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I have a confession to make. In the beginning, I did not understand the Kate Moss phenomenon.

Call me
old-fashioned, but after a decade of Amazonian supermodels pulsing with glamorous, bosom life, I simpl
didn!t understand the "iaf-bodied waif with the wan, farawa look in her ees, nor the Corinne #a and
$igel %hafran photographs that set her adrift in bleak welfare apartments or on gra &nglish beaches.
And then I saw her across a crowded room at a fashion part in $otting 'ill, and I was stopped dead in m
tracks b her laughing beaut and preternatural elegance. ()I never did a hair armpit,* sas Kate firml of
those late-eighties grunge moments. )+ou can look dirt, but ou can!t be dirt,*- .he simple fact is that
Kate is irresistible. .here is vulnerabilit and there is strength, and when she turns on the klieg light of her
flirtatious, giggl life force, it is impossible not to fall /ust a little bit in love. And Kate!s con0uests are
legion. A pantheon of illustrious cultural figures who define our age have fallen under her spell1including
designers 2ohn 3alliano, Marc 2acobs, 3ianni 4ersace, and #ame 4ivienne 5estwood6 photographers
Mario .estino, Annie 7eibovitz, and 8ran9ois- Marie :anier6 and artists Marc ;uinn, :anks, and 7ucian
8reud1not to mention a slew of high-profile paramours who have run the gamut from the courtl and
urbane to the mad, bad, and frankl dangerous to know.
:ut how do ou catch a cloud and pin it down< 5ho would, in the words of #avid .ang, Kate!s wedding-
da master of ceremonies, succeed in )persuading not the most easil persuadable girl to marr him*<
&nter 2amie 'ince, the =>-ear-old guitarist of the criticall acclaimed rock band the Kills. )I!ve met them
all throughout the ears,* sas .estino, )but he is the most real. 'e has a great sense of humor.*
)And stle,* adds 4ogue Contributing &ditor Camilla $ickerson. )And he!s sweet and tender, ver
After a romantic trip to .hailand two ears into their liaison, Kate recalls, )we were /ust so loved up, and
he asked me to marr him ever da.* :ut it was curling up together in front of the compelling :ritish
television documentar series :ig 8at 3ps 5eddings that appears to have sealed the deal. )I am so
romantic about 3psies,* Kate e?plains. ).he!re not allowed to do anthing until the get married. %o
the all get married reall oung, at si?teen. +ou can!t believe the dresses. .he!re like blinging butterflies
times ten6 the can!t move down the aisle, It!s so genius. I was /ust watching 2amie, so cute, and I was like,
these girls, the /ust spend their whole life waiting for that da1let!s do it,*
A week before the nuptials, Mario .estino is photographing Kate!s wedding portfolio (she has shifted her
date from %aturda to 8rida to accommodate his schedule, reasoning, with a model!s cann logic, that the
ceremon will last minutes but the photographs will be forever-. Mario has known her since she was a
fragile si?teen-ear-old, cring her ees out backstage at 2ohn 3alliano!s first "aris show. In that dim,
distant past, when a model!s success was /udged b the number of changes she had in a show, Kate had
been given onl one outfit and was feeling unloved. Mario comforted her. )+ou know, in life there!s
perfume and there!s cologne,* he told her. )Cologne, ou have to spra ever fifteen minutes. "erfume, ou
put a drop and it lasts a week. +ou!re perfume.*
Mario also saw beond the image in which she had been cast. )I had seen her out, and she had nothing of
the waif,* he remembers. Instead, she reminded him of the )gorgeous* girls he knew growing up in "eru,
for whom )life is about having a good time. I love a girl that parties,* he adds, )who can do the glamour
and laugh.* (.he images that he has taken during their >@-ear-plus relationship have resulted in a book,
Kate Moss b Mario .estino.-
Mario is shooting the couple for 4ogue at a magnificent seventeenth-centur Cotswolds mansion. )I so
want a statel home,* sighs Kate, admiring the rolling Capabilit :rown landscape. At AB, she looks
ravishing6 she attributes her honed form to 2ivamukti oga. ).he call it moving meditation,* she sas.
