Fashion

Former YSL model, 85, suffering from dementia has makeover to relive her 20s after being spotted by Vogue photographer – The Sun

A FORMER catwalk model who has dementia has been given a photoshoot after a top Vogue photographer spotted her in a care home.

Lesley MacLennan, 85, made a name for herself during her twenties when she worked with French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.

Stunning black and white photos from 60 years ago show a young Lesley modelling glamorous coats and large, furry hats.

Decades later, Lesley – a mum of two – is now in a care home and never imagined she would be taking part in a photoshoot.

But when she was spotted by fashion photographer, James Muller, who was visiting another resident at the Huntington House in Hindhead, Surrey, James said he was immediately struck by Lesley's "beautiful hands and the way she carried herself".

It wasn't long before the pair struck up a conversation about Lesley's career.



"I met Lesley in passing and thought how amazing it would be to capture her beauty again," said James, who is based in Farnham, Surrey.

"When I asked her to look my way or turn her face, she did it with such grace – an absolute professional. She was very easy to direct.

"I kept wanting to bring her beautiful hands in to the frame and every time I asked her to, she did so with poise.

"I feel very honoured to have photographed Lesley, she has lived such a colourful life and to be a small part of it is magical. She's an absolute delight.

"At the end of the shoot she held my hand and told me how much she enjoyed working with me.

"I was truly touched and will never forget that moment. This is something that will stay with me forever, something I'll treasure."

Lesley's carers said finding "something that motivates" dementia sufferers can "have huge benefits to their wellbeing and state of mind."




Speaking of her photoshoot with James, Lesley said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the photo shoot.

"James made me feel perfectly at ease, he was the real McCoy. I would have said so if he wasn't.

"The red and black outfit was so vibrant, it was stunning. I just thought it was a dream."

James described the experience as "incredible" explaining there "aren't enough older models" in the industry.

"Age to me is just a number. During our shoot, Lesley was 'that' model again. Age made no difference," he said.

"I'm sure she has worked with many a top photographer so for me to get the opportunity at her age is simply incredible.

"I think there aren't enough older models out there in the media. In many ways, social media is telling us that it's wrong to age, but it's such a natural thing.

"There is so much beauty in ageing too – we've just been taught to look at it the wrong way.

"I'm all for taking care of yourself but also all for self-acceptance in the bodies we have and ageing."


Charlie Hoare, director of the Huntington and Langham Estate where Huntington House is based, said: "It's been wonderful to hear Lesley's memories of her modelling days.

"To see her back in front of the camera was just incredible – she's never lost her sparkle.

"Finding a sense of purpose at any stage of life is incredibly powerful, and for those living in a care environment to find something that motivates them, as Lesley has, can have huge benefits for their wellbeing and state of mind."

In other fashion news, we told you how a 'tacky’ couple were mocked for getting married in bride and groom PJs with cereal for dinner – but some people love the idea.

We also revealed mums are loving Sainsbury’s ‘amazing’ new breastfeeding-friendly clothing line with prices from £6.

And we showed you Missguided has launched matching rollnecks for you and your dog, and there are sizes to fit all pooches.

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