Kate Moss: ‘I still get excited – I’m still shocked when I get a campaign’ | Fashion

Kate Moss Right. We’ve been given some questions, and I’m going to ask you: “What is the wildest shoot or trip you’ve been on together?” We haven’t been on any trips together – but the wildest shoot?

David Bailey Every shoot we ever do.

KM Yeah, exactly. They’re all wild, they are.

Next question: “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to each other in the heat of the moment, and how did you get away with it?” I know what you said…

DB What did I say? “You’re Kate Moss”, or something?

KM That was it! When I first met you, you walked into the dressing room and I was so excited but really, really nervous, obviously, and scared. Terrified because everyone had told me that you made every model cry.

DB I’ve never made models cry.

KM I was sitting having my hair and makeup done and you went, “So you’re Kate Moss? What’s all the fuss about?” And walked out! Some girls would have taken that as an insult whereas I was like, “Yes. He is fucking Bailey!” Not a disappointment in any way, ever.

What are your pet hates? Stylists?

DB I don’t like pets. And yeah, I’m not mad about stylists, because I can do my own.

KM Question three. “Why do you think you have both thrived for so long in your respective fields?”

DB Why have you lasted for so long?

KM I think because I still turn up for work wanting to get a picture that hasn’t been done. I still get excited, and I like being part of the process of creating an image. I mean, I’m still shocked when I get a campaign! What do you think? How many years have you been doing this?

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Photograph: David Bailey

DB Sixty years.

KM Sixty years! And you’re still excited by it?

DB I haven’t got it right yet, that’s why.

KM You must have had a day of work where you thought, I killed it?

DB No.

KM You never think that you smashed it?

DB No. I always think it could be better. When I see the contact sheets I’m so depressed.

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Photograph: David Bailey

KM Nothing’s good enough, is it? Perfectionist.

DB I always tell my assistants: most people have a Jiminy Cricket on their shoulder – I’ve got Stanley Kubrick sitting on mine. And he was persistent.

KM What’s your favourite Stanley Kubrick film?

DB Probably Lolita. Peter Sellers – it’s his best film. He’s great in Doctor Strangelove as well.

KM I like him as Chauncey Gardiner.

DB The film Being There. I was going to make that years ago.

KM Oh, I love that film. And I like Clockwork Orange. I can watch that over and over again.

DB I was going to do that as well, with the Rolling Stones – with Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. Mick was going to be in the main gang and the other gang was going to be [led by] Baby Jane Holzer. Andy was going to make silk screens for the backgrounds. Andrew Oldham, who was Mick’s manager, wanted more for the Rolling Stones than we had for the budget of the film – and nobody knew who the Rolling Stones were in America at that time. So it never got made.

KM Kubrick did quite a good job, though.

DB He did a much better job. He saved me again. What’s the next question?

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Kate models clothes from oxfam.org.uk/shop, including J Compton, Sons & Webb Ltd jacket, £19.99, above; 60s Saint Laurent coat, £80, vintage Trikki by Edna Wallace leopard-print skullcap with scarf, £19.99, and George Simonton Studio PVC-style coat, £9.99, and vintage Gapelle faux-fur coat, £65, Laird & Co Fedora, £39.99, and Jaeger jacket, £45. Photograph: David Bailey

KM Oh yes, sorry, going off-piste. When it comes to charity, what are the particular stories and causes that have stayed with you? I’ve been working with Comic Relief for 10 years. I wear a red nose.

DB The trouble with charity is that you can’t do it all of the time and people get upset when you can’t. Somebody once said, “Can you do a charity for tortoises?” I said, “Well, they’re not very high on my list, really. I love tortoises but there are more urgent things with human beings at the moment.”

KM I work for Amfar every year, the Aids foundation that Elizabeth Taylor started. It’s amazing what they’ve done. George Michael gave a lot to charity. I heard all the money he made from Last Christmas went to Band Aid.

DB The concert was good.

KM Freddie Mercury and David Bowie was one of the best duets ever.

DB There’s only been three times a man has stuck his tongue down my throat and one of them was Freddie Mercury at Band Aid.

KM [Gasps.] Oh, don’t. You couldn’t mind it, though? It was Freddie! Wouldn’t you have been a bit pissed off if he didn’t try? He was the best gay ever! Was he wearing Spandex?

