Little Miss Hornby and a gap now filled

1960s, british boutique movement, celebrity boutiques, eye candy, personal collection, twiggy, vintage fangirl squee

As many of you know from reading my blog and my website, I’m quite a keen collector as well as a seller. Together with the fact that I love wearing British Boutique-era clothing as well, it’s a wonder I ever sell anything. But thankfully, for you, I do and I don’t hold back the good stuff either. But occasionally, with something magnificent and as yet unrepresented in my collection, I do decide to buy something for myself and myself alone. It’s my ambition to have a representative collection of British Boutique designers and boutiques, some designers I will always have more than others because I have more of an interest in their career. But for some, one representative piece is all I can possibly hope for (or even afford). Like Thea Porter, or Bill Gibb…….or now, Twiggy.

Twiggy’s own label started in 1966, designed by RCA graduates Pam Proctor and Paul Babb, as one of the many ways in which Twiggy and her manager/boyfriend Justin De Villeneuve could utilize her fame and bankability. Twiggy was eager to be involved in the entire process of the clothes production, as a keen home dressmaker and frustrated designer herself, and this means that it was perhaps one of the better made and most genuinely stylish celebrity boutique labels of the time. Originally the idea had been mooted by Berkertex, but when Twiggy realised they were simply wanting to put her name on an existing range of clothes with no input by her, she turned to the Taramina Textiles firm. Smaller but happy to leave the creative decisions to the Twiggy camp and the two designers.

“We made sure the dresses were really good and they were all things that I would be happy to wear. I still think it was a very good, young collection of clothes–cat-suits, print shifts gathered under the bust, Bermuda-length jump suits, shirt dresses with long pointed collars, jersey culotte dresses, a pinstripe gangster style trouser suit–and all for between six and twelve guineas.” Twiggy by Twiggy (p51)

The launch was promoted by Twiggy’s only catwalk appearance and photographs taken by the legendary Barry Lategan.

Sadly, the small British manufacturers behind the label were unable to keep up with the demand the Twiggy line had produced in both Europe and the USA and the line eventually folded by the end of the decade. This leaves the label as one of the rarest and most highly sought after boutique brands of the time, due to the iconic status of Twiggy and the brevity of its existence.

I was overjoyed to finally get me a piece of Twiggy’s range, it had been a glaring hole in my collection so far. Then a few days later, I was sorting out my image files on my computer and found these photos of Twiggy actually wearing the dress in question. Unfortunately it does show me that the sleeves have been hacked off at some point…..but honestly, I care not! I have photos of Twiggy in my dress and as any regular readers will know, I’m slightly obsessed with original photos and particularly of the designers in or with the garments in question.

Don’t mind me, I’m just doing a little happy dance here!

6 thoughts on “Little Miss Hornby and a gap now filled

  1. Fantastic news Ms Peelpants-I will do a mini happy dance with you as well-I bet you are so chuffed! Your collection must be absolutely stunning-you should post piccys of you in some of them!!

  2. Thank you everyone! They’re bloody hard to find on eBay what with all the Twiggy keyword spamming, so it really doesn’t surprise me that a lot of people don’t even know they exist. That and the rarity factor.Anyway, I’m now satiated as regards Twiggy clothes. If anyone sees a John Bates Avengerswear piece lying around, let me know 😉

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