Posted by Melanie Rickey and Bethan Holt, Team FEAL

Our usual news update takes on a slightly different guise for the moment - as you read this Bethan is on her way to Cornwall for the weekend to attend her first Port Eliot Festival. So, together, we've decided to bring you a round-up of the best fashion stories of the past week to keep you all in the loop. As always, the fashion machine cranks to a halt in July and August while its members take their summer holidays before the fun of September and October fashion shows. Look out for Bethan's Port Eliot updates on Instagram and Twitter.

For now then, here's all you need to know...

Meet the new faces of Lanvin. 
Woman #1
Her name is Jacquie Tajah Murdock, and she is an 82-year-old African-American woman who was born in Harlem and had a long career as a dancer before retiring to state funded housing in Greenwich Village, New York City. Imagine her surprise, then, when the street style photos taken of her by Ari Seth Cohen for his brilliant blog Advanced Style were spotted by none other than Steven Meisel and Alber Elbaz of Lanvin who cast her in the latest Lanvin advertising campaign for AW12.

Meisel and Elbaz looked outside of the usual pool of genetically-blessed models for this campaign, aiming for something more "real."  Though an 82 year old in Lanvin by Meisel is about as real as Carla Bruni's suspiciously smooth forehead. The designer explained his decision to use non-models to Women's Wear Daily :"I was interested to bring these clothes back to the street somehow, and seeing how they look on different ages, different sizes. It felt like a crazy family, and I like that."

And here she is.. I'm guessing the below is not Jacquie's apartment.. but still FEAL applauds anything outside standard fashion behaviour. The other "real" woman in the campaign has not yet been named, but we're guessing her life story is as extraordinary as the wonderful Ms Murdock's who told The Daily Beast her future plans: "Paris!"

Jacquie Tajah Murdock in the Lanvin AW12 Campaign

Midnight update on Woman #2
This is Stella Rose, a self described "female drag queen" which means that she is a woman who dresses like a man who dresses like a woman.  And a fine specimen she is too. Thanks to @JenikaClair on Twitter I now know this, so couldn't resist a late night update. Stella Rose has a blog called Confessions of a Female Drag Queen. Here are a few of her insights into her day on set...
Stella Rose in Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2012 Campaign by Steven Meisel

"Yes, I was street cast for this. If anyone is trying to make you feel bad for looking different I am telling you now that this is where being yourself will get you. 

Yes, Steven Meisel shot this. He was very nice and the shoot went completely smoothly. It was an absolute honor to shoot with him and his team.

Yes, Alber Elbaz was there. He dressed me- hand picked my outfit and everything while a team of french ladies put me into it. Both sample dresses were too big on me and I was pinned into this one. So take that everyone who has a problem with skinny models."

Adorable, right? 

An AW12 look from Wes Gordon, one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees. 
The short list has this week been announced for one of fashion design's most coveted prizes, the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund which was won last year by the gorgeous Joseph Altuzarra, who took home $300,000 to grow his business.

The 10 shortlisted designers for 2012 won't be sitting on their laurels until the winner is announced on November 13th. Instead, they must complete a series of challenges including presenting their work to a judging panel and making a one-off piece for Tiffany & co. The nominees include one of Melanie's favourite sunglasses makers, Illesteva.

Andrea Lieberman, A.L.C.
Greg Armas, Assembly New York
Sofia Sizzi, Giulietta
Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman, and Alina Silberman; Illesteva
Jennifer Fisher, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry
Jennifer Meyer Maguire, Jennifer Meyer
Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, Suno
Tabitha Simmons, Tabitha Simmons
Greg Chait, The Elder Statesman
Wes Gordon, Wes Gordon

The divine Valentino Resort (image from
In another sign of the times, Italian makers of fairytale dresses Valentino, has been sold to an investment group believed to be owned by the Qatari royal family which also counts Harrods among their assets. It's a long way from the early days under founder Valentino Garavani, who retired from designing for the label in January 2008. £556 million was reportedly paid for the business by Mayhoola for Investments. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli will remain as creative directors, which we're very happy about after drooling over their gorgeous Resort collection. 
Yves Saint Laurent blows a kiss at his Autumn/ Winter 2000-1 couture show (image from
Since he was appointed to Yves Saint Laurent in March Hedi Slimane has caused a stir, first by deciding to rename the ready-to-wear label of the brand "Saint Laurent Paris" and secondly by showing his first collection, Resort '13, to select buyers only. However, his latest pronouncement may appease those whose feathers have been ruffled up to now because he has hinted that he may bring Yves Saint Laurent back to the couture calendar. He has reportedly told Vogue Paris that "Haute couture is a legitimate subject for Yves Saint Laurent and could resume one day" Watch this space. 

Joanna Sykes' final collection for Aquascutum (image from
Joanna Sykes, formerly at troubled Brit brand Aquascutum, has got a new job as Creative Director at Nicole Farhi. She starts in September and will show her first collection for AW13. Sasha Wilkins, a.k.a LLG, summed up Sykes' appointment rather brilliantly, writing on her blog "Finally we can expect something new and fresh from a Nicole Farhi show, rather than just the prospect of dozing fitfully through one. It’s just the jolt that the label needed to make it relevant again." We couldn't agree more.

A cap created for the Opening Ceremony pop-up by needlepoint experts Tucker-Blair and Harding Lane (image from WWD)
If you're in London, get down to King's Street, Covent Garden on Friday 20th July and onwards where Opening Ceremony's olympic pop-up launches on Friday. It is a long forgotten fact by most people in the industry that Opening Ceremony was originally founded by Humberto Leon as a way to celebrate the diversity of the Olympiad through fashion.  Opening Ceremony adopt the Olympics mission statement for the brand ethos; to creatively merge sports, business, and global participation. There will be exclusive collaborations and great pieces from Adidas, J.W Anderson, Rodarte and more. Surely the most stylish way to get in the mood for the coming sporting extravaganza. 
Jonathan Saunders' charity tee for Matches(image from

If you the weather does turn and we get some sun then you'll be needing a t-shirt. Happily, Matches have teamed up with J.W Anderson, Mary Katrantzou and Jonathan Saunders to create some very cool t-shirts to raise money for the Evening Standard's London Dispossessed Fund. Mary has even recreated her legendary AW12 typewriter print for the project. Get one for £60 from tomorrow (Friday 20th). 
Mary Katranzou's typewriter for charity print (image from

Set your Sky Plus/ phone reminder for the last instalment in the Ab Fab comeback, due to air next Monday evening. This is the one centred around the Olympics and starring Stella McCartney alongside Patsy, Eddy and Saffy. We can't wait!

Olympic style, the Ab Fab way (image from

Kate Middleton has not done her first magazine cover, as this dodgy photoshopped issue of South African Marie Claire might suggest...

Kate Middleton does African fashion, not (image from
Harper Beckham can WALK.

Mario Ballotelli has sounded the rallying cry for this Summer's best beach look war. Mohican, neon accessories and underwear as swimwear, Mario?? We're hooked already and look forward to bringing you more of our top ranking twisted beach looks in the coming weeks...
I'm Sexy and I Know It Balotelli 


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