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Voices: Kate Moss at 50: the supermodel who really knows how to (birthday) party

Kate Moss, after years of partying hard, has rebranded herself as a wellness guru   (AFP via Getty Images)
Kate Moss, after years of partying hard, has rebranded herself as a wellness guru (AFP via Getty Images)

Kate Moss is 50. Can you believe it? Well, she can’t.

“I’m not turning 50 – no. I’m not thinking about it. I do not feel 50,” the model recently said ahead of her big birthday, which is today, so she’s probably going to have to think about it at least once.

Perhaps the problem is that she might well remember it tomorrow? In recent months, the former wildchild has rebranded herself as a wellness guru – think Gwyneth Paltrow with fags – by launching her own beauty range called Cosmoss, offering “wellbeing for soul and senses” and something called “sacred mist”, which is £125 for 100ml.

In a newspaper interview, she described her quiet post-London life in Little Faringdon, west Oxfordshire, where she wild swims, meditates, does yoga, recites affirmations (“trust the universe”) and owns a vegetable patch. She spends time charging her crystals under the full moon. There are fewer nights out. “I’m not really into it,” she said. “When I do go out I leave at midnight – that’s my cut-off.”

Blimey. It’s quite the volte face from the woman we know and love for being off her face. Who, in 1995, celebrated her 21st birthday at the Viper Room in LA, with a party thrown by her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp, at which Michael Hutchence performed and Jason Donovan was stretchered out following a drug-induced seizure.

And who marked her 30th with a “Beautiful and Damned”-themed party, attended by Stella McCartney, Sadie Frost, Ronnie Wood and Naomi Campbell. And which, if tabloid reports are to be believed, ended at Claridge’s hotel in a scene of such depravity that William Hogarth might have committed it to canvas as an example of immorality.

Her 33rd was a massive bender that only paused at 10am for a spot of shopping, before heading back to the pub. Her 35th was a four-day bonanza with Davinia Taylor and Abbey Clancy that had her Camden neighbours complaining because the music was “so loud, even with double glazing”.

Need I go on? (A phrase Moss has presumably never uttered mid-party). I need a Bloody Mary just thinking about all those mornings after.

At 50, then, “wellbeing Kate” is perhaps the most relatable version of herself yet. By moving to the country, swapping heroin chic for horticulture, she is on a trajectory that feels – or will at some stage – familiar to us all. That for this landmark birthday she has headed to Mustique, the Caribbean‘s most free-spirited, low-key hideaway for the super-rich – where Princess Margaret partied with David Bowie – speaks volumes.

I know all about dialling down the hedonism and binge-drinking in favour of growing your own tomatoes and a bit of gentle stretching. For my own 21st, I went out drinking in Soho, albeit no one left in an ambulance. On my 30th, I threw a party in a private Shoreditch cocktail bar, donned a sequin dress, fell down the stairs, giving myself carpet burn, and collapsed into bed as the sun came up. Which, as I turned 40 this month, sounded like the last thing I wanted. Instead, I met some friends at a local suburban taproom, had a few pints, many alcohol-free, and was snuggled up under my duvet by 12.30am.

Ok, ok, for her 40th, Moss held a ‘psychedelic-chic’ music festival in the Cotswolds, which lasted for 100 hours, cost an estimated £100,000 and at which Massive Attack, Mark Ronson and Florence Welch performed - but we can all be forgiven for being a decade out of step with the model who, when it comes to hard-partying, clearly still felt she had something to prove back then. We do, at least, have one thing in common: there weren’t any photos of her 40th and, as far as I can tell, only one blurry snap exists of my own recent celebration.

How Moss plans to mark her half-century, we can’t be sure. Things have changed: she claims to be in bed by 11pm these days and has a job as creative director for Diet Coke. In 2018, she even admitted to feeling regret over her famous ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ quote. There have been several low-key birthday celebrations: a weekend in Paris for her 47th (she was there for work, so even more normcore points) and a dinner at Scotts, in Mayfair, for her 48th, with her daughter, Lila Grace, and boyfriend, Count Nikolai von Bismarck. Her 49th flew under the radar entirely.

Except. This is Kate Moss we’re talking about. A woman nicknamed “the Tank” by friends for the quantity of intoxicants she could put away. The same Kate Moss whose party ‘tip’ in British Vogue last month was: “I don’t gravitate to bores and they don’t gravitate to me.” So are we supposed to believe that our beloved queen of bacchanalia is about to turn into a bore herself?

In fact, some of the wildest parties I’ve come across in the last couple of years have been those of friends and colleagues turning 50 and using it as an excuse to cut loose for one massive night of excess. Which, as far as Mossy is concerned, would show serious restraint after all.