10 March 1972 – 1 October 2021
Nobody blazed through life quite like Lyndell Mansfield. With her pink hair and infectious laugh, she brought joy wherever she went. As her niece Keya says, she was, “Louder than life and larger than death”. Lyndell has gone too soon, but she left her friends and loved ones with so many glorious memories. We asked them to share those thoughts with us…
SOPHIA NEOPHITOU, FRIEND
“There are just too many spectacular memories of my beautiful girl, so my final goodbye is best expressed in the words of Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Love you forever, my Lyndie-Pop.”
MISS YOU. WOULD LIKE TO GRAB THAT CHILLED TOFU WE LOVE
BY GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI
Do not care if you bring only your light body.
Would just be so happy to sit at the table
and talk about the menu. Miss you.
Wish we could bet which chillies they’ll put
on the cubes of tofu. Our favourite.
Sometimes green. Sometimes red. Roasted,
we always thought. But so cold and fresh.
How did they do it? Wish you could be here to talk about it like it was so important.
Wish you could. Watched you on the screens
as I was walking, as I was cooking. Wished you
could get out of the hospital. Can’t
bring myself to order our dish and eat it
in the car. Miss you laughing. Miss
you coming in from the cold or one
too many meetings. Laughing. I’ll order
already. I’ll order seven helpings, some
dumplings, those cold yam noodles that you
like. You can come in your light
body or skeleton or be invisible I don’t even
care. Know you have a long way to travel.
Know I don’t even know if it’s long
at all. Wish you could tell me. What
you’re reading. If you’re reading.
Miss you. I’m at the table in the back.
VIVIENNE AND BARRY JENKIN, LYNDELL’S PARENTS
“In 2005, we came to London. Lyndell surprised us with a trip to Paris and the Venice Lido beach. When we got to the Lido, we rode bicycles down to the water, where there were ‘changing’ sheds. They were set up like little separate changing rooms with lots of beach chairs, umbrellas and rubber truck tyres. Delly [Lyndell] helped herself to the tyre, we took three chairs and an umbrella and set ourselves up. Delly put on her flowered bathing cap from the ’60s and jumped in the water with her truck tyre, splashing those gorgeous little feet and trying to persuade us to hop in with her. We couldn’t stop laughing at our beautiful star. The next minute, a very abrupt man came up to us, speaking in angry Italian; he tried to take our umbrella away. Delly came flying out of the water saying, ‘Stop! We got them first! Go and get your own! You are going to hurt my mum!’ Finally, she got what he was trying to say – we were supposed to rent them from him. We couldn’t stop laughing all the way back to the water taxi and, of course, for many years.”
THOMAS VALENTINE FELTON, LYNDELL’S PARTNER
“I was looking around the back room of a club, drink in hand, wondering what to do with myself, when suddenly I saw this girl sat opposite me, across the room. I had never seen a more beautiful girl in all my life. Her presence, her energy, was so strong, that I literally couldn’t take my eyes off her for a second. She had wild bleached hair, with the most perfect curls falling around her face, and the most amazing make- up I had ever seen anyone wear. She had on a beautiful black dress and platform shoes, with and the most unique and eccentric jewellery placed about her body. Everything about this girl excited and intrigued me, I simply had to meet her. I don’t know exactly know how much time I spent looking at her, but it was as though time itself had stopped, and everything and everyone else in the room had simply faded away except for the two of us.
It was in this strange moment of stillness and silence that she looked up at me and we locked eyes for the first time that evening. I had never felt so drawn to someone in all my life; there was something very special happening, we both knew it, and we hadn’t even met each other yet. After a moment of staring into each other’s eyes, she quickly looked down and began to blush. A few moments went by where we both sat awkwardly across the room from one another, wondering whether to look up. She finally stood up and walked over to the stairs that led back up on to the street. I suddenly thought to myself, ‘I bet this girl smokes. This is my moment to meet her.’ I quickly jumped up, checked myself in the mirror on the way out and went outside for a smoke. When I got there, she was standing alone, leaning on the rails of the club smoking a cigarette like some rebel character from a Tarantino movie. I walked over to her and politely said ‘Hey, do you have a light?’ and she quickly replied, ‘Yeah’ and handed me a light but without really looking up at me. I lit up my cigarette, handed her back the lighter and took a nice long drag, as I was feeling pretty nervous. Before I had a chance to say another word, she turned and said, in a thick Australian accent, ‘You’ve been staring at me, haven’t you?’, and strangely, without the slightest feeling of hesitation or embarrassment, I just said, ‘Yeah’. She then said to me, ‘Well, do you think I should find that weird?’ and I replied, ‘Well, do you?’ and she said, ‘I suppose not’. That’s when I finally met and learned the name of the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen. Her name is Lyndell.”
HANNELORE KNUTS, MODEL
“Lyndell’s talent was rooted in kindness and love. She not only made you look good, but her spark made you feel good and nothing is more beautiful than that. I’ll miss her and I am forever grateful to have known her. Her presence will live in my heart, always.”
CASSANDRA MAXWELL, AGENT AND FRIEND
“I have so many memories but one that just sprang to mind is Lyndell, dressed like Grayson Perry, offering ‘puy lentil and ricotta salad?’ to the riot police who turned up to one of our infamous ‘Hair & Make-up’ Christmas parties at mine.”
