The original Twiggy is playing with herself as a doll, i.e. Mattel Twiggy, a 1967 doll issued to celebrate the British fashion icon. 

Twiggy was the first Mattel doll fashioned after a real person and four outfits were created exclusively for Twiggy and released in 1968. Her face paint is very nice and she has all her eyelashes. Her hair is very pretty blond and shiney. She has a twist waist and her legs click as they should. She is wearing her original tagged green, yellow and blue dress and original yellow boots.

This is not the first celebrity doll ever, but one of the most loved and best edited vintage pieces of that kind. Many many other portrait dolls existed and will exist. This phenomenon was a sort of real popularity index for celebrities and Co: “have you got a portrait doll? Ok, you are someone”.

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Twiggy for the market: 1966, she releases her first line of clothing called “Twiggy Dresses”.

from a 1960s dress

 The Twiggy clothing range came about when Lesley Hornby, who became known to the world as Twiggy, was asked in September 1966 to launch her own label by a well-known dress manufacturer.

The range was heavily influenced by Quant and Courreges, featured acid-drop colours and fabulous daisy prints, and had a distinct retro feel influenced by the styles of the Roaring Twenties that Twiggy had such a love of. Twiggy: “I dress very strangely some times and the things that suit me wouldn’t suit everyone else. So things have to be adapted and sometimes toned down to make them commercial.”

from a 1960s dress

The range was launched to the Press in November 1966 via a range of photographs taken by Barry Lategan (whose photo had launched her career as “the face of ’66”), an advertising campaign using the slogan “it’s a twiggy world”, and amazingly Twiggy’s only catwalk modelling. Twiggy: “In those days you didn’t do both and the top girls were photographic models only. Given the fact that nothing ever fitted me (what you don’t see in the photographs is the bulldog clips and safety pins at the back) its a good thing. But the Twiggy Dresses were made with me in mind.” The range was highly priced, ranging between 6 and 12 guineas at a time when a decent high street skirt would be 50 shillings. Apart from the famous celebrity behind the expensive label, an added sales technique was the unusual “portrait hanger” that came free with every piece of clothing.

Twiggy hanger which was included with each dress

 At the start of 1967, 150 outlets in the USA had expressed an interest in the clothing range so long as Twiggy herself was part of the package, so she headed over to the US to launch the range over there and her visit was turned into a series of three documentaries for ABC Television (“Twiggy In New York”, “Twiggy In Hollywood” and “Twiggy, Why?”) A million dollars of orders were placed in one afternoon before Twiggy had even left New York, but due to there being no American manufacturers backing the label, pirated copies flooded the market before the company could supply it’s huge US market. In 1968 Twiggy visited Munich to launch the label in Germany.

As well as the Twiggy Dresses range numerous other Twiggy items were launched, including Hampton Trimfit’s “Twiggy Hosiery” in 1967 and Yardley’s “Twiggy Lashes” and “Twiggy Eye Paint”.

Twiggy Lashes was part of a line from Yardley

Twiggy mini-purse

Twiggy tights

Yesterday, today and tomorrow: Twiggy…

Twiggy was born in north London on September 19th, 1949. She was named “The Face of ’66” by the Daily Express.

Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel: a skinny kid with the face of an angel who became an icon. ‘She’ll last a couple of weeks’, a bystander quipped in 1967 when she took New York by storm. Thirty five years on and Twiggy is still a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world.

 

In early 1966, Lesley Hornby found herself propelled to the heights of international fame as the world’s first supermodel – Twiggy. 

With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution

By the age of 17, Twiggy was one of the most famous faces on the planet: her photograph was even encased in a time capsule and sent into space. By this time in the sixties, Twiggy had already become a household name across the globe, an icon whose image graced the covers of Vogue, Tatler and even her own American publication Her Mod, Mod Teen World.

During her years as a model, Twiggy posed for some of the top photographers, including Barry Lategan, Melvin Sokolsky, Richard Avendon and Bert Stern who would make three films about her extraordinary trip to the United States in 1967.

Twiggy went on to become a successful actress in film, stage and television, beginning her acting career by starring in Ken Russell’s film “The Boyfriend”, for which she won two Golden Globe awards; most promising newcomer and best actress in a musical. She has recorded many albums since, encompassing a variety of styles including pop, rock, disco, country and show tunes. Twiggy’s successful recordings have earned her two silver discs, two chart albums and hit singles.

Although Twiggy officially retired from modelling in 1970 (when  she was cast in ‘The Boy Friend’) and she has been involved in  various modelling assignments, highlights include posing with  David Bowie to create the classic shot that became the cover of his Pin Ups album.

The 90’s launched her into a career as TV presenter and interviewer with her own ITV series ‘Twiggy’s People’, interviewing amongst others, Dustin Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Tom Jones, Joan Rivers, Eric Idle and Tim Curry. In 2001, Twiggy recorded a second TV series for the ITV network ‘Take Time With Twiggy’, interviewing such stars as Lulu, Ken Russell and Frederick Forsyth. 

   

Since 2005, Twiggy has acted as the face of Marks And Spencer in their successful advertising campaigns.  Twiggy has also been a guest judge on the top US reality show America’s Next Top Model opposite the shows creator Tyra Banks.

As a designer, Twiggy’s has her own successful clothing line featured in the Littlewoods catalogue. Twiggy also has recently launched her own range of bed linen.

Twiggy in "The boy friend"

Erin O'Conner, Twiggy, Patrick Cox and British Designer Christopher Bailey pose backstage during the Burberry Prorsum LFW Autumn/Winter 2010 Women?s wear show at the Parade Ground, Chelsea College of Art on February 23, 2010 in London, England.

Queen Elizabeth II speaks to model Twiggy at a reception for the British Clothing Industry, including an exhibition of contemporary clothing curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, at Buckingham Palace March 16, 2010 in London, England.

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