Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Face Of ’66 becomes Dame Commander Twiggy of 2019

The supermodel received the accolade at Buckingham Palace.

Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson holds her Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire award (John Stillwell/PA)
Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson holds her Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire award (John Stillwell/PA)

Sixties fashion star Dame Twiggy has spoken of the “amazing” experience of being made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales who told her: “About time you got this.”

The supermodel, who is now a grandmother of three, said her 16-year-old self would probably “giggle” at the thought of receiving the honour.

Brought up in Neasden, north-west London, her success story started when she was plucked from obscurity when aged just 16 and became a global celebrity overnight.

bpanews_e152d8eb-be6f-4c11-95e5-e2cf30685d5a_embedded241757961
Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson arrives at Buckingham Palace, with her husband Leigh, son Jason and daughter Carly (Yui Mok/PA)

Dubbed The Face Of ’66 by the Daily Express, her four-year modelling career left its mark on the industry and her boyish, elfin look inspired a generation of girls.

After the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony the model and actress said about Charles: “I’ve met him before he’s really nice and he said ‘congratulations, about time you got this, we’re all thrilled for you”.

bpanews_e152d8eb-be6f-4c11-95e5-e2cf30685d5a_embedded21395410
Former model Twiggy with an old photograph of herself (Michael Stephens/PA)

Speaking about receiving the honour from the heir to the throne she added: “It’s amazing when you think of all the things I’ve done in life.”

Holding her Dame Commander insignia, the 69-year-old celebrity, whose real name is Lesley Lawson, insisted on everyone using her famous nickname.

She said: “Officially it’s Dame Lesley but call me Dame Twiggy.

“I think Dame Twiggy sounds best.”

The fashion evergreen was aptly dressed in a smart and chic three-piece suit by Stella McCartney.

She said about the British designer: “I’ve known her all my (sic) life, she texted me when she heard about the award and said ‘can I dress you?’ and I said ‘yes’.”

Speaking about the start of her career Dame Twiggy, who received the honour for services to fashion, the arts and charity, said: “I was discovered in 1966 so that’s over 50 years ago and I’m still working and still doing things I love to do, and hopefully helping a few people along the way.”

She said about the 1960s: “We kind of knew it was a buzzy time when we were living it, but you know we were young and we thought ‘this is great’.

“Obviously what happened to me was a one off, being a schoolgirl one night and then being world-famous within three months, it was literally overnight.

bpanews_e152d8eb-be6f-4c11-95e5-e2cf30685d5a_embedded241757746
Twiggy wore a Stella McCartney outfit (Yui Mok/PA)

“Diana Vreeland who was the big iconic fashion editor of American Vogue, she took me to America and she turned me global, because once she said this is the face, this is the girl – that was it.”

After modelling, Dame Twiggy turned to acting and musical theatre and was cast in Ken Russell’s 1971 film The Boy Friend which gained her a foothold in the acting world.

The musical comedy, an adaptation of the theatre musical of the same name, won Twiggy two Golden Globe awards, for best newcomer and best actress in a musical/comedy respectively.

In the 1980s she appeared on Broadway in the show My One And Only and in the past few years she has returned to modelling, appearing in adverts for Marks & Spencer.

In 2011 she released an album titled Romantically Yours, which featured a duet with her friend, Canadian singer Bryan Adams.

Prior to that, in the 1970s, she sang on television alongside acclaimed musicians like Bing Crosby and Bryan Ferry, and also released a string of singles.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph