With her skinny androgynous physique and doe eyes. At the age of 16, Twiggy became one of the first supermodels as well as the face of London’s Carnaby Street ‘swinging sixties’ and mod scene.
Born Leslie Hornby in 1949, a Cockney girl from Middlesex, England. In 1960 she met celebrity Justin de Villeneuve (later to become her boyfriend and Manager). With his contacts and support, her fashion mod look helped make her the face of the 1960’s. She was voted British Woman of the Year in 1966. With he unique look – elfin haircut, false eyelashes, sculptured jawline and her long long legs, she adorned magazine covers that included Vogue and Tatler amongst many others over the years. The name ‘Twiggy’ came from her stick thin shape and nickname ‘Twig’.
Her boyish looks, cockney accent and sense of humour made her stand out from the ‘modelling crowd’.
The 60’s trend was manifested in a number of templates: sweet A-line dresses with collars and neckties, suits and dresses that took their details from military uniforms, or, in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, and explicit transposition of the male tuxedo to women.
At the age of 62 she still looks as glamourous as ever. Indeed she has just finished her latest album ‘Romantically Yours’ due to be released next month.
Not to restrict her abilities to modelling only, she ventured into film. Probably best known for her role in Ken Russells jazz-age musical The Boyfriend in 1971. Twiggy was awarded a Golden Globe for her performance. She also cameoed in the Blues Brothers (1980) with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi. She also portryed Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion” in 1981. She met her current husband Leigh Lawson in 1984 a year after her first husband Michael Whitney died of a heart attack.
Twiggy also appeared in episodes of the successful television series of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ (Ab Fab).
The series features Jennifer Saunders as Edina Monsoon, an alcoholic, drug-abusing PR agent who spends her time chasing bizarre fads in a desperate attempt to stay young and “hip.” Edina was aided and abetted by her best friend Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) , whose drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and promiscuity eclipse Edina’s comparatively mild self-destructive behavior.
Twiggy released her autobiography in 1998, titled “Twiggy in Black and White“, entered the bestseller lists.
2001 brought more TV with the Morning talk show “This Morning’ as a presenter. In her own series ‘Take Time with Twiggy’ she interview fammous names such as Ken Russell, Lulu and Frederick Forsyth.
She was again in the spotlight after returning to modelling being photographed by the likes of Annie Liebovitz and then joined ‘America’s Top Model’in 2003, as one of the judges led by Tyra Banks and the infamous Janice Dickinson.
Twiggy returned to modelling, fronting a major television, press and billboard
campaign for Marks & Spencer, the British department store chain. Her involvement in the advertising campaign has been credited for reviving Marks and Spencer‘s fortunes.
Twiggy remains in the forefront of fashion for women of her age. She was the only one of the famous celebrities to survive being cut from the Mark & Spencer fashion team in 2010, when Dannii Minogue joined her for the spring/summer women’s wear campaign.
More recently she started an HSN online fashion collection called Twiggy London Collection and has begun a fashion blog to discuss the line. Women in their 60’s and 70’s are remaining stylish today, and this trend has been termed the “Twiggy effect”
She remains beautiful and ageless. A true fashion and style icon. She is also a humanitarian, a supporter of breast cancer, animal welfare and a fervent anti fur campaigner. A living legend, elegant and graceful. I cant wait to see what else she has planned. As a mature lady myself, I am a inspired by her ageless fashion and style.
Who was her idol? Jean Shrimpton – according to Twiggy, Shrimpton was the first supermodel.