House Of Style: Episode 25

cindy crawford onyx

Cindy Crawford goes grocery shopping with Sticky Fingaz, Big DS and Suave of Onyx in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 25

Title: Back To School Edition

Original Airdate: 8/18/93

Appearances: Big DS, Sticky Fingaz and Suavé (Onyx), Todd Oldham, Carol Shaw


Cindy and a Fredro Starr-less Onyx go grocery shopping at a health food store. This is a segment created to educate college kids about nutrition so that they can avoid gaining the 15-20 pounds that we all inevitably gain that first year because class feels entirely optional and eating a chimichanga at 4 AM seemed like a good idea at the time. There are interstitials, with nutritionist Jennifer Stack, advising us against believing claims made on the front of pre-packaged food, and advising viewers to refer to the side panel for concrete nutritional information. Stack also suggests eating dry cereal as a snack, and seeking out pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables. It’s all pretty straightforward and ’90s. So, like, circa when everybody ate carbs.

Cindy and Onyx eat Fig Newtons because they have zero fat (ahem: despite the sugar content). At one point, Sticky Fingaz mentions that the store’s Corn Flakes and Cheerios are fake: They’re the small-box organic kind called “Oatios” that you often see at stores that feature juice bars. On that topic, Cindy drags Suavé, Sticky and the late Big DS to try shots of wheatgrass juice. Despite all the health benefits, the three pass on doing the shot and fake Cindy out, who drinks hers. While I understand that the segment is designed to appeal to college-aged teens by touting a healthy message from their favorite rappers, the piece feels disjointed. These guys could care less about fondling gourds at the health food store. The highlight is when Cindy blots Sticky Fingaz’s T-zone. It’s very stage mom in the best way.


Cindy Crawford Shops With Onyx | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


white shirts chanel

White shirts on the runway at Chanel in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Fall 1993 is just like every other season since time immemorial in that white shirts are a big deal. These white shirts feature hints of the ’60s and ’70s: billowing, off-the-shoulder poet blouses with exaggerated, pointy collars that harken back to polyester leisure suits. French cuffs were also huge, as was layered suiting. This was a season for white shirts with vests; and suit-weight, sleeveless dresses with thick straps worn over them. We run the gamut from tunic-length tops with belts and a harlequin shirt from Dolce & Gabbana that features a massive Elizabethan ruff (on the lovely Kate Moss) from the other collection they design, Complice. We see offerings from Byron Lars, Rifat Ozbek, Atsuro Tayamo, Chanel, and Todd Oldham: They’re accessible and easy to mimic, and the key here is understanding how each shirt is styled and how the different silhouettes and design features are accentuated to create a high-fashion twist on a staple.


White Shirts | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


todd oldham

Designer and 'House of Style' correspondent Todd Oldham makes accessories for less than $1.98 in 1993.
Photo: MTV

It’s both laudable and laughable that House of Style gave Todd a budget of $2.00 to remix a fall wardrobe. It’s sort of like Rachael’s Ray’s “40 Dollars a Day,” in which she barely leaves a tip and never, EVER has a cocktail, because the $1.98 does not include things like whole sweaters, boots, and a hacksaw. What it does include is a slew of Sharpies, embroidery thread, beets (yup, like the kind for borscht) and a great deal of pluck and adorable ingenuity.

This particular “Todd Time” feels like we’re playing a practical joke on him, and to his credit, he creates some fascinating fashion and does lay groundwork for some ideas that you can apply to pretty much any item of clothing. There is a patchwork sweater created out of 5 other sweaters (that this fits the $1.98 budget is totally lol); given how huge patchwork was as a trend in the ’90s, it’s not a bad idea. Cutting up ill-fitting or moth-eaten sweaters in large pieces (the key being to cut an entire chest section and part of an armscye so that you don’t actually have to construct a sweater out of small swatches) and sewing them together in a large, looping, visible stitches creates a sort of frankensweater that you can at the very least guarantee no one else will have. An errant piece with arms makes a giant, floppy beanie that sort of looks like those tie-top Triple 5 Soul hats. A hacksaw applied to a pair of boots creates a rather "bless-its-heart" looking, peep-toe-boot-flip-flop situation, and bisected beets dye pink polka dots onto an old striped button-down. Sharpie squiggles finish off the look, and the whole thing is plunged into salted water for the vegetable dye to set. A backpack gets zipper pulls made out of twigs. For your efforts, the end result evokes a very crafty hobo.


Todd Oldham Accessories | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


carol shaw

Makeup artist Carol Shaw demonstrates back-to-school makeup tips in 1993.
Photo: MTV

The entire back-to-school episode feels very much like a teen magazine except that here we get to see real professionals bringing the lessons to life with moving images. Makeup artist Carol Shaw holds our hand and walks us through a series of small, manageable info nuggets on how to apply different cosmetics. Carol is also the founder of the makeup company Lorac (“Carol” backwards) that’s still popular today, but her tips are wholly product agnostic.

Carol suggests fragrance-free products, and instructs us on how to bend the wand of a new tube of Maybelline Great Lash so that you can pile it on with more accuracy. She also advises us to smile while applying blush so that we know where it goes; she recommends light coverage on foundation because in that case (unlike mascara), less is more. She tells us that moisturizer, cleanser and toner are all you need for a skin-care regimen, as most of us already know. The one thing she teaches that’s a true boon is how to use foundation to lighten lipstick colors, and how to use the back of your hand like a painter’s mixing palette to create the hue you want. This way you can create an entire gradient of browns, peaches, pinks and reds from a single tube. Definitely handy advice for a college kid on a budget.


Carol Shaw Makeup Tips| ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.