'Innnocence and beauty have no enemy but time' - W.B. Yeats
She is the face that has launched a thousand fervent epistles, who has us all talking - Thylane Blondeau, soft-mouthed, level-gazed ten-year-old.
And yet, I would like to present you with something that veers in the opposite direction, and that I loved. It depicts what Styleite calls 'geriatric porn' - it even featured in the same issue as Thylane's satirical accessories shoot, in the Vogue Paris of December 2010. Like clockwork, both created a huge amount of controversy.
'I am tired of the cult of youth' - Tom Ford
We are bombarded nowadays with images of teens dressed (and posing) as the adults which they can pass for. That Thylane poses the ways she does does not surprise me, although it is distressing. She presents the physique of many models already in the industry - the non-existent chest, the poky hips and the bird-like frame. If we get uptight about her, we have to follow up and get rid of most of the catwalkers already on the scene.
By putting an elderly pair in the viewfinder, Ford has done something truly controversial, and beautiful. That two septuagenarians should advertise haute joaillerie appears perfectly fitting to me: a diamond is forever, after all.