MTV correspondent Jon Stewart backstage with models Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Season: 7 Episode: 39
Title: New York Fashion Week
Original Airdate: 4/11/95
Appearances: Jon Stewart, Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Calvin Klein, Tatjana Patitz, Simon LeBon, Todd Oldham, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Elle MacPherson
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: JON STEWART GOES BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN
Jon Stewart is his delightful, funny self at New York Fashion Week as he goes backstage at Calvin Klein and attends rehearsal. We’ve accompanied House of Style to several Fashion Weeks in New York by now, so we have a frame of reference for how our new host is being treated. Jon is regarded with suspicion, and we seem to be getting less access than when we’re with Cindy since she often walks in the shows she covers. He interviews Calvin Klein and the designer treats the comedian like an interloper. It’s not total side eye with daggers but it’s definitely screw-mouth emoji.
Jon, to his credit, stays cracking the jokes, pointing out the loose butane canister among the makeup and commenting on sleeping models backstage. It’s observational humor run amok, and we don’t learn anything new or servicey but it’s hilarious. Jon is bowled over, understandably, by Kate Moss, and slinks over to her and Linda Evangelista, who have cracked open a bottle of champagne to toast the end of the week. You can’t help wondering if Cindy called ahead to ask them to be nice to the new guy.
+ WATCH JON STEWART BACKSTAGE AT CALVIN KLEIN
RISE OF THE SUPERMODEL: TATJANA PATITZ
Model Tatjana Patitz at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Tatjana Patitz talks about how she only uses nondescript duffel bags to cart her Fashion Week stuff because the fancy luggage tends to get stolen. Good tip if you had any designs on becoming a world-traveling supermodel. It’s interesting to see what a model packs since she’ll be wearing other people’s clothes for such a large part of the week, so this is a peek into what Tatjana will be wearing to dinner and parties. There are a number of pretty Tocca dresses, bright bras and Manolo heels.
So far, this episode has given us a renewed sense of how much models loathe working Fashion Week. We’ve heard countless stories about how they’d rather do editorial, how exhausted they are during show weeks and Tatjana even admits that every time she tells herself, “Never again.” We shadow Tatjana at Betsey Johnson and Todd Oldham, and then follow her to events with the likes of Molly Ringwald, RuPaul and the ever-present patron saint of the rockstar supermodelizer, Simon LeBon.
+ WATCH TATJANA PATITZ
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HOW TO BUILD A TODD OLDHAM FASHION SHOW
Finale of the Todd Oldham runway show at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
Todd, ever the gracious host, opens his Fashion Week show to us with unparalleled access and hospitality. A mere 3 hours before his show, he is energized and not at all pitching a fit or freaking people around him with stressball energies the way some other designers would be. He wears a shrunken polo shirt with a long-sleeved tee underneath it and takes time out to talk to us about the months leading up to this moment. First he created the custom prints and embroideries, then he determined silhouettes, and finally he moved on to fine-tuning. There are typically 3-5 outfits per girl with a fitting for each. He shouts out his show producer Kevin Cryer, and we see the seating chart and have a new appreciation for the logistical nightmare that is a fashion show.
Twenty minutes before the show starts, Todd and Kevin go through the timing of the lights, the music and the order the girls will walk in. A quick visit to makeup with wizard Kevyn Aucoin shows us that the artist is taking brows to the next level by affixing a pair of slick, black vinyl ones on a stunningly young Tyra Banks. During Todd’s commentary about the various things that need to get accomplished, he mentions interviews that are required of him backstage, does one, and then returns to us moments before the first walk.
There’s clapping and last-minute details. Even during the walk, Todd allows our cameras to stay with him. He points out with interesting details and even has a model remove her lumpy undergarments, which he sticks into his back pocket. We’ve talked to Cindy during shows, but a designer’s stakes are different and this is the closest we’ve been to the enormous pressure.
Just minutes later it’s over. The leathers, stripes, metallic brocades, sequins and quilted satins are well-received by no less than Ivana Trump and Susan Sarandon. A broken heel sends Todd into peals of laughter. We watch models as they ask to borrow clothes for various parties, and we have a new appreciation of Todd for his kindness and cool demeanor.
