Twiggy: Supermodel of the 1960s
When I was ten, I wanted to look just like Twiggy!
In 1967, my big sister, Melanie, brought home a couple of magazines featuring a doe-eyed model with pouty lips, pixie haircut and stick-thin figure. Intrigued, I pored through the pages. I loved the high fashion photos of this uber-thin girl/woman appropriately called Twiggy, and I thought she was just darling. I wanted to look just like her, and often daydreamed that I was her.
I already had the Twiggy figure ( yes, I was a skinny kid) and I was blonde; the next step, I decided, was to get a Twiggy haircut. So my mom took me to the local beauty shop where my medium length hair was razor cut into a short bob with a ducktail in back.
My Aunt Martha, in her first encounter with my new look, decided to paint my eyes and color my lips, in an attempt to create a pint-size Twiggy clone. Afterward, Aunt Martha had me pose while she took a few snapshots with my Kodak Instamatic camera. While I was, in actuality, a far cry from being Twiggy, in the mind of a ten-year-old girl, I was Twiggy, if only for a few special hours.
Visit Twiggy's Official Website
"At sixteen, I was a funny, skinny little thing, all eyelashes and legs. And then, suddenly people told me it was gorgeous. I thought they had gone mad."--Twiggy
Twiggy Magazines That Inspired Me--# 1!
Twiggy Magaine # 2!
My Twiggy Makeover
When I asked my mom for a "Twiggy" haircut on a hot summer day in the deep South in 1967, she was more than happy to take me to our local beauty shop; she always liked me better with short hair, anyway. My sister, Melanie, had already gotten her Twiggy cut, and was thoroughly enjoying its coolness and chicness.
When I returned home after my makeover, I felt like a celebrity. Lol! And my Aunt Martha loved my new look! She put mascara on my eyelashes, and told me not to blink, which I didn't. She also put lipstick on my lips and told me not to lick my lips, which I didn't. I was so worried about messing up my makeup from blinking and licking my lips, that I looked pretty peculiar with my unblinking eyes and fish lips!
The next day, my friend Helen, from across the street, saw my hair and loved it so much, that she got the "Twiggy" cut, too! We had lots of fun pretending we were "twins," and the short hair helped keep us cool in the hot summer weather.
A Twiggy Fan Awaits Her Transformation!
The New Twiggy!
My Twiggy Cut's Better Than Your Twiggy Cut!
The Twiggy Triplets!
The Twiggy Look
In reading those Twiggy magazines of 1967, one thing especially stood out in my mind: it took a full three hours for Twiggy to make her face up for a photo shoot. In order to get that wide-eyed look, she applied three sets of false eyelashes, then hand-painted bold eyelashes (she called them "twiggies") on her bottom lids. As a child of ten, three hours in the makeup chair was pretty hard for me to fathom, and I really didn't understand why it would take that long. Nevertheless, I thought the Twiggy look was the coolest thing ever! I loved her big, expressive eyes, and her vulnerable little girl look--and, her wardrobe was outta sight! My personal favorites were the mod outfits with bold designs and vibrant colors.
Declared "the face Of '66" by The Daily Express
In 1967--1970, Twiggy Was a Popular Face on the Covers of Paris Vogue, U.S. Vogue, and British Vogue.
Vote For Your Favorite
Twiggy: 1960s Fashion Icon
Twiggy (born Lesley Hornby September 19, 1949) was just a normal teenager living in England, until one day in 1966, she decided to get her hair cut and colored by celebrity hairdresser Leonard at The House of Leonard in Mayfair. Leonard was looking for models to try his new crop haircut out on, and afterward, displayed photos of Lesley's new look in his salon. Fashion journalist, Deidre McSharry, saw the photos, and was impressed. She arranged to meet Hornby, and took more photos of her for her publication, the Daily Express. When the issue emerged a few weeks later, sixteen-year-old Lesley Hornby was declared "the face of '66," becoming the first prominent teenage model.
Her hairdresser boyfriend, Nigel Davies (who changed his name to Justin de Villeneuve), became her manager, and persuaded Hornby to change her name to "Twiggy," from her childhood nickname, "Twiggs." Twiggy's career took off like a rocket, and she was featured in all the fashion magazines, most notably, Vogue. So Internationally famous had Twiggy become that Life, Newsweek, and the New Yorker even featured articles devoted to the Twiggy "phenomenon" in 1967.
