The Swinging ’60’s

“At sixteen I was a skinny little thing. All eyelashes and legs. And suddenly people told me it was gorgeous. I thought they had gone mad.”- Twiggy. Indeed the world has gone mad.

Just 10 years before Twiggy’s evolution, Women were encouraged to gain weight and have the perfect hour glass figure like that of Marilyn Monroe. An example of this can be seen in the 1950’s advertising history towards women having tips on how to gain weight along with the ever popular silhouette being the Dior new look, embracing the A-Line silhouette.

Gender stereotypes affected women a lot more than men in the ‘50s and ‘60s, now that the ideal body type and idea of beauty changed. This is because a total paradigm shift occurred from having perfect voluptuous curves to the polar opposite popularity of an androgynous boyish look. There has been resurgence in modern day society such as being a size 0 and eating disorders that are prevalent issues among all ages of woman having similar philosophies of that of the 60’s.

Organisations and movements are now trying to stop this popularity as seen in models such as Kate Moss and Celebrities including Miley Cyrus because a size 0 should not be considered a size as it defies the notions of natural womanly curves. Plus size models have been a craze for roughly five years. Countries like South Africa and Israel have regulations that model’s may only be over a certain weight and may not be cast into shows or shoots if they do not meet the requirements of being larger than a size 0 and have a Body Mass Index over a certain number (Abraham: 2011).

Going back to Twiggy, her style and androgynous look and feel started an evolution in conjunction with Mary Quant and the Mini Skirt. This style is seeing a revival in street style and runway looks. This resurgence started roughly in 2012 and is seen to be prevalent in beauty and slowly making it’s way into fashion and street style. This can be seen in Marc Jacob’s for Louis Vuitton S/S 2012/2013 Collection, where hemlines appear to mini, with dropped waists along with the popularity of prints, stripes, colour blocking and polka dots (Fashiontag, 2013).

The beauty is seen on the catwalk and in fashion shoots, with pale satin skin, white eyeliner is used heavily across the eye accompanied by accents of black liquid liner, false eyelashes on both the bottom and top of the eye lid, groomed and soft eyebrows paired with nude lips seem to be the trend.

6 Twiggy Signature Looks:

1. Pixie Cut hair cut. Twiggy’s iconic Pixie haircut was seen as daring move as long, feminine hair was seen as the gender specific only to women and short hair was seen as masculine an for men only.

2. Big Eyes, Twiggy’s eyes are seen as innocent and radiating her air of beauty.

3. False eyelashes on both the top and bottom lids. False eye lashes are seen as the epitome of beauty in fashion and cosmetics, Twiggy was known for her exquisite lashes.

4. Colour blocking was seen as Twiggy’s signature fashion coordination style and she was often seen sporting bold colours.

5. The mini skirt. Twiggy made the Mini Skirt famous along with designer Mary Quant. Previously women were expected to wear long, structured skirts as opposed to loose fitting mini skirts.

6. Skinny legs or Twiggy legs. Twiggy coined her name based on her unladylike, skinny legs. However these legs changes the role of voluptuous legs and women now wanted to have Twiggy like legs.

-Jessica Shub


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