Fashion, as an industry, traditionally prizes youth. Our top models — from Twiggy in the 1960s to Cara Delevingne today — are barely 20, our makeup gurus in their teens
, and trend-setters — from Tavi to the latest four-year-old designer for J. Crew
, precocious wunderkinds. But, lately, designers ranging from Alber Elbaz at Lanvin
to New Zealand designer Karen Walker
have begun to tap more, well, mature women for their runways and ad campaigns. (Call it the Advanced Style effect
.) The latest example: Dolce & Gabbana, which has just released images from its Spanish-meets-Sicilian spring '15 ad campaign featuring a quartet of adorable Italian nonnas.
The grandmas — sporting luxurious black-lace mantillas, riotous handbags, and, in one instance, jewel-encrusted tiaras — pose with raven-haired runway models, hunky bullfighters, and a serenading guitar player. (In case you were wondering, the elderly ladies totally steal the show.)
The images aren't only fun; they also play brilliantly into D&G's revamped identity — from a shameless provocateur (remember the controversial "gang rape ad"
?) to the gatekeeper of Italian craft and tradition, with collections celebrating the history and culture of the designers' native Sicily. Click through the slideshow for all the sun-drenched campaign images, and just try
not to smile. And, try to resist buying a ticket to the Mediterranean.