As promised, today marks the launch date of our documentary, House of Style: Music, Models, and MTV, commemorating the return of the fashion news show. Sure, we created an exhaustive archive outlining all the episodes we were able to clear from the original 1989-2002 run, but we also wanted to create a package of what the show intended to do, why it was gobsmackingly prescient for the time, and how the thematic throughlines remain relevant today.
The 22-minute short serves as part oral history, with interviews from producers like Alisa Bellettini, Dave Sirulnick and Chad Hines. They talk about what they’d intended to do with the new show, what it was like spearheading one of the cable network’s first forays into non-music programming, and how a supermodel host combined with the floodlight of MTV’s reach helped transmogrify the fashion industry into pop culture.
The doc also includes new interviews with Anna Sui, Todd Oldham, and Cynthia Rowley, designers who occasionally served as hosts and were heavily involved while learning broadcast media on the fly. And of course, the round out would be incomplete without our hosts Rebecca Romijn and the unforgettable Cindy Crawford about what is was like for models to be granted the chance to talk and show their personalities.
There are a great many anecdotes about how fast, bootleg and hilarious it was cobbling certain segments together (resident DIY warlock and master of goodwill Todd Oldham recounts a funny story of Crawford’s side-eye regarding a hacked-up combat boot) but the interesting thing about this retrospective is that we can now view the show through the lens of time and it’s genuinely startling to consider its foresight. This time capsule is not some cobweb-riddled nostalgia trap filled with sticky, petrified butterscotch discs and doilies, there are genuine cultural milestones and benchmarks that we’re simply grateful to have rediscovered.
We also talk with contemporary designers like Christian Siriano, Jeremy Scott (who remembers House of Style as his umbilical chord to the fashion world when he was GROWING UP ON A FARM, a literal farm, not a raw food SoulCycle ashram or similar), Charlotte Ronson, as well as models Coco Rocha and Karlie Kloss as to the resonance of the show. And the symbiotic relationship between music and fashion with artists like Simon LeBon and John Taylor from Duran Duran (!!!), Theophilus London, Rita Ora and Azealia Banks.
If you could believe such a thing, the MTV House of Style team has spent the entire weekend emailing each other on whether or not we should include an Oxford comma in the title of the doc. That, ladies and germs, is the level of crazypants dedication applied to our short so you best (as in, pleasepleaseplease) recognize.
Special S/O also goes out to Reed Morano our sick-ass DP who was the cinematographer on that one LCD Soundsystem doc, Shut Up and Play The Hits, Nicola Darrach our very sleep-deprived director and the homie Nate Ford who has been editing this badboy for a duration that seems to have aged him significantly in the face and hair. We hope you enjoy it.
+ HOUSE OF STYLE: MUSIC, MODELS, AND MTV