)It!s loud, loud music, so it!s dnamic, not boring.*
In the pictures ou can feel the love, but off-camera nerves are fragile. .he groom-to-be )is terrified,* sas
Kate. 'is prospective bride is in denial. )7et!s put it this wa,* she sas. )If I didn!t have m friends. . . . I
don!t know how people do it. I!ve had big birthda parties, and I!ve thrown parties for other people, but
this is a completel different thing. It!s the Met :all, :ecause ou have to look at ever piece of cutler6
the details are intense. And then ou wake up thinking about the ballet shoes for the girls6 is the satin
ribbon right< I!ve gone mental. 2amie thinks I!m mad, asking, CAre ou gonna be all right< After the
wedding, I!m hoping ou!ll get back to normal,! *
Kate has called on her friend %am 3ainsbur to realize her vision. 5ith partner Anna 5hiting, 3ainsbur
has produced fashion shows and shoots for some of the most e?citing talents around (and, with 2oseph
:ennett, created the transportingl beautiful mise-en-scDne for )Ale?ander Mc;ueenE %avage :eaut,* at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art -. )%am is a genius,* sas Kate, )but this is the first and last wedding she
said she!s ever doing,*
&ven %am was initiall daunted b the pro/ect, until she consulted her mother. )Mum told me to do it as
though it were m own wedding,* sas 3ainsbur, who proceeded to do /ust that. )Kate wanted something
elegant1not what people thought she might do.*
%he had originall wanted to get married in the enchanting twelfth-centur church at the bottom of her
garden, but as it proved too small even for her intimate wedding part (FAG guests have been invited to the
church ceremon6 AH of those are children-, she decided on %t. "eter!s Church, in the neighboring village of
%outhrop, where 7ila 3race, her eight-ear-old daughter with /ournalist 2efferson 'ack, was christened.
)I wanted it to be kind of dream and FH>@s, when everthing is soft-focus,* sas Kate. ).he 3reat 3atsb.
.he code name was 33 for a while. .hat light and that kind of fun decadence. It!s rock-!n!-roll 3reat
3atsb,* .here will be &dwardian mar0uees in her field and a circus tent for the children, with a miniature
drum kit and their own #2 and tepees for them to sleep in. A stage is being built b hand, )which I!m going
to keep for festivals for the future,* she e?plains.
.here are si?teen bridesmaids and flower girls, ages two to fourteen. ).he are so good together,* sas
Kate. .he children all clearl adore Kate the den mother6 she loves nothing more than having her own
houses in town and countr thronging with them. %he even installed a swing in her 7ondon dressing room
but packed awa the precious clothes after the started seeing a bit too much wear and tear.
7ila 3race is ver much in control as she corrals the other children and then e?ecutes some dance moves to
entertain them (she has a ballet performance on the weekend-. 'er mother!s friends laughingl compare her
to Absolutel 8abulous!s %aff, the studious, long-suffering daughter to Kate!s gidd &dina. )Mumm, are
ou stressed<* she asks solicitousl at one point.
In the flurr of pre-wedding madness and nerves, the one thing that is keeping Kate sane is the dress. 5ith
characteristic loalt, she has asked her beleaguered friend 2ohn 3alliano to work on this. )5hen I put the
dress on, I!m reall happ,* sas Kate. )I forget about everthing.*
%he wanted )a classic 3alliano, those chiffon thirties kind. I!ve lived in his dresses for ears, and the /ust
make me feel so comfortable. :ut it!s so much more couture, couture, couture. Ih, m 3od, the work
that!s going into the dress,* .he discussed everthing on the phone, and then, when 2ohn was out of rehab
for the first of four marathon fittings, he brought her )bags full of bits, and pulled tulle and se0uins and
veils and flowers out. And then we /ust kind of pinned things together, like the old das, ou know<*
)%he was ver professional and ver demanding,* sas 3alliano, who was inspired b 2azz Age
photographs of Jelda 8itzgerald. 'e had sent a friend to a beloved vintage fair ()because I couldn!t go*-,
who returned with )a beautiful rosar, which I thought must have been from a fallen angel.* 8or 2ohn it
evoked his late partner-in-design %tephen Kobinson. )%o %tephen is watching,* he sas, )nestled in the
back of the bow.*
.he dress is spangled with tin golden paillettes (2ude 7aw will ask him how on earth the are sewn on-6 in
3alliano!s narrative it is as though the sculler maid had picked up milad!s fallen se0uins to spangle her
own dress. .he skirts are smbolicall licked with the beaded plumes of a mthical phoeni?, )delicate and
defiant, like Kate.
