Friday, February 24, 2012

Twiggy Dresses and the Twiggy Coat Hanger

"Twiggy Dresses", the self designed clothing line by English supermodel Twiggy, was first released in the UK in September of 1966. The label was originally to be produced under Berkertex manufacturers. However, when Twiggy was called to sign the contract with them it was found that they had already designed much of the line, and only wanted her name rather than her personal input. As a result of this she decided to create her own clothing line with a company that would allow her input as an aspiring fashion designer, and create dresses that she herself would wear. This was to be Taramina Textiles. Though this company had never before manufactured for the teenage market, it all worked to an advantage as all ideas for designs would be fresh and up-to-date.
Pamela Proctor and Paul Babb, two students from the Royal College of Art, were the two main designers behind the clothing line, and were personally picked by Twiggy herself for the job. Together, all three would meet and discuss the designs for the label on Great Portland Street, London, multiple times a week.

The label launched publicly in November of the same year through a series of photographs taken by the same man credited for the photograph that crowned her as "the face of 1966", Barry Lategan, and a catwalk of Twiggy modeling the designs herself.
Due to high demand, Twiggy then flew over to the US for a promotional visit in early 1967, with approximately 150 different outlets wanting to take on the clothing range. However, hundreds of pirated copies were soon spread throughout the market, as at that point in time there were no American manufacturers backing the label.
Then next year the fashion sensation traveled to Munich for a promotional visit and launched the label in Germany.

Twiggy's dresses were bright and youthful, strongly resembling the designs of Mary Quant whom she often modeled for. Though they also incorporated her own personal style and preference, they had to be "adapted and sometimes toned down to make them commercial" (Twiggy).
The were quite expensive for the time, with prices ranging from 6 to 12 guineas, whilst an average piece of clothing from a generic store would only cost approximately 50 shillings. Thus, each item was sold with an official Twiggy Coat Hanger, in order to assist with sales. It featured a graphic of the model's face, as well as the text "Included in the price of every Twiggy dress is the original Twiggy hanger."
The label continued for approximately three years and then collapsed. "Twiggy Dresses" are now highly collectible and sought after pieces.

(Information: 1. 2.)

(Images: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.)

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