When Kate Moss dropped her 2014 Topshop collection – a catalogue of Kate-inspired pieces, rather than Moss’s spin on seasonal trends as per the 2007 line – fashion fans rejoiced. Among the greatest hits was a variation on the model’s ultimate party dress: a black cocktail dress with a Shantung-silk sheen and an off-the-shoulder neckline sprouting feathers. It was perfect in every way – sexy without being overtly so, exuberant but not showy, vintage yet wholly modern – and reminiscent of the date-night dress a 21-year-old Moss wore to accompany Johnny Depp to Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday party – stealing our own hearts in the process.
The Kate Moss for Topshop spring/summer 2014 campaign.
Fast forward to 2004 and Moss gave her original retro plumes another airing at Coty’s 100th anniversary party at New York’s Natural History Museum. Again, the juxtaposition of Kate’s signature mussed-up hair and her classic LBD commanded attention. Kate not only brought an air of “party” with her, you knew very well that the night wouldn’t stop there.
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss during the “Sinatra: 80 Years My Way” birthday celebration at LA’s Shrine Auditorium.
Once the quintessentially Kate Topshop dress had hit the high street and been snapped up by Brits eager to emulate the model’s bohemian glamour, Moss upped the ante on quill-adorned fashion. At the 2018 Met Gala – the first she had attended in almost a decade – she wore an Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent black halter-neck mini dress. Her nod to the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination theme came via two jet-black ostrich feathers that looked reminiscent of angel wings. The message? Once a supermodel, always a supermodel.
Moss at Coty’s 100th anniversary party.
© Carlo Allegri
Other much-dissected dress styles – remember the pale yellow flippy Topshop confection that single-handedly put lemon on the map? – have come and gone from Kate, but no other manages to reliably dial up the drama in quite the same way. Always rebellious and unfailingly glamorous, the feather-trimmed cocktail dress is a thrilling chapter of Kate Moss’s fashion legacy.
Moss wearing Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent at the 2018 Met Gala.
© Jackson Lee
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