Twiggy’s clothes change with her mood, something reflected noticeably in her Christmas wardrobe which includes beautiful ankle-length dresses in exotic prints and romantic styles in lovely colours. “I really have no particular look that I stick to,’ she confessed. ‘Yesterday I wore an ankle-length dress and today I have on a short one. I buy second-hand clothes if I think the fabrics and prints are beautiful. My wardrobe is really a complete mixture of things. I think that these days people can wear just what they like. There are really no set rules, and I personally feel that that’s very nice.”
During the last two months, Twiggy’s face, once constantly seen in virtually every magazine in the world, has been noticeably absent. “I have almost completely stopped modelling. Although I enjoyed every minute while I was doing it, I’m rather tired of it now. At the moment Justin and I will be working for only one American magazine and one Italian and any other work we want to do. Justin has sold the flat that he had, and is now living in the studio.”
Apart from Twiggy Enterprises in England, they have many business interests in the States selling all sorts of ‘Twiggy’ merchandise. During a visit there, earlier this year, Twiggy made a singing and dancing commercial for American TV which was an enormous success. Her main ambition for the coming year is to make a feature film which Justin will possibly co-produce.
`We almost made a film about eighteen months ago,” explained Justin. ‘Paul McCartney was going to write the music and Ken Russell direct. Then we had enormous trouble with the film rights and eventually had to drop the whole idea. When Twiggy made the American commercial she was so great, and en-joyed making it so much that it got us interested all over again. We’ve talked to various people about ideas for a script, but I can’t tell you anything definite about the story at the moment.”
Twiggy today is very different from the Twiggy of three years ago. She is more beautiful and her hair is longer. “I am desperately trying to grow it,” she says. “I want it to be very, very long.” She has grown up, but her unspoilt personality remains the same. One change Twiggy is very pleased about—she has stopped biting her fingernails. “All of a sudden I noticed that I’d just stopped —and that was that.”
She has a marvellous sense of humour and is interested in a variety of things. She loves reading, especially romantic novels, cinema and theatre, with a bent towards musicals, and pop music; she is a firm fan of the Beatles. She enjoys knitting. “I knit things all the time, for myself and all my friends.” (“Not bad, is she,” said Justin, sporting an original Twiggy knit.) “And I’ve just bought a crochet hook and book of instructions. You don t know how to crochet flowers, do you? It only tells you how to make circles in my book.”
Twiggy moves with the grace of a modern day Garbo. “As narrow as an arrow and as fetching as an etching” is a very apt description. She eats what she wants, is peeved that she can’t put on weight. “I wish I could,” she murmurs, busily demolishing an apricot pie. Another pet peeve of hers is spiders. “I hate spiders. I never kill them, though.”
What does Twiggy want this Christmas? “I don’t know. There’s nothing I really want. Just to be happy. And to make the film next year, that’ll be satisfying.”
Frizzy hairpieces by Joseph at Salon 33.
Photographs by Justin de Villeneuve.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, December 1969.
Photographed by Paul Misso.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, August 9th 1969
There are new listings-a-plenty over at Vintage-a-Peel, with some of the biggest and brightest names in British fashion from the Sixties and Seventies. Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, John Bates, Jeff Banks, Twiggy, Gina Fratini, Jean Muir, Catherine Buckley… plus some beautiful modernist jewellery to go with it!
Personally, I’m only really interested in the way Twiggy looked once she started looking like this…
Photographed by Justin de Villeneuve. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, April 1970
I simply could not resist that pun. No apologies. I feel almost nostalgic about cheques these days, even though they are [comparatively] a pain in the bum.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, September 1966
Photograph by Barry Lategan. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, September 1972
They were all beautiful in their twenties, and they remain beautiful to this day, but I have come to the conclusion that many of my favourite women looked their very, very best in their thirties and early forties. Which may or may not be somewhat biased by my own entering of my thirties. Ok, so I entered them three years ago but still… I think it is an important thing to notice, when all around are becoming consumed by vanity and their faces destroyed by undesirable injectables.
The puppy fat has fallen away, the features now more defined and enhanced by laughter lines and emerging cheekbones. They look relaxed; as if the pressure of ‘looking good’, which so restrains a teen or twenty-something, has lifted with the knowledge that none of it really matters a great deal. Maybe they’ve had a baby, maybe they don’t want to, maybe they’re still waiting for the right moment (Diana Rigg was 39 when she had Rachael). They know any man worth his salt won’t mind seeing them without make-up, and that he doesn’t really care about the size of their breasts or backsides. They know how swiftly life is passing, how much has been missed already, and how relatively little retains its importance ten or twenty years later. They don’t try to make up for their age by ignoring it or trying to behave like teenagers, they simply embrace the things which are worth embracing. They still make mistakes, but can handle them with good grace.
I realise I am making the cardinal mistake of putting words into people’s mouths and making sweeping generalisations, but I wanted to express how looking at these women makes me feel. And how it reminds me of why it is ok for me to have changed, to have matured and to have grown into my appearance. We all have moments when we wish we still had all that youth on our side, but a few quick glances at things I wrote, men I dated or photographs of myself ten years ago – soon remind me that I didn’t know anything, had very poor taste in men and was quite chubby in the face. All things I am glad to have [hopefully] grown out of.
So whether you are here (there) already, or have it yet to come, I hope you can remember these incredible women and weep for the stupidity of the likes of Lindsey Lohan, Lara Flynn Boyle or Carla Bruni. Plus, don’t forget to check back in with me in ten years time and see if I’ve started saying that ‘actually they looked better in their fifties…’.
Apologies for vague dating of some pictures, the tumblr effect means that very few are dated for me and I’ve had to do a certain amount of guesswork… Also, certain people I think looked lovely in their thirties have gone on to have pretty lousy work done to their faces and have, consequently, not been featured here. That’ll teach ’em!
And in case you needed any more evidence, please see Duran Duran’s now infamous supermodel-stuffed video for Girl Panic!. Personally I believe they all look far, far better than they did in their modelling heyday.