House Of Style: Episode 35

sheryl crow cindy crawford

Cindy Crawford goes shoe shopping with singer Sheryl Crow in 1994.
Photo: MTV

Season: 6 Episode: 35

Title: Winter Edition

Original Airdate: 11/9/94

Appearances: Sheryl Crow, Nadja Auermann, Kevyn Aucoin


Warning: This clip is filled with so much stellar mid-’90s John Fluevog shoe porn that it's nuts. It may or may nor compel you to fall into an eBay time-suck scouring for their throwbacks so be careful. Anyway, this segment is exactly what it sounds like: Cindy and Sheryl Crow hit up a bunch of New York shoe stores. What makes it interesting is that the two ladies are extra comfortable around each other, because they’ve entered into this tacit, mutual acknowledgement that they’re both a little square.

In the old Otto Tootsi Plohound shoe boutique, Sheryl longingly points at a pair of knee-high silver boots with shoelace eyelets that are modeled after ice-skate hooks, and remarks that someone like Kim Gordon would look great in them, but that she couldn’t pull them off. Cindy insists that Sheryl try them on, and even shares a boot-lacing shortcut. Sheryl mentions that she has corns on her toes because of years spent dancing backup for male headliners on tour. She pointedly notes that they insisted on tight clothes, which often meant uncomfortable heels as well. Cindy tries on a pair of lug-heeled sneakers.

Cindy calls John Fluevog the “funky shoe store,” and here they seem slightly intimidated by the 5” platform heels, thick straps and bright vinyl. I was hoping to see some sightings of the single buckled pilgrim strap “Munsters” that were huge in 1990 when Lady Miss Kier wore them on the Deee-Lite World Clique album cover, but was just as thrilled to see the sculpted heels on all the other classics at the flagship in 1995.

Then Sheryl and Cindy head to Steve Madden, where Sheryl falls in love with a pair of silver Mary Janes that she declares “Courtney Love.” Cindy even admits that she’s always wanted to try on some Puma Clydes. It may just be because Cindy’s feet were killing her and she needed something more comfortable, but it’s also sweet that she wanted to participate in a “cool” shoe movement of the day that was embodied by skate kids and the Beastie Boys. Sheryl comments on a pair that were so uncomfortable there’s no way any human could wear them, but Cindy’s quick to say that “those” club girls could and would. It’s almost as if Cindy is letting House of Style fans know that she’s aware of the trends, but that she'd never claim to be a part of any such subculture embodying them.


Sheryl Crow Shoe Shops | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


nadja auermann

Model Nadja Auermann in 1994.
Photo: MTV

This segment introduces the notion that, in order to build a supermodel, there is an algorithm of important components that must lock into place. Of course, with Nadja Auermann and her alarmingly long legs, we can’t ignore unusually beautiful preternatural traits, but then, there are other things to consider—like the importance of a model’s hair color.

Nadja’s memorable because of her stark white hair and her milky white skin. She can look anywhere from angelic to extraterrestrial; from a milk maid to a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. There’s something terrifyingly blank about Nadja’s expression and her chilly Teutonic disposition. Even in interviews, talking about something as pedestrian as knitting to kill time backstage, she seems like she’s got several other agendas churning simultaneously. It’s remarkable, therefore, how ordinary she looks with her former shoulder-length auburn hair. If not for a French Vogue shoot where they powdered a patch of hair white, she might never have discovered what made her look click. Even Nadja herself admits how uninspired her appearance had been before. It’s like every moment of truth in America’s Next Top Model: The girl who tries something drastic is often rewarded.

Nadja was memorable in the ’90s for her shoots with Helmut Newton and a particularly memorable one in American Vogue found her outfitted with metal scaffolding on her legs as if she’d had her bones pinned or was wearing a fashion brace. To my eyes, she’d never looked more like a Borg, but it was criticized for its insensitivity to those who were legitimately disabled.

Nadja, who grew up in West Berlin, is the first model interviewed for this series who talks about the effect of politics on her life. She believes education makes a good model, and you get the impression that, for some women, a career in modeling is a type of finishing school, where you develop poise, glamour and a self-possession that makes your beauty that much more scary.


Nadja Auermann | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


kevyn aucoin

Designer Todd Oldham interviews makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin about his book, 'The Art of Makeup' in 1994.
Photo: MTV

On the release of Kevyn Aucoin’s new book, The Art of Makeup, Todd and Kevyn discuss the late makeup artist's origin story of growing up in Louisiana practicing makeup on his younger sister, and how he learned what worked best through simple trial and error. On beauty, Kevyn and Todd share a lot of the same philosophies, and even though Kevyn will cite curling eyelashes as his number 1 tip and mentions that shaping your brows (or “wrangling” as Todd calls it) is the most dramatic thing you can do short of cosmetic surgery to alter your face, his life philosophy is really all about confidence. Kevyn’s biggest fashion and beauty faux pas is being afraid of what other people will think of your look. It’s very much in keeping with what we know of Todd (whose hair is tousled beautifully this episode) and his message of self-love and overcoming fear and self-consciousness.


Todd Oldham Makeup Tips With Kevyn Aucoin | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


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