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View Poll Results: Has Kate Moss lost her sense of style?
Yes 61 26.18%
No 122 52.36%
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31-07-2006
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Has Kate Moss lost her sense of style?
source: the guardian

Has Kate Moss lost her sense of style?

For more than a decade, she's been setting trends - each worth millions to the fashion industry. She's bounced back from her drug scandal and she's earning more than ever ... So why is Britain's queen of style suddenly looking, well, a little unstylish? Could her glorious reign be nearing an end? By Paula Cocozza

Monday July 31, 2006
The Guardian

Let us be clear what this is not about. It is not about photographs of Kate Moss with cellulite on her thighs, some of which have appeared in British tabloids in recent weeks. Nor is it about the impact of her lifestyle and alleged drug-taking on the condition of her skin (what are a few spots when you've got a face like that?), or her taste in men - all of which have emerged as familiar themes of the past few months.

This is about a fall of a different kind - about style, pure and simple. For the past 15 years, Moss has had only to step outside her front door for a new fashion trend to be launched. Now she appears to be losing her extraordinary sense of style, and there is a succession of outfits that arguably proves it.


In fashion terms, ever since the first photographs of her by Corinne Day appeared in the Face in 1990, Moss has been unassailable. Her outfits have shown an impressive fashion intelligence at work, her choice of clothes always educated as well as intuitive. When, for example, she wore a rippling yellow vintage dress to a party in New York three years ago, it was "a statement moment, the beginning of a more feminine silhouette", according to Jo Elvin, editor of Glamour magazine. But Moss also got people talking about the long-forgotten Jean Dessès, the couturier thought to have created that dress; it was the fashion equivalent of name-dropping a great author no one else has read.

Look at the photograph again now, and the outfit seems a no-brainer - what could be easier to assemble than dress plus shoes and bag? It seems hard to imagine after three summers in which the frock has dominated, but that easy yellow belter helped to spur the return of the dress to the British high street. At the time, the catwalks were full of separates, Marc Jacobs was showing miniskirts with primary-coloured tights, bootlegs and 80s sweatshirts were outselling all else at Topshop.

Moss's ability to hold our attention with an image has always been partly about her looking fantastic in that moment, and partly about the fact that she is usually one step ahead of the next. "She has that supreme confidence," says Elvin. "Where we would open our wardrobes and shy away from something that looks a bit weird, she goes for it. One of the reasons she is so admired is that she always does something experimental, and I think she hates the idea of anyone else dressing her." Moss has never had a stylist.

Even when she famously arrived at a party in London in 1993 in a sheer silver dress, accessorising it with a cigarette in her right hand, a bottle in her left, and with a pair each of knickers and nipples shimmering through the cloth, it was the shape of those pants that held the eye: a low-rise of impeccable cut and incongruous modesty. She has a great eye for line, a keenness for surprise.

Contrast all this with Moss's current public image. Two years ago it would have been impossible to suggest there was anything as monolithic as a Kate Moss look. This summer not only has there been one, but it has not shown much progress from last summer's. Examine the evidence and one image occurs more than most: Moss at a festival, long legs bolted at either end into a pair of raggy denim hotpants and a peculiar, loosely collared set of ankle boots, an outfit that had its genesis at Glastonbury last year (and, as we all know, a year is even longer in fashion than it is in politics).

Silence the voice in your head that says her legs look fantastic in those shorts: this is not about her body, it's about her clothes. A belt hangs low around her hips. And while this might in itself seem like a harmless enough detail, it looks dated, recalling all those big belts with peasant skirts that flip-flopped relentlessly down high streets in Britain last summer. Historically, Moss has always led rather than followed fashion and, having done so, swiftly moved on. She wore Balenciaga before people were talking about it; she put ballet flats with skinny jeans; she helped gold jewellery to supplant silver, and was even responsible for the reintroduction to respectable wardrobes of the humble welly. Now it seems that she has stopped moving, and we have stopped following, and not only because there are few things in fashion as alienating as a pair of hot pants.

"It's quite rock'n'roll," says Angela Buttolph, contributing editor of Grazia magazine. "Hotpants are small, you can just fold them in a bag, take them anywhere. She's leading a really nomadic lifestyle. It's as if she just jumps in them and goes out the door. But I think people are getting bored of the hot pants. She's hardly worn anything else."

And Moss is not the only one who is making the outfit look familiar. A strikingly similar pair of hot pants is being given an intensive summer workout by Victoria Beckham. The printed top and low-slung belt Moss wore to the O2 festival in June recalled Sienna Miller's boho fixation of last summer. There are other similarities: another Moss seasonal staple, the long T-shirt belted and worn as a dress, has also been sported repeatedly by Beckham, as has the waistcoat worn with nothing underneath. Moss, in short, is dressing like the people who have always dressed like her.

"Usually she'll do something, everyone else will do it - and then she'll do something else," says Buttolph. "Normally it's held that Posh jumps on a look and Kate jumps in the opposite direction. But she's still wearing hot pants while Posh is. If you were looking for the next thing at the moment, you wouldn't be looking to Kate Moss."

When, on September 15 last year, grainy pictures of Moss allegedly snorting cocaine appeared on the front page of the Daily Mirror, it looked as if, at 31, her career might have come to a premature end. In fact, nothing could have been further from the truth. Her earnings have trebled in the months since.

New contracts with Virgin Mobile, the luxury leather goods brand Longchamp, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein and Roberto Cavalli alone are thought to amount to around £6m. On Friday, Moss will appear on her third Vogue cover in six months. Rather than heralding the beginning of the end, the scandal has served only to invigorate her career. But if Moss is more in demand than ever at work, away from it, in civilian clothes, she has never looked less inspiring.

