On April 22nd, Gigi Hadid threw a birthday party for herself in New York, at L’Avenue. The theme of the dinner/party was “denim.” So many A-listers and models were there, from Taylor Swift (who did not do the theme) to Ashley Graham, Olivia Culpo, Martha Hunt and of course Yolanda Foster and Bella Hadid. Helena Christensen also came out for some reason – I have no idea what Helena’s connection is to the Hadid sisters, or maybe Helena knows Yolanda. But Helena was there and she stayed on theme, wearing ‘70s-style wide-legged denim trousers paired with a black bustier. The outfit… was not great, honestly. It doesn’t have much to do with Helena’s age (she’s 50). It has more to do with my feelings on lingerie-as-outerwear just in general. Days after the birthday party, Alexandra Shulman – the former editor of British Vogue – went out of her mind about the ensemble:
British Vogue’s former editor-in-chief is in hot water after slamming supermodel Helena Christensen‘s sexy outfit. In a piece published by the Daily Mail over the weekend, fashion editrix Alexandra Shulman declared that Christensen, 50, was “too old” to wear the black lace bustier she paired with high-waisted jeans for Gigi Hadid’s 24th birthday party last week.
“We might like to think that 70 is the new 40 and 50 the new 30 but our clothes know the true story,” 61-year-old Shulman wrote, calling Christensen’s look “tacky” and comparing it to that of “the madam in a one-horse town.”
“Something you wore at 30 will never look the same on you 20 years later. Clothes don’t lie,” she added. “When women’s bodies no longer serve any child-bearing purpose, we find flaunting them disturbing and slightly tragic. I don’t claim that this is fair. But it’s true.”
Christensen responded by posting a photo of herself wearing the same corset alongside designer Camilla Stærk and Tali Lennox. “Let’s continue to elevate and support each other, all you beautiful, smart, fun, sexy, hard working, talented, nurturing women out there,” she captioned the snap, along with the hashtag #ooopssheworeabustieragain.
The fashion legend’s famous friends flooded the comments section with support. “You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out,” wrote Edward Enninful, who replaced Shulman as British Vogue’s editor-in-chief in 2017. “She should be ashamed of herself. You are a goddess,” added Linda Evangelista, while Karen Elson wrote, “I just read that article. Bitch please … you are on fire!”
“Such a cheap shot, she has no right or claims to be writing such a ridiculous article,” fellow supermodel Naomi Campbell chimed in. “I’ve known you 30 years and whatever you wear, you wear it WELL with class and dignity!! Hold your head high and keep your drive.”
You can see her Instagram here. I appreciate the way Helena handled it – a hashtag clapback without even naming names instead of some Olivia Munn-esque sanctimony and willful mischaracterization in which she punched down. I was trying to imagine what I would have said about this outfit if I had actually bothered to cover the photos from Gigi’s party. Most people wore denim and they did look super-dated, like ‘90s-Friends dated. When I look at these photos of Helena in particular, I don’t really think it’s a great outfit, but I’m not going to attack her for being 50 and wearing a bustier. Her age has nothing to do with it. And these jeans would have looked much cuter with a nice sweater or a concert t-shirt. Then again, she was headed to a party not the f–king Met Gala, so… who really cares? It made her feel sexy and she clearly thought she looked cute. It’s wrong to say that no woman past “child-bearing” years can ever wear lingerie, or dare to look sexy.
Oh, she’s carrying a jean jacket or a denim shirt or something. Maybe the bustier was never her on-purpose look, it was always meant as a layered look?
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.