Jumpsuit by Iro, earrings by Annelise Michelson.

Only a few months ago, I was wondering where all the fifty-something models were, and questioning why we’re still seeing such an age gap, so it’s great to see Caroline Labouchere acing The Modist’s latest magazine shoot. The luxury site dedicated to dressing modestly features 53-year-old Labouchere in gorgeous, grown-up clothes from the likes of Ellery, Joseph and Simone Rocha, set against a dramatic desert landscape. This is Gentlewoman Style meets Georgia O’Keeffe, with oversized white shirts, wafty dresses and wide-leg trousers  – a summer wardrobe I can definitely get on-board with.

Long sleeve shirt, and cotton maxi skirt both Ellery. Waiscoat by Haider Ackermann.

Caroline Labouchere’s career started a couple of years ago when she made the conscious decision to stop dying her hair, and became the first grey-haired model to be signed in the Middle East. On her decision to go natural she told The Modist, ‘I believe I’ve become better looking as I’ve got older. I feel complete now. To be grey… For some reason it just does empower you. It’s my crowning glory’

Double layered shirt and pleated trousers both Matthew Adams Dolan.
Silk dress by Simone Rocha, reversible jacket by MiH.

On being scouted by a photographer at a Kylie Minogue concert, Labouchere adds, ‘Why put an age limit on something? It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. I’ve learnt not to take myself too seriously, to go with the flow, and to believe in myself. I think it’s good as you get older to do something that scares you.’


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24 thoughts on “Fifty-something models: Caroline Labouchere for The Modist

  1. Why do they make it such a big thing to go grey. I’ve been going since I was 19. About 8 years ago when I turned 50 I stopped getting it coloured. Best thing ever. I love it and so does everyone else. It’s no big deal. It’s just my hair as it is

  2. So pleased to have found this site. I have been following bloggers who are far too young for me and it has made me feel worse and worse about myself and how I look – wishing I was still 20 something when really I’m in my 50s. I have not dyed my hair for 18 months. It is certainly worth doing and it actually makes me stand out – I’ve got through the worst and it is now really part of what I am. People have started complimenting me rather than feeling sorry for me. I’m looking forward to more great articles like this. Thanks

  3. What a gorgeous woman! Can it get any better than Gentlewoman style meets Georgia O’Keeffe? (another achingly beautiful woman).
    I would totally agree that I feel more attractive now at 60 than I did when I was younger. I am sure I am probably not but I FEEL that way.

  4. Another positive post. I love the atmosphere of these photographs and the looks of the model and the way she is dressed here.
    Highly stylish. Thanks for featuring her and the recent designer Flood who has great style. Keep up the good work Alyson.

  5. Caroline Labouchere is beautiful and the shoot is stunning.
    However I do have issues with the term ‘modest dressing’ and its assumption of a male gaze which is titillated by the female form. Let’s celebrate dressing as an expression of our personality, not as a way of defining ourselves in accordance with male assumptions of female behaviour.
    Chillingly, if some women dress ‘modestly’, by implication others dress ‘immodestly’. And what is that saying?

    1. Good point. I agree with you that no man should ever determine what a woman wears, directly or indirectly. However, there are many of us, me included, who prefer to dress modestly (or just more covered up) as a matter of preference, and find it difficult to find the beautiful clothes we want, especially for dressed-up or cool summer looks. Believe me, my partner would prefer I wear more revealing styles, so it is definitely all me! In fact, just playing devil’s advocate here, I sometimes feel it is men and male designers who push the revealing styles, so either way, we seem to have our work cut out for us as women even in determining our own tastes and styles. Hopefully this is changing and, with more female designers, we can all just be ourselves.

      1. I think what bothers me is the implication that dressing in a more covered-up way is somehow a ‘moral’ decision (modest vs immodest) rather than just a matter of personal choice. Today I might wear a mini skirt and a sleeveless top; tomorrow I might wear a long-sleeved maxi – this is just how I choose to dress and not a statement about my sexual availability or, heaven forfend, my ethical decisions. The word ‘modest’ is too morally freighted for me to feel comfortable with its use as a fashion term.

    2. Caroline,
      I agree 100%. “Modesty” is a highly freighted word and should be resisted by those of us who do not subscribe to patriarchal belief systems that require women (but not men) to 1. Maintain “modesty” and 2. Cover their bodies completely. Those women exercise their choice to dress as they choose and should not be disrespected. But the rest of us don’t have to buy into patriarchal norms and definitions.

  6. Just goes to show that sometimes More IS More, as is age, grey, fabric. Also height, but from my barely 1.63 am in denial about that 🙂 Lovely photos and inspiring post. Thank you Alyson.

  7. Just goes to show that sometimes More IS More, as in age, grey, fabric. Also height, but from my barely 1.63 am in denial about that 🙂 Lovely photos and inspiring post. Thank you Alyson.

  8. Another Sally joining in — at 72, the idea that a 5-something is “an older model” seems strange to me, though she does indeed look excellent. American fashion magazines (some of them, that is) make a big deal of “aging, it’s nothing!” but they speak as though one’s over the hill at 55. As Maudie has said above, I feel ( in some ways) as though I’m looking better now and happier with it than in many years past. Also, how about the idea of coming into oneself in image because of personal confidence and a long-sought-after finding of identity and vocation?

  9. Great photos, lovely clothes and fantastic, attractive woman, a really inspirational piece. However, I have to agree with Caroline Spearing re the term dress modestly, what does that mean? Having lived in the Middle East and moderated my clothing to respect customs there, despite searing heat and shops full of sun dresses and bikinis, I have always questioned the term, as it was very loosely interpreted by some westerners. On another note. Please please please, what’s the alternative to an “essential white shirt”, they just don’t suit me!

  10. I agree with Sally as I have only recently found your blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading them and the supportive comments. I have even decided to let my hair how out from it’s grinder.

  11. I am smitten by the clothes featured at The Modist. Such beautiful, albeit high-priced pieces! I’m still scouring the virtual sale racks for possible purchases. And if not buys, then inspiration.

    By the way, the Modist/Modest confluence bothers me not a whit. I wear a variety of styles, some more revealing than others. But at 72 I simply can’t pull off the kinds of see-through, cut down to the belly button, thigh-high outfits I did with pride at age 22. Not gonna happen. Heck, going sleeveless these days is all it takes to put me in a party mood. 😉

  12. Well, I will say that if I had such amazing hair, everything I wore would look fantastic! She is quite blessed!
    But I am willing to bet that each of us has gifts that are equally amazing and hopefully, that is the blessing that is enough for all of us.
    Remember the quote by Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” I find that when I remember that, I am a much happier person!

  13. Good quotation to know. Thanks for your contribution Lynne.
    Yes indeed. One should be grateful for who one is.

  14. Re: Lynn’s comment about Oscar Wilde – I have GOT to see the new Rupert Everett film ‘The Happy Prince’. I loved the Stephen Fry Oscar film and I am anticipating great stuff from this one too.

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