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High street success is a piece of Kate

Dissecting Kate Moss's wardrobe, copying it and serving it up at affordable prices for the masses has long been one of the key activities of high street fashion designers.

This does, of course, beg the question of why the supermodel's collaboration with Topshop has whipped shoppers into such a frenzy of excitement, when in fact many of the trends they have been buying into in recent years have been Moss-inspired anyway (skinny jeans, waistcoasts, tunics, leopard print - you name it).

The answer is that Moss herself has not just inspired this collection, she has sanctioned it and selected it. It's as though each piece in the range has been awarded a kind of cool Kitemark by one of the most stylish women on the planet, and as such the rails are certain to be emptied within minutes of the doors opening on the first day of trading.

According to an exclusive interview with Moss published in Vogue this week (which, unlike the clothes, wasn't really worth the wait), Moss revealed that she had taken her favourite items to the designers at Topshop and they had reinterpreted them to create the collection. So, basically this is just a range of clothes that Moss likes, would wear herself and, in effect, has already done so, which is fair enough.

Unlike the swathes of other celebrity-endorsed ranges we have seen on the high street recently, I do feel more inclined to think that Moss's line has some integrity. It's hard to imagine her putting her name to something that she doesn't believe in.

I'm also a fan of some of the other designer collaborations we've seen in recent years. Stella McCartney's range for Australian chain Target was launched this week, and prompted scenes of hysteria not seen since she unveiled her collection for H&M. Meanwhile, Giles Deacon's Gold line for New Look was met with a similar response over here.

These designer tie-ups do bring a frisson of excitement to the high street that we only ever saw on the first day of the January Sales. As we all know, these now start some time in December and usually dribble on in a sad sort of way for weeks after New Year's Day has passed.

What troubles me, however, are the tie-ups with 'celebrities' who have done nothing more than wear clothes that a stylist has selected for them. Maybe (well, certainly) I'm just a bit too old to buy into the concept of a collection that has been based on the look of someone who got that look from someone else. And it does worry me that the high street will become too reliant on this sort of short-term copycat collection instead of working hard to set the style agenda for itself.

But I will make the exception for Moss, even if she isn't an actual accredited designer. The woman can certainly put an outfit together and I think she is well placed to advise the rest of us on how to dress. So will I be sharpening my elbows for the inevitable carnage on London's Oxford Street on May 1? Like I said, I'm probably a bit too old for that sort of thing. But I may sneak a peek on eBay later in the day.

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