What I Learned about Style from Aerosmith's "Crazy"By Elizabeth Sankey
Imagine your dad is a rock star. And not a modern day rock star, an old-school, fur-wearing, long-haired man-child. The kind of guy who wears leather trousers to church. The kind of guy who only goes to church so he can make out with his girlfriend in a wooden pew so he can then write a song about it called, “Makin' Love in Front of Jesus.” It would be pretty cool, right? You could borrow his clothes. Your friends would love him. He'd probably serve up lots of deeply resonant life lessons over three fingers of malt whiskey. When you were thirteen.
Well, Liv Tyler has that dad. And in 1994 Liv appeared alongside the official “Aerosmith Chick,” Alicia Silverstone, in her dad's band’s video for “Crazy.” The legend goes that the director of the video wanted to cast 17-year-old Liv after seeing her in a hair commercial, having no idea of the family connection. Random.
The result is one of the most classic 90s music videos, a patchwork of Aerosmith performing live cut with salacious (and pretty exploitative) scenes of wild abandon starring the teenage girls. But today we care about Liv and Alicia's amazing style and hair. Seriously, they looked incredible. How incredible?
I love any video that starts with a girl pulling her panties out of her butt crack, so I'm already on board.
Two words: saddle shoes.
Remember when you were ditching class and climbing out the bathroom window and you got your kilt snagged on something and accidentally revealed your big lacy French knickers? You know, it's the realness of this video that makes it so relate-able.
Truthfully, I don't really understand what’s happening in this next bit. Alicia is a teenager with a convertible? Okay, that's not that completely insane, I guess this is like Laguna Beach, or maybe she's a rich vampire like in Twilight, or possibly she's a witch. Wait, is this Hogwarts? Whatever the case, it does seem slightly odd that she would cover the back seat of her car with clothes, then leave the top down all day, unprotected, in the school parking lot. I don't know anyone who would be that frivolous with their wardrobe, let alone a style savvy teenage girl.
Although maybe this next scene explains it: I guess if you're riding around in your car topless, having what is commonly known as a Bra Drive, it would be handy to have a spare couple of tops on the seat behind you that are just one backwards grope away. (Look-Mom-No-Hands-Bra-Drives are not encouraged, but you know, these two are R-E-B-E-L-S.)
There is actually a very serious story behind this video which not a lot of people know about. Tragically, the guitarist of Aerosmith suffers from a condition called Facehair—not to be confused with facial hair, which is entirely normal. Part of the aim of the video was to draw attention to this devastating issue. #PrayForFaceHair
Our thoughts are with you, man.
Unfortunately the director must've missed this memo because almost every shot of this video is full of Liv and Alicia. So let's go with that and get back to them. After what must have been an extensive Bra Drive—at least three hours—it's night and the girls pull up at a gas station.
Liv gets to work on filling up the gas. Apologies for the gratuitous shot, but you need to see her skin-tight pants and fluffy blue cropped cardigan. And look at her hair! This is perfect hair. This is hair that can be given a Cindy Crawford 90s blow dry, or messed up into a grungy, tousled mop. Heavenly. I bet it smells like watermelon.
While Liv is outside pumping gas, Alicia is inside, openly dropping novelty sunglasses into her Aztec tapestry backpack. You know what? One can never have enough bunny sunglasses in one’s life.
Liv enters stage left and notices that the cashier has no problem with Alicia's thievery, so she grabs a huge loaf of bread and stuffs it in her bag. I had no idea carb loading was such a big deal in the 90s. Although now I think about it, back then didn't everyone's diet consist of Twinkies, Lucky Charms, and microwave pizza? Those were the days, eh?
To say thank you to the dopey cashier, the girls bundle into the photo booth and take some saucy shots for him. I'm more interested in owning Alicia's quilted mini dress than the naughty pics, TBH.
The girls rent a room at a motel and get changed for the evening, probably after dining on a meal of Wonder Bread. Alicia applies a touch up of her matte plum lipstick, a staple in the make-up bag of every self-respecting 90s teenage girl.
