In an era of Insta-girls and social influencers Elle Macpherson is the real deal. One of the original supers, Elle's Aussie beach girl roots have cemented her status as the poster girl for everything health, fitness and sport for the last three decades. And after what seems like a long hiatus, but is actually only two years, Elle Macpherson lingerie is back (thank god!) and it's everything you'd expect from the Aussie model: sexy, chic, minimal and cool. Here, Yeong Sassall chats to Elle about functional lingerie and the secret to her youthful glow.

This is your return to designing lingerie, did you find that you missed it?
To be honest it's not a return to anything, I've been working in lingerie for 25 years and when I left my license with Bendon I started immediately working with Simon [de Winter, her business partner], so it wasn't like a comeback, it just takes two years to get the business together. It's been a seamless transition.

You've managed to steer away from using typically nude tones in this collection. How did you figure out which colours would still work under white?
Experience from years of wearing bras and T-shirts, really. And making sure that I chose colours that were dense enough and had enough substance so that they had a lot of pigment in them, but not so much that they show under your whites. Or if you do see them under whites they're a kind of glow, they're not a distraction from what you wear.

Elle Macpherson on sexy lingerie and exercise secrets

How important is fit to you?
Fit is the most important. You know Coco Chanel said, "True luxury is comfort and style" and this is what I believe Elle Macpherson Body is: comfort and style.

And what about the fabrics you've chosen?
Lots of interesting fabrics, beautiful Leievers lace from France and an Airtech fabric/microfibre combination. I like seamless and light fabrics on the body. Technology has changed so we're able to make bras very differently. We don't need to do corsetry cut-and-sew bras anymore.

There's a very sexy and sporty aesthetic that runs through the collection, what kind of girl or woman did you have in mind when designing it?
Sexy and sporty women, but every woman really. This is lingerie that can look good on girls that have busts or no busts, it's designed to make a body look its best. I think a good bra and knickers can change your silhouette under your clothing if it's constructed well.

Elle Macpherson on sexy lingerie and exercise secrets

The colours and patterns are quite fashion forward - were there any designers or runway shows that inspired you?
Absolutely, I was looking very closely at the new Gucci collection before it even came out a year and a half ago (I had seen it) - and I was really inspired by that. And I think Prada [colour] combinations, Dolce and Gabbana combinations, especially when you're looking at some of the colours like saffron and clothes that are very Celine-inspired.

I love that they're a little bit unusual, but you can combine them and they look fresh and interesting. It's not your typical lingerie colours.
We really wanted to create something that was atypical of lingerie.  I didn't go for pastel pinks and blues or iced Vovo, French confectionary [colours]. It's really strong and bold, but understated.

You've also brought back a bodysuit, is that a nod to the '80s?
It's a nod to the '80s but also a very practical piece because put a bodysuit on under a pair of jeans and a shirt and the body feels tight, contained and also looks really slick.

A lot of people have said that the model in the campaign resembles you - was that an unconscious thing?
If you look at her face she looks like Cara Delevingne and I don't look anything like Cara! So it was not intentional, but when she put on the lingerie and when we shot her with Gilles [Bensimon, the campaign photographer] she was kind of in that '80s strong, sporty, athletic environment. The lingerie took on its own life with her. Maybe it's just part of my brand. It's got my energy in it, but it was certainly wasn't like, 'Oh let's book somebody that looks like me, only younger.'

Elle Macpherson on sexy lingerie and exercise secrets

You'll be bringing out new products in the line every month, is that right?
Yes, every couple of weeks there'll be new drops in stores. There'll be some things that will stay the same but there'll be constantly new things coming in. So if you couldn't afford a new bra this month but you can next month, rather than having all the product out at the beginning of the season, there's just always fresh things coming in. I feel like it's a more modern way of doing retail.

You're widely known for your fit and toned physique and your brand plays into that. How do you approach health and fitness and health these days?
My wellness company, WelleCo, is another business that is very close to my heart. I delivered a series of nutritional products because I couldn't find the kind of nutrition on the market that I needed for myself. The concept is to make wellness easy - because I find it's really difficult to find good products. I wanted to curate really good products that people could trust and go-to. Say I need a multivitamin and super greens - Super Elixir. I need a clean plant protein replacement  - here it is in chocolate and vanilla. I need something for my kids, my son is 13, he needs a strong protein that's clean and not full of fillers. Nutrition plays a huge part in my life - not only in my business life but in my personal life. And with good nutrition I believe everything else follows: good mood, good skin, good hair, energy to work out and when you do work out you make it count.

Elle Macpherson on sexy lingerie and exercise secrets

Do you still follow an alkaline diet? What are the guidelines behind that?
It's easy - lots of plants and less animal fat. I can go weeks, like when I went to The Ranch in California, which is a vegan boot camp and the food was so good. If I have a choice between good clean plant food and animal food I will take plant over animal any day. My body functions better. I would say to everyday people, cut down your red meat intake, up your vegetables and fruit intake, drink lots of water and take my Super Greens and you're fine. It's very simple.

What kind of exercise do you do?
Anything. Ideally, if I had all the time in the world I'd do two hours a day, you know in the sense that I'd love to hike for two hours or surf for two hours or play two games of tennis back-to-back. But at the moment I don't, so 45 minutes of anything - yoga, walk, go for a run, paddle board, or go for a swim - I like to swim laps, I feel like it really changes my body shape and I get very lean when I swim. I like the feeling of my body in the water. But it changes all the time.

Do you think the key is variety?
Absolutely. And that way you can keep doing it every day.

Elle Macpherson Body is available at Myer and David Jones nationally.

Elle Macpherson on sexy lingerie and exercise secrets