In VOGUE: The 1990s | Episode 1: The Rise of The Supermodel
One of the most pivotal moments in early ninety s fashion happened at John even thought she's nine hundred, hundred, one full runway show and I was lucky enough to be there. Johnny were showing with almost every other Italian designer in Milan showing it a space the. You kind of arrive to nine am show and you leave the APM show and it was pretty sold destroying way to experience clothing. You were lucky if you could find a kind of stale Anini, an indifference. Spread to get you through the day, the seats were very much assigned and there was absolute hierarchy, and that point I was the fashion director of Harper's and Queen. So I think I would have been in the front row. The. Front row by the way, we'll know the most prestigious place to sit was by no means the most convenient place to see or experience a runway. The the runways damn will always high-rise. So you're already looking up goals nostril. So the show Linda Evangelista opened the show and a short little black shift in these kind of fetish boots. Little bit simpler for Johnny this. New Decade vibe kind of leggings and a little shift dress says. She kind of fetish booth. Then of course, some amazing print moment. I always had some. Paper notebooks and I did very very elaborate sketches. A peach came down the runway ninety sketches but pretty detailed, and then I would write in additional notes of color and I write down the the go. That's Yasmine the ball. southastern. Gail Elliott. Classical. Print. Thin. Dave. Niamey causeway many dress with Lorden yellow. Jacket. So I was sitting there furiously sketching in my notebook every look that came down. And then Suddenly, I heard the opening strains of freedom on Janis runway. connick believed music. And it was like this electric. Had charged through the room. Evangelists came out in a very short flirty read kind of align mini-dress than Christie came out in a black version with a different neckline Niamey came out in a singing chrome yellow version, and finally Cindy Crawford. Again, and you know each having singly come out then they came out on over shoulder lip synching the words and kind of reliving that moment and then, and then really everyone's just like great. It was a real. Energizing. Zeitgeist fashion. And as I watched from my vantage point in the crowd, I realized that I found myself in the epicenter of fashion world at a moment when everything was changing. And what Johnny understood in what the rest of the fashion industry came to understand was that these supermodels they were symbol and an even a vehicle of that change. The fashion industry was floating into the mainstream this world that had been so exclusive and exclusion rate was now opening up. And of course, the moment that door opened jar and people could see kind of magical world through the slither in the open doorway. They wanted to break the door down. Welcome. To invoke the nine thousand, nine, hundred, ninety s cost about a pivotal time that. A. New Era in fashion and in culture. Join us as we examined the defining moments of the decade that shape fashion. As we know it today, we'll hear from fashion leaders, cultural icons and vogues own editor. Oriel team I'm on a winter and I'm Hamish Bowles Votes, international editor at large and your host. Modeling used to be a very different sort of profession. There was this dichotomy between runway models and print models. I mean literally the Cavaco's literally he. The African covered at that point they only needed to be fabulous from the neck up. And then you had you know runway models they had this turtle runway allure. Of course, always great looking maybe cover face that they had striking runway presents. So. There was an expectation that they would have perfect symmetrical voters that were easy for the krause people to fact from today's perspective way kind of now happily inured to the idea of body diversity on a runway. It's. Required. A different focus in prison to look back at the ages and realized that the runway body paradigm particularly for the Haute Couture Design Esus handcrafted clothing was. A A a symmetrical. FOCUSED COOKIE A. Norm and mold. You know there was a very, very particular cultivated runway walk the runway. Specific models knew how to do, which was you know I kind of S-? Lincoln. A twelve and Tan. They would walk down they turned it back. Twenty Goodman is sustainability editor and was fashion editor in the ninety S. Were completely vital that was what their job was as a mannequin for the clothes they were. Living Mannequins that could move and that could display whether the drape worked and so pride of place really was given to the clients designers that were considered sort of dress makers to the third set. They had that prominent clients in the front row. They'd all be immaculately dressed in head to toe outfits from the designers last. At houses like do. She for instance, it was almost like informal modeling in department store but of course, amplified to a very glamorous level with the occasional cameo from a print star like Imam or Jerry Hall. The might be music and A. Home Tannoy voiceover announcing the dresses And it would say numeral. Number one numerous. Then the buys the audience would be frantically scribbling down the numbers of the dresses that they want to by cross