When I saw Kate Lamphear in London recently for fashion week, I wanted to respect her time. After all, I'd already asked to shoot her in February ('don't you know who i am?'). This time, other people were shooting her and I just piggy backed along. (People did it with my shots, too: it was weird. You'd ask to shoot someone, set up a shot, and suddenly, a flock of other people with cameras - bloggers, mostly, bless them - would gather around. I've seen several of 'my shots' up on blogs - shots I haven't even got round to posting yet).
I was actually contacted by the NY Daily News, for that post on Kate. They wanted to know my thoughts and experience meeting Kate Lanphear, and I replied that I was sorry, but for once, I really didn't have a story. They quoted my blog anyway, verbatim, but instead of crediting my name, as they did the others, I was simply 'a London blogger'. What can you do.
Notice how, in the nice weather, Kate was rocking a trend that's been going around: coat worn as cape. It looked like a clearly deliberate choice, too.
Curious to learn more about her then, I tried googling around. It unnerved me a bit that two sources of information about Kate Lanphear led to my own blog.. she's not in Wikipedia, I can't find anything that talks of a private life, even the word 'boyfriend' brings up 'boyfriend jackets' or someone else's boyfriend.. but I did find this one piece which really says it all, titled 'Kate Lanphear fed her interns pizza'. One was quoted as saying: "The editor also treated her underlings like real, sustenance-needing human beings: “She is honestly one of the nicest people that I’ve met in the industry..."
A friend, who shall remain anonymous as she works for a high profile fashion company, also shot her during LFW, and she said Kate was cool about having her photo done. Of course. But when she realised that she was actually filming the conversation, she put her hand up - politely, almost wistfully, and said 'Sorry, I don't do videos'.
There is something incredibly powerful about a beautiful woman who never seems to speak. Look at the Mona Lisa, for example. Remember how enigmatic the other Kate, i.e. Moss, seemed, back before we heard her wonderful Croydon accent? The idea of a woman who lets her image speak for her, absolutely fascinates me. I'd love to be like that. I should try it, for a week. Go on a verbal diet. Do all my posts with just images. No long comments on people's posts, either. I bet I wouldn't last an hour.
Whenever I see Kate Lanphear, she is almost always alone, being mobbed by people who want to take her photo. It's as if they want to solve that mystery. There is something vulnerable about her, I feel: that slightly haunted, hunted look. She reminds me of another beautiful icon who also fiercely guarded her privacy, who famously wanted to be alone: Greta Garbo.