Kate Moss loves jewelry a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Messika by Kate Moss, the British supermodel’s new collaboration with the French jeweler, unveiled today at Paris Fashion Week, features 70 pieces of high jewelry divided into 11 sets. Encompassing everything from Art Deco baguette-cut diamond bracelets and rings to vibrantly colored diamond-and-malachite necklaces and bohemian head jewelry, the pieces are inspired by Moss’s impressive personal collection of antique jewelry, which she has been building ever since her career took off in the ’90s.
Last fall, Moss starred in Messika’s Lucky Move campaign with model Joan Smalls and actress Sylvia Hoeks; this project grew out of that photo shoot. A labor of love, it required Moss and Valérie Messika, the house’s founder and artistic director, to travel back and forth between Moss’s home in London and Messika’s atelier in Paris to work on it together. Of course, this was all done before lockdowns began in Europe last spring.
Ahead, Moss chats about jewelry collecting, “easygoing diamonds,” and where she stands on the “getting dressed while working from home” debate.
I hear you have an amazing personal collection of antique jewelry you drew inspiration from for the Messika by Kate Moss collection. Can you tell us more about how the collaboration came about?
Well, when we shot the Messika campaign last year, Valérie saw my love for diamonds. There were a lot of diamonds on set, and I was just very happy to stand there all day admiring them. I just love diamonds. I love looking at them. I love playing with them. So we got to chatting and she said, “Should we meet after and maybe do something together?” It all flowed really naturally.
When she saw my jewelry box, she kind of was surprised. She thought that it was going to be very rock ’n’ roll, but it’s actually more diverse. I collect different eras and different cultures, and it’s a bit more eclectic.
What are your favorite styles of antique jewelry?
I love Art Deco jewelry, particularly baguette diamonds. I have a bit of a collection of that. And then I have more hippy ’70s styles. Jewelry that you would wear on the beach—quite easygoing diamonds. I want to be able to wear diamonds all the time, in every situation. And then there’s the more, like, bohemian pieces. I’ve been to India a lot, and I always buy a lot of jewelry there.
What was your working process with Valérie?
She picked up on pieces that I liked, that I had in my collection already, and kind of went back and did her take on it, and more modern. Because obviously, the diamonds are whiter and brighter, and she mixed them with malachite, which is really different for Messika to use colored stones. I think it makes it look more bohemian, diamonds with colors. I’d wear them with a long, floaty chiffon thing.
She came to London, and I’d go to Paris. And then she was on holiday in Greece, and she was sending me CAD drawings. We were texting back and forth about what the pieces would feel like, look like, and how they would move. It was very important as well that there was movement in the jewelry to make it less strict.
What was your reaction when you saw the pieces for the first time in the flesh?
I was very happy. Very happy. I was like, “Can I take something now, please? What can I wear now?” And they were like, “Oh, we need it.” They were only samples, but I managed to get a broach and a ring out of them.
What jewelry do you wear every day?
I wear an antique emerald ring that my boyfriend gave me every day. It’s quite Victorian, I think, which is quite classic for me. But I love it, because it’s a beautiful Colombian emerald.
I’ve also been wearing this Messika Art Deco bracelet and ring, which I haven’t taken off. I’ve been adding diamond Indian bangles with it.
And then I’ve got my bits in a little ring dish. Sometimes I wear an antique Indian snake diamond and emerald ring, or a little diamond ring that I bought in Istanbul. It depends, I just throw things on. I like mixing it up, but I always put on jewelry every day.
Even during lockdown?
I tried to get dressed for lunch every day. That was my rule. And then after that, I’d be like, “Okay, I can get comfy again.” But it’s interesting, in lockdown I didn’t want to wear jewelry. I felt like I wanted to be a bit more bare. I went really simple. I did put an earring on sometimes for lunch, just to make sure that I hadn’t completely lost any glamour in my life.
I guess for you, it’s all about the mix—how all those different traditions of jewelry can sit together.
At the moment, it’s not really about wearing a set of matching anything, I think. Maybe that will come back in style. Sometimes, I just wear one diamond drop earring or a few of these little diamond hoops. Today, I’ve actually got on a pair of earrings, but that’s only because I just bought them. They’re jade earrings with diamonds that I found in Alfies Antique Market in London.
Are there any other places you shop for antique jewelry that you would recommend?
Anywhere I am traveling usually I try and pop in to an antique-jewelry shop if there is one. If I see one I can’t resist. But in London, I go to Alfies, S.J. Phillips, and Bentley & Skinner.
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