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Designer Vs Celeb & the Battle for Real Fashion

The hotly anticipated clothing range designed by worldwide supermodel Kate Moss, is to appear in British high street favourite, Topshop on 1st May after months of media frenzy. Speculation as to whether she did actually design the clothes herself has been circulating amongst the design world, but with the backing of fashion bible, Vogue magazine and several other well-respected fashion titles, Moss has been granted designer status after the first glimpses of her range prove it could actually be quite good.

Capsule collections in major high street stores aren’t unusual – well-respected designers such as Celia Birtwell and Viktor & Rolf have designed special ranges for various high street stores, giving the general public a chance to own a piece of designer clothing at affordable high street prices. As consumers however, we’re a fickle bunch. Whilst many of us would love to own our very own pair of Jimmy Choos, that Chanel coat or Chloe bag, we’d equally love to get our hands on a pair of Kate Moss-inspired skinny jeans or Kylie Minogue's bikini.

Celebrities like these are constantly in the public eye, image-makers in their own right with a defining star style we all try to imitate. Our favourite magazines are constantly telling us how to “get the look” or “steal the style” of our favourite A-listers and now it’s never been easier to hunt down the style secrets of the stars as they design the clothes for us and sell them in our favourite stores.

This move towards celebrity designers has caused minor disgruntlement in the design world, as celebrities such as JLO and Gwen Stefani snatch the limelight from talented designers who have spent their careers trying to get their collections noticed. The line between celebrity and designer has become significantly blurred in recent years with a great number of stars both in the UK an US bringing out their own fashion ranges. This diffusion of roles works both ways with high-profile designers achieving something of a celebrity/cult-following with the said A-listers hot on the heels of their new collections and cult items, endorsing them endlessly in a bid to be seen as stylish.

After months, if not years of being told that Kate Moss, Madonna and Kylie are our style icons of the 21st century, of course we are going to be intrigued by their collections – Kate Moss’ is rumoured to be influenced by her very own tastes and childhood memories, using old photographs, sketches and drawings as inspiration, outlining the reason we have been taken by storm by these celebrity capsule collections: it gives us an exclusive chance to glimpse into the world of our favourite, most looked-at celebrities.

It is, after all, these celebrities (or their stylists at least) who initiate the trends we all end up following – it was Kate Moss who started the skinny jeans movement, Lily Allen who reinvented the prom dress, Kylie who celebrated the unforgiving hot pants and Gwen Stefani who made sportswear chic – so why not give these trend-setting stars artistic credence?

It’s true they are all paid to design clothing ranges that appeal to the public, reflecting their individual style, giving us the chance to emulate Madonna’s style or Kate Moss’ bohemian chic, so in effect they are simply meeting consumer demand in a user-friendly way (why spend time trying to achieve the “Kate” look when you can simply go into town and buy it?)

In today’s fast-fashion climate the celebrity designer is set to take the fashion world by storm, cutting out the years of keen ambition, disappointment and artistic achievement so many aspiring fashion designers experience – it is simply by means of their celebrity status that they reach the top quickly, with their clothes on the high street within months of signing on the dotted line. What critical consumers make of the Kate Moss fashion brand we are yet to find out, but not all of us are as easily led by the A-list fashion label – pop diva, Madonna recently revealed her collection at high street favourite, H&M with disappointing sales and an embarrassingly short queue on launch day, perhaps proving that when it comes to the crunch, the real power lies with the surprisingly clever consumer.

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