the ultimate youtube guide to 90s fashion

YouTube is a valuable fashion history resource. We dug deep into the vaults to find some illustrative clips of the decade that include Kate, Carla, John, Jean Paul and more. Here’s what we found out.

by Stuart Brumfitt
19 March 2015, 1:45pm

Fashion Café rocked, for a minute 
Watch these two E! reports on Elle "The Body" Macpherson's involvement in the doomed 90s restaurant chain, Fashion Café. She launched it along with Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, in the wake of mega money-spinning 90s brands Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood, but after early press buzz and start-out success, the dream soon died. Take note of the cheekily snarky E! presenters quipping about the irony of supermodels opening a fast food joint.

Male models debated the big issues: Beef vs Waif 
MTV's peerless 90s fashion show, Stylissimo, was one of the few windows into the fashion world before the internet opened it up to us all. The half-hour magazine format included fun, titillating and ultimately pointless ("serious to a point of not being serious") moments like this Beef Vs Waif survey amongst the male supermodels of the day. Watch as the musclemen who ruled the early part of the decade defend their pecs, whilst the new wave of skinnier models proudly announce the end of the six pack. Designers wade in on the topic too. Tom Ford reckons "this overworked body with all the muscles looks really tired for me", Jean Paul Gaultier is "looking for some that are more slim, skinny, more elegant", Valentino does not want "the boys of the 80s", but Vivienne Westwood is all about big and chunky - "my ideal men."

Tyra Banks tried to take on Naomi Campbell
After Naomi ruled the runway and became the face of black beauty, Tyra Banks came along, and was quickly dubbed "the new Naomi." Whilst this clip isn't from the 90s, it takes us back there, with Tyra using her talk show to try and settle scores over a "feud" that supposedly goes back decades. Banks accuses Campbell of saying, "You'll never be me. Don't ever think you'll be me" and claims she bullied her out of the business. Naomi doesn't falter, remaining straight-faced throughout. It's passive aggressive pugilism at its best.

Carla Bruni and Jean Paul Gaultier talked tits and arse
Before she became the First Lady of France, supermodel Carla Bruni could be found reading out excerpts from Hot International Love and Sex Guides on late night TV shows. Here "Italy's most elegant export" talks to Eurotrash hosts Antoine de Caunes and Jean Paul Gaultier (a hoot in hot pink bell-bottoms and tracksuit top). Bruni explains the necessity of the guides thus: "We're traveling all around the world and we're meeting new people every day and we must know what to tell them in case we get into bed with them." She goes on to read out key phrases, including, "Do you like my titties?" in Spanish and "Put your finger in my bottom" in both German and Italian.

And Kate Moss was irresistibly cute and exceedingly fun 
Hang out with cute Kate in an LBD on the Big Breakfast sofa. Flicking her fringe, she dropped this bomb about boyfriend Johnny Depp's idea of a sweet gesture: "He gave me a diamond necklace which he had hid down the crack of his arse." When grilled if they're getting married to him, Mossy replies, "I'm not saying anything" with the flirty suggestion that they might. Sadly they never did, but spot the pair together (on Big Breakfast again) talking seriously (and slightly spaced-out) about War Child. When Kate wasn't kicking it with Johnny on breakfast television, she was mostly found flouncing around with a Union Jack suited John Galliano screaming "Make room darling!"


Text Stuart Brumfitt

Carla Bruni
Jean Paul Gaultier