In 1967, and for many years afterward, Twiggy's naturally thin, waifish figure was a popular subject for criticism and jokes; many people felt that it promoted an unhealthy body ideal for women. But her sleek, androgynous lines were the perfect thing for displaying the latest fashions: Nehru suits, space-age jumpsuits, military-style suits and dresses, and A-line dresses with collars and neckties. In 1970, Twiggy stopped modeling, making the statement, "You can't be a clothes hanger for your entire life."
I well remember the Twiggy phenomenon--her face and figure bombarded television, magazines, merchandise, and fashion, and her name popped up everywhere! Many Twiggy jokes were cracked on game, comedy, and variety shows, as well as radio, and anyone who was deemed too thin was called "Twiggy," including me!
Twiggy: A Life in Photographs [Hardcover] - This book commemorates Twiggy's 60th birthday, documenting her life through photographs, and includes photos & m
"Can you imagine wot it was like. All the girls gettin' luvly figgers and me stayin' flat as a pancake? It was no fun, I tell you."--Twiggy
The World's First Supermodel
What Made People Go Ga-Ga Over Twiggy?
Twiggy Was in the Right Place at the Right Time: With the advent of the Beatles (which heralded the British invasion), the development of the space program, and the start of the Vietnam War, the world was undergoing tremendous change. No longer were curvaceous females like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield the norm. Fashions, hairstyles, taste in music, and attitudes were changing. The youth of the mid to late '60s were making their voices heard. They needed someone they could identify with, one of their own. Twiggy fit that bill to a "T". She was only 17 when overnight fame hit, and, being born in England, she was also a product of the British invasion. Most importantly, Twiggy "did her own thing," the mantra of the '60s generation. Twiggy represented youth, change, and rebellion--out with the old, and in with the new.
Twiggy Was Different: A far cry from Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield of the revered hourglass shape and glamour-girl hair, twiggy was "tubular," sporting a waif-thin frame with flat-as-a-pancake breasts. Her hair was cropped into a short, boyish pixie cut, such as a child would wear. In stark contrast to buxom female icons of the '50s and early '60s, Twiggy's frail, androgynous appearance more resembled that of a little girl playing dress-up than that of a woman. Surprisingly,Twiggy's boyish haircut and slight frame were perfect for showing off the latest fashions, with their bold lines and geometric patterns.
Twiggy's appearance at first was a little shocking; anything completely opposite from what one is accustomed to usually is. Shock turned into fascination, then admiration, and finally imitation (everyone knows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) as young girls stormed beauty shops, demanding the "Twiggy" cut. Twiggy had become the Pied Piper of the '60s generation.
Twiggy Looked Like a Margaret Keane Waif: With her dominant, heavily-fringed doe eyes and stick-thin figure, Twiggy looked as if she had just stepped out of a Margaret keane painting. In the 1960s, big-eye art was all the rage, and artist Margaret Keane (known as the mother of big-eye art) was the original creator of this shabby chic art form which typically featured soulful-eyed, emaciated boys and girls. Keane's creations were mass-marketed as prints and sold in department stores all over the world, as well as on the back pages of magazines. Could it be that the public had found their very own wide-eyed waif in Twiggy?
Twiggy Was Adorable: Not only was Twiggy physically pleasing to the eye--we all know how gorgeous she was (and still is)-- It was her unaffected personality that especially endeared her to the public of the 1960s. Twiggy never seemed to take herself too seriously; she could laugh at herself, even act silly and a little goofy at times--typical teenage behavior-- and people liked that. Unlike most people who skyrocket to fame, Twiggy never allowed the public's adoration of her to go to her head. We loved her humbleness, sweetness, and spontaneity.
"Twiggy's androgynous look centered on three qualities: her stick thin figure, a boyishly short haircut, and strikingly dark eyelashes."
Whip It Twiggy
Space Age Twiggy
Twiggy is credited with being the world's first supermodel.
Twiggy is also a talented singer. She released her first single, "Beautiful Dreams," in 1966.
