Cindy Crawford plays dress-up with comedian Tracey Ullman at The Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1990.
Season: 2 Episode: 5
Title: Fall '90
Original Airdate: 8/18/90
Appearances: Tracey Ullman, Lucie de la Falaise
DEMYSTIFYING FASHION: TRACEY ULLMAN AND CINDY CRAWFORD PLAY DRESS UP
Does everybody know who Tracey Ullman is? It really helps to be completely smitten with her before you watch this segment, because it’s a lovefest. OK, quick sidebar for those who aren't up on her: Tracey Ullman is a British comedian best known for her Fox variety show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which ran from 1987-1990 and was hysterical. Most notably, it’s where The Simpsons were born (they ran over 40 one-minute shorts), which is why a lot of the characters are voiced by “Ullman” actors like Dan Castellaneta playing Homer and Krusty. Paula Abdul was the choreographer for the show. Speaking of music and random facts, Tracey was also a singer signed to the punk label Stiff Records (which also reps Elvis Costello). In 2000, Tracey would launch a fashion shopping site purpleskirt.com (now defunct), and host a show about style for Oxygen in 2001.
Back to the segment.
This is one of my favorite moments with Cindy Crawford as host. Cindy and Tracey are at the Plaza Hotel, because the suites had just been redecorated by Ivana Trump (could that sentence BE more '90s??!!). It’s such a classic Eloise situation: Cindy and Tracey are clowning around, dancing on table tops and jumping on chaises with their shoes on. It’s the first time you get a real appreciation for Cindy’s versatility and intuition for improv--she just goes for it. At one point they Vogue. Poorly. It's fantastic.
The ladies take turns modeling Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Todd Oldham, Ronaldus Shamask and Moschino. It’s such a good universe crossover moment to see two women, successful in different industries, enjoying each other’s company. Plus, the dynamic is awesome since Tracey and Cindy play off each other beautifully. Cindy even does a quick impression of Ivana Trump in front of the Emmy award-winning actress, which is admirably ballsy. It’s so likable and cute. Cindy plays a solid straight man since Tracey’s doing this massive, hammy, room-filling schtick. And even though Cindy gets her hair done (in a French twist obviously, this is the ’90s) and struts like an expert, this is the moment she really comes into her own as a TV host. By the end they’re just pitching fake tantrums about the clothes and laughing at each other. A decade later, Cindy appeared on Tracey’s style show, massively pregnant, and they had a ball there, too.
+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AND TRACEY ULLMAN
RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: LUCIE DE LA FALAISE
Model Lucie de la Falaise in 1990.
Lucie de la Falaise might not be as immediately recognizable as a Naomi Campbell, but she was the face of Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics and is worth knowing for a slew of fashion trivia reasons. First of all, her aunt, the late Loulou de la Falaise, was a muse and collaborator for Saint Laurent, the brilliant bespectacled French couture designer, a generation before. Loulou’s mother Maxime was also a model and a food writer. Lucie, who was discovered by Andre Leon Talley, was one of the last brides (for those who don’t know, a wedding dress was often the finale for couture shows) for YSL in F/W 1998 right before the designer retired.
Lucie’s wide-set eyes and small, regal features made for an aloof countenance that was the perfect sort of posh for Chloé and Davidoff campaigns in the early '90s; she has also worked with Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber. Her brother, Daniel de la Falaise, was also a model, and appeared in Madonna’s book Sex. (Daniel is smoking hot. Seriously, go Google his name alongside Madonna immediately.) Funnily enough, in this interview Lucie mentions that she’d just seen the Rolling Stones in concert and is “quite keen on them at the moment,” which is gloriously portentous, considering that she’d go on to marry Keith Richards' son, Marlon Richards, after meeting him on a blind date. Marlon and Lucie have three kids; their daughter was a bridesmaid at Kate Moss’s 2011 wedding. In 2011, Lucie briefly returned to modeling for Giambattista Valli for Moncler, and in a Vanity Fair editorial, with Stefano Pilati, for YSL. Full circle, people.