What is special about Kate Moss

What makes Kate Moss so special?

Photo tape
Even after 440 pages and around 300 photographs, there is still no answer to the question: What is it that makes Kate Moss so special? Why is it of all people that photographers, artists, designers and consumers have been crazy about for more than 20 years? Others are nicer, smarter, sexier. And yet none is like them.

But there may not be a mysterious elixir that is responsible for their special position among all the top and supermodels. But just an armada of private kates, individually tailored for each individual viewer, each of which has exactly what pleases or turns on the respective addressee.

The volume "Kate Moss", which is now being published by Schirmer Mosel, collects photographs from all stages of her career (with the exception of private and paparazzi photos). After an incomprehensible dramaturgy, pictures from 1990 to the present day were strung together, and several dozen photographers provided their best pictures of Moss. Sometimes there are ten years between the two pictures on a double page, and neither thematic nor chronological arguments can be the reason for the arrangement, but why also: the subject is Kate Moss, and time would be too boring a grid for someone like her To make it understandable that remains exciting beyond any normal career period.

Just as every Kate Moss crush says a lot about the aficionado, but almost nothing about Kate Moss, every Kate Moss photo says a lot about the photographer in the first place. Mario Testino is the good-humored guy who doesn’t allow you backstage where he makes everyone laugh. For Hedi Slimane it was the perfect projection surface for his dual system of hardness and delicacy. And Mario Sorrenti, who treated her like a sculpture with the finest black and white grains, may have created the face and body of Kate Moss in the first place with his iconic images for Calvin Klein perfumes.

There are also less successful pictures of her, like those of the team Meret Alas and Marcus Piggottwho, among other things, wanted to turn superfluously into Marilyn Monroe, when she is already Kate Moss, i.e. the opposite. It is mostly those productions that they associate with clichés that fail. With other women like Agyness Deyn or Lara Stone, this would probably turn into something funny and exciting. With Kate Moss you only think: It's a shame that there is so much blonde, glued-on eyelashes and lipstick on it. Also with extremely sexed productions: It's a shame that she wears unimaginative patent leather boots. It's a shame that she is completely naked, the look would have been enough.

Of course, it is by no means the case that the ideal Moss girl is that, that for all eternity Corinne Day Discovered in 1990 for "The Face" - a freckled teenager, thin as a leaf, with chief feathers and a puckered nose when laughing. On the contrary, also hyper-artificial Versace shoots by Richard Avedon or special color and shape compositions like that of Steven Klein are great. In an introductory conversation with her close friend Jess Hallet, she tells how she came to the photo shoots in the Crunch photo studio after school at fourteen, in school uniform and with Vivienne Westwood shoes. How the celebrity hairdresser James Brown gave her the first outfits for Club Subterranea, where she met Kylie Minogue, Boy George and John Galliano, who also became one of her first catwalk clients because she was curious, brave and cool.

The much-invoked Moss specialty of being limitlessly changeable and yet always unmistakable, however, may not be due to her appearance, but to her attitude: Without having any special visual training herself, she had a keen sense of what someone was from the beginning with a camera from her (and it can be assumed that the cleverer photographers had it done pretty quickly). There is, she says in the interview, an agreement between the model, the photographer and the person you want to create together. This agreement must remain unspoken. Perhaps this is Kate Moss' secret.

"Kate Moss", Schirmer Mosel Verlag, German / English, 448 pages, 78 euros

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