Sep 15, 2012 8:28PM

London Fashion Week Interview: Twiggy

We speak to the world's first supermodel backstage at Sass & Bide's LFW show.

Following Sass & Bide's stellar SS13 show at London Fashion Week, I ducked backstage to see if I could interview one of the two major models who'd walked — Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne. Unfortunately, they'd already left. Instead, I interviewed Twiggy — as in the Twiggy, as in The Face of 1966, as in the original supermodel, as in the Absolutely Fabulous co-star, as in the America's Next Top Model panelist, Twiggy. Twiggy! We chatted about the collection, her love life, her mystic cats, and (obviously) gustatory synesthesia.

Zac Bayly: It's so nice to meet you! My housemate Ellie and I always watch America's Next Top Model when we're hung-over on a Sunday morning.
Twiggy: Oh really? [She laughs] Oh... I love Tyra.

Did you see the show?
I did. Magnificent! I'm a huge fan of Sass & Bide. I love their clothes and I love those girls so much, too.

How long have you known them?
I met them, funnily enough, when I went to Sydney for America's Next Top Model. That was about... four years ago? When we travelled with the show, we would get local designers to do things. Sass & Bide were the judges on the last episode, so I met them then and we hit it off. We swapped numbers, and when they came to London we met up. We've stayed in touch, because they're such lovely, talented girls. This show was amazing!

Did you see Jourdan Dunn? What a stunner!
I know! She's such a beautiful girl. Actually, all the girls were — the casting was wonderful.

Do you have a favourite young model right now?
There are probably some new, amazing young models that I don't even know about. I think Georgia May Jagger is gorgeous. That's a great face. And, she's not really on the radar yet, but the daughter of a friend of mine, who I think is very exciting, models under the name Stacia — beautiful. She lives in America. But I see lots of young models, and I'm not good at keeping up with all their names.

Neither am I! I have a weird question to ask…
[She laughs] Go on then!

Have you ever heard of a disorder called 'gustatory synesthesia'?
No!

Basically, you see something but you taste it.
How peculiar!

Your senses are mixed up.
And does that happen to people?

Yeah.
My gosh! [She laughs]

So, if you had gustatory synesthesia, what flavour would Sass & Bide's collection have been?
Oh my goodness… The best rosé champagne. That taste's pretty good, and I think that presentation was so classy. That's why they're brilliant: the shows are exciting, the clothes are very classy, they show them on incredibly, young, beautiful creatures in a very minimalistic way, but ordinary people can wear them as well. There were a few things there that I could even wear.

You could probably wear any of them. You're Twiggy!
No! Most of it's for the younger crowd. You know, there were some beautiful, tailored jackets with the shoulders — gorgeous! I'd wear that. I just think they're brilliant. I loved the colour palette.

Do you have a favourite piece?
That jacket with the big shoulders was one. And I also loved the very big sequined, silver trousers, and then there were some very beautiful ones towards the end with that kind of filigree beading. Stunning!

What's the best piece of advice that you've ever been given?
[Laughs] Follow your heart.

Who said that to you?
Well, it was so long ago and I'm not sure... But I believe it. Not only in love, but whatever you do in life, you have to have a passion. I've been very fortunate, because during my career, I've done many brilliant things, and I've always done things that I'm passionate about.

What are you passionate about right now?
So many things. Oh, at the moment? I've got two collections — I do a range for Marks & Spencer and I do a range in America that's sold on the Shopping Channel. I'm going over tomorrow, because I've got a show on Wednesday.

But you're based here?
Oh, yes. Home is always London. I've always lived in different places. I did a Broadway show for two years, so I lived in New York. But I've never sold my home. I've been with my husband for twenty-seven years, and we've been in our flat that long.

You must be able to afford a bigger one by now!
I love it, though. It's just beautiful. I would never get rid of it.

Do you have a cat? 
Yes. Her name is Titania, and she's beautiful. That name's from A Midsummer Night's Dream — she's the queen of the fairies. We actually had Oberon, which is Titania's partner in the dream. He's the king of the fairies. My husband bought them for me as a birthday present, and he was black and white and splodgey, but sadly he had a heart complaint and he died. But she's fifteen and going on strong. She's queen of the house.