Twiggy was Born in Neasden (a suburb of London), England on September 19, 1949, to Helen Lydia Hornby and William Norman Hornby.
At 5" 6" tall, Twiggy was considered short for a model.
Twiggy's measurements when she began modeling were 31-22-32, and she weighed only 91 pounds.
Twiggy's name was inspired by her childhood nickname, "Twiggs."
Twiggy was named "the face of 1966" by the Daily Express.
Twiggy's boyishly thin figure was criticized for promoting an "unhealthy" body ideal for women.
Twiggy was greatly influenced by '60s model Jean Shrimpton.
Twiggy retired from modeling in 1970, after landing her first movie role in "The Boyfriend," which premiered in 1971.
Twiggy married Michael Witney in 1977; he died suddenly in 1983.
Twiggy has a daughter named Carly (from her marriage to Witney).
Twiggy is currently married to Leigh Lawson (since 1988).
At the age of 19, Twiggy was the youngest participant in the show, "This is Your Life."
Twigy is an avid animal rights activist, as well as a supporter of breast cancer research and education groups.
Twiggy was the first model to have a sculpture of herself in Madame Tussaud's Museum (February 1967).
Twiggy became the first underweight person to become the stereotype of a perfect body image.
Twiggy was the first prominent teen model.
Twiggy originated the "waif" look.
Marilyn Manson's sideman is called Twiggy Ramirez in her honor.
Twiggy was ranked #9 in Channel 5's "World's Greatest Supermodel."
When Twiggy made her promotional tour of the United States in 1967, several companies created products which she endorsed. Here is a list of these items from the official Twiggy Website:
~Twiggy Coat Hanger (supplied with Twiggy dress)
~Forget Oxfam Feed Twiggy Badge
~Twiggy Board Game (Milton Bradley 1967)
~Twiggy Barbie Doll (Mattel 1967)
~Twiggy Lunch Box and Thermos (Aladdin 1967)
~Twiggy Paper Dolls (Whitman 1967)
~Twiggy False Eye Lashes (Yardley)
~Twiggy Tights (Hampton Trimfit 1967)
~Twiggy Dress Up Kit (Colorforms 1967)
~Twiggy Binder (Mattel 1967)
~Twiggy Treasure Box (Mattel 1967)
~Twiggy Fashion Tote Bag (Mattel 1967)
~Twiggy Pen (Scripto 1967)
~Twiggy Magazine titled Her Mod Mod Teen World
~Twiggy By Twiggy (Biography written by American journalist)
The Mattel Twiggy Doll
In 1967, Mattel marketed the Twiggy doll, and she made history--she was Mattel's first doll to represent a real person.
She had the same mold as the Casey doll, but with heavier eye makeup, and was outfitted in a mod green, yellow, and blue striped mini dress with matching yellow go-go boots.
Four exclusive outfits were created for the Twiggy doll in 1968.
For More Info on the Mattel Twiggy Doll Visit
Twiggy in a Magazine Ad for False Eye Lashes
The World's First Famous
Twiggy: Life After Supermodel
In 1970, after four years as a super model, Twiggy officially retired from modeling upon landing the starring role in the musical, "The Boy Friend," for which she won two Golden Globe awards. Twiggy went on to became a successful actress in film, stage, and television.
Twiggy's singing talents have earned her two silver discs, two chart albums, and hit singles, and the versatile Twiggy has recorded in a variety of styles such as: rock, country, pop, disco, and show tunes. In 2003, her album, "Midnight Blue," was released to rave reviews.
Twiggy headlined her own variety series for the BBC, which was quite successful. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in the musical, "MY One and Only," which ran for almost two years, and appeared in several films, including, "Club Paradise," "The Blues Brothers," "Young Charlie Chaplin," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Doctor and the Devils." In 1988, Twiggy married British actor and director, Leigh Lawson, who starred with her in "Madame Sousatzka."
In the '90s, Twiggy had her own ITV series, "Twiggy's People," which started her on a new career as a TV presenter and interviewer, in which she interviewed such personalities as: Tom Jones, Dustin Hoffman, Joan Rivers, and Lauren Bacall. In 2001, Twiggy starred in a second TV series, titled, "Take Time With Twiggy."