)%he dared me to be 2ohn 3alliano again,* the designer tells me. )I couldn!t pick up a pencil. It!s been m
creative rehab.*
A week later, it is a perfect &nglish summer da with cotton-wool clouds scudding across forget-me-not-
blue skies. Chez Kate, the roses tumbling over the doorwas are in full bloom. Inside the house, a tumbling
chaos of hair and makeup people and bridesmaids reigns. .he bridal part takes off in a convo of
beribboned vintage Kolls-Koces driven b gra-uniformed chauffeurs. 2ust before she sets off, Kate
re0uests )a few words, a stor to inspire her1she loves a bit of direction,* sas 3alliano. )I told her, C+ou
have a secret1ou are the last of the &nglish roses1and when he lifts our veil he!s going to see our
wanton past,! *
At the idllic church, 4ictoria :rotherson has arranged low banks of pale, feather greener and white
flowers1delphiniums, daisies, scabious, and sweet-scented stock1to line the path to the church door and
embower its entrance. .he effect is enchantingE a scene out of .homas 'ard. %imilar flowers decorate the
austerel beautiful interior with its high rustic beams, honeed stone corbels, and whitewashed walls.
$aomi, in a flurr of lemon-ellow 3ivench gauze, is the last to arrive, so all is right with the world
().ring to upstage me, bitch<* sas Kate, laughing-.
5hen Kate appears in her 3alliano finer, with her flotilla of bridesmaids and flower girls in their
:onpoint dresses, there are wolf whistles and applause in the church. )It!s the most beautiful thing I!ve
ever seen in m life,* sas :ella 8reud, )like she /ust walked through some fair garden and came out clad
in that. It!s e?0uisite.*
At the ceremon, conducted b the Keverend 'arr MacInnes, 2ake Chapman reads a resonant love letter,
the cherubic choristers of 3loucester Cathedral sing )+ou Can!t Alwas 3et 5hat +ou 5ant,* and Mrs.
2amie 'ince is finall an honest woman. ).hat was so moving,* sas 7ucie de la 8alaise. )$ow she!s all
grown up,*
After the ceremon, the bridal part moves into the glorious gardens of the manor house ne?t door, its
storied brick walls sheltering them from paparazzi lenses. "hotographer Marcus "iggott catches Kate!s
Meanwhile, in Kate!s gardens, a "alm Court /azz band is plaing )It 'ad to :e +ou* in the mar0uee, while
battalions of black-and-white-clad wait staff light the votive candles hanging from fruit trees in their /am
/ars and anti0ue lanterns, and artfull arrange a pramid of champagne flutes. "aper cones filled with rose
petals for the bridal couple are arranged on little cafL tables, and anti0ue wicker chairs pepper the lawn.
.he %econd 7ooks .ent, for guests to change in after the ceremon, is appointed like a 'ollwood boudoir
with faceted mirror screens, thirties standard lamps, and dressing tables heaving with pink and beige roses.
Inside, the dining pavilion is lit b 4ictorian chandeliers, and FH>@s silver ashtras nestle on the tabletops
among the nosegas of pale apricot and lilac roses, while Chesterfield sofas and &dwardian palms flank the
dance floor1a setting fit for a latter-da #ais :uchanan.
.he guests, arriving through a romantic arbor of hazelnut trees, are an eclectic panopl of twent-first-
centur fashion and cultural icons, including musicians 2ack 5hite, :obb 3illespie, and "aul McCartne,
and designers %tefano "ilati (who dressed 2amie and bandmate Alison Mosshart-, Kiccardo .isci, #ame
4ivienne 5estwood (in an I #ream of 2eannie pontail-, and Marc 2acobs (whom Kate first met when she
modeled in his infamous FHH> grunge collection for "err &llis-. %eemingl ever hair and makeup artist
who has teased and powdered Kate through the decades is here, as is the 7ord 3reat Chamberlain, #avid,
the seventh Mar0uess of Cholmondele, with his superb bride, Kose 'anbur, in thirties black silk
smothered in roses (along with Mario .estino, the are the onl people to have been invited to celebrate the
weddings of both Kates this ear-. Manolo :lahnik (who made the bride!s blue-soled wedding shoes-
wears a lilac suit and cclamen dress pumps. Anita "allenberg (in a golden leaf beanie-, 2o 5ood, and
Marianne 8aithfull hold court like worldl seers1the have seen it all before.
