Kate Moss Talks Love of Vintage, New Book Collab 'Musings on Fashion and Style'

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Kate Moss

Dresses owned by Elizabeth Taylor, Catherine Deneuve, Cher, Errol Flynn’s wife, and Marilyn Monroe (on display at the Museo de la Moda in Chile) are featured in the book.

Standing on the balcony of the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, flaunting one of Elizabeth Taylor’s signature diamond rings given to the actress by twice-wed husband Richard Burton — a cognac pear-shaped stunner from Van Cleef — Kate Moss quipped, "Exactly! Now it’s my ring."

The supermodel was sporting the massive cocktail ring loaned to her by Museo de la Moda founder Jorge Yarur on the occasion of their book collaboration Musings on Fashion and Style: Museo de la Moda (Rizzoli; Oct. 15). Footwear and accessories designer Christian Louboutin asked the Chilean textile magnate-turned-museum founder if it had a name, to which Yarur responded, "I don’t know, but when I see this ring, it reminds me of Kate, not Liz Taylor," prompting Moss’s reply.  

If not for a failed trip to Easter Island due to weather, the new tome — created with Moss as guest editor with fashion curator Lydia Kamitsis for text and Jorge Yarur Bascunãn of Mueso de la Moda in Santiago, Chile — may have never happened. "When she couldn’t get to Easter Island due to weather conditions, she decided to stop in Chile. A friend of mine asked if I would host cocktails for her and introduce her to the museum," said Yarur, "When I took her there, I discovered we both had a mutual love for vintage clothes. She spotted a Theo Porter dress that she owned and got really excited."

That excitement prompted Yarur to say, "Why don’t we make a book together? It’s just an idea." 

The idea became reality and Moss returned to Chile to dive into the museum’s archive. In the book’s foreword, Moss says her love of vintage started at an early age when she would search for '60s and '70s one-offs in "jumble sales, the local Oxfams and then I discovered Portobello and Camden markets." She tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I started buying second-hand clothes as a teen because I couldn’t find what I liked to wear on the high street."

One of the supermodel’s most iconic vintage looks featured in the book is a silver fringe slip dress once owned by Errol Flynn’s wife that she paired over a Calvin Klein slip dress and wore to the premiere of Oscar-winning film Ed Wood in which then-boyfriend Johnny Depp played the campy B-movie director.

While Moss may have a knack for Old Hollywood dressing, collecting clothes worn by actresses is a passion for Yarur. The world-class fashion museum was founded first in 1999 when Yarur put together an exhibit of Marilyn Monroe’s clothes he had collected, including the black dress on display at the Crillon for the book release event. "It’s the dress she wore in The Misfits," he explained, adding that he always buys from Hollywood auctions, including those of Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Deneuve. Case in point: the green bohemian and diaphanous dress Taylor wore to her second wedding to Burton and a tiered ruffled chiffon halter dress by Yves Saint Laurent that Deneuve wore to a gala in 1974 with then-husband Marcello Mastroianni.

The museum collection also contains pieces worn by Cher, Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Marc Bolan of T-Rex. These were compared to Moss’s Glastonbury music festival get-ups (such as the one that put Hunter boots on the mass market map). The book is divided into chapters or themes based on classic vintage images of the supermodel, paired next to pieces from the museum collections. Throughout are also photos of Moss exploring the museum's archives. Moss tells THR, "It was amazing to see the Museo’s archive. Jorge has such an incredible collection covering every era and also original pieces worn by some of my icons."

The clothes weren’t the only blast from the past, as good friends and colleagues such as photography couple Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, hairstylist Guido Palau, British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful and model and French socialite Lucie de la Falaise showed up in support.

Falaise recalled the two meeting when she was 15 years old and Moss was 14 years old, during an early modeling experience for a John Galliano show. Falaise tells THR, "We were modeling these little slip dresses and, just before heading out onto the runway, the stylist asked us to take off our underwear as you could see them through the slips. We were like, 'OMG, they will see everything!' It was a lesson in fashion boundaries, for sure! We hated everyone changing in front of each other, too."

Enninful was busy shooting mock covers of Moss displaying the ring close to her cheek and having a catch-up. "We’ve known each other since we both started modeling," while Moss told Yarur, "We grew up together."