Kate: The Kate Moss Book

Kevin Kopelson writes:

Moss, then, when imaged not by such painters as Lucian Freud or Stella Vine but rather by fashion photographers like David Bailey, has almost always – even wearing outfits, but of course the fewer clothes here the better – seemed both nude and naked. And yet in these photographs she is not just both an object and a subject of desire. She is also, as Vine expressed it, a love object. This, no doubt, is owed to our little-girl-and-yet-grown-woman perception of her: Garbo-like yet also Hepburn-like, ideal and real. It is owed, too, to those either grungy or very beautiful clothes that Moss wears. It isn’t that the viewer, male or female, straight or gay, necessarily wishes that these outfits should be removed in conscious fantasy, striptease fashion, by Moss herself, or maybe by the viewer himself or herself; rather it’s that in unconscious fantasy he or she wishes to become the outfit.

(LRB 20 December 2012)