Last summer, when she and Terry Richardson made a commercial for Mango, Kate Moss let me interview her for Harper’s Bazaar. It was a big deal because Kate has basically built a career on not saying much and being intensely press shy. (Hey, with a face like that, who needs to open their mouth anyway?) I’ve always said it’s sort of a shame that she doesn’t do more interviews because, as anyone who has ever worked with her or spent time with her will agree, she has a wicked sense of humor. She is quick witted and can be quite devilish. Regardless, here is the outtakes from our chat. Just an FYI: I showed up a little tardy to the Ritz, which is where Queen Kate prefers to stay in the French capital, because I couldn’t find a cab. Ah well.
KATE MOSS: Oh, it’s you. I should have known you’d be the one who’s late.
DEREK BLASBERG: I promise it’s not my fault. Have you ever tried to get a cab in Paris? Well, I guess not.
KM: So, have you got your questions?
DB: Yes, yes, I do. First one: how’s Paris?
KM: It’s great, as usual.
DB: How long have you been here?
KM: Just one day. I arrived yesterday, and we’re going to Corsica tomorrow.
DB: I’ve seen you having quite a lot fun here lately.
KM: That’s because I don’t go out in London. I only go out when I’m here.
DB: And you’re always at the Ritz. I think it’s the nicest hotel in Paris, and I’m not just saying that because I’m sitting next to you, Kate.
DB: So let’s talk about your film with Terry Richardson for Mango.
KM: It was amazing to work with Terry. He’s a great director. He’s really good at films. He made me feel so comfortable. You know, I usually get quite nervous when they say action, but with him I didn’t feel like that.
DB: Working with Mango isn’t your first foray into high-street fashion. You did those Topshop collections, and I know you like thrifting, and you’ve had access to high fashion for the past two decades. Have you always mixed the high and low?
KM: Yeah. I get lots of things. I grew up wearing Marks & Spencer, and that’s where I got all my underwear when I was young. Now I just mix it in with the Stella McCartney, darling.
DB: Do you think the high street has gotten better since those Marks & Spencer days?
KM: Yeah, much better. You can get amazing stuff now. Miss Selfridge, when I was a kid, was where we used to go, but now they do clothes that women can buy. It’s not just for the kids. Now everyone goes to Topshop, everyone goes to Mango.
DB: The high street is much more powerful.
KM: Well, it’s not just about the teenagers who can’t afford designer clothes.
DB: That’s a good fashion-business angle. Can I write that?
KM: It’s true, isn’t it? Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins and all those stores were just for the kids when I was growing up. But now it’s all women, and girls of all ages can find stuff. I went shopping with my 15-year-old goddaughter and she was a size six, and we were looking at the same stuff. So I thought I could get her to go shop for me now. She can be my shopper!
DB: What are you wearing?
KM: I’m in head-to-toe Mango today.
DB: Now, that’s interesting. Mango is a Spanish brand, and you’re a British style icon, and here we are in Paris. Do you think there’s such a thing as Brit style now? Or has it converged into a European uniform? Do all women dress alike?
KM: I don’t know about that. There’s definitely a different style from London to Europe: the French girls dress different from the English girls and the Spanish girls and the Italian girls.
DB: That’s true. I like that the girls in Spain aren’t afraid of color…
KM: Yeah, and French girls have their look with their long hair and sophistication. And then we English girls look a little…lopsided.
KM: Messy in the nicest way.
DB: What do you think is so great about British fashion?
KM: When I go to Spitalfields Market, or when I used to go to Portobello, which I don’t really do anymore, because it’s gotten so touristy, or when you go to a club, when you see the boys and the girls—there’s a real mix. The boys look like the girls, and the girls look like the boys, and that’s interesting. They don’t do that in Europe yet. The French boys don’t dress like girls.
DB: It’s true. When I’m in London, I never know if I’m in a gay bar or not or if I’m chatting with a gay guy or not.
KM: You can never tell!
DB: And it can get really frustrating.
DB: Did you see the images that Inez & Vinoodh took of you that were posted around London around the time of the Royal Wedding? You were wearing a wedding veil and nothing else, and the posters read, “There’s only one Kate.”
KM: Yeah, I saw them. I watched the wedding too, of course! We had a big party and all the kids came around. I thought Kate [Middleton] looked amazing.
DB: So you’re happy to share a name with her?
KM: Hmm, I think she’s called Catherine with a C now.
DB: Yeah, she’s trying to polish it up, I guess. Oh no, does that sound rude? It’s not like she wasn’t polished before…
KM: You’re with me, dear. You can say whatever you like. I like it when you say silly things, instead of me saying silly things.
DB: Have you been to the Met yet to see the Alexander McQueen show? You know your hologram is there, right?
KM: Is it there? Really! Is it actually up? Have you seen it?
KM: I never saw it when it was done either. I was going to come in [to the show] with a wig on and pretend I wasn’t me, but then I decided no, I had better not go. I phoned up during the show—I was in Thailand—and I could hear everyone screaming.
DB: I went to that Alexander McQueen show where you did the dance performance with Michael Clark. It was breathtaking.
KM: That was amazing. We had good experiences with Lee.
DB: Okay, that girl behind you just told me to cut it off. She’s making a motion like she’ll chop my head off if I don’t stop talking to you.
KM: Oh, but I could talk to you all day!
DB: Can I tell all of my friends you just said that?