Liv wriggles herself into some ridiculous 70s flares, which must have come from Daddy's wardrobe. Liv seems very excited. I understand this as I too am a big fan of flimsy white manmade fibers. Meanwhile, Alicia dons a super-smart double-breasted pinstripe suit, oversized shirt, black tie, and trilby. I wish this was how those serious businesswomen dressed on The Apprentice. She looks awesome. Like a blonde Dick Tracy.
The ladies drive to a nearby strip joint, natch. Alicia takes control and they snag table, ready to watch the show. But pretty soon Liv is being pulled up on stage because, ahem guys, this is AMATEUR NIGHT. Er what? Is that a real thing?
Yes. Yes it is.
Liv does a fantastic job, Dad would be so proud. She manages to not get her colossal bell bottoms caught up once. Alicia really enjoys the performance. Look at her here, all cute in her big shirt and tie. I remember the first time I saw this video at a friend’s house (my parents were so mean, they wouldn't let us have MTV), I was floored by Alicia's hair. It poured over her shoulders like golden silk. She was also the queen of the 90s hair flick. Back in the day before hairdressers had even conceived of layers. Jennifer Aniston's hairdresser ruined everything.
The director of the video clearly wanted to highlight the Tyler blood connection, as next thing we know Liv has found a microphone (I'm sure strip clubs leave them strewn all over the floor), and is impersonating her daddy. She nails the high kick and even mimics the clip where he's seen hocking a loogie onto a fan. Note the trademark Steven Tyler scarf tied to the mic stand. Bet the director was SO stoked with that detail.
Now, if I owned this kind of bra I would totally be up for a three hour Bra Drive. This is some intergalactic underwear!
After a night of jumping on their motel bed (probably) the girls emerge from their room, blinking into the sunset, showcasing their day two outfits. Denim cut-offs and sleeveless denim waistcoat over a crop top for Alicia, a gauzy dress and clunky boots for Liv. Is this what love feels like? You know what this video really needs now? A tractor.
Oh thank God.
While driving along a beautiful country road the girls spy this agricultural monster being ridden by Stereotypical Hot Topless Model Guy With Curtains.
They obviously stop the car and yell at him, encouraging Stereotypical Hot Topless Model Guy to leave his tedious farm work and join them on a glorious summery romp. And of course he does just that. In fact, he is so desperate to partake in their whimsy that he forgets to turn off the tractor, which trundles on and probably maims all his sheep in a messy, wooly bloodbath. I just hope after all that they have a bra big enough to fit him. #BraDrive
The three comrades drive to a horrible, mucky pond in the middle of the field. Liv and Alicia run to the water, probably squealing and exclaiming, “Chase me, chase me!” But the Stereotypical Hot Topless Model Guy is having none of it.
He just sits on the hood of the car, his oiled arms crossed, and begins to feel bad about the wooly bloodbath he has created back on the farm. In fact he's so sad about it he's forgotten to do up his acid wash jeans properly. “Nuh-uh ladies.”
But how can he resist when they strip down to their big pastel granny panties and floral bralets? (The latter is very on trend right now, FYI. See.) The three of them splash around in the likely Cholera-harboring water for all of ten seconds before Liv and Alicia have had enough. They dash out and jump into the convertible, taking Stereotypical Hot Topless Model Guy's jeans with them as they go. LOL.
He is forced to run behind the car trying to catch up, displaying his hilariously white buttocks. But don't worry, these girls might be wild, but that doesn't mean they're not kind. They stop the car and Stereotypical Hot Topless Model Guy leaps onto Liv, crotch first. Terrifying.
For the final shot in the video we return to the tractor, which is still motoring its way around the field. The camera zooms out and we see that this is what has happened to all that wheat. DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE? (Maimed sheep out of shot.)
There are so many takeaways from this video it's hard to summarize, but the salient points run like this:
1. The saddle shoe comeback starts here.
2. Wonder Bread is good for your figure.
3. Crop tops are timeless.
4. And so is taunting boys.
5. Every girl should go on a #BraDrive once in a while.
Style Stage is an ongoing partnership between Noisey & Garnier Fructis celebrating music, hair, and style.
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