Defying The Norm

Beauty has always been the preserve of the youth, but we are embracing a welcomed change of air. Caroline Labouchere proves that beauty knows no bounds and it’s something to celebrate. We chat with Caroline about her chance encounter with modeling and her daughter, Mimi who we feel is her mother in the making…

Caftano Jumpsuit_mother

It was one year ago when we first noticed an unknown Caroline Labouchere. It was at Taller Marmo’s AW15 show during Dubai Fashion Forward. It’s not everyday you see a model sporting natural silver hair, but that’s what got people scribing away on social media – Caroline stepped onto the runway to a legion of gawking onlookers who were blown away by her chic beauty – the kind of beauty that often gets sidelined and dismissed in favour of the 20 year old equivalent– we drew a comparison to the ever lasting beauty of Carolina Herrera.

There’s something to be said about a middle-aged woman coming to the fore in the readyto- wear world because it’s simply something that you don’t see. Caroline
Labouchere has broken the mold by default.

How does getting cherry picked out of a crowd sound to aspiring models? The stuff of dreams, we’re sure. Waiting for Kylie Minogue to perform at last year’s Dubai Gold Cup, Caroline was approached by a rather excited Italian man (a photograher for Taller Marmo) who proclaimed: “You’re so beautiful! I have to photograph you!” To which Caroline, a portrait artist by nature, said: “Ah well this is my daughter, Mimi, she’s the model.” After a to and fro of deliberations, a phone number was exchanged and the following week both mother and daughter were in the studio together – a first time for Caroline.

From left. Pajama Trench, Beistegui Dress

That dynamic was then taken to the runway for the Taller Marmo show where the two did their separate bits and then walked on for the finale hand-in-hand. Putting her experiences and musings on beauty forward, Caroline shares her words…

I think people are looking more attractive now. I am more attractive now than I was. I don’t really wear makeup, and I don’t know why that is. I find that men have always become more attractive with age. I was shaking like a leaf before going out onto the runway. Once I got out there though, it was just so exhilarating. After I did my bit I thought, ‘I want to go back!’

I’m one of those people who will worry about things that I’ve done or said. As Mimi and I walked off the runway, hand-in-hand, I kind of lost balance with my shoes and backstage Mimi said, ‘You were pushing me over, mum!’ and I apologised profusely!

Fighting the ageing process takes a lot of upkeep. I run everyday and that’s become more competitive [when we first got in touch with Caroline she had just completed a half marathon in Ras al- Khaimah, one of the seven Emirates] because I really need an aim to get myself out there everyday.

Arlechino Dress

Instagram can shatter your self-esteem. Mimi can feel a sense of competition on social media which can have negative impacts. But I do think it’s a great social tool that gives you more options. I’ll be browsing and I’ll just come across something like a post showing eyeliner on the inside of your upper lid. It’s very interesting what you find.

I’m not obsessed with healthy eating but I still eat lots of vegetables. I tend to cook low carb meals. I try to eat naughty things only at the weekend. But I always exercise. Jane Fonda. Oh my goodness me. Her face and body are amazing.
I don’t care what she’s had done, I would do it. I love Diane Keaton to bits. She has the most amazing style. Every time I see her in a photo I think, “I would love to try that!”

Another inspiration for me as for as age goes is my husband. He’s 53 years old and he’s an iron man. He has qualified for the World Championships in Hawaii four times and he’s a managing/partner at Optimal Fitness gym.

I’m definitely pro-plastic surgery. But I’m still hoping there’s going to be a pill one day! My granny is 96 this year and she’s still up and down, moving around and fingers crossed I’ll be around for a while but I don’t want to be sitting in an old people’s home.

Garbo Dress_mother

Like Mother Like Daughter… Mimi Labouchere

How did you get into modelling? Was it something that seemed carved out long ago or was it as spontaneous as your mum’s chance opportunity?

I got scouted in a shopping mall, I’d never really thought about it before! It was very spontaneous but I was young and from the first photo shoot it just rolled on.

Tell us a little about the moment your mum got spotted? What was that like?

It was quite funny, mum gave the guy my number instead of hers! She was totally caught off guard, we both thought the photographer was a little strange but he ended up calling me a couple of days later and meant everything he’d said!

What has your mum taught you about beauty? Less is more.

Do you aspire to be like her when you’re older? Yes but also she’s always encouraged me to be my own person, I see her flaws as well as her perfections but I find her flaws beautiful. I can learn from her as we are so close, she has helped me be the woman I am today.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about modelling and/or beauty? You’re always going to be told no or that you’re not good enough once in a while, but you have to pick yourself up and try again every time.

What’s your personal sense of style? Skinny black jeans, white T-shirt and a cool pair of trainers are my go-to.

Do you feel certain pressures now that you’re in the industry for the long-run? Not really, I just want to be my best and hope that there’s a space in the market for me to grow and establish a presence in the industry.

Teatro Pajama Jacket, Repulsion Top

What does beauty mean to you?
I think beauty is in everyone and everything. It’s definitely conceptual.

Women, as they mature in age, grow more confident with time and feel more at ease in their own skin and beauty. As a young woman are you quite impressionable? I am quite impressionable and have things about myself that I see as ugly or unattractive that others don’t seem to notice. I’m always going to have things that I’m going to want to change about myself.


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