Flashback to the mid-nineties and a new wave of creative expression was simmering, and Kate Moss and Mario Sorrenti, then a young couple, was on the forefront of an evolving fashion movement that transformed fashion runways and photography internationally.
Androgynous and unisex fashion and fragrances emerged, minimalist, grunge, and heroin chic offered a style backlash to the abundance of glamour trickling over from the overindulged 80s. Opposites clashed—supermodels with healthy body types, once considered the personification of beauty now looked cartoonish compared to the dirty realism of the ‘waif’ and the controversial ‘heroin chic’ -termed style that Moss typified during this era.
The ‘It’ couple, one of many well-documented dating dalliances for Moss, lasted for about two years, during which time Italian photographer Sorrenti took personal snapshots of Moss during their time together, ultimately creating a portfolio of work that catapulted the careers of both Sorrenti and Moss.
Calvin Klein recognised Sorrenti’s work with his muse, as a sign-of-the-times, merging his sexually charged photographic style with the androgynous waif look that Moss depicted. Thus, Sorrenti created the advertising campaign for Calvin Klein’s fragrance Obsession— symbolising this iconic moment in both fashion and advertising for future decades.
This fall Sorrenti and Moss emerge together again, in a tome titled ‘Kate’ featuring exclusive photos never published before of the duo during their early years together. Carefully edited by Dennis Freedman, the founding creative director of W Magazine and now creative director of Barney’s New York, the foreword is written by Mario Sorrenti and introduces the moment of kismet, how Sorrenti and Moss met in London. Published this fall by Phaidon, the book will sell at $100 and will be available as a limited edition at $1,000 with a signed photograph of Moss by Sorrenti.
This tome is a personal reminder of an era I watched unfold through the pages of magazines and newspapers when tabloids and paparazzi stalked Moss’ career, and editors and photographers couldn’t get enough of this diminutive fashion star.