As TV sidekicks, glamorous supermodel Cindy Crawford and kitschy downtown designer Todd Oldham promise to be more mix than match, but that’s just the way MTV wants it. Last month, the street-smart Oldham, 31, became part of Crawford’s House of Style with ”Todd Time,” focusing on the offbeat nine times a year. Oldham’s designs have used everything from hammocks and wallpaper to secondhand art; clients include Susan Sarandon, Queen Latifah, and Vanessa Williams. Some questions for Oldham as he begins his TV career:
1. Why was your first show shot at a thrift shop? I buy all my shirts at thrift stores. This (points to his green-and-red plaid shirt) came from one. In a twisted way, thrift style is like couture, because the shops are full of one-of-a-kind items.
2. But you could certainly afford to shop anywhere. Four dollars is more my price. I still work for a living, honey.
3. Where did you get your sense of style? From my sisters, my mother — and my grandmother, who always had these big cocktail earrings on, even in a sweatshirt. And she taught me how to sew.
4. Do you remember your first sewing machine? It was from the ’30s — and it would always short out. I was constantly being electrocuted. I guess I was clearly meant to do this if I could put up with an electrocution sewing machine.
5. What’s the mission of ”Todd Time”? Hey, we’re not performing brain surgery here. We’re here to entertain — and, hopefully, to thrill.
6. What will future segments bring? We’re doing style in Hollywood with Debi Mazar, a New York girl who is far more glamorous than half the overdone women in L.A. I’m also doing a makeover with Rosie O’Donnell.
7. Besides thrift chic, what looks do you like? I like the same things I liked as a kid. I look at pictures of me when I was 2 and I have the same outfit on: khaki or corduroy pants, plaid or plain shirts. I look exactly the same — just a few more wrinkles and some gray hair.
8. Has becoming a TV personality changed what you watch on TV? I don’t watch networks at all anymore; I much prefer the strangeness of public access. It’s like a 24-hour Robert Altman movie.
9. Are there any drawbacks to being on TV? Glazed eyes and helmet hair. I plan to avoid both.
10. Did Cindy have any broadcast tips for you? She just told me to make sure not to let makeup give me a prominent mole.