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Kate Moss documentary airs on the Sundance Channel on Tuesday night

February 8, 2011 |  7:28 am

Kate Moss, supermodel and fashion icon, is the subject of a documentary airing Tuesday night on the Sundance Channel — part of the network's seven-day series of style-related content that coincides with New York Fashion Week.

"Kate! The Making of an Icon," explores the career and cultural impact of the British model, who's staying power in the nexus of the fashion industry has outlasted that of her contemporaries, which included the likes of Stephanie Seymour, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer.

Of course Moss — who's famous, among other things, for almost never speaking in the press — is personally absent from the documentary. But her story is told through iconic imagery, including the once-scandalous "heroin chic" photos shot by Corinne Day for The Face magazine and the nude Calvin Klein ads, and by a handful of famous photographers, designers, filmmakers and artists who have worked with her over the years. 

When describing the Myth of Moss, photographer Peter Lindbergh called the model-muse "just very cool," adding, "Kate doesn't let herself be used, doesn't let herself be forced into a role as a paragon."

Vivienne Westwood, who has worked with Moss for decades, said, rather comically, "What I like about that she doesn't care about being naked. If she's backstage, she wouldn't even think about taking her clothes off. This sort of attitude is a sort of a punk attitude."

But filmmaker Mike Figgis, who once shot a short fashion film starring Moss for Agent Provocateur, perhaps distilled the essence of the supermodel's success most succinctly.

"Surely if you wear a coat, you wear a coat — either it's a nice coat or it's not a nice coat," he said. "Kate Moss manages to make [it] interesting, and what her talent is is I don't know quite how she does that."

"Kate! The Making of an Icon" airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. PST on the Sundance Channel.

--Emili Vesilind

Photo: Kate Moss models Helmut Lang for photographer Craig McDean in 1996. Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art.