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Drinking vodka with Helmut Newton and Kristen McMenamy

1995, John Galliano, Helmut Lang and more teamed up with the photographer and model for an iconic Absolut campaign

It’s 1995, and to celebrate the launch of their new campaign, Asbolut Vodka have invited a gang of models to try their hand at making the beverage in the shopfront at Barney’s New York. Kristen McMenamy, the bleach-blonde who defined the 90s as the decade’s “first weird-looking model” (her words) is leading the pack, having been chosen as the face of the Swedish brand’s Helmut Newton-shot ads. In the series, captured on locaton in the label’s hometown of Åhus, McMenamy sports looks by the leading designers of the day – including a gown by John Galliano (worn in front of a traditional maypole), a fetishistic leather apron by Helmut Lang (chosen for a trip to the distillery) and a single slick thigh-high boot by Manolo Blahnik.

Absolut had been cementing their fashion rep since 1987 with designer collaborations, but this marked the first time they’d pair with Helmut Newton, the giant of photography who was revered for his darkly erotic shots. Luckily, Fashion TV were there to capture all the on-set action from the shoot – with an extra special bonus appearance from André Leon Talley in a viking hat. Watch the throwback video below and click through the gallery above to see a selection of the campaign images, and head here for more from the cult vault.