To accompany Craig McDean’s cover story for AnOther S/S04, starring Kate Moss draped in satin, sequins, feathers and fur, we reprint editor-in-chief Jefferson Hack’s description of the shoot, and the inspiration he gleaned from time spent in the Hollywood hills.
"Climbing into the letters of the Hollywood sign is not as easy as you might think. As a ranger escorts our cover star, photographer Craig McDean, and his crew down the rocky path that leads to the sign the group pauses for a collective deep breath. They share a sense of vertigo and unease. Anticipating the descent, Kate gathers up her flowing Dior dress; this is not a time to be wearing high heels. Everybody holds hands as they begin the slow, steep and rocky climb from the top of Mount Cahuenga to the sign, some 50 feet below. With cuts on her feet and dirty hands Kate stands in the sign, gazing over Beverly Hills and beyond to the Pacific Ocean's west coast. She does not appear to be a model posing for a shoot or a 21st-century icon, but a person you believe has actually got there herself. She is like a star who has escaped the industry ball and taken to the hills to find sanctuary far from it all.
Inside this issue of AnOther Magazine, Kate wears a tarnished silver sequinned McQueen dress – the centre-piece of the show – as she hangs off the back of the "O" on the Hollywood sign. A scion of modern beauty wearing a dress that will forever symbolise a broken, shredded kind of optimism. If the Hollywood sign is a symbol of a culture in denial then this image is an act of poetic vandalism. Or if you're sitting on our side of the fence, it's an act of awakening and understanding; an acceptance that a modern interpretation of beauty, glamour, decadence and fantasy cannot exist without tragedy, suffering and decay. In today's climate of social upheaval, of social alienation, beauty has to be believable and feel real to translate. Like Kate's performance in our cover story with Craig McDean...Like so many of our favourite screen performances and bands, who come alive on the stage, you have to believe they're real, as well as unique. You have to believe there is something human in the image, the artifice and the fantasy, for it to truly touch and inspire us."
Text by Jefferson Hack
Photography by Craig McDean
Styling by Tabitha Simmons
Hair by Ken Ryan
Make-up by Peter Phillips
For the full article, and for all 25 issues in the AnOther Magazine archive, visit Exact Editions.