High Fashion

Styles come and go, but the glamour of drugs endures

Still, there are those who believe that the world is changing, that almost a half-century of anti-drug commercials on TV has finally permeated the world of the catwalks. Roger Padilha, the creative director of Mao Public Relations, who has produced fashion shows for everyone from the sophisticated Pete Som to the raucous Baby Phat, says these days, the young designers he represents are dreaming not of wild coke-fueled romps but of Target deals. But just in case one of his clients still has the desire to get trashed, Padilha isn't taking any chances: He advises his charges that if they go to a fashion party and are holding so much as a glass of champagne, they should hide it behind their backs when the photographers show up. Padilha refutes the notion that the bony customers who crave shredded Dior dresses and stringy Balenciaga bags want to appear as if they just crawled out of an opium den. "They might want to look like they're at a party with Kate Moss, but I don't think that their dream is to live a jet-set drug-addled lifestyle."

Maybe not, but even Padilha is forced to admit that Moss had undeniable star quality in those cocaine-snorting phone pics. "That picture was gorgeous! Her hair! She looked incredible," he says. "I understand the fantasy. But if you're going to buy into the fantasy, it can't be just the glamour side. What about when she wakes up the next day with boogers in her nose and tears streaming down her face, upset about something she can't even remember? She probably wouldn't look so great in pictures the morning after."

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