DB I don’t remember! He came up behind me, twisted me round and stuck it in! [Laughs.]

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Photograph: David Bailey

KM I met Cleo Rocos, who used to hang out with him and Kenny Everett at the time, and she was like, “Oh Freddie and Kenny would’ve loved you!” And I was like, “Don’t say that – I missed out!” Kenny and Freddie. My dream team.

DB I didn’t know which way to go with this photoshoot, really. One side of me said we should make it more fun, trousers that wouldn’t fit properly, but that would defeat the purpose. You could have looked like Charlie Chaplin! That wouldn’t have made you like buying clothes from charity shops.

KM Oh, I love a charity shop. Because you know what, all these vintage shops, they just go and trawl all the charity shops.

DB They get in there early.

KM Yeah, and then put them in their shops for £500 because they know what a Balmain shirt looks like. And designers go to vintage shops to copy the designs from yesteryear.

DB So the only way to do the shoot, really, was to make it look like old-fashioned fashion pictures.

KM I love that picture of us – me in the purple and you in the turquoise, dancing to Harry Nilsson. We were listening to him last night, playing Somewhere Over The Rainbow, in a storm with forks of lightning, watching it from the bay window seat. Apparently, Ringo was really good friends with him…

DB John Lennon was. He’s been overlooked hasn’t he, Harry? Great sense of humour.

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Styling: James Brown at Agency Artists LDN. Makeup: Sharon Dowsett at CLM. Hair: Sally O’Neill at Agency Artists LDN. Retouching by PaperhatFTP.com. Photograph: David Bailey

KM Definitely, because I’d never heard of him and I like that old kind of music. And that bit in Over The Rainbow – there’s that long pause and you think it’s over, and then: “Chris, can I have some scotch, water, matches, and heroin, please?” You wouldn’t get away with that now.

DB Can’t get away with anything now. That’s the worst thing that’s happened, political correctness. You never know who’s telling the truth, because they can’t say what they think. It’s self-censorship.

KM What are the best things you’ve found in a charity shop?

DB I don’t know, I don’t go to them often.

KM You could’ve fooled me! [Laughs.]

DB I know what the best thing is – an accordion. A really fancy one. It was £150 and they said, “Why are you buying that?” I said, “It’s a beautiful object.”

KM Oh, with all the mother of pearl and everything – lovely. That is a lot of money, though, for a charity shop. Are you sure it was one?

From the age of 14 to 18 or 19, I got all my clothes from Oxfam. And then I started making myself go vintage so I didn’t have to trawl. You couldn’t buy 70s clothes in shops in the early 90s, it was all late-80s clothes. I wanted to dress like a hippy – those ribbed jumpers, that was the only place to get them. Bin liners full of clothes for £5. I remember seeing Yves Saint Laurent suits from the 70s for £50 or something ridiculous. Amazing.

What’s your favourite thing that you’ve donated to charity?

DB My time.

KM Worth a fortune, dear! And you give a lot of pictures and prints, away, don’t you?

DB To the right people.

KM Have you donated anonymously? Could lots of us be walking around in Moss and Bailey wardrobes?

DB Could be. Catherine [Bailey] takes all my clothes down to the charity shop without telling me. “Where’s those Dickies I like?” “Oh, they’ve gone to the charity shop.” “Where’s that shirt?”

KM I do Oxfam and the Sue Ryder in Highgate. I do my clean-outs – an archive pile, a back-in-the-wardrobe pile, and we take a pile to charity.

What are your top tips for charity-shop shopping?

DB Keep looking!

KM I used to walk around a lot when I was younger, get the tube, and every time I passed a charity shop I’d go in. I can sense if somewhere has a good one. I bought a dress that belonged to Errol Flynn’s wife. It was in Key West and the shop had a picture of her wearing it, tulle with white pearl and glass beads hanging off it.

DB Are there any more questions?

KM Nope, that’s it. Fabulous.

DB There you go, Joe.

KM That’s a wrap!

  • Kate Moss wears Oxfam to celebrate the charity’s 75th year. The Oxfam show opens London fashion week on 15 February, and will be live streamed on Facebook. Visit facebook.com/oxfamGB

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