Dress and sandals by Alexander McQueen; ring by Erickson Beamon
Are you alright up there?” asks artist Mat Collishaw, as Kate Moss wobbles alarmingly in a pair of spindly, pearl-encrusted Alexander McQueen heels on a precarious heap of fiber-glass volcanic rocks. Shooting a supermodel in high fashion is a new experience for Collishaw, whose natural environment is a studio in south London, where he works alone. For Moss, it is all in a day’s work. “I’m fine!” she laughs. “Just hurry up!”
Finding a new way to represent one of the world’s most photographed women is a near impossible challenge, but as Moss has proved throughout her extraordinary career, there is always another aspect of her image or personality to explore. Which is why, when she agreed to take part in a shoot for The Edit to celebrate Christie’s upcoming auction of some of her most striking images, we asked her to collaborate with an artist she had never worked with before – her old friend Collishaw.
Collishaw’s dark but alluring photographs and video pieces portray an eerie twilight world –
“MODELS are seen to be passive, blank canvases. KATE MOSS complies to none of these RULES”
incidentally, a world one could quite easily imagine Moss inhabiting. Collishaw, who jokes that he agreed to the project as he “couldn’t resist being able to brag about it to my builder”, was keen to do something “that reflected her fiery temperament.”
“I originally wanted to shoot Kate on a car wreck or throwing a petrol bomb, but you and your insurance policies wouldn’t allow it,” Collishaw laughs dryly. “So I compromised with a more sedate setting of a volcanic eruption. Models are generally seen to be quite passive,” he continues. ‘They are valued for their ability to function as a blank canvas or a clothes hanger. Kate complies to none of these rules, and is much more potent for it.”
Hair: Samantha Hillerby at Streeters. Makeup: Ninni Nummela. Nails: Marian Newman at Streeters. Fashion assistants: Tatianna Kartomten; Laura Timson; Hannah Cole. With thanks to AND Productions.