Imogen Edwards-Jones is a nearly perfect specimen of the English chattering classes: productive, archly scandalmongering, and connected (Candace Bushnell is her daughter’s godmother). Her latest quasi-nonfiction production, Fashion Babylon, is a tell-all that was “co-written,” as were her previous books about goings-on in the London fancy-hospitality business (Hotel Babylon) and jet travel (Air Babylon), by insiders in those industries. Packed with stories of Tom Ford disparaging Victoria Beckham and acne-medication overdoses that mess up models’ livers, it arrives in time for Fashion Week. She spoke to Brian Keith Jackson.
The first line of the prologue reads, “All of the following is true.” Seriously?
Every story in the book has been researched to the hilt. Every story is true; just the circumstances have been changed. But if gossip is spoken enough it becomes fact.
Kate Moss’s lawyers didn’t quite follow that syllogism.
Yes. I lost 23 pages to libel, which were good stories. We decided that, with the time we had, we had enough material.
Still, the book remains rather Kate-heavy.
When I was writing it, she was going through the cocaine problems. Hers was the biggest story in fashion at the time. She’s the biggest supermodel, actually the only one left.
You print that she was so messed up on the shoot for a British Vogue cover that people had to hold her up and were later airbrushed out.
That’s why the word allegedly is a great coverall. I’ve had it on good authority of five or six people. Then I refer you back to the first question.
Why do you think fashion is so gossip-driven?
Well, it was pointed out to me by a stylist that people gossip because there’s absolutely nothing to do. You sit around all day, and all you have to do is get the shine off the model’s nose every few minutes.