Helena Christensen

Model, photographer, designer - as she hurtles through her forties, Helena Christensen shows little sign of slowing down - or of relinquishing either the quietly determined mindset or supermodel body which made her famous. As she launches her brand new beach shirt collection (combining understated, classic beauty with a shot of individual flair - much like the woman herself), in partnership with Thomson's luxury Carribbean resort chain Sensatori, Helena reveals her secrets to ageing - and holidaying - in style in an exclusive chat. Spoiler: You DON'T have to do yoga...

Have you had to work harder to maintain your figure since reaching your forties?

I love boxing and you get quick results. I have tried yoga but found it boring... but I would never work out on holiday, it's simply for relaxing.

How do you stay active whilst travelling?

I love to swim. I always pick a resort with a stunning swimming pool and serene environment - that way you can keep fit whilst taking in the beautiful surroundings.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

The Caribbean is one of my favourite places - I have a real fondness for Jamaica. I love the raw edge, the food and, of course, the sun.

What made you decide to design a beach shirt, rather than a more traditional kaftan-style cover up?

We wanted to create something exclusive, stylish, interesting and wearable. Holidays are about relaxation and the right pieces can transform your experience and style. The shirts transition easily from the beach to the bar; they're designed to make women feel chic in any environment. I'm excited for people to see what we've created.

What inspired the collection's designs?

The life and vibrancy that the Caribbean is known for. The collection was inspired by the exotic Sensatori destinations - Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico - and influenced by native Caribbean flowers. The beautiful colours and natural patterns of the native flowers formed the basis of the print designs. I wanted to create a versatile holiday staple that encompassed the relaxed yet luxurious surroundings. You can wear it open over a bathing suit or you can tie it in the front, put on a pair of heels and you're wearing a short, sexy dress.

You've previously said that you only travel with hand luggage. Which are the key pieces to earn a spot in your capsule holiday wardrobe, alongside your beach shirt?

Yes, I always take hand luggage but I am great at stuffing everything in! My essentials are one-piece swimsuits, sandals, classic shorts, some evening maxi dresses and an array of sunglasses.

Which beauty products do you take on the plane with you?

Crème de la Mer face cream - I swear by it. That's it!

You've also collaborated with Sensatori Resorts to create a signature spa treatment. Which beauty treatments do you swear by?

Yes, I worked with the Sensatori spa team in the Dominican Republic to develop a signature treatment - the full body massage. It's a fantastic way to unwind. Transformation is something that everyone should have the luxury of when travelling abroad.

Do you use any last minute diet or fitness tricks to prepare for a swimwear shoot?

Drinking tons of water - and definitely no carbs!

If you could give our readers one diet or beauty tip to get them feeling beach-ready in a hurry, what would it be?

I would suggest eating healthily all year round - find an exercise you enjoy and drink lots of water or coconut juice.

How do you feel about being considered a role model for older women?

I love it - age is all about how you feel.

Helena Christensen has partnered with 5* Thomson's Sensatori Resorts to launch her capsule collection of beach shirts, available exclusively on eBay. All proceeds will be donated to the Family Holiday Association.