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Review: Kate Moss by Mario Testino


Now available in paperback for the first time is photographer Mario Testino's tribute to model Kate Moss. The book was originally published last summer as a boxed hardback special edition in a limited run of 1,500 signed copies which were £900 (€1,070) each.

In spite of the price, it sold out, which is not unusual for books from art publisher Taschen. Now Taschen has released an unlimited paperback edition at a more modest £45 (€53).

According to the publisher, this is the unseen Moss, "the most intimate photos of today's biggest international fashion icon by the world's favourite fashion photographer".

Testino, probably best known for his pictures of Princess Diana, is recognised as the leading fashion photographer of his generation.

But his pictures of Moss are not just fashion shots. The pair have been friends for 20 years and the book has many 'off-duty' pictures taken from Testino's private archive, including one of a topless Moss cooking an omelette for lunch during a break on a photo shoot with Testino.

There are also back stage pictures of Moss at shows and photo shoots, showing how the ground-breaking editorials she and Testino produced for the world's top magazines were created.

In a piece she wrote for the book, Moss says: "Mario took me to a new level of glamour. I don't think anybody had seen me as any kind of sexy model before he did. He was the one that transformed me.

"Before him I was just a grungy girl, but he saw me differently. He was the first to say 'Oh, she's quite sexy' -- and he was the first to start taking pictures of me in that way."

This book gives a unique insight into their collaboration and their thinking on fashion and style. -- John Spain

Indo Review