Little girl / Twiggy look
The time was ripe for an explosion of youth culture, and the epicenter was swinging 60’s London. That turbulent decade was highlighted by a backlash against the straight-laced conservatism of the 50’s, and fashion turned into an innocent—but certainly not naïve—celebration of childhood.
The 50’s were all about looking like miniature versions of adults, and dress shops offered mother/daughter looks so that a little girl could practice becoming a little lady just like mom. And looking like mom meant a severe hourglass figure, with bullet bra breasts, girdled-in waists, and curvy hips. Think Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and Elizabeth Taylor…these were real women, with real curves and an intoxicating voluptuousness. The 60’s rejected all of that, instead celebrating the stick-like figures of prepubescent girls, epitomized by the aptly-named Twiggy.
The most famous face of 1966 was a boyish cockney girl, Leslie Hornby, known to the world as the long and lean Twiggy. Twiggy’s boyish figure, her short, cropped hair, and her innocent doe-eyes were reminiscent of adolescence, even though she was a womanly 16 at her debut. Body styles had changed, and the long lean figure was the shape of the decade. Her willowy body was a perfect hanger for the new straight silhouette, lacking curves and shape.
Girls before Twiggy had always wanted to look older, more sophisticated than their age, but when Twiggy came onto the scene, she showed off in juvenile styles of bright and bold colors, mini-dresses, colored tights, and Mary Jane flats. Women liked the turn to gaiety, and tried to turn back the tables of time to look like girls of five.
Lace collars, short puffed sleeves, and baby pink and blue gingham prints made the girls look like overgrown infants. Rainbow-colored makeup gave cheeks the rosy glow of youth, and false eyelashes guaranteed the wide-eyed expression of exuberance. Even nightclothes joined the gang with sweet baby doll pajamas.
Being young was intoxicating, and these baby boomer parents wanted to celebrate a childhood they never got to experience. Youths created their own culture, and instead of daughters looking like their mothers in the 50’s, now mothers strove to look like their daughters.