The Costume Institute Gala is always fascinating from start to end, invariably providing fabulous and dazzling paparazzi close-ups of models and fashion personalities under terminal stress. I find it difficult to explain why this event intrigues me so much but it clearly has something to do with the climactic and absurd number of A list fashion characters yearning for approval, all under the same roof. A huge fashion VIP enclosure (and me with my nose pressed against the glass)!
It’s a finely calibrated production that sends Internet fashion journalism and competitive gossip mongering into frenzy. This year’s closely monitored drama unfolded when Kiefer Sutherland allegedly head-butted Jack McCollough, one half of the Proenza Schouler fashion design team. What is wrong with Jack Bauer?
This year’s theme is particularly engaging, more accessible and possibly even capable of reaching a new public: “Models as Muse”. The show explores the relationship between high fashion and models from post World War 2 haute couture to grunge and minimalism. It stages a comprehensive spectacle of versatile beauties merging with powerful and imaginative designs to form arresting images.
So far, so good. Highly enjoyable contemplations of fashion talents. But what I find interesting is the concept of the “muse”. In my experience, these mythical infatuations are now redundant and relegated to the dusty vaults of fashion history. This is probably a rather debatable topic but I do feel that since the demise of the 80s supermodel the fashion industry always seems ready for the wild promise of the next “muse”, an unrealized ambition, the grail they’re all seeking.
Kate Moss has been hailed by common consensus as the ultimate muse, admired even by her opponents, and emerging from public drug fuelled disasters with her reputation enhanced. Her appearance at the Costume Institute Gala as a co-chair reminded me of a thinly veiled caricature of Gloria Swanson in Hollywood Boulevard. A satirical bite. Like the aging and scary film goddess on screen, Kate Moss looked decadent and decaying. She allegedly described herself to Cathy Horyn as the faded Norma Desmond, showing a strange willingness to evoke the glamour and ruin of stars who subsist on the dream of a comeback. Sinister or self-deprecating humour? Just like the main character in the Hollywood masterpiece, I thought she looked washed-up, still clinging to life while new young Eastern European models take centre stage.
Too much makeup, too much blusher, too much bronzer, too much gold lame.

All pictures courtesy of Just Jared

Kate Moss


geisharock said...

I agree. Tooooo much bronzer. :( kate the great going down? xoxo

Paperface said...

All no. Just no.

Frederic Betancourt. said...

U know I loved it!

The Voguette said...

i love her turban. god she looks fab.

i also adore your blog! the layout is amazing!

The Voguette

Lola Is Beauty said...

god there were some clangers that night! What happened? I know it's the COSTUME institute and everything but how could so many fashion people who should know better have got it so wrong and gone dressed IN a costume. I blame Andre Leon Talley - always. Hilarious for us to gawp at though, hee...

Anonymous said...

On dirait une orange...sauf qu'on peut pas la peler avec un couteau...pas intérêssant.

Anonymous said...

What you wrote is spot on. She is wearing so much makeup at the Gala trying to cover her wrinkles and blemishes and sun damage and all that ages you. I have no idea why she thinks she can do this when it looks like she just covered a badly made up mask on top of her natural aging face.

I always wonder, no we always wondered, when the Kate Moss obsession that has happened for decades now would slowly fade. It is just starting to fade...what with Erin Wasson getting so much press. I remember just six months ago when she was literally blowing up and now all I can see is a woman holding on with her bloody fingernails. Nothing lasts forever, not even Moss.

Great post!

Schéhérazade Abdelilah said...

Great post. I just love your writing.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

Jack's been infected by a virus and slowly losing his memory!

http://blog.matchesfashion.com/ said...

WOW WHAT A MUSE, See my met buzz ON


Ruth @ Matches

http://blog.matchesfashion.com/ said...

if you know what i mean ;-)

Ruth @ Matches

laurakitty said...

My boss was one of the curators of the show and he said she looked washed up and bloated at the Gala. I understand why she was chosen to co-chair, but I wish it had been Linda (even if she is too "fat" now).

J. Rene' said...

I thought she just looks like she is trying too hard. I totally agree wit you, and it makes me sad. She needs to listen to her own style sense and try to stop pleasing other people!

Crocodilian said...

Ugh, the toss the Moss! I was never a fan and her continued omnipresence has made me even less able to tolerate her. She is celebrated as a style muse when everything she wears has been done before or only looks acceptable on her because she is sustained by drugs instead of food. An overly-made-up face is the least of her problems.

I love that you are not afraid to post critiques - a breath of fresh air in an often sycophantic, reverential blogosphere! Looking forward to more ;)


Anonymous said...

Kate Moss is beautiful. She will always be beautiful, lines, bronzer, and all.
To use an expression like washed up about any woman is a sign of hatred and cruelty.
No woman is ever washed up unless she thinks she is and for one woman to say it of another, especially of one such as Ms. Moss, who has been one of our greatest style icons and most sensational beauties, is a sad
reflection on the speaker.
My God. Give a girl a break, would you? She is stunning. Her choice of turban and toga, as always, arresting. Who else would have had such ingenuity. Funny. I own a store, and a few girls asked me for turbans the other day. Should have known that some great girl out there was rockin one.
Finally, why doesn't her history, her legacy as a model place her in a place of honor, instead, in your mind, in a place of competition with flimsy new comers who may never, ever achieve what she has.
Drug addiction and all.
Think back.
Think back to the number of times she took your breath away.

Your blog is very intelligent.
Your mind keen and your writing excellent.
Thank you for putting it out there.

July Stars said...

Anonymous: It is true that for many years Kate Moss has embodied an imaginative style alternative to the usual formulaic looks dictated by magazines. She is a laudable model who has made an impressive mark on the world of fashion and is still able to sell anything. I'm certainly not disputing the fact that in terms of consumption and franchises (Top Shop, her fragrances and soon a book) she continues to be a huge success, I'm simply noting that her potential as a "muse" is not what it used to be. I no longer find her riveting on a visual level. Remember that this is only my personal opinion and my use of the words "washed up" should not be taken so seriously.
Thanks for taking the time to comment! I hope you will still continue to read my posts in the future even if we disagree on certain cultural institutions!

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