Jan de Villeneuve, grey hair

Bingo, beer and crisps, looks like the perfect night out. 70-year-old model Jan de Villeneuve appeared in this week’s Stylist magazine, in a fashion shoot celebrating summer’s maximalist vibe. A qualified teacher, Ohio-born de Villeneuve started modelling in the 1960s when she was discovered on a trip to New York (full story HERE); retiring after nine years to have a family. Her daughters are the illustrator Daisy and model-turned-photographer Poppy de Villeneuve – and their surname was made up by husband/father/photographer Justin (the man who discovered Twiggy). Anyhow, I am always pleased to see older models in action and Jan de Villeneuve seems to be out of retirement and having something of a renaissance, now that age is all the rage:

older models, Jan de Villeneuve

Jan de Villeneuve, stylist

In the 1960s, Jan de Villeneuve appeared on the cover of Vogue and was photographed by all the greats like David Bailey and Norman Parkinson. A fan of vintage fashion, in 1971 she was refused entry to a restaurant in San Francisco for ‘being too mod’. In a feature called ‘What we really wore in the 70s’ she described her outfit to the Telegraph, ‘I had on a long Liberty-print skirt, a white peasant blouse and a cardigan. Strangely enough, a lady wearing a skimpy two-piece leopard-print outfit with midriff showing was allowed in – I had to borrow a trench coat.’

Jan de Villeneuve_cover_Vogue_

This photo by Norman Parkinson is in the National Portrait Gallery:

by Norman Parkinson, colour print, 1970
by Norman Parkinson, colour print, 1970

Right, I’m off for some Friday night refreshments, wearing a trench coat not a leopard print two-piece. Enjoy the weekend.




20 thoughts on “Older models: Jan de Villeneuve

  1. As someone not-quite-50, I visit your blog daily and find the content, tone, and relevance so much better than any other so-called fashion blog. Thank you for having an inspirational and aspirational take on style. While I don’t always favor your choices, I always appreciate your humor, insight and honesty.

  2. I love that you show older women, older models. They look great! But they are all slim. I looked pretty cool as I got older, but once I was infected by the post-menopausal weight gain, I found it much harder. My goal is not to look frumpy (frumpy is pretty easy once you get bigger – the same clothes look different. What used to look edgy can look ‘mutton dressed as lamb’, what used to look sleek can look plain/dull.) Anyone find this happening?

  3. I resist grey hair..it’s OK for some but just washes me out so I go to the salon every 42 days on the dot to have a root touch up. I try to check out the reasonable makeup trends at stores and on line, take very good care of my skin, and try not to look dumpy. Fighting weight gain is a challenge..careful calorie monitoring is workable most of the time. I have given up on high heels but can wear a small heel at times for short periods. I am in my mid 70s. My hands do give me away a bit, however so I have a manicure around every 2 months and occasional have treatments for dreaded brown spots. So upkeep is the thing. Lately I like jersey pants and find they disguise things!! Try that bomber jacket or lovely trench! Get a new purse! Wear your jewelry daily..life is too short to keep something in a box in the dresser..

  4. Nice to see specs in fashion shoots . Tried contacts for a while but such a faff , especially when the dry eyes kicked in . Now I love my variety of specs & they hide the dark circles . Not keen on the clothes though – or the prices

  5. O.M.G. I remember Justin de Villeneuve as “Twiggy’s manager and cute boyfriend” and wondered whatever became of him. This was a great post. Jan de Villeneuve is even more beautiful now!

  6. Just wanted to say I read your item in Sainsbury’s May issue and took your advice regarding chandelier earrings, man’s shirt and at least five bangles which I am wearing with jeans. It really works and I feel brill!! I am a carer for my husband who is quite poorly and, sometimes, it’s just hard to even be bothered to choose what I will wear. However, I like to make the most of my 63 year old self. Thanks so much and I am now even more devoted to your blog Alyson!!!

  7. Hey, Sue W., could you please post a link to that Sainsbury article? Sounds interesting. I am 63 too, and married –for many years–to a man 19 years older than me, so my role is becoming more and more care giver. Not an easy job and frustrating in so many ways. An act of love, though, and I wouldn’t have chosen otherwise….

    1. Hello Linda, the article isn’t online but I did a post called ‘Fabsters – fabulous women aged 50 and beyond’ that includes some of the photos. Leave it with me and I will write something similar/summarize soon. Stay stylish, love Alyson

  8. If only I could justify the price of those D&G ‘pajamas’! Does anyone else make something similar at a reasonable price?

  9. Wonderful story! Does she still live in the US? Couldn’t find a website or blog for her. She is cool, like Linda Rodin &
    Beatrice Ost.

  10. She’s amazing! Just a cool and slick af. I love the third photo of her in the big black Iris Apfel style glasses. The resurgence of older women’s modelling careers makes me SO happy. Long may it last. It is so inspirational to see a woman like Jan looking right at home alongside a younger model, each wearing the clothes with equal sass and aplomb. Thanks for sharing this! xx

  11. LOVE those pyjamas! Yes, I also would like a link on the shirt, chandeliers and bangle thing to elevate casual wear into something more stylish. (Even without a link I plan on practicing tomorrow – sounds fun). I have truckloads of accessories and I never seem to wear the bloody things. Time for a sort out, me-thinks!

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