The Last of the Supermodels. She ended an era. And then started another one. There’s something really special about Kate. She is a casual philosopher. She knows everybody. And if she doesn’t know everything, she knows a lot-about a lot of things. She’s bewitching and witchy-wise. Here’s some of the wisdom. And some of the wit…
Kate Moss is the last of the supermodels. After Kate, they really weren’t super anymore. So what happened? Was it something she did? Was it Kate that killed the supermodel?
She broke the mold, anyway. Before little Kate Moss, supermodels were imposing Amazons, over 6 feet in heels, swaggering and swiveling down the runway with hot hauteur. They had big breasts and big boyfriends and didn’t get out of bed for less than 10 grand a day. (And back then 10 grand was money!) So along came this little 14-year-old Brit with a sweet smile and naughty eyes, and she blew away the whole supermodel aesthetic.
Kate was grunge. She was the Kurt Cobain of mannequins. She rocked, but in a whole new way. And the outrage was palpable. She was “the waif.” And suddenly everyone was concerned about whether she was getting enough to eat. For someone who grew up on Twiggy, I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. To me the shocking thing about Kate was that she was 5 foot 7. But suddenly she was blamed for anorexia and things like “heroin chic.” Remember? The other person who took heat for that was Vincent Gallo, who has never even smoked pot. Funny how image works. All along I insisted that I’d never seen an anorexic with such nice tits and ass.
But the supermodels weren’t over yet. In fact, Kate was adopted by the supermodel club, the sidekick to Christy and Naomi and company. She fit right in. She had her share of legendary beaux and sensational incidents. She worked hard and got to the top, booking more covers than anybody else.
I’ve known Kate since she was a teenager. I met her through photographer Corinne Day, the real grunge culprit, and worked with Kate on her first TV gig, with Marky Mark for Calvin Klein. Even then she was worldly and cracking wise. She was great on TV. The favorite spot on my reel is Kate for ck one-“One for you and one for me, one for you and one for me.” She might be a supermodel-but Kate Moss is real people. For someone on the sides of buildings, she’s as down-to-earth as it gets. She’s smart, self-educated, and funny enough that you can wind up with tears in your eyes. And she’s got the right attitude. She hasn’t dated specious counts or Formula One drivers. She hasn’t made a record or written a novel or made dumb cameos in dumber movies. She hasput out her own line of clothes for Topshop. And that’s not a gimmick-she has started more styles than anybody else, and her CFDA Fashion Award and her perennial place on the best-dressed lists are no joke. She has style in her DNA. She has been on top of the modeling pyramid for 20 years, and she’s 34.
I talked to Kate in Ibiza, at the home of Mert and Marcus, our cover photographers. Then she put on her makeup.
Glenn O’Brien: So, Kate, have you met everyone yet?
Kate Moss: Almost. Well, not everyone!
GO: Who haven’t you met?
KM: Well . . . I have met almost everyone I’ve wanted to meet. How about you?
GO: I haven’t really met Bob Dylan.
KM: I’ve met Bob Dylan. We did one of those nonhandshake handshakes. I was with all guys, and he shook hands with all of them, and then they said, “And this is Kate,” and I put my hand out, and he didn’t put his out. And then I took my hand away, and he put his out. It was one of those. We finally did shake. And then I fainted!
GO: From meeting Bob Dylan? What a fan!
KM: Well, I met Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan in the space of 15 minutes. Frank Sinatra kissed me on the lips.
GO: That’s why they called him the Chairman of the Board.
KM: He kissed me on the lips. And then he gave me a filterless cigarette. And then I met Bob Dylan. I came off all lightheaded and had to go sit on his dressing-room steps.
GO: I would faint if I smoked a Camel.
KM: Maybe it was the cigarette and nothing to do with the legends.
GO: So did Frank still have all his marbles?
KM: Oh, definitely. There was still a twinkle in his blue eyes. Yeah, major. I was with Johnny [Depp] at the time. And Frank came over to me and got all
of his security to close in so Johnny couldn’t get to me. I was sitting down having a cigarette, and he just walked in the room, and he spotted me and made a beeline to me. So we were encircled by security in this backstage area, and he’s like, “How are you doing, little
lady?” And I said, “Happy birthday, Frank!” and I went to shake his hand, and he just lunged for me.
