Dennis Rodman models swimsuits with Cindy Crawford in 1996.
Season: 8 Episode: 50
Title: Swimsuit Edition
Original Airdate: 6/17/96
Appearances: Pat Smear, Cindy Crawford, Dennis Rodman
POP CULTURE AND FASHION: CINDY INTERVIEWS DENNIS RODMAN
Call me crazy, but by the end of this segment I couldn’t help but wondering if Cindy requested to return to the show expressly for this piece. She looooooooves Dennis Rodman. I’m not into sports but this guy was a pop culture icon in the mid-’90s. He dated Madonna, wrote a book called Bad As I Wanna Be, wore a wedding dress during the press junket for his biography, and appeared onstage with Pearl Jam because that was his favorite band. Here, Dennis and Cindy try on bathing suits in the unfinished Seattle Planet Hollywood in a makeshift studio.
Cindy wears a very shiny shirt, Dennis wears a gigantic faux fur and brocade cap, and she can’t stop admiring his physique while cracking “The Worm” jokes. Ever the exhibitionist, Dennis climbs into a tiny banana hammock and Cindy just about passes out.
Dennis is significant because basketball players aren’t the most stylish dudes. I wasn’t a fan of everything he did but he always took huge fashion risks with his ever-changing hair color, tattoos, and piercings. Plus, he always supported AIDS awareness and once declared that he would marry himself because he was bisexual. Some of the schtick was obviously publicity stunt-ish but you can appreciate his intentions, like how on this segment he has AIDS ribbons spray-painted onto his hair. At any rate, I’ll take Dennis Rodman in a Gaultier bathing suit over Michael Jordan’s distressed dad jeans any day. And don’t even get me started on those awful, oversized, over-loud Steve Harvey suits that rookies wear when they’re drafted.
+ WATCH CINDY CRAWFORD AND DENNIS RODMAN
MUSIC AND FASHION: PAT SMEAR MODELS
Pat Smear goes on a photo shoot with Amber Valletta and Shalom Harlow in New York in 1996.
Shalom and Amber hit the East Village for a photo shoot with Germs, Nirvana, Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear. Shalom shoots, Amber styles and the three gallivant around New York on a hot summer day with a van filled with clothes. Italian ices are eaten, nails are painted and Pat poses in spring’s hottest togs, from mini-skirts to blue suits. The trio linger in barbershop doorways and on benches in Tompkins Square Park, with Shalom snapping all the while. At one point, she even takes issue with the House of Style camera crew for getting in her shot. It’s hardly a professional shoot: Amber jumps in to lotion dry legs, there are still price tags hanging out, and the end results are slightly blurred. Pat’s a great sport, going so far as to wear a gender-bending look Amber put together for him onstage.
+ WATCH PAT SMEAR PHOTO SHOOT
DEMOCRATIZING STYLE: THINGS THAT ARE COOL AND THINGS THAT SUCK
Things That Are Cool for Summer in 1996.
Everything in this segment looks like it was plucked from a rave flyer. There are curved metallic bags, tiny braided hair buns, brightly-colored sunglasses and a portable vanity (from AlwaysGroovy.com, no less) and it reminds us that you couldn’t walk into a Spencer’s Gifts without 90% of the stuff being about space or aliens. It’s insane how trendy the extraterrestrial motif was in 1996: Most of the things deemed cool fall into this category. The outlier is a quick message to support the independent record store, with a shout-out to Tim Jackson and Carolyn Schmitt’s Adult Crash, which used to sit on 66 avenue A, with a clientele that included such bold names as Courtney Love, Thurston Moore and Jon Spencer. Wendy Mullins from Built by Wendy also worked there. They specialized in Japanese imports and 7 inches, but apparently the call to arms didn’t suffice, because they’ve since sadly shuttered. Things that suck include blue nail polish (which seems more an issue of personal taste) and the high-heeled thong sandal because: barf.
+ WATCH THINGS THAT ARE COOL AND THINGS THAT SUCK