Classic Kate Moss "I Don't Care" hair, circa 2005. Photo: Getty Images

When you're doing the backstage beauty rounds at Fashion Week, a few phrases become all too familiar. "Excuse me," (as someone sends you flying into a 6 ft model) "Sorry, your name's not on the list," (as scary fashion flacks barely glance at the piece of paper in front of them) and, this year, "Kate Moss."

She is the word on everybody's lips.

From Marc Jacob's slept-in makeup, to Alexander Wang's ode to 90s grunge, to Zero + Maria Cornejo's "I don't care" hair, an early 90s Kate Moss was cited by the beauty brains behind each show as a clear inspiration.

Makeup artist Gucci Westman told us at Rag and Bone that a young Moss was the vision behind the bedroom eyes she created for the show; models were meant emulate a just-rolled-out-of-bed Moss, circa 1990. "Confident, but in a cool, nonchalant way," said Westman.

But it's not just early Kate Moss that gets the creative juices flowing.

At Jill Stuart, hair stylist Bob Recine was working the hair to look like "Kate Moss leaving a night club at 4am." When asked which period of Moss he was referring to, he said, "Kate Moss, circa now. " As in 2010, at age 36.

Moss is even lurking in the style shadows at shows that aren't directly referencing her. At Rebecca Taylor, the models had a purposely undone look to their hair. Stylist Rudi Lewis hearkened the look to Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, "She knows she's cool and doesn't have to try so hard," he said. Which, really, is just a round about way of saying Kate Moss.

Perhaps Moss' popularity is due to the fact that she's become the fashion industry's answer to "The Simpsons;" she's a hit well into her second decade, and just as popular as when she first strutted into our collective conscious, in 1988 at age 14.

Kate Moss inspired looks on the runways at Jill Stuart (left) and Rebecca Taylor (right). Photo: Getty Images (2)



"The Kate Moss look has been a perennial for twenty years now; it's become a classic in a way." says Sam McKnight, the fashion-favorite hairstylist, and Pantene global ambassador, who has styled Moss' tresses for a multitude of magazine covers since her breakout on the scene in the early 90s. "I've done 12-14 Vogue covers with Kate, and they're all completely different." he told StyleList. "She's got it. She just exudes confidence and coolness."

One word that's synonymous with Kate Moss is confidence. Every makeup artist and hair stylist we spoke to cited her cool, easy aplomb as the key to her enduring success.

Another theory is that Moss is not classically pretty. Her brand of beauty is imperfection, which makes her, in our heads, more approachable. She's neither an icy Nordic blonde, nor a statuesque Nubian princess. Rather, when Moss first shot to fame she was a skinny teenager with messy mouse brown hair.

"There's nothing perfect about beauty," says Recine. "When you perfect beauty, you sacrifice charm."

And while we would not call Kate Moss' look exactly charming, she certainly isn't perfect.

Which may be exactly why we love her.

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