Vogue covers. There’s a regal, expensive quality about Amber, like she was born in Monaco and attended regattas and races as a small child while learning 11 languages. Despite her bearing, Amber started out in Tulsa, Oklahoma at age 15; four years from the time of this interview. She mentions that she had to take a class when she started out, and that her walk was awful and ungainly. She was considered too awkward and too athletic in her modeling class, but it’s her boyish physique and innocent, wide-set eyes that made her an important face in the dreamy, grunge movement typified by Kate Moss.

Amber mentions being a peaceful person who prioritizes happiness; her humility doesn’t seem insincere, but it does seem somewhat practiced. Amber reads slightly media-trained in a way that neither the supermodels nor Kate Moss displayed, which also reminds us that the job of being a model has changed. This feels like the beginning of the trend when all models parroted the party line of having been an “ugly duckling” or a “tomboy” as a part of their origin mythology. This pre-packaged story and the distortion of the paparazzi lens would signal the beginning of the end of the candid interviews we’d previously enjoyed from the personalities involved in the modeling industry. At this point, MTV had ushered in the era of reality television with the first two seasons of The Real World. Non-actors became more aware of how they were being portrayed on camera and expected to have to talk about themselves. Unlike Cindy, for whom "having a voice" was a new experience, Amber anticipates interviews as part of the job of being a model and celebrity. You can feel this shift in the level of preparedness. Sadly, with this new type of access, we'd lose a lot of the authenticity. Basically, this person saying she's "peaceful" is the sound of a million publicists cashing checks.

+ WATCH AMBER VALLETTA

DEMISTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TODD OLDHAM INTERVIEWS ANDRE WALKER AND JOHN GALLIANO

todd oldham john galliano

'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham interviews designer John Galliano in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Todd hits Paris too, which blessedly means designer-on-designer interviews—a format, and a specific kind of chemistry, that we’ve yet to enjoy in the show. First off is Andre Walker, a downtown New York darling who held his first show at age 15 in a Brooklyn nightclub called Oasis. He worked with Willi Smith (the designer who famously created the gown Mary Jane Watson wore to marry Peter Parker in the 1987 Spiderman comic) after dropping out of high school. His fall 1993 showcase, entitled “Someone I’m In Love With Then,” is a mixture of surprisingly wearable cotton sportswear with off-kilter cuts and details.

The gathered and ballooned skirts are gorgeously cut, and despite zany stunts — like a dress called the “Nude Housewife,” with a back cut so low that it threatens to expose butt crack (and considering the bum cleavage made famous by Alexander McQueen, this is all excellent territory) — there’s an unmistakable calculation in the execution. Everything falls exactly as the designer intended. Andre says things like, “I knew [The Nude Housewife dress] was gross, but I had to take that risk. Tomorrow is gonna be grosser than today. ‘Go grosser’ is the motto of the season.” He also describes the silhouettes as “corny,” but the deliberately vague and distracting language does nothing to detract from the clothes or the fact that his flannel shirt is actually cut precisely to show an empire waist only from certain angles. Todd is smitten. Andre has since created a magazine called This Is What It Made Us Think About that’s sold exclusively in select boutiques. The first issue sold for $375. Another fashion tidbit that’s just as priceless? Andre worked closely with Marc Jacobs for a decade, until Marc fired him. Via text message. The two remain friends.

Despite the recent hullabaloo surrounding Galliano’s drunken rants and his subsequent displacement at Dior, in 1993, the designer was at the absolute peak of his career. There’s an elaborate fashion story behind this collection that follows an 1860s princess named Lucretia, who is banished while wearing enormous skirts and ringlet pigtails and shirts that are falling to pieces. She then somehow ends up in the Scottish highlands wearing jaunty, meticulously shrunken hats and hiked-up skirts because she’s met the “dotty duke” and “dotty duchess,” who ply her with gambling and gin. Of course, Lucretia then meets her prince and marries him, but this is like watching a porn with a backstory because the narrative does nothing other than to create a vehicle for the breathtaking breadth and depth of Galliano’s vision and talent.

Todd remarks how difficult it is to cut and sew pieces on the bias as Galliano does, and as difficult as it is to create volume for the 1860s period and then to hike it all up for the highlands, the real nut is how John Galliano creates everything at an angle. His slinky, silky, weightless dresses for the wedding scene are a miracle. And that he makes a see-through panel of scalloped edges in tissue-thin fabric, with pieces cut and sewn sideways to move and hug the topography of the female form, is unparalleled. Pun intended.

+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM WITH ANDRE WALKER AND JOHN GALLIANO

DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: CINDY’S ITALIAN 'VOGUE' SHOOT WITH MAX VADUKUL

cindy crawford

Photographer Max Vadukul shoots Cindy Crawford for Italian 'Vogue' in 1993.
Photo: MTV

This could have been just another segment where we trail Cindy to the set of a magazine shoot, but this is about getting to see Max Vadukul’s unusual technique. Despite having worked multiple times with Max, the esteemed former staff photographer for The New Yorker, Cindy seems shy here. She clearly doesn’t know what to expect, and the editorial has Cindy completely stripped down, with unfussy, flattened hair and minimal makeup, so she seems particularly exposed.

Max — who is also known for shooting black-and-white Yohji Yamamoto ad campaigns — has a tiny mustache, circular glasses and a calm disposition. He takes complete advantage of Cindy’s rare vulnerability by asking her a series of disquieting questions to evoke new expressions. He asks how she’d feel if she discovered her husband in bed with another woman. He then asks her to leap and to show him her feet while closing way in to ask how she’d feel if she found out she was having triplets. There’s constant movement and you can tell that Cindy doesn’t quite know what she looks like. It’s refreshing to see her have to work for it. Because the questions and emotions require her to act, we see a new self-consciousness from our now familiar House of Style host, and a new facet of what it’s like on the set of this particular photographer’s shoot.

+ WATCH MAX VADUKUL AND CINDY CRAWFORD

+ CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM EPISODE 27

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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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