My best friend's cat passed away recently, and she was like 21 or something crazy.
That's old! At the moment, Titiania's going well. We had a bit of a scare, though, recently, because she stopped eating, and we thought, "Oh… This is it." Because I do think that you do everything that you can for them with the vet, but if they're in pain… But she had four bad teeth, and that's why she hadn't been eating, so he said, "Let me take her teeth out," and I was so worried because she had to go under anesthetic, and she's fifteen… But she's come out and she's like a new woman! [Laughs] She eats everything and she's taken over the house again! She obviously just had a toothache, which is horrible, but they can't tell you.

I actually worked at a veterinary clinic when I was young, and I helped run a kitten adoption centre.
Oh, that's so sweet! Cats are so lovely… They're so beautiful, and regal, and proud. I love her!

OK, so aside from Titania and your husband, what would you save if your house was on fire?
A possession? Probably our wedding photographs. If I could only have one thing, I'd pick that.

That's a long time to be married to someone, by the way. 
We've been married for 24 years.

That's longer than I've been alive!
[Laughs] I was lucky — I met the right person.

I'm jealous. 
Don't worry — you will meet the right person. I mean, I had a long relationship before that, but it didn't work out, and then we met and... We got lucky, really — very, very lucky. He's not only my husband; he's my best friend. We have a business together, and you know... We just get a long.

What's your secret?
It's to do with loyalty and trust, and you've got to be best friends. When you first meet, you've got all the rush of falling in love and all that, but those feelings change. You have to be best friends too. And we have our business together, which is lovely, because we get to work together. He also really makes me laugh! And we talk about everything. I've got my daughter, and he's got a son, so when we met, I had a girl and he had a boy, and they get along really well. We're blessed.

My last question: what's a question you've never been asked.
I've been asked so many questions! You don't long to be asked questions. When you're in the public eye, you get asked everything.

Thank you for your time!
Thank you — I enjoyed that.

Zac Bayly

News & Features

Oyster #104: Ali Michael Shot By Petra Collins

'Dewdrops in the Garden' — a shoot & film!


Mood Boards: Christie Nicole AW14

"A world of her own."


Oyster's Birthday Cake! By Cake Fashionz

We interview Corey Moranis; cake extraordinaire.


Oyster Playlist: Holy Fuck

Plus their national tour dates.


Watch: Sun Araw 'Solo Wallet Shuffle'

Featuring guy doing yoga on the street.


Miley Hospitalised For Allergic Reaction

Bangerz Tour stalled in Kansas.


TLC Are Touring Australia

Ain’t too proud to beg for a ticket.


Watch: The Internet In 1994

A cyberspace sojourn.


'If I Was Your Girlfriend' Starring Phoebe Tonkin x Chanel

Shot by Adrian Mesko in Oyster 104: The Exposed Issue!


Top 13: Shop Farfetch x Bip Ling's Coachella Picks

Plus who wore what at Weekend 1!


Bare All: King Krule Shot By Rene Vaile

From Oyster 104: The Exposed Issue — on sale now!


Big Ideas: With Lily Cole

On chess, sustainability and impossible.com.


Watch: SZA ‘Warm Winds’

Fresh and hazy.


Cindy Sherman Doesn't Rate James Franco's Art

Although she's flattered by the imitation.


Listen: Lana Del Rey's 'West Coast'

From the upcoming record 'Ultraviolence'.


Pharrell Is So Happy He's Crying

Oprah will do that to you.


Oyster Playlist: Shannon & The Clams

Cody Blanchard’s favourite tour songs.


Born In 94: Chess Champion Hou Yifan Shot by Ren Hang

From Oyster #104 — The Exposed Issue!


Meet The Model: Jorji @ Ford

Shot by Dana Boulos.


Exclusive Social Snaps: STYLEBOP.com x Coachella

Dev Hynes, Ramona Lisa and more.


Interview: Thierry Noir — Berlin Wall Painter

Talking to the street art icon about his Shoreditch exhibition.