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Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers to pretend that we have fashion icons other than Kate Moss. Years from now, people will cite hers as the look of our time a look that’s hard to pin down, in fact, except by flipping through pictures of Kate and taking note of the changing ways she mixes high and low, old and new, sweet and slutty, slouchy and sharp, always to her own unerring whim. If she weren’t the one true supermodel, Kate would be the most in-demand stylist in the business and she remains the one true supermodel because now, because of her, fashion can’t exist without the approval of style. It used to be the other way around.

So what on earth is Kate Moss doing with Pete Doherty? The man in whom the cognoscenti have misplaced, and misplaced again, their hopes for rock’s future, Doherty is an almost-but-not-quite star with nothing, seemingly, to offer his legendary girlfriend. People compare them to Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards, the impossibly cool car crash couple of a few generations ago, but the analogy falls apart once you consider that, in this instance, the musician is the model’s groupie. Anyway, there’s Pete in photo after photo, one hand curled into Kate’s while the other dangles somewhere close to his self-destruct button. The romance’s enduranceafter breakups, scandals, stints in jailis mysterious, and therefore captivating. Kate is an icon all by herself, and Doherty, I suppose, is approaching iconic if only as another cautionary tale about talent wasted by addiction. Together, Kate and Pete are something else, the only public couple with everything to lose by being together, and nothing to gain beside each other. They must really be in love.

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