At just seventeen-year-old, Twiggy set the standard for fashion in 1967. The British sensation burst onto the fashion world, appearing on the pages of nearly every major magazine, bringing the age of the mini-mod into full force.
Not only did she become the idol of every 13- to 15-year old, but within six months her look had permeated all the way up to haute couture and was emulated by women of all ages.
At the time, she was the youngest top model in history. She was straight as a stick, knock-kneed and had a face that could transform from magical pixie to woman of the world.
Her image became somewhat of a high controversy. To some, she made a mockery of femininity: the last word in a lifestyle that blurred the differences between boys and girls. Clearly most everyone else disagreed.
Twiggy, who was born Lesley Hornby on September 19, 1949, brought a look never before seen in the fashion world. With her super-slender 5′ 6″ frame and 31-22-32 proportions, she made assets out of the miseries of adolescence. Her haunting, huge eyes were enhanced by massive pasted eyelashes. Freckles dotted her porcelain face that was framed by sunny hair, clipped like a boy’s from the time.
She entered the fashion scene at the perfect moment. For years fashion leaders had exalted the property of youth. More and more, women were dressing like girls and, subsequently, girls were dressing more maturely as well. Twiggy represented the child-woman born to model these new fashions. With Twiggy, the youth look reached its zenith.
Twiggy’s influence was felt in beauty salons across the nation. Not since the 1920s had women worn their hair so short. Three-tiered eyelashes named for Twiggy (by Yardley) became an overnight sensation. Suddenly her face was seen everywhere, from window displays to ads selling sunglasses.
Stores were even changing their mannequins to look more like Twiggy.
TV cameras captured her first trip to America. Photographers hailed her photogenic nature. She occasionally admitted that her success was a bit unexpected, but for the most part she kept quiet. Although she had dined with Princess Margaret once, she mostly avoided the big social rush. When not on tour, she returned to live with her parents.
The public somehow seemed aware of the short-lived splendor of what it means to be an international symbol of youth and beauty.