Thu, Aug 03, 2006 - Page 13 News List

Has Kate Moss lost her mojo?

She's bounced back from a drug scandal and is as in demand as ever. So why is the queen of style suddenly looking, well, a little unstylish?

By Paula Cocozza  /  THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

“This is always a difficult one to talk about,” says one fashion executive at a glossy magazine who does not wish to be named. “People really close ranks around her. But in fashion terms, she really is hanging herself with that little noose around her neck she insists on wearing.”

Does any of this matter? Well yes — and not just to her. Without Moss striking out in stovepipes, for example, Topshop's skinny Baxter jeans would not have averaged UK sales of 18,000 a week since their release last August. For years, Moss has been the highest and most reliable measure of fashion, as lauded within the industry as she is outside it.

It is because she looks so fantastic that she can make so much money and wield such influence without ever having to say anything memorable. Crucially, Moss does not speak about her work, never gives interviews and, until her recent TV commercial for Virgin Mobile, most of us would never have heard her voice. Her clothes are her language. She lets the world form an opinion of her through what she wears and how she looks. So if she wants to remain as powerful in our wardrobes as she is on the catwalk, she needs to let go of those rock'n'roll outfits. Either that, or next summer we will all be wearing pixie boots and hot pants.

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