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Kate’s Topshop Line: Perfect Clothes for the Hungry and Sullen


Kate in her Topshop clothes.Photo:

When beloved British cheap-chic palace Topshop announced that it won’t be coming to the United States after all, we were bereft. Where would we get discount-retail relief from the increasingly Xanadu-fugly clothes being shoved on us by H&M? And more important, how could we ogle the new line being developed for Topshop by disgraced and rapidly regraced supermodel Kate Moss?

Lucky for us, Topshop has put a sneak peek of the Kate clothes online. (They’ll be at Barneys New York next month.) Unlucky for Kate, we actually went to the site for a quick browse. And, in a word: snore. Maybe the chain was yearning for clothes that would only look good on people who are hungry and sullen? If so, then Topshop hit the jackpot.

Granted, we never really got on board with the whole Kate Moss aesthetic in the first place. We’re lovers of things like food and hairbrushes, so the whole bratty heroin-chic fad she embodied back in the early nineties bored us more than it intrigued us. When she got caught snorting coke on the job — and the fashion industry pretended to chastise her for about two weeks — it was about as shocking a dead battery. Since then, we’ve grown impatient with the lack of remorse on Moss’s part, as well as with her insistence on continuing to rub shoulders with her greasy, pasty, substance-bloated musician ex-/current/who-knows boyfriend Pete Doherty. Add that to the unflattering accounts of her personal habits, and she makes for an annoyingly fatuous train wreck. For God’s sake, Kate, you’re a mother. Grow up. Preferably before your daughter does.

Like Forever 21 and H&M, Topshop is something of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink retailer that churns out clothes in every trend to see what sticks. What sells are the clones of clever high-fashion items in real-person styles and sizes. (We assume. Our market research on this consisted of looking in our closets.) One of the reasons Proenza Schouler and Behnaz Sarafpour’s collections for Target worked is that they found a way to bring high-fashion sensibilities to clothes that fit your average Jane. And whether you love or hate Madonna’s H&M collection, at least she tried to put together a cohesive line rather than just copying all the crap that was already hanging in her closet.

Kate’s offering, though, is just, well, Kate. Although we understand that many view Moss as a global trendsetter — the original Sienna Miller, if you will — we can’t figure out why. She, like Sienna, inhabits a rarefied physique. What’s aspirational about something unattainable for normal women who lead normal lives on a normal budget? Sure, some of the wee dresses are cute, but for the most part, Moss’s line fits the lifestyle of England’s favorite fallen angel. It’s full of floaty, boho shirts and shorts — ideal for wan, ethereal types who want to tromp around the humid, muddy Glastonbury music festival Kate so cherishes — mixed with the shrunken vests and on-their-way-out skinny jeans that are perfect if you, like Moss, thrive on looking emaciated. But we don’t think her fashion myopia matches the needs of the people who actually shop at Topshop. They want High Fashion for the People, not just stuff for size 0, carb-deprived specimens.

Maybe Kate should ponder why her name anagrams to “Mo’ steaks.” Because frankly, we’d rather see that clothing line. —The Fug Girls

Kate’s Topshop Line: Perfect Clothes for the Hungry and Sullen