Claudia Schiffer Covers Harper’s Bazaar U.K.

Photo: Horst Diekgerdes, Harper's Bazaar
Red hot: Claudia Schiffer heats up the July cover of Harper's Bazaar U.K.

And then there was Claudia.

Still turning heads as a 40-year-old mother of three, the iconic supermodel returns to her roots for the July issue of Harper's Bazaar U.K., starring in a vibrant, beachy fashion spread that's heavy on convertibles, cleavage-flashing swimsuits, and color-saturated ensembles.

Photographed by Horst Diekgerdes on a Santa Monica beach, the blonde beauty embraces her inner California girl in everything from a sheer crochet Ralph Lauren dress to Prada's ubiquitous Spring 2011 stripes.

But while the German bombshell is happy to wear tropical styles (think plunging swimsuits and jewel tone sarongs) to keep with the magazine's "Hot Issue" theme, she's a bit more buttoned up off camera.

"You can't be too over-dressed or too sexy on the school run," the "yummy mummy" says. "It's about being practical and comfortable."

"Comfortable" is something Schiffer knows a thing or two about, preparing to launch her own line of knitwear this fall. In an accompanying editorial, she models the chunky, cozy-chic offerings (including a sleeveless gray merino wool and cashmere turtleneck tunic) while opening up about her first foray into design.

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Photo: Horst Diekgerdes, courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Out on the tiles: Claudia Schiffer rocks a revealing one-piece in the July issue of Harper's Bazaar U.K.

"It is quite scary," she says of her "effortless and chic" line. "It's the first time I have put my name to something. I feel very confident, but also very nervous ... Maybe it will just be me, the only person in the world who likes it."

Given the line's body-aware details ("I hate when you can see a bra," Schiffer says), we somehow doubt that she'll be alone in falling for the luxurious hand-knit creations.

And the budding designer has at the very least found a fan in Roland Mouret.

"I think she’s absolutely gifted and that’s why we call her a supermodel, a top model," the designer tells the magazine. "Whatever the decade is, she’s relevant for all women. As a woman, she’s grown in power, in age, in life."

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Photo: Horst Diekgerdes, courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Here comes the sun: Schiffer wearing some not-so-mellow yellow in Harper's Bazaar U.K.

For more of Claudia Schiffer's shoot, visit Harper's Bazaar U.K. online and pick up the July issue, on sale June 6.