+ WATCH TODD OLDHAM PUTS ON A FASHION SHOW
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR A BUYER
’Seventeen’ magazine Fashion Editor Marie Moss at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
With Cindy, we’ve sat front row and learned what it’s like to wear the hat of a fashion editor, but the other person who is politically entitled to prominent placement in the seating arrangement is the buyer. Here we talk to Kim Koshiol, buyer at Bloomingdales, and compare her experiences with those of Marie Moss, the senior fashion editor at Seventeen. This is a new target age group for us, and an important one since we’re MTV so it’s interesting to note how high-fashion trends are adaptable for the teen fashion world.
When shopping for a department store, the entire collection must be considered for its overall appeal, price and quality. Instead of matching themes for an editorial shoot, the line has to be featured together on the sales floor, so cohesiveness must be considered.
For the fashion editor, trends across several different designers have to gel so that story ideas can be developed throughout the season and honed through additional showroom visits. What the 16 and 17-year-old girl will take away from the runway differs from the response of an older more affluent customer and styles need to assessed based on what will trickle down.
We interview designer Yeohlee Teng, who mentions that the fashion editor and buyer work in tandem. You need the editors in order to get your message out, and you need the buyers to get the clothes out. Longevity has to be considered. Betsey Johnson has good relationships with her buyers, and though her eponymous line recently filed for bankruptcy (much to our dismay) her runway trends have always resonated with The Youngs.
Most of the trends are texturally — or color-driven — basically, nothing that can’t be mimicked across price points. For fall, it’s mixed textures, matching matte with shine, leather with suede, and the color brown. Betsey, of course, bucks trends, and makes a major play for hyper-color cowgirl.
+ WATCH FASHION WEEK FOR BUYERS
RISE OF THE SUPERMODELS: FASHION CAFÉ
Models Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Elle MacPherson at the opening of The Fashion Café in 1995.
In 1995, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Elle MacPherson opened a restaurant devoted to fashion in Rockefeller Center. It was during the heyday of Hard Rock, and models were still fetching multimillion-dollar deals, so it’s understandable that naming plates of shrimp after beautiful women and showing runway footage while peddling buffalo wings wasn’t immediately noticed as being a total fiasco.
We know now that the investors were shady, and a couple of years later would be indicted as money launderers, but even in food critic Ruth Reichl’s write up for the New York Times, she nails the major problem with the business model: Fashion imagery makes you feel conflicted about eating middle-of-the-road bar food and Oreo-branded cheesecake. During the launch party, we admire displays of jewelry, iconic dresses and David Copperfield’s hair while he talks about how stoked he is (UM, remember when he and Claudia were engaged for a zillion years?). Something about the intersection of these factors and a ominous quote from music and fashion legend Malcolm McLaren (i.e. “[this is] probably the end of fashion as we know it”) makes for a vivid jumping-the-shark moment for the ’90s Supermodel. The Fashion Café would close three years later, but not before Naomi renounced her involvement by refusing to appear at events or be caught dead in the midtown restaurant. A promotional leather jacket from Fashion Café cost $1,500, whereas the most expensive item on the menu would set you back $18.95.
+ WATCH FASHION CAFÉ
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: BAD ETIQUETTE AT SHOWS
Model Sibyl Buck gives her opinion on bad fashion show etiquette at New York Fashion Week in 1995.
This is the turning point in our Fashion Week coverage, as House of Style keeps it all too real regarding the drawbacks of the event. There are definitely some ugly moments in championing beautiful design, and we actually get to hear how loud it is in the press risers and backstage at the show. Wavy-haired, power-drunk producers and security people are rude and flagrantly abusive. People get trampled as spectators exit and enter the spaces. We even hear from Sibyl Buck that she and other models suspect designers of recycling used G-strings, and there’s a moment of Sandra Bernhard losing her mind at Michael Musto on the topic of sexuality. After the mayhem, however, everyone comments on how low-key this season has been compared to others. We get the impression that Fashion Week is like childbirth. Everyone forgets how excruciating it all is the moment it’s over.
+ WATCH FASHION WEEK ETIQUETTE
DEMYSTIFYING THE FASHION INDUSTRY: TRENDS OF FALL 1995
Marc Jacobs had the best suits of the Fall 1995 collections.
It’s all about the headkerchief in every fabric from cotton to leather. The models at Miu Miu are morose. Marc Jacobs and other designers celebrate the lady and show a great deal of shrewdly cut suits without any of the vestigial influence of the ’80s power suit. There is, of course, the deeply upsetting ubiquity of the most fuggo shoe silhouette from the mid-’90s: the calf-length boot with a kitten heel. Barf. Also, CANKLES.
+ WATCH ’95 FALL FASHION SHOWS