Can You Copy the Kate Moss Style?

This is the second in the series on style from my website Aboutawomanaboutagirl

Can you take someone's style? Model Kate Moss has been on best dressed lists over and over. Recently she partnered (again) with Topshop to bank on her style signature. Can you buy her allure?

Kate Moss for Topshop

Kate Moss, Topshop, Photo courtesy of Think Retail, Flickr

The Kate Moss collection for  Topshop was released at Toronto’s Bay locations recently, to something of a fizzle rather than a pop.

That wasn’t the case in her hometown of London, England where her fashion fans lined the streets for the honour of shopping her eponymous line. But was it really worth it?

The flagship store on Oxford Street literally caused traffic standstill around the busy downtown locale and crowds were more than elbow deep with fans trying to catch a glimpse of the last great supermodel saying a few words on-stage.

Kate’s appeal is broad and democratic as noted by famed photographer, David Bailey. He should know – he has shot her as well as a litany of beauties, rock stars, and film-world giants over the last five decades or so.

‘They’re the most peculiar women,” says David Bailey (from an interview with The Telegraph UK), looking at his photographs of Jean Shrimpton and Kate Moss.

“I’ve never understood why everybody likes them so much. There are many more beautiful girls. But they’ve got this universal, democratic appeal. It’s like Dietrich and Garbo in movies, they’ve just got this thing that makes them stand out.”

And stand out she has, for the last few decades, in large part due to her own sartorial choices and not just her relentless appearance over the years in countless editorials, covers and ad campaigns.


Everyone wants to look and dress like Kate. She has given us a taste for ballet flats, gladiators, thong sandals, very skinny jeans tucked into very tall boots, scissored hems, vintage style, Vivienne Westwood footwear, the black  (tuxedo) jacket, capes, Wellingtons, army jackets, vests, aviators, Ray Ban wayfarers, scarves, hats, high-low dressing and God knows what else.

 It’s not so much that she’s invented any of these trends, she’s just ushered them in, like a fashion ambassador introducing the old with the new, juxtaposing the precious with the everyday. And on the way, she’s referenced countless images of beauties past: Twiggy, Marianne Faithful, Anita Pallenberg, Brigitte Bardot, Edie Sedgwick and on and on. It’s all been a strangely familiar fashion story and yet her style remains somewhat elusive.

Can’t Quite Match Mossy:

Why is that? It’s because no one else is Kate Moss. And although the aforementioned range at Topshop will undoubtedly do well, you can’t buy a piece of her allure. Not really. Let’s face it, the range is relatively inexpensive. It has to be, in order to be affordable to the young and reach a mass audience.

A Jean Desses-style dress for about $150? You know it’s not silk. It has to be made out of polyester or some such (although it does look quite good). Little camis with star embellishment, suede fringed jacket and shorts, a black jacket and pants with gold pinstripe? All look just a little on the tatty side, although the evening wear (as seen in photos here) looks quite good - that is also reflected in the price point. But that’s the thing: Kate’s style was never mass market or cheap per se.

Yes, she aptly mixes old and new, inexpensive and lavish in her repertoire like a seasoned curator. And the fact is she has the means to do so. Intertwine Saint Laurent and Chanel with Topshop if she so desires? Why not? Scissor off the hem of a rare vintage dress? Sure. Sequins during the day at Glastonbury and army jacket with a little black dress? Works for her. Jeans with Louboutins? Now everybody does it but she really was a harbinger in the mixing of luxe and low, and still does it better than anybody else. Kate Moss at the V&A, 2007

Vintage Kate Moss, Photo courtesy Laura Loveday, Flickr


Gives Good Face:

Then there’s Kate herself. That unparalleled bone structure that can look strangely common and uncanny and works for both high fashion, Playboy, and pretty much any brand you can think of.  Paired with a lithe body that just suits clothes and is not daunting, she is relatable.

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