referencing the programs that have been put left on their seats for them. To the shows took forever because you're looking every straw of what was presenting. It. Wasn't a convention to in in almost any magazine that I know of to identify the models lead Baretti person is vogues archive editor. If they were identified, it was usually in the credits. So for insiders, they might have that knowledge, but the job was to present the close just like the runway models. They they generally aren't identified the job of Montreal was to show close, but by the end of the eighties that all started to change. The birth of the super model for me was linked with two of British folk year apart Mark Holgate Vogue Fashion News Director I was a student at the University of Northumbria and I was bored and I was like I'm going to buy this copy of folk to read it was a January. Nineteen, thousand nine edition British folk and it had Linda Evangelista and the cover Linda Evangelista haircut helped propel her into fame. She was the one that had the short boyish haircut. With the most typing. But then she started to do was she changed her hair color. From being Brunette to platinum blonde to being a redhead and she chose to do was she chose to debut those new hair covers on different covers of vote and that was I think the first moment I had this connection with I guess a fashion model and their appeal could transcend the cover and Costa being something that touched the lives of people in everyday life before she became a fashion designer. Or even a spice go Victoria Beckham remembers the influence supermodels had her I mean Linda was always my favorite supermodel can imagine my excitement Garin hairdresser in New York. That used to cut Linda's hair. He was the hairdresser the my little tiny pixie haircut that I had, which was very exciting probably exciting for me than it was the him. Linda. Evangelista like, Oh my God Garin a high fashion has stylist. There is no rules as far as it came to hair Linda went blond and then Linda went red head and all my clients were so impressed by having all these young fashion models and this'll on they all requesting haircuts, women taking these dives and going. If she can wear it. What's the trick Tartu imagined in today's? Well, this was something that was a major obsession. These women became more than just blank faces that stared out at us from a magazine Cover magazine page we got to know their names, Naomi, Campbell Linda, Evangelista Tatyana Potisk Christy Turlington. Cindy Crawford they were starting to appear also in British folk to Italian Vogue to American vogue. Playing different characters across these different issues in different kinds of narratives in different depictions. Somehow they were also themselves. All of these girls had. Great personality, and they also had great understanding of character and how they could transform themselves into different characters and one of the photographers who really took advantage of that was Peter Lindbergh. He really allowed them to be actors. One of the first stories that Peter and I did together was Naomi Campbell as a gauguin. Painting. We went down to Jamaica and we did that shoot. So the opportunity to do cultural references, art references that came up a lot here Lemberg y'all funded outdoor shoots or location shoots. So there is a sort of fresh air nece to his work, but there was also a cinematic quality his women were often. Moving and happy and there is an idea of natural beauty. It wasn't about a lot of makeup. It was the fresh natural beauty, some sort of connection with nature but seen through cinematic. Not Hitchcock Ian, but like sort of a classic frame like a still shot from a film often. Cut to a year later, the January one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, cover a black and white cover Linda Evangelista Christy Turlington and Tatyana potisk Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. Now, not in some fantasy setting, there are no. You know looking like they've got incredibly elaborate hair and makeup and jewels on they look quite natural. The hair is kind of not overly done. They don't like wearing a ton a makeup there in jeans with these talks. Of being a snapshot kloss photo of five of the most important models of the moment, and again, it was that moment of both anticipate. Really kind of it really hit home I think in a major way. That snapshot also caught the eye of another important thicker and he would propel supermodels into the stratosphere. More after the break. Allure. Do I really need to wear sunscreen. WanNa. Make my pores smaller. I M Michelle Lee the editor in chief Galore and I'm Jenny by executive beauty director here at a lower were always been questions about how to choose the right experience or conditioner or serum. So we started a podcast about it the science of beauty. We'll be learning all about what to do and what not to do to stay looking your best tune into the science of beauty. Annapolis, podcast spotify wherever you get your podcasts. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, one, George Michael was everywhere. He was a major pop popstar coming off the success of his latest single faith that had been a huge hit on MTV back in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy. George Michael Station he was a cultural icon working on his eagerly anticipated upcoming album but at that point, he felt that he was already overexposed and to become disillusion from the precious that pain brought so much. So in fact that when it came time to make the music video for his latest single freedom ninety, he refused to be in the video he was living a life as an idol. That was probably conflicted. You're always supposed to be on your always supposed to be beautiful. You're supposed to conform to the societal norms even if it's not true to yourself and how'd you break out of that when you're living in public will people even accept it if you if you do he hadn't come out at this point and I think in a way, this was a song of rebellion. Don He wanted to be free. But how can you be free when you're a celebrity? So he chose the supermodel says. What did George Michael WanNa free of what is the model look like when they're not a model. It was going to be a Linda Evangelista was gonna be Naomi Campbell it's going to be Christy Toddington. Tatyana tits and Cindy Crawford. Camilla Nickerson is a contributing editor. had. An extra and Queen. She'd been my sister went to. A, very talented editor in her own right and I knew that she got this Gig to George. Michael. Single and and that it was with the supermodels I didn't know what was being off. I didn't know early while I was doing a again very very luckily that probably somebody else had been asked but was got sick or something like it was purely. Just, totally chunks that Aiko Ost I'd never really been to film studio. So I walked into this room that was to site with all these stories and David finch serum. He kind of showed me these storyboards never seen a story but would but pretended I had. Christie to walk alone white sheet made of Irish linen but it needed to be one hundred foot long. And that was my budget gone right there. So the rest had to be like from my couplet. Two weeks later went to an old. Hangar and and it was like two caravans one for the girls and one for the boys tiny and then we get the girls dressed in there and You definitely knew who Michael was at the time I mean he was there on set. He was his much. He was a creative PA until the Gulshan in. All coming guy though huge personalities. So you know there I'm dress they're not super moguls. nope. Film stars that themselves to sing the guzzles proxy lines and China saying, let's say so. Navy's my boyfriend's big. Linda pulls by slatter over ahead it a it was great. It was so great. The music video was. Shot in. CPI Black and White Ninja Evangelist has discovered lips in King George's lyrics while sitting cross legged on the bare wooden floor of shabby apartment Cindy, Crawford, lip synching whilst naked in a bathtub Naomi's lip synching framed in the doorway. I mean, they were in the psych abandoned house seemingly no heat in like an oversized sweater. I. Think it's important to say that as glamorous as the supermodels are they weren't depicted as glamorous in the video I, mean besides their natural glamour to me, it shows the a more intimate domestic kind of feeling to the video. So feels. More vulnerable. You know. Here's here's the thing when I was a model, the thing that was clear to me is the generosity that model had the have in their DNA. And these girls were so generous with what they could put force. And they did it with freedom I mean if it if you needed to be vulnerable, you were able to to portray it to project it. If you needed to be harder, you could do that you. You could run the gamut of. DIFFERENT EMOTIONS That would have a resonance with whoever was watching you or you know looking at an image of you. Looking back I think that MTV generation, the fact that we were all tuning in there was this new medium that fused fashion in music. It was exciting. It was new people were watching everywhere. So I felt like pop culture sort of lifestyle was aspirational the idea of being on the concord and partying with Donatello for Saatchi and being able to wear anything you want but because they had personality. It was more like being a fan of musician are banned or connector. You had a new audience the music videos MTV had a music driven audience that was then entertained by video, but this brought in a whole new community to start watching a music video, which was the fashion community, and I think that that absolutely opened a huge door for anybody who wanted to take advantage of having this. Adjunct audience get tacked onto what they were trying to do. The crossover, a fashion and music began to really become something that you saw played out day in day out video in video on MTV, and that's in a huge way down to George. Michael's freedom nine hundred. I mean everyone in the fashion community love the video because it was this idea of high style fashion shoot and the idea that I'll will was kind of being co opted by George Michael and the supermodels they just started to become more present in the culture they were lip synching to. A song was being sung by George. Michael, through this incredible became an incredibly kind of iconic and groundbreaking and influential music video. It was a kind of case of starting to join the dots and kind of see these women start to pop up in different aspects of the culture. You know you're like, okay. There are now in a show on a magazine cover, and now they're being photographed at a party or now you're