When MTV's House of Style was exposing us to the fashion industry through its documentary style episodes from 1989 to 2002, our experience with the fashion industry was worlds apart from what we're now used to. House of Style was the beginning of our access, but now, with multitudes of fashion bloggers and interactivity with our favorite designers on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, MTV says it's reviving the series with a twist: the series will now take an interactive turn, making use of the technologies that have become so integral to the industry.
The original series introduced viewers to intimate discussions with designers — including a fan favorite "Todd Time" with Todd Oldham, who showed us everything from how to vintage shop to how to dye our hair with Kool Aid. In addition to new footage, which will be released in T.B.A. television episodes as well as through web media and Instagram, the series will make use of the classic footage including moments with hosts Cindy Crawford, Rebecca Romijn, and Daisy Fuentes as well as designers like Anna Sui and the aforementioned Oldham.
And while MTV's venture is fairly revolutionary in the television world, it's an exact reaction to the way the fashion world now operates. Miami fashion blogger and vintage clothing purveyor Steffy Kuncman depends greatly on the wealth of web platforms to run her store and her blog, Steffy's Pros and Cons. Kuncman says blogging and Instagram, in particular, are driving a greater audience to the industry.
"You get to see behind the scenes, whereas 10 years ago, the collections were simply photographed by photographers from newspapers and it was highly edited," Kuncman says. "The editor at the New York Times likes these three pieces and that's what's going to run in the paper." Now, the latest designs and trends are accessible through blogs, Twitter, and of course, Instagram, and the spread is so wide, the result is an almost unfiltered look at the landscape — which is exactly what MTV's series was revolutionizing in the '90s.
Now, consumers and fashionistas have a bird's-eye view into not only designer collections and the new items coming down the line, but into the lives of the designers themselves. "It's taking people who are high up and personalizing them," says Kuncman. "You're getting to see parts of people's lives that were formerly kept private."
Of course, that's partially what the original House of Style aimed to do: bring us closer to the faces and minds within the fashion industry. "We're developing a new version of the show because we strongly believe that a show like ours can thrive in the current media climate," writes Mary H.K. Choi of MTV Style. Now, the series simply aims to aggregate and make use of the interactive turn the industry has taken and perhaps amplify what we've already seen on the web.
MTV's House of Style revival starts Tuesday, with the release of a series of Best Of clips from the original series. It continues Aug. 7 with a documentary about House of Style and on Oct. 9, the network will begin rolling out new content. As of yet, MTV has not decided on placement for the TV segments of the series just yet.
Will you tune in on various platforms for MTV's revival of House of Style?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
More: DirecTV Restores MTV, Comedy Central and More Daria, Laguna Beach, The Hills Part of MTV's Retro Summer Programming House of Style
Attempting to delve into one of Tinseltown’s most curious scandals--the mysterious suicide (or was it?) of the original TV Superman actor George Reeves--the story begins after Reeves (Ben Affleck) is found dead of a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound during a late night party in his Benedict Canyon home. The case then unfolds through the eyes of Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) a street-smart publicity hungry private dick hired by Reeves’ grieving mother. As Simo slowly peels back the layers of Reeves’ seemingly glamorous life he discovers an actor of charm talent and sophistication whose every opportunity for a big break fizzled forcing him to lead a frustrated existence slumming in the superhero show he deemed beneath him. Gradually identifying with Reeves’ failed expectations for himself Simo discovers a host of candidates who may have actually pulled the trigger on the actor including his young party girl paramour (Robin Tunney) his longtime lover and patron (Diane Lane) and his lover’s husband a powerfully connected studio “fixer” (Bob Hoskins). It is Brody not Affleck who carries the bulk of the film on his shoulders and the Oscar winner delivers a finely etched turn as Simo who’s fractured potential mirrors Reeves’ but quite simply Simo’s story isn’t nearly as dark or engaging as Reeves’ life or the mystery surrounding his death. Affleck an actor who has had his share of ups downs duds and disappointments in Hollywood delivers one of his most charming and fully realized performances to date even if his spot-on recreation of Reeves’ speech pattern is a bit distracting. The luminous Lane’s acting talents remain in full blossom in a character she’s well-suited to play—the aging beauty fearing the road ahead—and she commands every scene she’s in. Unfortunately there should have been many many more of them. She’s almost criminally underused. Hoskins more menacing then ever and the reliable stable of supporting players like Joe Spano are all top-notch as well; only Tunney apparently trying to channel both Betty Boop and Bette Davis simultaneously seems a bit off her game as the wannabe femme fatale. Best known for his strong turns helming many of the best episodes of television series such as The Sopranos Sex and the City and Six Feet Under first time feature director Allen Coulter’s cool assured hand and meticulous recreation of Cold War Los Angeles are major bonuses here. Even when Simo’s story sags in comparison to Reeves’ Coulter keeps us interested particularly when staging the Rashomon-like sequences depicting the various theories behind Reeves’ demise. But by skimping on Reeves’ story in favor of a less compelling fictional framework built around a private detective investigating the case we never see one key suspect’s possible murder scenario enacted visually and it comes off as a glaring omission.