Moss rolls to­wards 40, still gath­er­ing no dross

Sunday Territorian - - SUNDAY LIFESTYLE -

IN­TER­VIEW­ING mod­els is, to my job, what scrub­bing loos is to a jan­i­tor — the worst bit.

I know it sounds ter­ri­bly glam­orous but if I’d gnawed off a fin­ger ev­ery time a model told me her looks were due to wa­ter, sleep and what­ever prod­uct she’s paid to spruik, I’d be dig­it­less. Hon­estly, in 20 years of ask­ing — and I’ve had big names witter into my voice recorder — not one has spo­ken the truth, namely: ‘‘I’m bloody lucky to look like this. It’s all down to genes. Don’t let ei­ther of us pre­tend that it isn’t.’’

I’ve got noth­ing against mod­els per se: I, too, would de­mand squil­lions for pranc­ing round in that non­sen­si­cal bikini/stiletto combo, pre­tend­ing I wanted to make love to a bit of black Canon hard­ware.

I also get that de­sign­ers have to show off their frocks and that a flesh coat hanger of­fers greater mo­bil­ity than wire. But ever since Christy, Cindy, Naomi et al chucked a ‘‘ su­per’’ in front of what was a per­fectly ad­e­quate job de­scrip­tion, we’ve not just had to look at th­ese baby gi­raffes but also lis­ten to what they have to say.

For the most part it sounds very much like this:

‘‘I love work­ing with Testino/ Meisel/ Lind­bergh — he’s so in­spir­ing.’’

‘‘Even­tu­ally I’d re­ally like to move into busi­ness/ tele­vi­sion like Elle/Mi­randa/ Jen­nifer has — she’s so in­spir­ing.’’

‘‘Diet? No, I eat like a pig. Aren’t pigs cute? I find them so in­spir­ing.’’

No, I’m not mak­ing it up. Thank God, then, for one model who speaks style rather than words; who re­freshes her cur­rency with each click of a cam­era lens and largely re­fuses to give in­ter­views.

Kate Moss turns 40 next year and far from be­ing a cou­ple of for­get­table syl­la­bles on the fash­ion fer­ris wheel, she con­tin­ues her three­decade run of be­ing the most loved model of all.

Oth­ers might cel­e­brate with a pro­file in Van­ity Fair or din­ner for 100 cooked by chef du jour Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi. Mossy? She’s get­ting her kit off for Play­boy.

I’ve loved her hard for all my adult life; can still re­mem­ber the mo­ment I saw pho­tog­ra­pher Corinne Day’s first breath­tak­ing pic­tures. She was ev­ery­thing ev­ery­one else wasn’t — a sub­tlety lost on Gen­er­a­tion Herd.

Even at 14 she oozed in­sou­ciance. I sus­pect she got it from her mum. Af­ter her first day chap­er­on­ing her daugh­ter to mod­el­ling jobs, Linda

Mossy is not some ubiq­ui­tous sausage, minced and rolled out by the male-run mod­el­ling ma­chine

Moss de­clared. ‘‘If you want to do this, you’re on your own. I’m not traips­ing around Lon­don ever again like that.’’

Kate Moss the icon eclipsed Kate Moss the model years ago. In an in­dus­try pred­i­cated on re­plac­ing the old with the new, she’s re­mains as rel­e­vant as vin­tage Chanel. She doesn’t sell style, she is style.

Men don’t get her, can’t see the ap­peal. She hasn’t got the req­ui­site pil­lowy boobs or Ju­lia Roberts’ wa­ter­melon slice of a smile or Mi­randa Kerr’s per­fect ev­ery­thing. And that is en­tirely the point.

Be­cause Mossy is not some ubiq­ui­tous sausage, minced and rolled out by the malerun mod­el­ling ma­chine. Rath- er, she’s quirky; flawed; a bon vi­vant and — cru­cially — unapolo­getic for be­ing so.

She would never crap on about wa­ter or sleep. In­deed she’s stuck two fag-stained fin­gers up to both, opt­ing for vodka as her pre­ferred clear liq­uid of choice and eight hours’ danc­ing over the equiv­a­lent un­der the doona.

Dai­ly­mail. co. uk, which mocks most women in its ‘‘side­bar of shame’’, rarely sticks it to Kate. They wouldn’t dare. Be­cause as she hol­i­dayed in the Caribbean this week, kayak­ing with her daugh­ter, sun­bathing to­p­less, neck­ing some­thing other than agency- pre­scribed wa­ter, Kate looked like a slightly edgier ver­sion of ev­ery­woman. With her hair scraped into a top knot, her belly sag­ging as is typ­i­cal on a sun­lounger, her eyes — far from smoul­der­ing with the faux ‘‘bed­room’’ vibe of Gisele Bund­chen — creased as if to say: ‘‘You know, I re­ally dig mylife.’’

It hasn’t al­ways been so. I re­mem­ber be­ing shocked lunch­ing op­po­site her in a Lon­don restau­rant in 2000. Her hair was a cur­tain of grease, her fin­gers twitched and her face glow­ered with an­gry spots. A few years later she was pho­tographed snort­ing co­caine; sev­eral top de­sign­ers dumped her and she ended up in re­hab.

At the time she was dat­ing the odi­ous Pete Do­herty.

For a while my ilk were on Moss Watch just as, years later, we were on Wine­house Watch. But she bounced back. She al­ways does. From los­ing Johnny Depp, from be­ing the face of heroin chic, from be­ing dumped for younger mod­els. Now, just three months short of 40, she en­trances like no other. Partly, it’s due to a beauty that be­longs to the cam­era.

But mostly, it’s be­cause she gives us all of her­self ex­cept words.

‘‘ Never com­plain, never ex­plain,’’ re­mains one of her few ut­ter­ances. It’s one that served her well.

Now, just three months short of 40, Bri­tish model Kate Moss still man­ages to en­trance like no other

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