What Kate Moss Has Taught Us About Life, Love & Fashion

Kate Moss turns the big 4-0 today (we can’t believe it, either). To celebrate, we’re taking stock of everything we’ve learned from the supermodel over the years, from how to wear a slip dress to how to kick a deadbeat boyfriend to the curb. It’s Moss 101, folks, prepare to take notes.

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    Our guess is that Moss never wanted to be a role model. And, to be clear, we’re not putting her on par with, say, a Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Still, there’s something admirable about the way a scrawny teen from Croydon rose the ranks in a cutthroat industry, while always managing to live life on her own terms. Then of course, there’s the fashion. Basically, if you are a) female and b) have a pulse, you’ve tried to emulate Moss’s iconic style. Click through to revisit some of her greatest hits.

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    PHOTO: Robin Platzer/Getty Images

    Make Friends With Your Co-Workers

    After breaking up with fashion photographer, Mario Sorrenti, a then 19-year-old Moss turned to fellow models Naomi Campbell (pictured) and Christy Turlington. “I was taken under their wing,” Moss later recalled. “They’re like, ‘You’re with us now.’ So much fun! Sleep in the Ritz between Christy and Naomi’s room.” Moss has also formed lasting friendships over the years with such major fashion players as Manolo Blahnik (pictured) and Marc Jacobs.

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    PHOTO: Tom Wargacki/Getty Images

    Keep Your Off-Duty Beauty Regime Natural

    The arrival of a fresh-faced and freckled Moss was a revelation in a sea of overly made-up early ‘90s models, and her presence effectively ushered in a softer, more natural look that remains a beauty industry standard today.

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    PHOTO: Dave Benett/Getty Images

    Respect Your Elders

    Early on, Moss fell in with the Rolling Stones’ extended social circle, becoming fast friends with both Mick Jagger’s ex-girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, and Keith Richards’ ex-love, Anita Pallenberg (both former hard-partying It Girls in their own right). Of Moss, Richards himself once quipped, “For a bad girl, she’s always been very well behaved.”

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    PHOTO: Catherine McGann/Getty Images

    Always Be Professional

    Despite her well-documented late nights, Moss has always been known as a hard-worker. (Frankly, she couldn’t have made it in the industry otherwise.) In a 2012 Vanity Fair article, she revealed how, in her late teens, stress from modeling brought her to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Still, she persevered. “It was work,” she explained simply. “I had to do it.”

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    PHOTO: Ron Galella/Getty Images

    Give 'Em The Slip

    Minimal yet elegant, Moss’s signature silhouette, the slip dress, allows one to show off their figure without looking like, well, a show-off. This season, try it with statement heels, a sharp tuxedo jacket, and dainty accessories.

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    PHOTO: Ron Galella/Getty Images

    The First Cut Is The Deepest

    We weren’t the only ones who mourned Moss’s breakup with Johnny Depp in 1998. Apparently the supermodel was pretty devastated herself. “There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit,” she revealed in the aforementioned Vanity Fair interview. “I believed what he said. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?,’ he’d tell me. And that’s what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust. Nightmare. Years and years of crying. Oh, the tears.”

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    PHOTO: James Whatling/Getty Images

    When It Comes To Your Hair, Don't Be Afraid To Experiment

    While the award for most model hairstyles undoubtedly goes to Linda Evangelista, Moss holds her own against the competition. Over the years, we’ve seen her go blonde, brunette, curly, cropped, and even pale pink. For a retrospective look at Moss’s famous mane, head over to a our sister site Byrdie.

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    PHOTO: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

    Pair Character Pieces With Basics

    Part of Moss’s styling genius lays in her ability to take intimidating, costume-y pieces like a waistcoat or a skinny neck-tie and deftly mix them with more approachable, basic items.  It’s an effortless look that, for most of us, at least, would require a good deal of effort to pull off.

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    PHOTO: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    Wellies Can Be (Surprisingly) Chic

    Who knew a pair of knee-high, rubber rain boots had such style potential? Moss, of course. And when photos of the model wearing them at annual UK summer music festival, Glastonbury, surfaced in the press, a trend was born.

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    PHOTO: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    Ditch the Bad Boy

    It took a while, but Moss finally gave rocker/perennial troublemaker, Pete Doherty, his walking papers in 2007 after two years of a tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship. "I love her with all my heart," Doherty bemoaned to the press. "I like the way she walks and talks. I love her bones. I love her brain.” Sorry, buddy, that (super hot) ship has sailed.

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    PHOTO: Jon Furniss/Getty Images

    Every Woman Needs a Statement Coat

    There is arguably no piece of clothing that offers as much style bang for your buck as a statement coat. Just ask Moss. From a white mink to a leopard print raglan, come the chilly London winter, she’s rarely seen without some sort of extravagant outerwear.

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    PHOTO: Sylvia Linares/ Getty Images

    You Don't Have To Choose Between Fashion for Motherhood

    We can hardly blame those moms who opt to skip the designer duds once dirty diapers and spit-up enter the picture.  Still, when Moss gave birth to daughter Lila in 2002 (father is magazine editor, Jefferson Hack), she never missed a sartorial beat. Here, she and Lila look like the peak of mother-daughter chic at a London wedding in 2008.

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    PHOTO: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

    Bedhead is Insanely Sexy

    Moss made tousled tresses a must for any woman between the ages of 15 and 50. Armed with an arsenal of volumizing products, the supermodel’s longtime hairdresser, James Brown, achieves the artfully disheveled look by blow-drying her hair with a large-round brush and then backcombing it at the temples and the crown. See Brown discussing Moss’s coif here.

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    PHOTO: David M. Benett/Getty Images

    True Love Is Just a Google Search Away

    File this under Crazy but True: Moss found her now husband, The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, online. “I was at [my friend] Lucie’s house in the South of France, and we were Googling men,” reveals the supermodel. “And I went, ‘Ooh, I like the look of him.’ A friend set us up. He turned up, and we spent, like, the next four days together.”

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    PHOTO: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

    Anyone Can Pull Off a Gold Turban

    Just kidding. Unless you are Kate Moss, you cannot pull off a gold turban. Trust us.  

EXPLORE: Celebrity Style, Fashion, Celebrity, Kate Moss, 40th Birthday, Life Lessons, Kate Moss, Jamie Hince, Naomi Campbell, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Johnny Depp
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