We've had the comeback of the 40-something models and today comes the turn of the 50-somethings, led by Ms Jerry Hall. The Texan model, who revealed last year she was worried she was ‘past her prime', stars in Karl Lagerfeld's shoot for the new Chanel accessories catalogue, and looks so good she almost manages to distract us from that up-ended 2.55 bag. The shoot is based on Colette's post-war novel, Cheri, which tells the story of the end of a six-year love affair between an older woman and a younger man, played by male model-of-the-moment Baptiste Giabiconi. We think it's The Graduate, Chanel style, but Karl has other ideas. ‘Oscar Wilde said, "I like men who have a future, and women who have a past" (The Picture Of Dorian Gray),' he says. ‘It is this whole idea of seduction that is summarised here that appeals to me. One of a very young man fascinated and attracted by what a woman does: her wardrobe, her perfume, her movements, her allure, etc.' And how did Jerry land the leading role? ‘I've known Jerry since she was 15 and have always loved her sumptuous and generous side. I love her skin, her complexion, her hair, her overall allure.'
Jerry herself remembers their first encounter well. ‘I first met Karl in the early 1970s at Club Sept with Antonio Lopez,' she recounts. ‘He was very sexy. I first worked for him doing a fashion show for Chloé. My daughters are still wearing one of his miniskirts from there.' Since then, she's been a dedicated Chanel girl. She wears a Chanel suit every time she has to dress for an important occasion and her favourite accessory is her black quilted handbag with the chain. As for the hype surrounding the comeback models, Jerry believes it's all down to genes and good behaviour – but she isn't afraid to look her age. ‘Of course, good genes are very important in helping a woman age gracefully, but I also think moderation with drink, healthy eating and a positive outlook are important. My big secret is getting a lot of sleep,' she says. ‘Youthful beauty is a wonder to be admired, but should not be grotesquely held on to past its time. The greatest advantages of ageing are being allowed to be eccentric and commanding respect.' Somehow, we think you've got that covered, Jerry... And it looks like we'll get another chance to see Karl and Jerry collaborate again soon. He's shot another portrait of the model that she is using for the cover of her autobiography, Self Portrait, coming out in October. In the meantime, check out all the Chanel pictures below.