Monday, September 07, 2009

the kate I knew and loved


The subject of aging is an interesting one. Because it's also bloody complicated. Straight away we're faced with the question of beauty and it's correlation with one's age. Is it the endless possibilities, the spontanious tendencies and gaiety of youth, combined with a fortunate gene-pool that make you double take at a pretty face? But what about a woman who has reached a stage in her life when she has the attraction of wisdom in her favour but also perhaps the lumps and bumps of life lessons learnt? Both are sexy for two completely different reasons, but somehow, during conversations with friends in which Kate Moss is the focus, the latter viewpoint is discarded.

Instead a stroll down memory lane ensues with coos of "oh, but she was so freshfaced and cute then" or "remember her pixie cut when she was with Jefferson?" Usually such a stance would unleash my defending quips; 'why on earth must a woman be seen to need to shed her sexiness and beauty in exchange for aging'? I would honour Moss for the sake of the lessons she taught my ten year old self from the pages of Vogue, but in this case I'm a useless patron because I must nod my head, much as it pains me to do so and admit that with age, Kate Moss has lost that Je Ne Sais Quois she once possessed.

I like to remember the naughty see-through dress worn to a premiere but with an honest smile which cast her as sweeter than Naomi. The simple sweaters and jeans paired with her trusty Adidas trainers and a pair of stupid glasses. Her infamous centre parting and simple layers that framed her babyface. A pair of paint splattered grey tracksuit bottoms. Perhaps this is a classic case of pining over bygone eras, especially as almost two decades down the line, the 1990s possess now those characteristics of an easily defined age. The stylish minimalism, the brit-pop movement and of course the age of the supermodel, all something that Kate Moss carries multiple links to.

So maybe it's no wonder that Kate Moss has lost her charm when we're now on the periphery of a new unknown decade. One where the status of celebrity has grown so much that even a figure like Moss who so notoriously shunned public speaking and interviews has her own clothing line. But the so called life span of a Supermodel mustn't be forgotten. What is a model to do when she matures but still possesses selling power? A branding transformation including a flashy logo and bottle after bottle of eponymous perfume seems to be the modern day marketing man's idea. But with the likes of Helena Christensen looking as glowing and gorgeous as ever and carving a new career out of an interest like photography, Kate Moss's path seems somewhat stale in comparison.

Maybe I'll have to make do with my Moss memory and go back to those old Vogues, which now years down the line are a little crispy at the corners but still leave me more sated.


misspollyhadadolly said...

She has a look I've never understood but it stands the test of time. I don't think anything that is said about her can matter, she has a kind of mystique and timelessness about her that's still enthralling to see captured. You know she has yards of experience to share, though you rarely hear her speak.

A. said...

it's quite funny you should post this, well funny as in i should have expected it.

i've been noticing this change in kate for awhile now, namely since the coke incident & her going with jamie.

just saturday, i got the newest issue of V in the post & her editorial in there baffled me. she is just not the same kate i once knew & loved, the kate that introduced me to fashion when i was twelve. she just is not the same anymore. shes got to the point where shes become almost too commercial in her look. i dont know if its the hair or the tan or both together but shes just looked so haggared as of late. certainly not fresh faced at all.

though i must admit her cover for W this month is absolutely gorgeous. with the freckles & curly hair.

perhaps its just all down to styling.

maybe she should just take a break from topshop designing & the lot only to re-emerge a new kate. one that harps back to the old one who always was on the verge of fashion, inspiring us so.

Anonymous said...

interesting question. I dunno if its the fact that Kate has aged or if its her reputation. I feel she's a little overexposed as a style icon and with her dating life

Anonymous said...

Great post and I agree with everything you've said. She's definitely lost whatever it was, that little spark, that drew people to her. It's missing from her eyes, her smile and her photos. It makes me sad.

jennine said...

yeah... i've also noticed a hardening of her... i keep waiting to see cracks in her appearance as she's lived the life most of us can never dream without repercussion.

at the same time, she's been modeling for two decades, cut her some slack. i guess i get touchy when people go on about her age, she's only a year older than me, and i feel like i've lived lifetimes in the last 20 years, doing the same thing though... couldn't even imagine it. said...

Great picture research and good points. I think she became over-exposed, she was better as an enigma...

Caitlin Shearer said...

finally, a fashion blog with something substantial to say!
im glad i stumbled across your blog.

Anonymous said...
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Blue said...

i agree wholeheartedly that she is severely over exposed as a model, but i must say i respectfully disagree with your opinion that kate moss has lost her "je sais pas quoi". first of all you should understand that this is not something one can lose. you are either born with it or you are not; kate moss was born with it indeed. she will age and become something else professionally, fade into the fringes of fashion, but no one will be able to replace her. if you want my honest opinion you are mistaking the "je sais pas quoi" look to her as a lack of true love. jamie is the only thing dull about her, peter is her true love.

hippyhippychic said...

She was great when she was young because she seemed so excited about fashion and projects she was doing. Shes smiling in nearly all those old photos! Now she just seems kind of bored and uninterested and I think it reflects in her photos.

ray said...

i just miss her old clothes. she obviously still has whatever she started with......

were still talking ;]

bring back the trainers!!

Emma said...