seeing them in an ad campaign. Goals really were it. Now in the ninety s fashion has ushered in the superstar. Glamorous high. Everywhere. They were ubiquitous I mean. On the side of my boss there on the cover of every magazine inside every magazine who needs a new supermodel they were doing TV commercials for the new supermodel. Some of trying to break into movies you WANNA watch headline news. Not GonNa kill you. They were the very hottest fashion commodities. Joanie for Thaci was. A designer who was uniquely attuned to the Cultural Zeitgeist. All about folding music and rock and roll into is clothing and movie stars and artists, and he was somebody who could absolutely see the moment sees Zeitgeist and tailor it to his own aesthetic a very kind of powerful way and of course, for Saatchi had always been using these girls in his ad campaigns. But this was a total synergy that all the girls who'd been in that video came down the runway embodying Janis. Vision. Joanie was unusually media savvy because he was a perfect show man and he understood how to kind of manipulate emotions through fashion and the way he presented his collection. So when that freedom soundtrack rang out and the goals came down kind of. Long it was just so amazing first of all because they looked so. When you saw that? They could maneuver their way down and runway they could walk which wasn't necessarily a given, but it was. Electrifying. So, it was an interesting collision of all sorts of different kinds of fame. You had the fame of George, Michael you had the fame of Gianni Versace and you defame of the supermodels. All kind of coalescing into one major kind of pop cultural moment. And that was really for me. That was sort of the moment where you realized this was going to be the kind of dominating hours of these models were supermodels, and of course the. Photography's went crazy because they knew that they had photographs these girls they were going to be sure fire sellers. There wasn't a social media. The was no instagram snapchat. There was none of these things was no means to actually be a reminded of their their presence on a daily basis designers in particular became aware of the fact that these girls were personalities as well as models and that the their personality in your clothes gave. More of a message. It wasn't just. I'm going to show this to you. So you can buy it or you can not buy you can like it. You can't like it but all the sudden you had a personality that was. Delivering how you could wear these clothes and who you would be when you wore those close these girls were worth their weight because they contributed to the image. Significantly. and. That's why they were who they were. That's that's why they got that attention. They were credible. They had their own lives that revolved around fashion. They were devoted to it. They understood it they collaborated with it and they they really really important. I mean, what happened was they were also smart enough to realize that they themselves had a role and a power in shaping fashion, and they had some agency of their own in continuing to be part of the fashion landscape. The supermodels came like an industry. As. They sometimes do five shows a day they weekly salaries can quickly time to six. At that point, those four models we're doing everything. They've really helped foster an identity for fashion wasn't what it could be an shift in fashion but the supermodels they were part of that shift on this edition of House of style. We traveled to Milan Italy for the spring ninety three collections and spend the week with the only Campbell both on and off the runway as fashion became a bigger interest and became. Part of a bigger cultural narrative. Suddenly, you started to see because of the way that fashion operates and it goes in cycles and it gets sated by one thing, and then that's looking to the new thing to inject. Difference or you know some sense of unison to creative process than other narratives were starting to kind of come in. Then you person then you face that you design the you think that that is counter to the gloss in the fame and the success the question the fashion industry is asking other models of worth the money they get especially in these times of recession who does their high profile detract from the very closest I kind of feeling that the opulence to conspicuous consumption were somehow inappropriate for the moment and out of step with the vibe of the moment, and then you're saying kind of different way to approach fashion and suddenly. All that Razzmatazz and GLITZ and. Extravagance and money and he's just An oculus seemed wrong. And then you had. GRUNGE and everything changed. Invoke the nineteen nineties is presented by a winter and produced by Jasmin Galera Julia Toil, Kinsey Clark, and Talk Zan. Our executive. Producer is Alex Koppelman. Mixed by rain house monk would you cheese folks creative aditorial direct TUB and folks to`real team is led Borelli Person Ma colgate Nicole Phelps and myself. Special. Thanks to digital DIRECTA analysts. Vice President of audio Jewish Hsien and Anna wintom. Please do subscribe to the podcast. It helps Unisys find the show you can find additional information, incredible imagery and episode references in the show notes or bogue dot com slash podcast. I'm your host Hamish Bowles until next week in bio.