It is of course what makes her the world's greatest photographee: she allows us to project. We cast an image of ourselves in Rimmel, or Chanel or H&M, and her face reflects it back. But now there is a vulpine glint in her deep grey eyes. Her face has begun to look ugly.
There was nothing passive about the images "supermodel Kate Moss snorting a fat line of cocaine". It is not a new image: the rebel woman baring her teeth, snake-haired and wild. She is uncontrollable. She is predatory. She is, frankly, not very ladylike at all. And, even in the liberated world of fashion, they really do not like that.
Kate Moss, the tabloids have not tired of telling us, is a mother. Her baby's father, Jefferson Hack, mindful of his fatherly duties, is reportedly trying to remove the child from her irresponsible mother. He has forgotten the brief "tsk" he received from the press when, two months after Lila Grace's birth, he told 200 art students that Ecstasy "inspired" him and that everyone was taking it.
At first, it looked as if Kate might have ridden the storm. She went to see H&M's boss and, a spokesman said, "grovelled". It wasn't her fault, they all said. Little Kate had been corrupted by a bad man - one who had her under his spell and badly needed a wash.
"Kate Moss has apologised and was full of regret for her actions," the company announced. "We are willing to give her a second chance. She is a true style icon and an extremely professional and experienced model."
That was last Friday. On Sunday, the image of quiescent Kate received another blow. "Coke-snorting Kate Moss has had three-in-a-bed lesbian sex sessions with Sadie Frost and Hollyoaks actress Davinia Taylor," leered one tabloid. "She's corrupting Pete," countered another.
A soft-porn account of life in the Moss ménage told how she "coaxed", "bedded", "forced" and "pounced". Had Moss been a Third Division footballer, she might have been accused of date rape. She would not, however, have been sacked.
Which is exactly what H&M did on Tuesday. "A campaign with Kate Moss is inconsistent with H&M's clear dissociation of drugs," said a spokesman. They didn't mention lesbianism, but then maybe they wouldn't.
By this stage, certain of Kate's associates should have been shaking in their fur-lined boots. After H&M and Chanel were forced to let Kate go, a "saddened" Burberry followed suit. Would it, therefore, be asking for its money back from Lord Freddie Windsor, whom it signed up to play Moss's screen husband after he too had admitted taking cocaine? Curiously not, and the company declined to comment on these apparent double standards.
It shouldn't have surprised Kate. She is, after all, a friend of Marianne Faithfull, who famously corrupted the pristine Mick Jagger by sharing his drugs in 1969. It wouldn't have surprised Courtney Love, another predatory woman and unfit mother who descended into drug addiction after the father of her child shot himself in their garage. Kurt Cobain has always been the one portrayed as the victim. Nor would it have come as much of a shock to Nancy Spungen. She had to be murdered by her drug-addicted boyfriend Sid Vicious before she got any sympathy. Nice girls don't take drugs. They certainly don't leer, and they don't pounce on pretty blonde soap stars. That is boys' stuff.
After more than a week of this, fashion's most famous enigma finally released some words of her own. Victim had turned predator, the passive aggressive, and it called for a response. Kate Moss, who never speaks to the press, made a short statement. "I take full responsibility for my actions," she said. Oh dear. It might have been the worst thing she could have done.Reuse content