House Of Style: Episode 69

christina aguilera

Singer Christina Aguilera tries on fall coats in 1999.
Photo: MTV

Season: 11 Episode: 69

Title: Dress Code

Original Airdate: 8/30/99

Appearances: Christina Aguilera, Anna Sui


Whoa. Christina pre-Xtina footage! Pre-everything footage, I guess. This is RIGHT when Christina Aguilera’s album first came out, like, the literal week afterward, and she’s so tiny and innocent and unsullied that it’s amazing. She’s wearing a short-sleeved cardigan that reveals her tummy, and she’s so articulate in that completely engaged, shiny-eyed way that ex-Mouseketeers have about them. She is “partial to the ballads” on her album, and asserts that the lyrics to “Genie In A Bottle” are way less pervy and far more lady-evolved than the hook suggests.

This is a fall segment, so we’ve got a rack of coats for Rebecca and Christina to try on. It seems full-length and ¾ length are in as far as hems go, and the outerwear runs the gamut from a Versace dyed python with a zebra-print pony belt to a giant, sherbet-colored fur number with a satin lining that’s painted with Chinese calligraphy. There is a tufted poncho, a striped cape and a lovely classic from Prada’s Robin Hood-ish collection (I always called it that because the shoes were so pointy that season) that features carefully cut-out leather and appliquéd patent leather leaves. Speaking of embellishment, there’s a bonkers yellow plastic coat from Dolce & Gabbana embroidered in hot pink that Christina loves. It’s such a refreshing rediscovery of what the performer was like when she started out. Speaking of which, she mentions that she’s accustomed to dressing for warmth because she’s from Pittsburgh. Did ANY of you remember that? How weird is that? I totally misplaced that factoid over the years, which is just one way in which time and aging mess with you. Dyed python is still gauche, though!


Rebecca Romijn and Christina Aguilera | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


anna sui

Designer Anna Sui gives student Jame Darrow a dorm room makeover in 1999.
Photo: MTV

I love that this segment contains a exterior shot with Anna Sui marching down the street to do over a bedroom. She’s so purposeful, with her bag and her braided pigtails. It’s this Mary Poppins-ish moment that makes you believe she is absolutely capable of magic. Anna was one of those people we always relied on to add a touch of style expertise, and here she takes over what is traditionally a Todd role to re-do a tiny bedroom because the owner is going crazy, overwhelmed by its fugliness.

The room has dope bones — there’s a whole wall of exposed brick, decent windows and it’s small but large enough for a bed, desk and dresser (basically, KING SIZED for New York standards) — and the first order of business is creating a theme based on the ingredients the occupant already owns. There’s a beaded, Aztec-themed curtain: From there, Anna picks out a blue wall color typical of homes in Mexico. Red is the accent color for the radiator and exposed pipe. A corkboard is added, with crisscrossed ribbon (which is a DIY trick I definitely remember as being a whole thing in my college days). An embroidered bedspread complements the animal-print sheets and shams for mix and match goodness; another matching spread is hoisted up for a window panel. A tooled silver mirror transforms the chest of drawers into a vanity and from there, it’s a short step to get to an introduction of Anna’s new makeup line.

I don’t remember a time when Anna Sui’s fragrance and cosmetics line didn’t exist. Sometimes I feel like right when I hit the age where I was ready to experiment with makeup, Anna’s dreamy, sexy, black lacquer, rose embossed goodies hit the market, and I wanted everything. It was sort of the antithesis to the marbled green Clinique stuff (I mean, who didn’t have the toner and face soap? Not to mention the makeup bags) and embodied everything about Anna Sui’s sartorial aesthetic. I actually remember seeing this segment and wondering if the girl whose room she made over got to keep everything. Can you imagine? Anna Sui comes over, and not only does she revamp your entire sleeping area but then she blesses you with a passel of makeup? Ridiculous. Also awesome. The envy still smarts!


Anna Sui Redecorates | ‘House of Style’ Collection On MTV Style


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