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Home > Culture and Society

Fashionably Fucked-up

23 September 2005

This week was London Fashion Week, 'the capital's seasonal showcase for the very best in contemporary fashion design' and the annual opportunity for the industry as a whole to show people who ordinarily couldn't care less, what a significant, worthwhile and hugely under-appreciated thing it really is. Unfortunately, this year, somewhere along the line, something went horribly wrong.

It all kicked off of course with the shocking news that Kate Moss, a model, regularly uses the popular illegal slimming drug cocaine. This news hit the world of fashion hard, like a rabbit-punch to its swanlike neck. Then, adding slack-jawed disbelief to earth-shattering scandal, top investigative journalists from the Evening Standard and the Sun went on to prove that Kate Moss is not alone. Infiltrating various Fashion Week parties and creeping into toilet cubicles with swabs and those little plastic bags that you get Es in, these amateur sleuths proved that cocaine use in the fashion industry is actually quite common.

The tragedy of this whole story then, is that there isn't one. Essentially, it has been revealed that a celebrity who everyone assumed took shitloads of drugs actually does take shitloads of drugs. Less surprising still, she isn't alone. This from Wednesday's Standard:

'At one party - in Versace's Sloane Street store - stars including Rupert Everett, Elizabeth Hurley, [Joan] Collins, [Mariah] Carey, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Sheryl Crow sipped champagne at the same time as people queued outside the staff lavatories to take [cocaine]. There is no suggestion any of the stars took the drug.'

Apart of course, from the one hinted at in the previous sentence. And of course the stars mentioned most probably do (still) take cocaine. Mariah Carey's ego cannot possibly be non-chemically enhanced*. And as for Sniffie Ellis-Ecstacy and Sherbert Sheryl Crowcaine. Well, probably.

The point being - God, what *is* the point? The point being that millions of people take recreational drugs in this country and it's madness to think of them as criminals. OK, so Moss happens to work in a particularly stupid-money tiny-talent industry in which coke-taking is practically compulsory, but frankly, even if she'd been less lucky in life and had never made it further than the customer service counter at TKMaxx in Croydon, she'd probably still burn holes in her pretty little nose of a weekend. Only it would cost her an awful lot more and would be cut full of chalk and paracetamol. The point being, for the love of Belushi, in the name of all that is holy and legally-permissable - it is a little bit of coke. An inconsequential smudge of bullshit-dust. It is not important.

Waging a deeply cynical tabloid war on celebrities who take drugs is a waste of time, and investigating and prosecuting anyone who take drugs is a waste of time and money. Furthermore, the fact that Ian Blair took time out from devising futuristic Supercops to get personally involved in publicly chastising druggy Moss is madness, particularly as it means that now, if he's not going to appear like a hypocritical superloon, he'll have to make it his personal business to investigate Doherty, Deayton, Williams, Walliams, every other catwalk model alive, 90% of all TV presenters and pop stars, Russell Grant, Prince Harry... the list is endless. He's certainly going to have his work cut out for him. He'll probably have to bring in the TA to help out.

It's very simple. Prohibition doesn't work. The pros and cons of various drugs don't and shouldn't come into it. The fact is, people take drugs. They always have and they always will. The least we can do as a society is educate people as to the risks and ensure that if they do take them, at least they're getting stuff of a certain purity, and in relative safety.

Meanwhile Moss, the face and pillow-case-body of the 'heroin chic' fashion fad, is being dropped like a hot knife from one contract after another. As the door hits her tiny arse on her way out, she's a great advert for the moral conscience of Chanel, H&M and Burberry. In fact, she should probably get paid for it.

* CLARIFICATION: In response to a communication from Mariah Carey's publicists, we would like to clarify our position regarding Ms Carey's drug use. We would like to make it absolutely clear that there is a very definite possibility that Ms Carey's ego is not actually chemically enhanced.



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