https://www.smh.com.au -By Lisa Armstrong
The picture of Kate Moss wearing a teensy, skintight, Givenchy leather mini dress that she posted on her Instagram might not be a look we should all immediately adopt, or even want to. Talk about skin on skin.
This is so form-fitting both the dress and Moss are likely to end up with imprints from each other. And let’s not forget those heels and the tight bootees with the cutaway toes.
But if you’re feeling a teeny bit rut-bound at the moment – either because there has been a pandemic or because you’re having an existential crisis about your age/job/life – this is an image from which to draw some life lessons.
Still not clear? Allow me to expand. Firstly, this is Mossy at her absolutely Mossiest, not giving a damn, breaking rules whilst also being true to herself.
Secondly, although she is clearly exploring the admittedly expansive boundaries of her personal comfort zone – she hasn’t worn something this short in a while – she’s not doing anything too radical. This is not someone having a midlife crisis and in the process becoming a laughing stock so much as someone taking all their favourite elements – body con, monochrome, leather – and pushing them that extra frisson-popping mile.
For everyone who’s found a uniform that suits them, this is a reminder to keep on tweaking it. Whether it’s white shirts and jeans, trousers and knits, or oversized dresses, there are always modernising tweaks to be made. Is the length current? Could you improve its silhouette with a new belt? Is your footwear working for your outfit, and your comfort? Are you wearing the right colours for this stage in your life?
Third: it’s essentially a sleek and simple look, both qualities that are increasingly a human’s sartorial best friends as we saunter through the decades. That doesn’t mean boring. To translate this into a broader language: if you love wearing shirts, invest in one in a big bold exclamation of colour with an eye-catching neckline or sleeves for instance.
Fourth: she’s taking care of that body, not to the emaciated, vermicelli-muscles extent. But she’s not taking anything for granted either. It seems to me that only five minutes ago, there would have been a big, old rancorous debate about whether Moss should still be cavorting in this kind of get-up at the grand age of 47. There would have been complaints that she was making it impossible for the rest of us mortals to look at our own less Moss-esque reflections in the mirror without brimming over with self hatred, and someone would have called for a public inquiry about her fitness to be a mother. I jest, but only marginally.
Those kinds of conversations are rapidly dissolving. Whether or not you like black leather, whatever your feelings on wearing skintight dresses, this picture is a whole lot less contentious than it might have been not so long ago.
For that we can thank the vastly more diverse array of body shapes being presented to us these days. Androgynous, gender fluid, curvy, large, short, tall, young, old – every time a new beauty prejudice is smashed, there are those who are shocked, affronted and angry. But each new challenge to fashion’s previously mono view of beauty is a step forward. And each risk taker should be a reminder to keep an open mind, whether it’s Tina Fey, 50, or Angela Bassett, 62, showing off their legs, Jamie Lee Curtis, 62, in dazzling yellow, Sharon Stone, 62, baring her midriff in Dolce e Gabbana pencil skirt and crop top, Michelle Pfeiffer, 62, in a subtly sheer Aliette dress, or Rosamund Pike, 42, in a giant red Molly Goddard cloud and bovver boots.
As for the designer responsible for Moss’s leather dress – it’s Givenchy’s creative director, Matthew M Williams, who in another life designed for Kanye West and Lady Gaga.
He says his main goal right now “is to get people excited about fashion again”.
To that end, his digital “show” featured broad shoulders, narrow waists (so far, so Joan Crawford) a whole load of black and what he called Terrestrial shoes.
The latter were reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoes from 2010 and the show set, which had models walking through a body of water in a vast stadium brought to mind Balenciaga’s last live show before the pandemic broke out.
Two years ago, under its previous creative director, Clare Waight Keller, this house was dressing a woman we now know to be a reluctant duchess in clothes that, although beautiful, and classic, didn’t land right for whatever reasons.
Maybe they were just too classic and formal for Meghan, who seems far more comfortable in her Californian staples of jeans, wrap dresses and khaki jackets – which just goes to show, wear what feels good, rather than trying to subscribe to rules that are probably outdated.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity at the moment to rewrite those rules. New era. What people will remember from Givenchy 2021 is Mossy and her mini dress. Good to see a 47-year-old woman stealing the show.
The Telegraph, London