House Of Style: Episode 23

duran duran

Cindy Crawford shops at Sears with Simon LeBon of Duran Duran in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Season: 5 Episode: 23

Title: Summer Edition

Original Airdate: 6/13/93

Appearances: Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Spike Jonze, Björk


There are few opportunities to inject humor into fashion, but hauling Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon, via stretch limousine, to Sears for a day of shopping certainly lends itself to some. Cindy and the lads let loose, cherry-picking things they like or find amusing: while Simon hones in on a slinky scarlet shirt and a pair of fitted shorts, Nick opts for the ridiculous, picking up an entire rack of clip-on ties to snap onto a T-shirt-and-cotton-trousers combo, making for one of the more expensive ensembles of the day (since each tie costs ten bucks a pop). The three then waltz into the ladies’ department, where Simon and Nick try on white, tiered, lacy, tea-length dresses—with beautiful results. Then, all three climb into “Zip And Dash” frocks—patterned, decidedly flammable-looking house dresses, with enormous frilly white contrast collars, which make the perfect garment for the haus frau on-the-go. The boys dress Cindy up in a mesh cropped baby tee, take a moment to read the Sears catalogue and then prance off into their sleek black car, loaded with Sears bags that I hope were just props, and not filled with thirty-odd clip-on ties that will likely go to waste. It’s a bit of fun and all around excellent television with zero service elements.


Cindy Crawford And Duran Duran | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


dirt magazine

Mark Lewman, Spike Jonze and Andy Jenkins of 'Dirt' magazine in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Launched as a preview issue in September 1991 and packaged as the brother-publication to Sassy magazine, Dirt was a guy’s magazine that featured an editorial and art staff of people who cut their teeth at the Beastie Boys’ magazine, Grand Royal. Spike Jonze, who directed the Beasties’ "Sabotage” video and has since directed countless music videos and an Oscar-winning feature-length film (2002’s Adaptation), was Dirt’s photographer. In this segment, we take a tour of an unorthodox approach to the fashion editorial. This is nothing like being on-set at American Vogue, with couture and supermodels; instead, we find ourselves in a “fashion van” containing racks of sportswear. Spike quips that this is the first time they knew to bring hangers, and that they usually just tote a box of clothes. The cavalier attitude towards fashion is unsurprising, but the Dirt guys are keenly focused on what they’re trying to achieve for their very specific readership. Their fashion pages typically include an introduction to a new sport, like freestyle bike riders somersaulting over a ramp with a sidebar of fashion credits. Fashion is the advertising Trojan horse so that the Dirt staffers can shed light on “guys who deserve some attention”; their pulls of striped tees, shorts and button-down shirts look casual, but the care and attention paid to slouching socks just so speaks to an understanding of how to style clothes in original ways that signal what type of subculture their readers belong to. We tag along on a story shot in a synagogue, all about “well-dressed ninjas” and “karate shopping,” and want to date every single guy on set. Everyone is adorable.


Dirt Magazine | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


grateful dead

Hippie style of The Grateful Dead fans at a concert in 1993.
Photo: MTV

In 1992 and 1993, high fashion borrowed multiple elements from the hippie. But haute couture “flower power” and thousand-dollar clogs are light-years away from the modern-day hippies and deadheads we interview here. For this segment, we tailgate with the tie-dye-wearing, Birkenstock-enamored fans of The Grateful Dead for a show at Giants Stadium in the summer of 1993. There are legions of people wearing pale shredded jean shorts, flannels, maxi skirts and crystals; they’re making vats of chili, selling feathered dreamcatchers, wringing out freshly dyed tees or dancing. They’ve flooded the parking lot with their boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters and moms in tow, and tout the inclusive philosophy behind their marauding lifestyle. To wit: “This is a beautiful place, and not because we’re wearing funny clothes but because we love each other.” The quintessential outfit is all about comfort—light cotton is heavily featured, with layers that can be removed according to changes in climate, and it’s wonderful that House of Style talked to a crew of people whose style had been appropriated and heavily remixed by the fashion elite. Especially since they’re all such good-natured nerds and outcasts, and we do not once make fun of them. However difficult that might have been.


Hippie Style | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style



Singer Björk talks self-expression and style in 1993.
Photo: MTV

Can you believe there was a time when Björk had yet to release her gorgeous solo album, Debut? That there was ever a world before "Human Behaviour" and "Venus as a Boy" and "Violently Happy"? Insane. In this segment we cut to a quick montage of the impish Icelandic musician wearing everything from skintight metallic minidresses to enormous Princess Leia buns. Her brows are characteristically unkempt, and she speaks in her now famous lilting, breathy tones. We couldn’t clear the video because of the music, but we find Björk sitting on a white bed against a black wall at the Paramount Hotel in New York City. Without ever looking at the camera, Björk plays with a single red rose through four costume changes. There is a long-sleeved mohair, maxi dress; a patchwork tweed skirt with gigantic wood-heeled 8-hole black boots; a short A-line dress made of white fluff; and a long-sleeved, V-neck minidress made of a blue-and-white patterned blanket. Björk looks like a kid holed up in her room, and frequently hugs a pillow when she’s saying something particularly daring, like how those who are too reliant on others for fashion are losers.

On expressing herself through style:

“I make music. That’s quite a big-time way of expressing yourself. I think that even a more important way of expressing yourself is the way you dress. I can’t really analyze why I wear the clothes I wear. It’s hard to explain things, you just like it. You just like it, like it, like it.”

On the blanket dress:

“I found this blanket in a market and I really liked it and I kind of wanted to wear it. So I kind of changed it into a dress, I guess.”

On the white furry shift dress:

“I like it. I’m not sure why it’s like it is. I like white furry things. Right now I’m very much into polar bears. And I seem to have created an obsession with white lately. You know, I think maybe it’s something to do with because it’s like a blank page, you know? It’s like a fresh start.”

On making your own clothes:

“If you know what you want and you don’t go out and make it yourself, you’re basically a loser, you know? You shouldn’t rely too much on other people.”


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