France's former First Lady Carla Bruni added a touch of supermodel sparkle to this year's Hospices de Beaune – an annual charity auction that is one of the highlights of the year for France's wine world.
Her presence as guest auctioneer proved to be a success – with wine connoisseurs paying handsome prices and the auction hitting record sales just shy of € 6 million. Mingling with wine lovers from all over the world, the star was clearly in her element, joking: "At € 200,000, I'll deliver the wine. At € 250,000 my husband (Nicolas Sarkozy) will deliver it with me."
The classic auction – which was being held for the 152nd time – is the highlight of three days of festivities centred on the Burgundy region's celebrated food and wine. It is now run by British auctioneers Christie's.
As someone partial to a glass of wine herself, Carla was the perfect choice to host this year's proceedings. Whilst pregnant with daughter Giulia in 2011, she famously declared that she missed being able to enjoy a glass at the end of the day. Now that she and Nicolas Sarkozy's little girl has just celebrated her first birthday, wine is back on the agenda – and so is a return to the modelling roots that made Carla famous.
After over a decade spent away from the industry to focus on singing, politics and motherhood, France's former first lady returned to fashion with a new ad campaign for Parrot, a French maker of wireless mobile devices, and their new headphones. The black and white photos show Carla with the oversized headphones casually hanging from her neck. And her razor-sharp cheekbones and twinkling eyes confirm the Italian beauty is still top of her game.
As alluring as the campaign is, the new modelling coup doesn't spell the end for Carla's musical ventures. In May, after leaving the Elysee Palace and her glamorous term as France's First Lady, the mum-of-two got back on the music scene, lending her sultry vocals to a duet with Algerian singer Enrico Macias.