Model returns from four-year designing hiatus with hedonistic, party-loving collection – her 15th for the high street brand
The boho maxi dresses, flowing blouses and feminine tailoring have little to do with the androgynous shapes or minimalist cuts that have been strutting down the catwalks of late.
But the first Kate Moss collection for Topshop in four years, which is more reminiscent of the model drinking wine on a yacht, or smoking a fag on a night out in Soho, seems only likely to cement her role as national institution. As the supermodel described it to the Guardian recently, the latest range is a “wardrobe autobiography”. As Topshop’s website puts it, “the icon is back”.
Moss launched the range at Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus branch in central London on Tuesday night, where small shoppers’ queues began to form at around 1pm to get their hands on her 15th collection – the first since 2010 – for the brand.
Shoppers lined the pavement outside Topshop on Oxford Street, spilling into the road, much to the bemusement of tourists and the chagrin of stewards dispatched to keep them from getting run over. Shortly before 6.30pm, Moss herself was unveiled in the shop window, presented by Radio1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, and soon doors opened to shoppers, some of whom had been waiting for over five hours.
Emma, 26, was first in the queue at 1pm and first at the tills. She spent £240, the prized item being a leather jacket costing £190. “She’s got such a great variety, different themes running through the collection. I didn’t try anything on, I just went for it,” she said.
Tina, 45, from Buckinghamshire queued for two hours. “I wanted the leather jacket for me, then my daughter wanted something, then my niece said ‘get something for me.” She spent £1,000 and bought eight items. “I think it’s worth it because Moss is unique and the clothes are instantly recognisable as her’s. Also I’ve bought her Topshop stuff in the past and it lasts a long time. You’ll be wearing it for years because it’s a classic piece.”
Not everyone was there to grab a Moss item. Jenny, from London, found herself at the back of a three and a half hour queue to return a pair of shoes. ‘I’m not really a fan of Kate Moss,’ she explained, much to her daughter’s exasperation
At a side entrance surrounded by red carpet a group of Italian tourists were content to watch the show.
Amy Moosah, a 27-year-old stylist, was among those in the queue. She liked the “elegant and bohemian” range, adding that Moss was the model of her generation.
Designed with Katy England, the collection features 40 pieces and centres heavily on a summer beach ethos – fringed kaftans and beaded shirts. There are also Kate classics – an asymmetrical yellow dress she wore in 2003 is repeated here, also in black and green. Great Gatsby-esque shapes pop up in high-waisted silk trousers and a black jumpsuit. And befitting a woman who, despite cultivating a flourishing business built solely on her personal brand and is best known for her love of partying, the latest collection suggests hedonism, not workwear. It is notable that most of the collection will also be stocked by Net-A-Porter, the online luxury retailer who don’t usually do high street.
“I have really missed being involved in the design process, and working with the team at Topshop,” said Moss, a regular holiday companion of Topshop boss Sir Philip Green. “I am very excited to create a new collection that bears my name. Now more than ever, with London being at the forefront of fashion, as it feels like I’m back home working with Topshop.”
This latest collection marks the end of a four-year hiatus for Moss on designing duty. First launched in 2007, the debut Topshop collection was initially deemed a risk, coming as it did a year after Metropolitan police dropped charges against the model in the wake of footage of her allegedly snorting lines of cocaine.
But the success of her first collection – which she unveiled by posing in the window of Topshop, laughing and smiling as punters elbowed each other out of the way to get in – was a significant part of the great Moss comeback of 2007. From dropped modelling gigs and cancelled contracts to a current net worth of over £8m, according to Forbes, Moss is more successful than most models half her age. Though at 40 she shows no sign of leaving the catwalk, her return to designing coincides with a role as contributing fashion editor at British Vogue, for whom she styled her first photoshoot earlier this year.