@velvetcoke tells the story behind 10 iconic pop culture moments

Published May 16, 2018

As part of Interview’s Obvious History series, we’ve partnered with @velvetcoke to bring the old, often hilarious, sometimes mysterious, but always glamorous stories of the rich and famous back into the public eye. Here, the pop culture historian travels back through her massive Instagram archive of classic memorabilia to tell us about the top ten iconic moments you might have slept on.

Prepare for a lot of peak ’90s nostalgia in the form of your favorite movie stars, rock idols, and models, and some older snapshots from the glory days of Hollywood’s upper echelon.

VELVET COKE: Adriana Lima (above) was already named Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil” at the age of 15 [in 1996]. Ironically, she wasn’t that interested in this career at first. She only applied because of her friend who didn’t want to be alone in the competition. She had no interest in modeling even though she had won many beauty pageants in elementary school. Her own mother and friends supported her and believed she could be a top model. I love this post because it’s probably my favorite editorial of Adriana Lima. I love her work and modeling. She looks simply amazing.

VELVET COKE: Named “sexiest man alive” by People magazine in 1988 (this photo is the proof), John F. Kennedy Jr. was linked with numerous celebrities; Madonna, Daryl Hannah, Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields… Kennedy broke hearts across America when, in September 1996, he married his longtime girlfriend, Carolyn Bessette. The two shared a loft apartment in NYC, where Kennedy was often seen rollerblading and biking on the city’s streets. I love this photo because it’s like a hidden gem. Wouldn’t even recognize the president’s son at first—looks like a very typical sun-kissed 80s babe enjoying time on the beach. Which is always a good aesthetic.

VELVET COKE: Carla Bruni, one of the top models of the ’90s, was also Karl Lagerfeld’s muse. Karl Lagerfeld called Carla Bruni a “beautiful creature who can wear anything.” Vogue created the phrase “insanely perfect ass” just for her. She started off as a 16-year-old sitting in an old man’s lap. It was a campaign for Guess and of course, the start of her career was already scandalous. This video of Carla includes all the reasons why I love her. She’s one of my favorite models, she really knew how to work it and, behind the scenes, she sounds so charming.

“Hanging out with the Maiden guys always brings back great memories. 1981 – possibly – hanging out in Hollywood, CA, driving around with [original Metallica bassist] Ron McGovney – me and Lars in the backseat. “We saw Steve Harris walk down the street and us – dorky, shy metalheads [going], ‘Hey, Steve!’ And he actually turns around and starts walking towards us. We’re like, ‘Ah, ah, ah, ah.’ That was our first brush with somebody cool and famous – that always stuck with me. Steve Harris, a super-down-to-earth, really cool guy. And nothing has changed. I mean, he showed up at the show that we did [in Quebec City]. It’s really cool when other musicians are hanging out, watching you do what you do – it takes to another level. You kinda go to Olympic mode 0 you step it up. Our setlist was at least five minutes faster – Lars was so nervous: ‘Oh, my God! Steve Harris is watching me!’ ‘Does this part sound too much like Iron Maiden?’ Yes… Usually, halfway through the show, you figure, ‘OK, he’s gone and he’s moved on to the next thing.’ But no – for the whole show he was standing there; the whole show, to the very end. And not only was he standing there the whole time, he got in the vehicles with us [laughs], came to the hotel with us – super-cool guy! And then we got to go see them a couple of days later. And likewise, super hospitable there.”

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VELVET COKE: Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray performed on every one of Iron Maiden’s albums, they are the only two members of the group to do so. He is a talented football player, and his bandmates say that if he did not play bass he would definitely have had a career in professional football. Steve Harris is one of my favorite musicians and Iron Maiden is one of my favorite bands. I don’t share enough of my love for rock and metal on this account, I suppose I should make another account, because I love them a lot.

VELVET COKE: Hard to believe, but James Dean’s first choice was not acting. In his early days, he was interested in playing baseball and basketball. As a child, he was very interested in those sports. Later, as his passion for cinema started to grow, his first TV appearance happened. It was in a Pepsi Cola commercial. As cliché as it may sound, James Dean is one of my big inspirations. I simply love his charm and style, totally timeless.

imagine being this perfect

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VELVET COKE: Axl Rose has always been a huge fan of both Freddie Mercury and Elton John. His dreams came true when he actually performed with Elton John, five months after the legendary singer Freddie Mercury died. On April 20th, 1992, over 72,000 people saw Axl and Queen perform in Freddie’s honor.  Last but not least, every Axl post is my favorite post because he is my favorite person on Earth. Not just as a rockstar, but a big idol in every possible way. We can all learn so much from him.

Liv Tyler, That Thing You Do – London premiere 1997.

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VELVET COKE: Less known: Liv Tyler had a cameo role in Everyone Says I Love You [1996], a musical directed by Woody Allen, and it was cut. Allen was impressed enough by her performance to write a personal letter explaining that her role was cut in editing. There are some behind the scenes photos, but that’s it. Note that Liv actually commented on this post! That’s why it’s my favorite. It’s not the only time she commented but she thanked me for this one and made me so happy.

VELVET COKE: Oscars 1990 were full of iconic names and looks. Julia Roberts, Jeremy Irons, Robert de Niro, Anjelica Houston, Kathy Bates, Meryl Streep and many others were the winners of the night for their work and certainly on the red carpet. I edited this video to point out some highlights from the night in 60 seconds. The event was full of old glamour, classic beauty, and gorgeous couples. I could watch it for hours.

Lindsay Lohan talking about fame at the premiere of The Parents Trap, 1998.

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VELVET COKE: Lindsay Lohan had a busy childhood. Her mother Dina had big dreams about Lindsay’s career. She started taking voice lessons as a child and already began modeling at the age of 3. Later she became well-known for her iconic role in The Parent’s Trap [1998] where she plays a girl meeting her lost twin sister. Personally, this movie brings back good memories. This post is also bitter-sweet because we see a young, happy Lindsay talking about fame without knowing what’s going to happen.

VELVET COKE: Apparently, Julia Roberts never dreamed she would become one of the most popular actresses in America and the whole world. As a child, due to her love of animals, Julia originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but later studied journalism. When her brother, Eric Roberts, achieved some success in Hollywood, Julia decided to try acting. This is a post of Julia attending a premiere. I simply adore looking at ’80s and ’90s movie premieres. They look so effortlessly cool and [the stars] seem like they’re actually having fun.