I was just looking at some photos of Kate Moss and thinking about what makes her so eponymous in 2011. She isn’t really tall. In fact at five-foot-seven she’s rather short as models go. She isn’t really sexy, she’s more androgynous, yet she has somehow evolved into a sex symbol.
During the early ’90s she was the face of grunge and the epitome of waifdom. The whole heroine chic model movement was headlined with her name. She then became the face of raves, drugs and wild street kids. She smoked. She drank. She partied hard. She became a single mother.
Yet she has maintained her status as a super model for decades., in spite of the Daily Mirror photos of her snorting cocaine which many thought would do her in. She kept mum through the whole thing and came back as big as ever. Time magazine called Kate “The face that has never gone out fo style.”
Designers adore her. John Galliano (he was a good guy at one time, before last week) gave her her first break. Calvin Klein commercials introduced her to the media world. The late Gianni Versace hired her again and again and again and now Donatella does the same. She was the model muse for Vivienne Westwood, as Helena Bonham Carter is today. During the ’90s she was everywhere and every designer wanted her. Yet even though she is past the age when most models retire to their villas in the countryside, she is still working. She even sucessfully segued into designing, with her own hit line for Topshop and bags for Longchamps.
So what is it about Kate Moss? Photographers rave that they are able to interpret her in any way; she’s a prototype, a muse. She offers the fashion houses a bit of edge and perhaps even relevance for today’s woman. She mixes haute couture, Top Shop and vintage store finds and makes them irresistible.
Like just a handful of models before her (think Twiggy, Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall) she is a chameleon, a shape and mood shifter. Quirky and unconventional in her beauty, Kate Moss may just outlast them all.
– Paula Rath