Kate Moss must have been photographed more times than the Eiffel Tower, and she is similarly iconic. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, however, which is rarely subject to forensic close-ups which delight in tiny paint-chips and outbreaks of rust, the press is notoriously obsessed with picking out Moss’ every facial, bodily, and behavioral flaw. A quick image search on Google throws up a strange mix of cigarette-in-hand party shots and heavily clarified close-ups exposing every nicotine-oozing pore of her skin. Suggested searches include ‘Kate Moss body’, ‘Kate Moss style’, ‘Kate Moss drugs’, and ‘Kate Moss Johnny Depp’. In the minority, however, are the fashion photographs for which she is supposed to be famous.
The Kate Moss obsession is fabled to have begun in 1993, when the then nineteen year old model fronted a Calvin Klein campaign (aptly for the fragrance ‘Obsession’), shot by Mario Sorrenti and introducing the world to the aesthetic which became known as ‘heroin chic’. When Moss’ career is based on posing for photographs – a more difficult occupation than many care to admit – why is the world so obsessed with catching her unawares, filling in the details of the personal life which she so carefully conceals, and exclaiming “HA! So she isn’t so perfect after all!”? Plenty of stars have never been subject to the same tirades of abuse and dubious speculation – think Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet – but for some reason, Moss has never spent more than a week untouched by the forked tongue of the tabloid media.
Perhaps it is her privacy itself which leads to the media’s constant attempts to reveal the “truth” about Kate. It seems we find it difficult to accept the image of a person without feeling a thirst for the narrative behind it. And if there isn’t one, we’re perfectly happy to come up with something ourselves. In the case of Kate, we are certainly on a wild goose chase.