The Kate Moss boutique in the basement reminded me of those really tacky, dingy shops in Camden, North London, that sell cruddy T-shirts and lots of awful studded belts. Fears that the items I had coveted before I arrived - the Lurex halterneck dress Kate wore on the cover of Vogue, the shiny, mannish trouser suit and long tuxedo dress she was photographed wearing inside the magazine - would be sold out were unfounded There were millions of each item squashed on the rails, which made me think the whole KM range was not going to be as exclusive as we had been led to believe. Faced with the 20-minute deadline, most women were panic-buying, and failing to try anything on. It was all remarkably clever: the build-up meant we were desperate to shop, even if most of what we saw was badly made, in horrible synthetic fabrics and dingy colours. What was an ordinary ribbed cotton vest top doing in here? Or a pair of tiny denim hot pants you can buy anywhere? Earlier in the evening, Kate Moss herself had been spotted briefly in the shop window in an orange maxi dress with butterfly sleeves, and you could tell that even she was desperate to tear it off and slip into something by Gucci. And don't get me started on the prices. When my time was up I found I was £255 worse off - and that's just for five pieces I didn't even like that much. For that amount of money I could have bought a lovely pair of trousers in Prada. I felt as though I had been mugged. I bought a black shift dress with cut-outs at the neck, which on the billboard looked very Burberry. But having tried it on (it is made of nasty, stiff polyamide and very short, but still cost £60!), I realised Philip Green must have spent most of his budget (apart from the £3million he handed over to Kate) on the ad campaign, hiring the cleverest stylists and photographers in the business. I tried on a shiny trouser suit, which I decided was too boxy and felt cheap, so I settled on a signature Kate waistcoat at £35, and a printed T-shirt that, despite costing £25, was not even finished well. I also picked out a £60 black halterneck which Kate wore on the cover of Vogue, but it was so creased by the time I got it home I am wondering how I will ever wear it. The only item I am pleased with is a navy tuxedo dress, which has a nice drape to it. And it jolly well should do for £75. But I have to report that some girls, having spent their hardearned cash, were in tears. A few had been sensible - I met Hannah and Sophie on the escalators, who said they hadn't bought anything, despite queuing for three hours, because "it was all rubbish, really tacky, and didn't fit well" - but most had been carried away in the excitement. Young Cordelia was pleased with her red skinny jeans, although at £50 thought them overpriced. Her mum, Helen, found one item she liked, a vest top with a draped back for £18 in red or sand, but, she said: 'I tried it on and the fabric was so thin you could almost see through it.' Nadia, an architect, bought a studded dress, the lemon frilly off-the-shoulder dress, the long silver skirt and the tuxedo dress which have all featured heavily in the pre-launch publicity, but was disappointed not to have found other pieces she had set her heart on. "Not all the items advertised were on sale, such as the black floral dress and the white cocktail dress," she said. "I think it was quite sneaky, because we are the most loyal fans." Lila, 21, was disappointed a classic white shirt wasn't on sale, and said she doubted the £35 sandals will last. "Once inside, I didn't see much that I actually wanted to buy," she told me in an e-mail the next morning. You could sense the dismay as most women in the queue for the cashiers realised that just about everyone else had snapped up the short, floral summer dress with the cute smocking at the neckline, meaning you won't be able to move this summer without seeing a similarly hoodwinked doppelganger. The morning after, in a series of e-mails, all the shoppers I spoke to on Monday night were feeling rather ridiculous that they had bought into such a clever marketing ploy, and queued for up to five hours to get their hands on a few scraps of denim and polyester. "I felt so silly when I got home, tired and bloody broke," a 30-year-old called Layla told me. But what on earth does the hysteria say about British women? Have we been so deluged with cheap, instantaneous, disposable fashion that we have lost our minds? Have we lost all sense of reason and rationality, of what is important and what is actually worth aspiring to in life? Are young women really in thrall to a skinny model with not one O-level to her name, who has admitted to rarely walking down the catwalk without at least two glasses of champagne inside her; who dates a serial junkie and whose only talent is to look good in clothes put on her back by highly skilled stylists before she is airbrushed into oblivion? Well, yes, on the evidence of Monday night, they are. The queue of desperate young women proved that we really do buy into all the garbage the glossy magazines tell us - not one publication has dared to publish anything remotely negative about the new collection, so terrified are they of losing advertising revenue or their 40 per cent Topshop discount cards or the chance to put Kate on a future cover. So we now believe that if we buy this bag or these boots or those hotpants we will not only look like Kate, but will also live a charmed, glamorous life. The real Kate in the window on Monday bore no relation to her billboard self. The clothes we were all scrabbling over bore no relation to what I saw her wearing in Vogue. It was all a clever marketing trick, persuading us that what we need in our lives is a piece of someone else, not anything of substance or quality or lasting value. But there is some good news to come out of all this. The huge swell of disappointment outside the store has, I hope, hastened the end of a fashion era driven purely by hype and the cult of celebrity, an era when we do what we are told, hand over our credit cards and are happy to look the same as everyone else, be it Madonna (her range at H&M was hideous) or, God forbid, Victoria Beckham. Women need to learn to trust their own tastes, to forge their own style and, perhaps, to think about investing in something they really love rather than spending money on something they have been told they should love. The Kate Moss experience should serve as a wake-up call not just to those in the fashion industry, but to all women who have ever loved shopping but now feel their fingers have been burnt. Perhaps the fashion press might learn to be more honest. Perhaps we can discover someone new to emulate, someone who actually deserves to be called a role model. The Dail Mail.