So why has she started dressing badly? Perhaps we need to trace a familiar path in search of the culprit, to the doors of her boyfriends. There has been much talk about the damaging effect of Moss's relationship with Pete Doherty on her health - but what about the havoc her relationships are wreaking on her wardrobe? When she wore a grey two-piece trouser suit with a long-sleeved white T-shirt poking out of her jacket sleeves, it was hard not to see the influence of Doherty. On more than one occasion recently she has sabotaged her outfit with a necktie that bears an uncanny resemblance to the trademark of her friend Russell Brand.

"This is always a difficult one to talk about," says one fashion executive at a glossy magazine who does not wish to be named. "People really close ranks around her. But I think she is actually channelling that guy who does Big Brother's Big Mouth [Brand]. In fashion terms, she really is hanging herself with that little noose around her neck she insists on wearing."

Does any of this matter? Well yes - and not just to her. Without Moss striking out in stovepipes, for example, Topshop's skinny Baxter jeans would not have averaged UK sales of 18,000 a week since their release last August. For years, Moss has been the highest and most reliable measure of fashion, as lauded within the industry as she is outside it.
It is because she looks so fantastic that she can make so much money and wield such influence without ever having to say anything memorable. Crucially, Moss does not speak about her work, never gives interviews and, until her recent TV commercial for Virgin Mobile, most of us would never have heard her voice. Her clothes are her language. She lets the world form an opinion of her through what she wears and how she looks. So if she wants to remain as powerful in our wardrobes as she is on the catwalk, she needs to let go of those rock'n'roll outfits. Either that, or next summer we will all be wearing pixie boots and hot pants.

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31-07-2006
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right, right, It's all Peter's fault. Kate never did ANYthing wrong before she met him, and now, not only is the scandal is his fault, but the way she dresses is his fault too!

please.

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31-07-2006
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This is a classic case of "bring them up and them knock them down".This article is just silly and stupid.I think Kate Moss is still one of the best dressed humans period.And she will remain one her outfits are far from monotne and predictable so no i dont think she lost her sense of style!

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31-07-2006
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I think Kate's style has been going downhill since mid 2004. It's become messier and trashier. Sometimes she looks as if she wants desperately to be 13 again. Her current look is not fresh-looking and makes her look older to me. She looks washed out and sometimes quite chavvy.

I loved her style when it was more fresh, simple and classic. I think that really suited her.

I don't think she has completely lost her sense of style, she still manages to (sometimes) get a stunning outfit together, but more rarely. Her name is not synonymous to cool, chic and fresh in my vocabulary anymore. I hope she cleans up her style (her lifestyle does not matter to me. In my opinion she can have as much fun as she wants, she deserves it.).

Hotpants were always thought to be tacky, and then Moss wears them and they become ultra-stylish...come on people, where are your brains? Just because Moss wears it does not mean it looks good. She is overrated.

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31-07-2006
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I would never put the words "Chav" and Kate Moss together but each to their own.

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31-07-2006
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No,i stole it

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31-07-2006
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I think she had a great period a few years ago. but now she looks trashy, its almost like because some people are labelling her a rock chic she thinks she must always dress like one. I think this is the first time when moss has looked like she has really planned her outfits.

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31-07-2006
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^ Hahaha. (for Eylul's comment)

No...I like the way she dresses (for her, of course. it'd look ridiculous on me), it suites her although sometimes she can look quite odd.

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31-07-2006
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I don't think she's lost it.

It's just what she wears now is quite predictable something that never could have been said a few years ago.

Also, I think there's alot more media coverage of peoples candids styles now, and of course with the emergence of stylists like Rachel Zoe, it's alot harder to really stand out. People lean toward Nicole Richie's and Linsday Lohan's contrived looks now because they are more accessible.


Last edited by Manuva; 31-07-2006 at 10:01 AM.
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31-07-2006
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i agree with Emil Kate Moss is one of the best dressed humans period. this articly is stupid. the only way kate moss can be seen as chavvy is because all the bloody chavs copy her.



oh and i think she looks amaizing in hot pants :p

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31-07-2006
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You can't lost an innate sense, which is what Kate has.
You might lose the desire to live up to it though.

Perhaps she has different issues to worry about now?
Better that she focus on what she needs to (i.e. daughter, health, etc..) than if she's going to please us when she walks out her front door.

How stressful.

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31-07-2006
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Even though I've grown more than a little tired of these hot pants and ankle boots Kate's been solely sporting in recent months I think she's still gorgeous! Just can't help but love her!

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31-07-2006
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I've been a 'fan' of Kate's for about 8-9 years, and I don't think she has now, or ever really lost any sense of style. She has highs and lows, like most of us do, and I don't think she now or ever lost anything, she'll always know what works for her, sometimes she nails it and sometimes she doesn't. But on the whole, I think she'll usually rock a look better than most

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Last edited by gail; 31-07-2006 at 10:54 AM.
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31-07-2006
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I think because we see so many pics of her nowadays, it's become easier for people to copy her style, so because we see a lot of what she wears in the shops and on the street, when we see Kate herself out, she doesn't look as original because her look has become so mainstream.

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31-07-2006
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I don't think she's lost her sense of style....most of the time she looks fabulous.

Though, on occasion: when she's wearing itty-bitty shorts they sometimes clash with the 'drunk-and-over-thirty' look on her face. It's hard to deny that in some pics you can see the wrinkles appearing on her face (from age and hard partying) so they don't always match her 20-something outfit.

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