Video: Freedom! ’90
Few songs and videos are as fashion-with-a-capital-F as George Michael’s Freedom! ’90. Maybe it’s because it has bona fide supers Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista pouting and lip-synching alongside a baby-faced then-model Mario Sorrenti, as directed by David Fincher (yes, of The Social Network and Fight Club fame).
Turns out, one of our Fashion Love couples, Alison Edmond and John Pearson, was at the shoot. Pearson is the striking fellow peeling the orange. Alison was on set reporting a behind-the-scenes story for Vogue. We asked the couple, who had already been dating for nearly a decade by then, what it was like.
What is it about the video that makes it so good 20-plus years later?
Alison: Those models really were the cream of the crop and they all still look gorgeous today. The video epitomizes a peak time for the industry. Plus, they weren’t wearing the fashion of the time so that helps make the video completely timeless. And, of course, David Fincher is a genius.
What was it like working with the supermodels?
John: Fantastic. I had the good fortune to do it on almost a weekly basis for years and they were pals, especially Christy and Linda. All of them incredible beauties but also great, smart, creative souls. Linda was absolutely enchanting to watch work, a complete and natural actress and chameleon. I remember watching David shoot her scene and just marvelling at her movement and commitment. Christy, breathtaking, was/is also fun and epitomized grace. Naomi, sexy and sassy as she remains and Cindy, the “Pro.” Tatiana was pretty great also. We had fun — how could we not?
When you see or hear Freedom! ’90 today, you think…
John: It’s still groovy and gets you tapping your feet. I still remember all the words — having had to learn them in about 40 minutes. The funny thing was, when meeting George for the first time, I corrected him whilst singing as he misplaced a couple of the words. Good stuff, singing a duet with GM at the height of his greatness. He was lovely.
Favorite memory from the shoot…
Alison: John’s agent told me that he was doing the shoot, but I didn’t believe him! I thought he was joking and even bet him a bottle of whiskey! So when I arrived to cover it for Vogue, I was completely shocked to see John there.
Have the kids seen it?
John: Yup, the kids have seen it. I think they like it, like the song, but don’t really understand its “standing” but you know, it’s dad being young and funky — SO kind of embarrassing, but perhaps there’s a tiny bit of pride/respect in there, too!