KEYA MCGEOWN, LYNDELL’S NIECE
“When I was still very much a child, Lyndell took me to my first festival to see Pink Martini. We sat with her girlfriends on a picnic rug in Sydney Park [in Australia], with pink parasols and non-alcoholic champagne. She embraced me before I knew who I was. She was playful and made me believe that I was just another one of her young, beautiful girlfriends filled with potential and on the precipice of finding purpose. She invested so much faith in me and that we would celebrate that success together. To be so close to Lyndell was the greatest gift of my life. She was a supernatural force that permeated every part of my being.”
GARTH SPENCER, CREATIVE FASHION DIRECTOR, 10 MAGAZINE
“We were shooting in Greece and there was time to shop. Lyndell was an excellent and seasoned shopper – she loved it and, at a small local store, she decided that we needed to purchase a goat bell because the sound reminded her of Kefalonia. The local storekeeper had a stand that hung with around 30 goat and cow bells. Lyndell was so thorough and had to choose the very best one. Its pitch and ring had to be just right. After approximately 20 minutes, after ringing multiple bells, the finalists were narrowed down and a winner was chosen. A small square bell with a light ring was the one that went back to London with her. Lyndell was thrilled but the old shopkeeper was relieved that one had finally been picked as he could not handle any more ringing.”
ROLAND MOURET, DESIGNER
“Without Lyndell, the fashion world has lost a special shade of pink from its colour card.”
TAMIKA JENKIN, LYNDELL’S NIECE
“Aunty Dell, where do I even start? I remember from such a young age I always looked up to two inspiring souls, you and my sister, Keya. There was never a moment when I was with you that I didn’t have a smile on my face. No matter what you said or did, you always cheered me up. I can’t explain this energy you have, but it’s a gift that only you were given. All the times I shared with you growing up made me feel safe and loved and wanted.”
ANDREW GALLIMORE, MAKE-UP ARTIST AND FRIEND
“I often laugh at the memories of our many trips with Gossip. Lyndell and I were in Paris and had gone to bed. I turned on the TV to see that Michael Jackson had died. Immediately, I picked up the hotel phone and called Delly’s room. I told her to turn the TV on and watch the news. I said ‘Dell, this is like one of those “Where were you?” moments. “Where were you when Michael Jackson died?”’ And Dell just whispered back, ‘OH MY GOD BABES… in Paris with Gossip!!’”
JEREMY SCOTT, DESIGNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF MOSCHINO
“Whenever I hear someone say ‘Babes’, forever more I will think of sweet Lyndell saying that in her charming twang, followed by her signature laugh. Love you, forever, Lyndell.”
DAN MAY, CO-FOUNDER OF SMR DAYS AND FORMER EXECUTIVE FASHION DIRECTOR AT 10 MAGAZINE
“I’ll never forget how happy Lyndell always was when we were shooting in LA and we went to a diner on Sunset Boulevard. She always feasted on so many delicious treats and, in usual Sophia-style, there was plenty to choose from. I can see her beautiful smile and hear her infectious laughter still. Sleep well, beautiful lady. You are forever with us.”
BETH DITTO, SINGER AND FRIEND
“If you know me at all, you know Lyndell. She is my chosen family. My chosen sister. She has guided me, taught me. She is such a big part of the person I am. She is such an enormous part of Gossip. I don’t have words for how important she is for me, how cherished she is… I love her so much. So many of us have been touched by her, changed by her, danced by her and her laugh, her electricity and her lust for life.”
COZETTE MCCREERY, DESIGNER, DJ AND FRIEND
“In May this year I was (to my astonishment) asked to model and style pages for the September issue of 10. 2021 had been a real struggle for me, mentally. I watched the fashion industry I’ve been part of in some way since childhood reboot itself without me. I felt fragile, in a way I’d never felt before, as well as uncertain and heavier both physically and emotionally. I only wanted to work with those close to me who were fun as well as talented. Choosing Lyndell to do my hair was a no-brainer and, amazingly, she was available. Having her on set was the joy I knew it would be. She made sure all of us had tea, water, lunch. She held lights and lugged camera equipment. She just got on with things and her incredible positive energy carried us. My last memory of her is her pushing through a crowded lift area at a fashion party shouting “COZZZIIIEEEEEE! Don’t go! I’ve just got here!” and we hugged and joked about the fact that I had to get up at the crack of arse. As the lift doors closed, I watched her for what was the last time, arms aloft, fingers spread, ready to offer a friendly squeeze or a wave, or waiting for the dance anthem playing to drop, a shock of pink curls bobbing towards the dance floor.”
MARCELL ROCHA, FASHION STYLIST AND FRIEND
“I remember going to Sylvia’s, a soul food restaurant in Harlem, with Lyndell and everyone was convinced she was Madonna or a famous pop star. She was in her biker jacket and crinoline and all. I told her to play along with it and that day we received complimentary appetisers! The last day I spent time with this angel, we went roller-skating in New York. She was in her full element and looked more beautiful than ever. Nothing could possibly interrupt our moment gliding through that roller rink but Lyndell stopped to help a teenage couple struggling to skate. It was their first time on roller skates. She stopped and gave them a skate lesson. By the end of the evening, they were skating like pros. That is just how Lyndell was – always caring, always present. Her spontaneity, her genuineness, her kindness, that special laugh, the rock-star style and her motherly ways: Lyndell truly gifted us her magnificent magic.”
Taken from 10+ Issue 4 – BACK TO LIFE – out now. Order your copy here.