Vanessa Redgrave has been named the face of Gucci’s 2017 collection at the age of 79.
Considering that the world of fashion is dominated by lithe young models (think Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Lily-Rose Depp, to name but three), it’s refreshing to see a campaign working to remind us of one very important fact: beauty doesn’t have an age limit.
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Alessandro Michele, the innovative designer behind the campaign, arranged for the photographs to be taken at Chatsworth House, the 16th century Derbyshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
In the heritage-inspired shots, Redgrave can be seen standing in a beautiful flower garden as younger models work in the grounds beside her.
A Gucci handbag, designed to match her own blue ensemble, is seen casually hanging from the handle of a spade nearby.
First look: the #GucciCruise17 campaign, set in the grounds and interior of Chatsworth (@chatsworthofficial), and starring acclaimed actress #VanessaRedgrave, who wears a printed ruffled silk twill top with Web stripe trim and pleated skirt, and the #GucciSylvie bag embroidered with roses. A plush long coat with panther embroidery. #GucciPlaces Creative director: #AlessandroMichele Photographer: @_glen_luchford Art director: @christophersimmonds
A photo posted by Gucci (@gucci) on
The legendary Hollywood star, who was dubbed “the greatest actress of our time” by playwright Tennessee Williams, can also be seen in a distinguished double-breasted trench, printed pleat silk skirt, and striped knit – all as a gaggle of geese crowd around her.
Outside in the grounds of @chatsworthofficial for the #GucciCruise17 campaign, #VanessaRedgrave in a double-breasted trench, pleated printed silk skirt, striped merino knit and embroidered bag with a Web stripe strap. A plush jacket inlaid with a pair of dogs, and a pink silk georgette dress with lace inserts. #GucciPlaces Creative director: #AlessandroMichele Photographer: @_glen_luchford Art director: @christophersimmonds
A photo posted by Gucci (@gucci) on
Michele has only held the position of Creative Director at Gucci for 18 months.
But, in that time, he’s made some bold moves to shake up the fashion label – with incredible results.
Admitting that he’s keen to support British culture (he’s committed to supporting activities at Chatsworth House for a three-year period), Michele has designed his latest collection as an ode to the “beautiful chaos” of the United Kingdom.
It’s a “love letter to England”, he said.
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As such, he’s absorbed punks, Scots, garden flowers, Victorian ladies, and even Staffordshire dog figurines into his retro collection, which he debuted in June 2016 at Westminster Abbey, the famous London cathedral in which Prince William and Catherine Middleton tied the knot.
“There’s something very punk about the idea that you can wear a skirt from your granny’s wardrobe,” he told Women’s Wear Daily.
It makes sense, then, that national treasure Redgrave should front the campaign.
The narrator for Call The Midwife, the celebrated actress also stars in Foxcatcher, Camelot, Atonement and Mrs Dalloway – to name but a very few.
Coming from an all-star acting family, she has been nominated for an Academy Award six times, and won the Best Supporting Actress gong in 1977 for her remarkable work in Julia.
And Redgrave is also a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), has campaigned for scores of human rights cases, and reportedly turned down a Damehood (DBE).
Watch the Gucci British Cruise 2017 campaign video below:
The #GucciCruise17 campaign captures a cast of characters, alongside acclaimed actress #VanessaRedgrave in the grounds and interior of @chatsworthofficial, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, painting an eclectic portrait of the British spirit. #GucciPlaces Music: The Undertones “My Perfect Cousin” Damian O’Neill, Michael Bradley. 1980 Creative director: #AlessandroMichele Photographer: @_glen_luchford Art director: @christophersimmonds
A video posted by Gucci (@gucci) on
It seems as if designers are finally recognising that age is just a number.
Redgrave joins the likes of Sophia Loren, Sissy Spacek, and Joan Didion breaking boundaries and stepping into the youth-obsessed world of fashion: the three women are now the faces of Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and Celine respectively.
H&M, in a similar move to embrace ‘real’ women, recently unveiled their own Autumn/Winter 16 advert, which included women of ages, ethnicities, and sizes wearing clothes in authentic spaces.