KM: I know. And then I smoked the cigarette and went all light-headed. He was fabulous. It was his 80th-birthday party in L.A.
GO: Did Frank sing to you? “Strangers in the Night”?
KM: No, he just did his concert. He was so great.
GO: Fainting was exactly the thing to do after you’d been kissed by Frank. You always know what to do, Kate. You must be this repository of wisdom. Like how to pack for a trip or how to avoid the person in the next seat in first class. Yeah, if you have to fly commercial, how do you handle that?
KM: It’s all about the blanket. Blanket, pillow, and red wine. You should always be asleep on a plane.
GO: You’re always traveling. You must be a genius at packing.
KM: No. It’s awful. I had this amazing P.A., and we used to pack together, and she got so used to what
I wanted to pack that she got to the point where she would just do it all-and perfectly. Now she’s away having a baby, and I have completely forgotten how to do it. It’s so weird. I just organize by bags of specific things. Bags of knickers, bags of bikinis, bags of dresses. So it is contained and organized,
but my suitcase is a mess if I do it myself.
GO: But being a fashion freak, how do you contain your-
KM: I am not a fashion freak!
GO: Yes, you are.
KM: No, I’m not at all. I hardly ever-
GO: Okay, you’re a clothes person-
KM: Yeah, I like clothes, but I hardly ever go shopping. Hardly ever!
GO: How do you get your clothes then?
KM: Well, I just come across them
GO: [laughs] Yeah, my wife comes across them too.
KM: If I see a secondhand shop, I’ll go in. But I don’t, like, traipse down Bond Street.
GO: I know, but I also know you have an incredible wardrobe. Don’t you have a lot of stuff?
KM: I don’t have as much as you probably think.
GO: I just sort of assumed you’re like my wife. She has great clothes that she wears, but she’s also a collector. I am trying to buy another apartment in my building so there will be enough room for me. There are stacks of clothes.
KM: Well, I edit. I edit things down, and I’ve got a massive dressing room in the country, and so all the things I’m not going to wear but don’t want to get rid of go there. And all the stuff I want to get rid of goes to Oxfam.
GO: So you’ll wear it again in 10 years?
KM: Or my daughter will wear it. When she’s 16. All those Pucci numbers and things that I wore when I was 17 that I won’t really wear. But I’m saving them for her really. That’s my blackmail. “Don’t eat your dinner, and you won’t get my clothes. You won’t grow, and you won’t get into my clothes.” Now she’s a fashion freak.
GO: How old is she?
KM: She’s almost 6.
GO: She would probably like my kid. He’s turning 8. He’s a real ladies’ man.
KM: She likes older boys. Have you got a picture? [kid pictures . . . oohing and aahing] He has olive skin!
GO: My son Oscar announced the other day that he was getting married to his girlfriend from school. He’s wearing a ring now. I said, “So are you going to move in together?” And he said, “Why would we do that?” He’s so smart.
KM: Lila says she’s going to get married three times. She’s going to have three husbands, and she knows exactly who they are. They say the funniest things. Never a dull moment!
GO: Here’s a picture of Oscar in Jamaica at Golden-Eye [Resort].
KM: Oh, I’m going there.
GO: I was just there. I saw the tree you planted.
KM: I saw your tree the last time I was there! It’s really big.
GO: Nice to be in the same forest with you, Kate.
KM: Did you see River Phoenix’s tree? It’s huge!
GO: I think you must have been there with Johnny Depp. His tree wasn’t doing so well.
KM: I took Johnny there!
GO: What do you do for jet lag?
KM: I stay up. Actually, I never used to have it. I get it a bit more now, but I just carry on. I just stay up.
GO: And how do you stay the same size?
KM: I don’t know. That’s genetic I think. It’s handy. Going to the gym wouldn’t be on my list of favorite things to do.
GO: Do you have gaydar, Kate?
GO: The last time I was with you, you were going on about your theory about a famous movie star.
KM: Yeah, I know. Then when I got home I texted all these men I know, asking if they thought he was gay. I got so many responses! Like, two-page responses!
By GLENN O’BRIEN
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