Don't hate us but, on Tuesday night, Grazia Daily was partying with Kate Moss. Okay, by partying with Kate Moss, we mean we were at a party and Kate Moss was there (let's ignore the 250+ guests for now). THIS is how it happened...
Remember when we reported on rumours that Kate Moss is teaming up with photographer Terry Richardson for somethingorother Mango-related? At the time, it was uncertain whether Croydon's finest cheekbones would be starring in the brand's campaign and, the day before the A/W '11 show, we're still none the wiser. 'Kate Moss is walking in the show!' my editor squeals. 'Or at least she's going to be at the show. Or maybe it's just an ad being premiered… But you simply must go!'
And so it is that on Tuesday morning, I’m heading to gay Paree for Mango's first catwalk show in the French capital (typically they're held in Madrid or Barcelona). Early on, the PR confirms that Kate won't be modelling tonight (sob, sob) but what we do know is this: she's starring in a short film... and um, that's all I got. Filling in the gaps, thoughts of a Mossy/Mango collection spring to mind, all rocker bohoness but for a more mature customer. Could a line for the high-street chain be on the cards, especially now that her Topshop deal is kaput? Besides, Isabeli Fontana has just replaced Scarlett Johansson as Mango’s new "face", leaving room for Kate's talents to be used elsewhere…
Before getting carried away, we're told, rather bizarrely, there's no more info on the collaboration and I won't get the chance to ask the lady herself - Ms Moss has agreed to one UK interview only for a national newspaper >scowls< However, Isabeli is available and I’m told she's equally cheekboney and just as glam, and with a willingness to TALK. Yes! So having dutifully hopped over to Wikipedia to stuff myself with facts – she's a 27-year-old Brazilian who first appeared in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue aged 16 before being signed by Versace, Ralph Lauren and Valentino – it's time to meet her.
Looking utterly gorgeous and impossibly fresh-faced after a day of interviews, Isabeli is delightfully quirky, chatting away while making a cup of coffee (no divaness here). So how does she feel to follow in the footsteps of Scarlett and Penelope Cruz? ‘I’m replacing ze Hollywood era!’ she says gleefully. ‘We [models] know how to embrace ze clothing and use our body language better.’ How d’ya like that, Scar Jo?
And for tonight's catwalk show, Isabelli will be showing us how it's done in a polka dot gown. 'You’re gonna like it because I can see your style already,' she beams while admiring my dress. I may not have fags or jam, but I leave feeling pretty smug - we totes connected.
There’s time for a quick swig of champagne before it’s all aboard the Mango Bus and off to Centre Pompidou. The remarkable building has five escalators – FIVE! - making quite the obstacle for us high-heeled fashionistas. But at the top, we’re greeted by panoramic views over Paris. Look! It's the Eiffel Tower! But there's no time to stop for long and we’re ushered along the mirrored catwalk, causing ladies to fret about flashing their undergarments in the reflection (was this naughty Monsieur Richardson’s idea?). ‘That man looks like Noddy on acid!’ a guest squeals. We turn to see Bryan Boy sporting an acorn-style hat, lime green Jil Sander brogues and a tropical Kenzo shirt. Of course, this is no faux pas but standard FROW fare.
Ooh, Kate Moss is here! Kate Moss is heeere! You can feel the buzz sweeping up the escalators as screens show the supermodel approaching wearing a diamanté-trimmed top, black trousers and a white smoking jacket, her arm linked through Terry’s. The event’s glamour stakes have just kicked up a notch. We catch tantalising glimpses of the pair walking through the glass tunnel before hitting the catwalk in a flurry of camera flashes. Watch for yourselves:
Once the VIPs are settled on the FROW, their hush-hush collaboration with Mango can be unveiled. It's a short film of Mossy and Terry careening through the streets of Paris with Kate frantically, and yet somehow glamorously, changing in the back of a white van (this girl has refined the art of speed-dressing). And it finishes with everyone wearing Richardson masks. And so the plot thickens...
The show opens with twinkling tweed jackets over LBDs, followed by bold flashes of red and glittery Dorothy heels. There's a mix of masculine-femininine pieces too - the gold Balmain-esque trouser suit draws a chorus of ooohs. Yep, Mango's autumn/winter collection is packed with perfect partywear.
And closing the extravaganza, it's Isabeli "Legs" Fontana. She was right, j'adore the monochrome dress, and she SO winked at me on her way past.
The after-party begins and it's not long before Mossy is disappearing into the night with Emmaunelle Alt, but not before her actual shoulder touches mine as she wafts past >swoon< Meanwhile, Terry is booging with the best of them so, before the cocktails render us entirely uncouth, the girls grab him to profess their undying love. 'Awesome', he says in his American drawl, and that's our cue to leave. On the way out, we see top catwalkers Anna Selezneva and Similarly Stunning Model waiting for a taxi. 'Want a lift on the Mango bus?' we ask, but they don’t seem too up for it. Funny that.
Into bed I finally went, having devoured the luxury chocolates on the pillow and with no intention of leaving, ever. So although we may be no closer to finding out whether there is a Kate Moss for Mango line on the cards, for now, we'll always have Paris.
Mango’s autumn collection arrives in stores and online in mid-July.
- Jessica Vince