kate moss mario sorrenti

It was quite the moment. Surrounding a table piled high with copies of photographer Mario Sorrenti’s new book, “Kate,” was a forest of upraised arms lofting iPhones in order to capture the former flames as they greeted one another at the launch of the tome, hosted by Matchesfashion.com at its new concept store on Carlos Place in Mayfair.

As Sorrento signed copies of the book for fans and friends, Moss slipped upstairs for a tête-a-tête behind closed curtains.

DG - MATCHES x SORRENTI

Kate Moss and Mario Sorrenti  Darren Gerrish

The book has been eight years in the making and the idea for it came from Sorrenti’s wife, fellow photographer Mary Frey. “My wife found all the pictures in my archive and she was archiving and digitizing the archive,” Sorrenti told WWD. “She was, like, ‘You should really do something with these pictures because they are amazing.’ And I was not really thinking about it and when I showed the pictures to Dennis Friedman, who was the creative director of W, who I worked with for years, he was, like, ‘Wow these are great, you have to [do a book]. Not just because it’s Kate but these are great pictures.'”

Sorrenti said that when he ran the idea past Moss, she said, “’OK cool. Great. Show me your pictures; I want to see them.’

Kate Moss Mario Sorrenti

Mario Sorrenti  Courtesy Photo

“A couple of years later, when I was finished with the book, then I brought her the edit and stuff and she took time to go through all the pictures and it was very sweet,” he said.

The 120-page book, published by Phaidon, features a collection of 50 never-before-published portraits of the young model before her rise to international stardom taken by then-boyfriend Sorrenti. The couple had met in London on a modeling job, fell in love and spent two years traveling and working together, during which time Sorrenti photographed Moss in a number of intimate portraits, which became the inspiration for the Obsession fragrance campaign that jump-started Moss’ career. The book is available now for $100.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss  Darren Gerrish

Sorrenti, who has already authored several other photography books, has another one up his sleeve. “I did another project back in the Nineties of road trips across America with my best friend from high school,” he explained. “I did that project specifically with the idea that I was going to do a book one day and [the photos] have been sitting in my archive for over almost 20 years.”

They had a ball. “We would just rent a car and drive for, like, two months all across America and just take pictures. It was pre-Internet. It was pre-cell phones. I have pictures of us actually looking in phone books to figure out what we were going to do,” he recalled. “We would meet people at different music festivals and get their addresses and map them out on the paper map and then call them from a phone booth and say, ‘OK, we’re coming!’ America is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, it’s incredible. As soon as you pass Oklahoma, it’s just a vast, empty landscape. It’s so beautiful.”

David Sims, Dree Hemingway and Mario Sorrenti

David Sims, Dree Hemingway and Mario Sorrenti  Darren Gerrish

Other guests at the party included Emmanuelle Alt, Luella Bartley, David Sims, Sam McKnight and Dree Hemingway, who was sporting a pink buzz cut.

“I buzzed it in July, knowing I had to do it for a film called ‘Run With the Hunted,’ and I had many different hair changes on the way toward it,” she said. “I discovered that the bob is my least favorite haircut. I don’t possess that sexy, female quality for the bob. It made me feel short. I did like it when my hair was long and almost black.”

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