I mean a lot of people know this, right? That’s where the term ‘shirt-on’ comes from, right? And it was actually invented by a very wealthy American male model named George E. Smith. He was a guy who lived near Hollywood, and he used to take those clothes and put them on his model’s back to make movies. I mean, he had all these dresses made, and he’d take a bunch of them in, and it was one thing. But it was quite another to do it with actual fabric, and actually put it on his body. I think that when people first started doing that, it was quite liberating. That was really the first time you were able to take clothes and put them on someone and go, that’s what I am. And it was the start of a whole whole kind of movement – what else can you do?
That was very different when I was 13. My parents sent me to the local tailor at school, and he had a large, fancy dress case, that was filled with all the weirdest little things. I was wearing a white one for a dance class. And you couldn’t tell there was a dress in there. I wore it to school. And then, when I got there, the clothes were actually on the floor – not on my dresser, like it was a dress that belonged to George E. Smith, but they were on the floor – and my father went through the pockets of my dress jacket and I remember, ‘How did you get that there?’ And I remember he says, ‘My wife made it.’ Which is probably how he found the dress if it wasn’t there. I never, ever went back to the tailor.
Now, we’ve had fashion on MTV for a long time and it’s been great. What about the guys back home? I didn’t know a lot of these guys’ stories. In the U.S., men are still the last to get this, and it seems to me they get better.
They’re still getting better. And we still have some of those rules – no shoes under your arm. You know? That’s where I think, and I’ve always thought, that men are going to do better and become better. Especially in this country where, you know, you’re constantly being told, ‘You’re going to get a good job. And you’re going to be famous. And if you don’t get a good job, you’re going to starve.’
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