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Kate Moss: A life in style


1st Jan 2015 Fashion & Beauty

She's featured on over 300 magazine covers in her illustrious career, 33 of which were for Vogue. Kate Moss is an undisputed fashion icon, but how did a girl born in Croyden become a global star? Here's the evolution of Kate Moss's style. 

1. From Croydon to catwalks

Kate Moss was born in 1974 in Croydon, the daughter of a barmaid and a travel agent. She was discovered by Sarah Doukas, the founder of the notorious Storm Model Management, at JFK airport when she was just 14-years-old.

Her first cover shoot took place only a year later and it was the first of over 300 during her unprecedented career. 

Speaking about her upbringing and how her roots have kept her grounded, Moss said, "Because I’m from Croydon, if you get above your station somebody will knock you down. You can’t go around with airs and graces at all and I would never want to."


2. Humble beginnings

Kate Moss's first ever photo shoot was conducted by photographer Owen Scarbiena in the summer of 1988, on the tennis courts of Battersea Park, London. 

Speaking about the shoot at an exhibition of his photographs, Scarbiena recalled telling the 14-year-old to "pretend you're bored waiting at the bus stop."

"She was unimposing, innocent, fresh, unaffected and had a striking, nymph-like beauty. I loved the way that she sat for me in that shoot because she demonstrated that she had no pre-conceived ideas about how models are supposed to pose or stand."

The fashion world loved Kate's natural, pared-back style and her effortless cool. 


3. Fashion friends

Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss first became friends in 1992 when Kate was just 15 and Naomi was 18. The pair kept each other company during long photo shoots, travelling across the world together and eventually moved in together in New York, along with Christy Turlington. They'd host big roast dinners on Sundays, where Yorkshire puddings were Moss's speciality. 

In an open letter to the Evening Standard on her friend's 40th birthday, Campbell wrote, "What’s Kate like? Well, she’s honest, loyal and straightforward. There’s no bullshit. She’s not pretentious in any way. What you see is what you get. I love that about her. After all, we’re both from south London—I’m from Streatham, she’s from Croydon—and from working-class families. She’s never tried to be anything else and nor have I. We know our roots."

The pair were reportedly very competitive dressers in the 90s, although Kate Moss was always the more outlandish, persuading Campbell to try styles she was too timid to attempt. 


4. Hitting the headlines

Moss struggled with anxiety in the first part of her career and it was in her well-documented relationship with Johnny Depp that she finally felt taken care of. 

Speaking to Vanity Fair, she recalled, "There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit. I believed what he said. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?', he’d tell me. And that’s what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust. Nightmare. Years and years of crying. Oh, the tears!"

The former couple first met in 1994 at New York's hip Café Tabac. Depp was 31 and Moss was just 20.

The model remembers how "I knew from the first moment we talked that we were going to be together", while Depp's team reported to People Magazine that the pair couldn't "keep their hands, lips, mouths, legs off of each other."


5. In the pink

Kate changed her signature blonde locks for cotton candy pink tresses at the request of Donatella Versace for a 1999 catwalk show. 

Photographed here by Juergen Teller, this is one of Kate's favourite shots of herself.

She told the Telegraph that of all the photos she assembled for her photo-biography, Kate: The Kate Moss Book, this one best reflected her because "it is us just having a laugh in my bed. There wasn't a hair or makeup artist or anything. It's more like working with an artist, working with Juergen"

Kate talks about that pink hair photoshoot with Teller:

Pink was a colour she resented giving up. Speaking to SHOWstudio, she recalled feeling “so sad, because this picture is when it started looking good and that’s when Calvin [Klein] said ‘No, I don’t think so, you’re gonna have to go back to brunette’ or whatever.” 


6.  Chop chop

In 2001 Moss changed her hair once more with a dramatic pixie crop. She showed off her new do when she collected the award for Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. 

This is also around the same time that the model first went fully blonde. Thousands of women rushed to hairdressers to copy the style, and the pixie crop remained the height of fashion for the years to follow. 


7. A media sensation

Perhaps the most infamous chapter of Moss's career took place while she was dating the Libertines and Babyshambles frontman, Pete Doherty. 

The pair met when Doherty performed with the Libertines at the model's 31st birthday party, in the Cotswolds. Their turbulent relationship continually played out in the public eye, particularly when Moss was photographed snorting lines of cocaine off of CD cases with Doherty and his entourage. 

After the scandal, which made front page news in the UK, Moss lost countless modelling contracts, including deals with H&M, Chanel and Burberry.

Speaking to The Mirror after their eventual breakup, Doherty explained that: "It was love at first meet. When I met her she said she'd get a P tattoo, and I'd get a K. Soon afterwards she said 'I'm not fickle, I'll marry you'. I f***ed that up, didn't I?"


8. A white wedding

Kate Moss met husband Jamie Hince in a thoroughly modern way. She revealed to Vanity Fair magazine that: "I was at my friend's house in the South of France, and we were Googling men. And I went, 'Ooh, I like the look of him.' A friend set us up. He turned up, and we spent the next four days together."

Their wedding, which took place on 1 July 2011 in the Cotswolds, stretched long into the night, with performances from Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Shirley Bassey, Bryan Ferry and Beth Ditto. 

For her big day, Kate opted to wear a bias-cut silk satin, gold-sequined dress designed by John Galliano. The couple are now separated, but remain married. 


9. Like mother, like daughter

Moss's daughter, Lila Grace Moss-Hack, whose father is the Dazed and Confused editor Jefferson Hack, was born in 2002.

It's her daughter that Moss credits with keeping her down to earth. Mimicking her daughter's voice, she explained how Lila helped her dress for a recent event. “'Mum, you look ridiculous, take that off. It’s disgusting.’ I was going to put on this crazy green dress for the Vogue thing, but she is usually right. Then when she goes, 'Mum, you look really pretty’, I’m like, 'Ah,’ Because she never says anything nice about me.”

Speaking about her parenting style, Moss says that she's "really strict. Girls, you have to scare them, otherwise, they will take over."


10. Absolutely fabulous

The supermodel's latest venture sees her making a cameo in the hotly anticipated Absolutely Fabulous film. In the feature-length version of the much-loved sitcom, Eddy and Patsy find themselves in trouble after Eddy accidentally kills Kate Moss. 

Speaking about her experience with the film, Moss said "It was just amazing to be in a room with [the characters] Eddy and Patsy and Saffy and Bubbles; it was like a dream. It was 10.30 in the morning and Eddy was opening bottles of champagne for me, real bottles. They were like, 'We usually use ginger ale, but for you, we got real Bolly!'"

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