Monday, 1 August 2011

1960s Superstars. Part 2: Twiggy

Don't we all love looking at nostalgic pictures of old superstars?
Well, I most certainly do! But what do we actually know about them?

I will tell you the stories behind these faces on my blog in this article as well as in some of my future articles named "1960s Superstars".

Today's entry will be all about Twiggy!

Ah, Twiggy!

You may have recognized her in the top banner of my page. Twiggy was one of the best known models of the 1960s and her appearance has simply become iconic for this decade. Her androgynous looks, thin posture (which is the reason she was called Twiggy) and large eyes were some of her famous trade marks and her haircut is still copied by girls all over the world and although fashion has changed, she is still a fashion icon to many.

Okay, we all know that. But what about her personal life?

Twiggy, was born as Lesley Hornby on September 19, 1949. Her father, a carpenter and mother, who worked for a printing firm lived in London. Twiggy was their third daughter; her two sisters are 15 and 7 years older.
In 1966, 16 years old Leslie bunked off school for a day to be one of the models whom the popular hairdresser Leonard tried his new short haircut on and her pictures decorated the House Of Leonard soon afterwards. Once one of Daily Express' fashion journalists, Deidre McSharry entered the salon, she was impressed by Twiggy's pictures and wanted to meet her. McSharry decided to feature her in one of articles and called her The Face of 66. Twiggy's career had started.

Twiggy in 1967.

But what happened next?

Although she was only 5"6 (168 cms) tall, Twiggy was enormously popular as a model. She appeared on the covers of many leading fashion magazines (she did 13 Vogue photoshoots within the first year of her career) and even launched her own clothing line, Twiggy Dresses, in 1967.
From 1967 onwards, Twiggy become an international sensation; the New Yorker even devoted almost 100 pages to her when she arrived in New York that year.
Twiggy however, did not know why she was so hyped all of a sudden. "I hated what I looked like," she said once, "so I thought everyone had gone stark raving mad." She was not the only one whose opinion was negative. A fashion correspondent of the London Daily Mail wrote: "Twiggy came along at a time when teen-age spending power was never greater. With that underdeveloped, boyish figure, she is an idol to the 14- and 15-year-old kids. She makes virtue of all the terrible things of gawky, miserable, adolescence."
President of the Leeds women's shop, Mark Cohen, was even more negative and said: "Her legs remind me of two painted worms."

She was quite successful as model, wasn't she?

Yes, she definitely was. However, she retired as a model in 1970, claming "You can't be a clothes hanger for your entire life!"
Throughout the seventies, she concentrated on her singing and acting career in stead. Her singing career is still what occupies her and she has been an actress until the late 1990s. She's still in the spotlights and has even been a judge in America's Next Top Model for four seasons. And although she officially quit modelling in 1970, she has done some modelling in her later life too and has appeared in several modern campaigns.

1960s Superstars. Part 1: Edie Sedgwick can be found here.