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Kate Moss: The Original It Girl Icon

As she celebrates a long-term collaboration and the launch of a new lip and nail collection, Kate Moss invites Melanie Morris to take a peek inside her wardrobe.

Without sounding like Old Lady Time, I’ve interviewed a lot of fascinating people over the years … either because they have a huge profile, or are very much “of the moment”; but nobody garners as much interest as Kate Moss. Tell anyone you’re off to meet the mega model, and they stop what they’re doing to hear more. Then they remember the day you’re doing it, possibly even the hour, and the texts start coming in … “What was she like?”, “Is she lovely?”, “What was she wearing?”, “Has she had much work done?”. Even I didn’t know what to expect. All I know about Kate is through the prism of other media (and a lot of photographs), so it’s almost like meeting a fictional character. But our meeting was to prove very real.

Moss was chatting to press because she is celebrating 15 years with Rimmel London cosmetics. Fifteen years of “getting the London look” (I know, the time has passed in a flash), and of an association that seems to have grown legs and developed into something more meaningful over time. At the beginning, she was simply the face of various launches and campaigns, now she collaborates on collections. We’re gathered to get a first look at her latest range – six lipsticks and three nail polishes, various shades of red and nude, which bridge summer and go into winter quite nicely.

Moss’ relationship with Rimmel London is a significant one. In her wilder days, it was one of the few brands who maintained an association whilst others ran scared; so she seems to go the extra distance with them now when it comes to presenting new collections. Take this new launch as an example. Rather than just put the product out there, Kate brought her personal wardrobe to the party, aligning key pieces and outfits to the lipstick colours. So, as I sat in a building in Fitzroy Square, it was like being in Kate Moss’ dressing room, as clothes, bags, scarves, shoes, capes and lingerie were artfully displayed on hangers, shelves, boxes and rails. Stools were covered with fringed shawls, mirrors were adorned with lipstick writing, marrying the name of the shade with Kate’s fashion look. The pieces were like old friends, familiar to me, and clearly adored by Kate: her gold sequin Glasto cape, leather Balmain trousers (“they are my favourite, and they’ve been patched and mended a good few times”); those long, skinny scarves; the sheer red tulle dress she wore to Mario Testino’s birthday party, paired with a leopard-print body underneath; the green Saint Laurent gown she loves so much that she has one in cerise too (and which her mum wore to Kate’s 40th birthday party); the ubiquitous black blazer and grey skinny jeans; the leopard print Louboutins … they were all there. If only she’d brought that wedding dress too … Sigh.

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She chatted animatedly and candidly about the clothes and her life in fashion. “I’m happier on the runway than I am on the red carpet … I’m being more of myself on the runway. It’s weird on the red carpet, and it makes you very self-conscious. You’re thinking, ‘Who am I?’ “I don’t wear make-up when I’m not working,” says the model, but when it comes time to glam up, she works with a tight team of friends, including hairdresser James Brown, and make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury. “Then it’s just like getting ready with friends. Getting ready together is almost part of the evening … It can be the best part of the evening – sometimes you don’t even get out. Charlotte makes me laugh while she’s doing my make-up, and then pushes me out the door.” A pretty low-maintenance superstar, Kate notes: “I’m getting better with make-up as I get older. I use more make-up now; it used to be maybe just black eyeliner, but now I need something on my lips; I want something to give my natural colour a bit of a lift. And I’ve learned how to stop chewing off lipstick, which is something I always used to do.” Not the matchy-matchy type, Moss goes against the idea of pairing nail and lip colours. “You shouldn’t be trying to match them perfectly; on the contrary – find two colours that are different, but that really complement each other. “If there’s one tip I’ve learned from the pros, it’s touching up make-up. Like, re-curling your eyelashes because they always go straight, or reapplying lipstick, or going over your liner. I’ve also learned you can’t wear red lipstick backstage when you’re running up to people kissing them all the time, congratulating them… It’s gotta be nude!”

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So to answer the questions everyone wants to know about Kate as cited earlier … She was open, chatty and super-cool, like one of those know-their-shit girls you wanted to hang out with at school … Yes, she was lovely … She wore a black top and skinny jeans with a stunning emerald green sequin cape jacket (most likely vintage), a skinny black neck scarf worn as a choker, lots of gold and mid-height black mesh pointy shoes with black fabric polka dots … And has she had much work done? Not a trace, as far as I could see.

The Rimmel London x Kate Moss 15th Anniversary Collection of Lasting Finish by Kate lipsticks, €7.95, and Super Gel by Kate nail polishes, €6.95, is available now.

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