Although Twiggy officially retired from modeling in 1970, she has never been one to sit back on her haunches. In addition to acting, singing, and television projects, she still finds time to model from time to time, and has been featured on the cover of magazines such as "Vogue," and "Tatler."
Twiggy is an animal rights activist, and an anti-fur campaigner. She is also a supporter of breast cancer research groups.
Twiggy was a guest judge on America's Next Top Model reality show, and, since 2005, has been a part of the successful Marks & Spencer advertising campaign.
In addition to all of Twiggy's other talents, she is also a designer, and has her own successful clothing line featured in the Littlewoods catalogue, and even has her own bed linen collection.
Spring of 2010 saw Twiggy launch her own fashion line on the Home Shopping Network. Check HSN for Twiggy's next schedule of appearances.
Midnight Blue Audio CD by Twiggy - This 5-star rated audio CD has 20 tracks, 17 of which are previously unreleased, from 1982--1990.
Twiggy Ditches Modeling to Star in the Musical, "The Boy Friend," 1971
In 1970, Twiggy quit modeling after landing the lead role in "The musical, "The Boy Friend." The movie, which premiered in 1971, was directed by Ken Russell, and starred Twiggy as Polly Browne, the understudy who makes it big; Christopher Gable played her leading man. Twiggy won two Golden Globes for her sparkling performance, and proved to the world (throuch her acting, singing, and dancing skills) that she was much, much more than just a "clothes hanger."
"The Boy Friend," 1971
Purchase "The Boy Friend" DVD on Amazon
Twiggy in "The Boy Friend"
"The Boy Friend," Art Deco at its Best
Not only were the costumes, scenery and props in "The Boy Friend" a wonderful tribute to art deco, there were also some incredible movie poster designs created by some extremely talented artists to promote this fun musical tribute to the 1920s.
Record Design Movie Poster of "The Boy Friend"
Purchase "The Boy Friend" Movie Posters on Amazon
Famous Twiggy Quotes
"It's not what you'd call a figure, is it?" -Twiggy, on her once famous physique.
"I used to be a thing; I'm a person now."
"I ate like a horse when I was younger, and not very sensibly, though no one ever believes that."
"I was very, very underdeveloped for my age, I hated what I looked like, so I thought everyone had gone stark raving mad."
"What happened to me in the Sixties was so major and so worldwide and so huge, there's no way I can repeat it. But in a way, I had nothing to do with it, it just took me over. It was bizarre, it was weird, and I had no control over it. I don't think anyone could have planned what happened to me."
"The sixties were a time when ordinary people could do extraordinary things . . . !"
"At sixteen, I was a funny, skinny little thing, all eyelashes and legs. And then, suddenly people told me it was gorgeous. I thought they had gone mad."
(On her career as a model) "I loved it--it was like a dream come true, a fairy story. It was certainly better than going to school, which was the only other thing I'd ever done."
"They called me an "elongated matchstick", "the original million-dollar baby doll". You were supposed to look like Brenda Lee, very curvy and round, pointed breasts and pointed toe shoes. In all these pictures of me around twelve I'm wearing a brassiere with Kleenex stuffed in it...Most of the pictures of me taken then, I hate now. "
"Can you imagine wot it was like. All the girls gettin' luvly figgers and me stayin' flat as a pancake? It was no fun, I tell you."
What's Twiggy Doing Now?
"Romantically Yours"--Music by Twiggy
Presenting her first new recordings in twelve years, Twiggy released a new music CD entitled, "Romantically Yours" in 2011.
Romantically Yours CD
Twiggy TV and Twiggy London
Autumn of 2010 saw the launch of "Twiggy TV," Twiggy's official YouTube Channel, which will be continually updated, covering her career, both past and present.
In the spring of 2010, Twiggy launched her own fashion line--"Twiggy London Apparel and Accessories," on The Home Shopping Network. Check HSN for show listings.
Twiggy on Wheels
"I`m not as skinny as I used to be, thank God. I`d look very strange if I was. I`m slim. I eat healthily because that`s the way I prefer to eat and I`m sure it helps keep the weight off."--Twiggy