Great post, well written, I enjoyed reading it. I agree that she has lost her certain something, but i think it's over exposure more than anything else. ALthough she is obviously looking older too - she should quit smoking! Having said that, i disagree about Helena Christensen looking 'glowing and gorgeous', sometimes she looks downright scary!

Make Do Style said...

She has so lost her mojo but then drug abuse does do that to people. It is more a lesson in this than actual looking good when you are older.

The pure and simple fact she became skanky not glamorous. I don't wish to be mean about her but she needs to take a break. Nothing wrong with time out!

Annie said...

I was talking to a few friends about the recent photos of Kate on a yacht sans maquillage, and they all said how ugly she looked. I was like, Jesus guys, just becasue you all slap it on!!!! She's still as beutfiul, in a different way. She looked better around the 30 mark than when se was really young, its like she's in control of her beauty now. Sorry to get all deep about it, but still!

shawna a. mazing said...

i <3 kate.
young, old, skinny, curvy, straight and high.

Liz said...

You have hit the nail bang on the head. It makes me a bit sad seeing current pictures of her.
p.s nice blog :)

Unknown said...

Dear Sir/Madam

I just ran across your article entitled “the kate I knew and loved” What is a model to do when she matures but still possesses selling power?, and I would like to raise an issue that is of concern to Selling Power magazine, which is the use of our trademark.

The word "Selling Power" is sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for sales effectiveness. For example you wrote: “And does her opinion have selling power, does her word really equal higher figures?” We do not condone such uses of our trademark.

As a practical matter, when you describe sales effectiveness, there are a wide range of terms available such as: sales excellence, sales savvy, sales mastery, sales acumen, sales efficiency, and many more.

The reason for this letter is to educate writers like yourself that we want to protect our trademark, since we don't want to risk Selling Power being declared by the courts a generic word. Therefore we ask you not to use Selling Power as a phrase since it is our legal trademark.

We would like to receive a written acknowledgment of this letter stating that you will in the future identify Selling Power as a trademark if you should write about our magazine, and not use Selling Power as a phrase. If we do not hear from you, we will need to take further action.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

All the best,

Gerhard Gschwandtner
Founder and Publisher
Selling Power
1140 International Parkway
Fredericksburg VA 22406
Office: 540-752-7000 Cell: 540-273-2555

P.S. Watch Selling Power videos online


rachel said...

ok, the comment above mine cant be real.

in regards to kate, i've never cared for her as a model, but i must admit the pics you posted of her are enchanting. of course people can age gracefully and still keep whatever it was that made everyone fall in love with them in the first place. but in kate's case, i feel like all of her hard partying and bad habits are catching up with her, and she's paying the price.

its a shame really. i think she just needs to go away for awhile, rest and become healthy.

Blue said...

hell yes shawna you are amazing. your brief opinion was exactly what more people should have in regards to others.

i like her every way too. high even. admittedly better if i was high with her!

Queen Michelle said...

Firstly, Gerhard Gschwandtner are you for real??
Secondly, I think her initial SELLING POWER was indeed that fresh faced innocence but her new SELLING POWER is Kate the, dare it say it, cliche? She has become a parody of herself now, I think, but people still buy into it. Regarding her beauty though, I think she looks great considering how unkind she's been to her body. Ageing happens and I think it's a shame when beauty is equated with youth, as experience and life lessons do bring to a person a certain glow, or a knowing smile.

Noelle said...

Personally I've always thought that with Kate Moss it was a case of 'The Emperors New Clothes' ... if you are familiar with the story.

There have been many many times when I've been so sick to my back teeth of seeing pictures of her... she has definitely been over-exposed. Maybe if she hadn't been so mass-worshipped at times she would still hold a certain mystery and mass admiration now. I wonder.

ANd 'endi' - if you really ARE for real, which I guess you might be otherwise why waste so much time writing on random blogs - GET A GRIP! The phrase 'SELLING POWER' has been used for years - I must have heard it a million times. I have NEVER heard of your magazine till now. You might have managed to copyright a phrase I suppose but you would never get anywhere in the courts if you tried to pursue it. ANd WHY would you? What is your point? Go and find something WORTHWHILE to do.

discotheque confusion said...

HA! oh my, I have only just noticed that ridiculous comment.

Thanks Endi for your kind words and help in prevention of a future mistake, I'll okay it with my thesaurus next time. PHEW!

What a silly goose. Maybe you should go around defending the clever heads that own the phrase "Happy Birthday", I hear that's trademarked these days too and they're doing great business.

Thanks (TM).

yeah, I own that word now.

Anonymous said...

i.heart.kate.moss--->a totally icon!!!

i found a link to this post at

i love it!! keep it up!!


Emma Louise Layla said...

Great post, I couldn't agree more about the 90s being easily defineable. Makes me nostalgic too; things were so simple back then etc etc... It pains me to agree I think she's lost it too.

xiao said...

Great photosvof her...though I still think she is one of the best models no matter:)

Kate said...

so true. you might hate me for this, but i feel the same way for someone like Hilary Duff. There was some naturalness to who they were, some rawness that was lovable and/or intriguing.

i blame it all on commercialism. after awhile, they know people love them, and then they try hard to keep it, then it no longer works. so sad.

I miss the old Kate!