)I never go in countrside,* e?plains Carine Koitfeld, perhaps unnecessaril, as she picks her wa gingerl
through the grass in a >@-ear-old 3alliano crepe frock and teetering strapp sandals. )It!s bea-u-tiful.*
Annabelle $eilson, in Mc;ueen!s thirties patchwork gown and a se0uined bolero, is knocking back a
5hite Kussian )to get in the mood.* #aphne 3uinness is wearing her own oster satin version of 5allis
%impson!s Mainbocher wedding dress with a black velvet wimple6 "hilip .reac and %tefan :artlett have
been stitching her anti0ue tremblant diamond brooches to it all afternoon.
Colin 8ield and his team from the :ar 'emingwa at the Kitz "aris are setting up the bar on the dance
floor. .he will be serving the Kate BM, a lethal cocktail of vodka, champagne, crushed ice, and sugar. )I
used to keep the bar open a little later than I should,* 8ield confides, )and we!d work out cocktails with
Kate. :ecause she drinks it, I e?pect everone to drink it. It!ll be the drink,*
)Come on, a tavola,* bids chef #aniel de la 8alaise, who since 8ebruar has been growing vegetables and
herbs for the feast in his gardens near .oulouse. .he menu includes toro tartare with caviar, 7onghorn veal
with grilled peaches, and strawberr granita dusted with gold leaf, accompanied b %esti and champagne.
Ince the guests are seated, #avid .ang gamel tries to corral their attention for the toasts. 2amie!s ):est
Man,* the Cleopatra-eed Alison Mosshart, confessing that she is unaccustomed to the )sweat-palmed
world of public speaking,* delivers a heartfelt speech riddled with profanities, and the assurance to Kate
that )he!ll alwas make ou happ. 'e!ll alwas e?cite ou.* 5hen Kate!s father, "eter, thanks 2ohn
3alliano for )the beautiful dress,* ever guest stands in a spontaneous ovation, and 2ohn!s ees well up.
After dinner, Kate and 2amie cut "egg "orschen!s cake1actuall a pramid of si? cakes, each a different
flavor, crusted with droplets of icing-sugar lil-of-the-valle blossoms. Kate has changed into her 8irst
#ance #ress1%tella McCartne!s smok-gra georgette evening gown spangled with steel beads1and she
and 2amie dance as :ran 8err croons )If .here Is %omething* ()It!s mine and 2amie!s song*-. After
8err!s set, #2s including Annie $ightingale, $ick 3rimshaw, and ;ueens of $oise spin, with assistance
from 2ude 7aw and %adie 8rost!s fourteen-ear-old-son, Kaffert, and Kate reappears to rock the dance
floor in %tella!s backless golden-spangled minidress, with 7ouboutin glitter heels.
: AEA@, .race &min is out cold on a Chesterfield in a flurr of 5estwood roses and Moll 8landers
cleavage, %tefano "ilati is showing his (ver practiced- moves on the dance floor, %amantha Morton is
whirling like a dervish in a tur0uoise caftan, and I am wondering if the floor was alwas listing at this
dramatic angle1or is it /ust the Kate BMs kicking in<
At a 0uarter to five Kate reappears, looking like a "re-Kaphaelite wood sprite in the diaphanous silk-tulle
FHA@s wedding dress that Kat &ngland found for her bachelorette part, and proceeds to e?ecute an
e?uberant tango. &verone!s mother is still on the dance floor. (At her bachelorette weekend, )m mum
was the last to leave,* sas Kate, laughing. ).he last man standing, m mum was,*-
At si? in the morning a china-blue dawn rises over the fields that seem to be littered with e?hausted
revelers, like the aftermath of a medieval battle.
I can still feel the love.

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