60s icon Twiggy offers fashion advice

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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In the 1960s Twiggy was envied by girls around the world when she pioneered the waif look.

Now, some 40 years later, she's trying to help those same baby boomer women to look fashionable.

The original supermodel, who is now 58, is writing a book offering fashion advice to women over 45 called Those Fabulous 40s, 50s and 60s.

"I'm always meeting women who are over 45 who are saying: `I don't know how to dress and I don't want to be a frump, I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb. Oh help me, what do I do?'," Twiggy told AAP.

"I realised there's a whole group of baby boomers who need some help.

"And now I'm busy writing, hopefully turning the over-45s into stylish, wonderful women."

Twiggy says she also plans to start writing her autobiography next year, adding that her new projects leave her no time to appear as a judge on America's Next Top Model.

After five seasons with the popular reality show, cycle nine, which premieres on FOX8 on December 4, will be her last.

"I've loved every second, I really have," she said.

"It's lovely to give these kids a shot."

Twiggy, who was born Lesley Hornby, was just 16 when she was discovered and became a 1960s pop icon, known for her large eyes, long eyelashes, and thin build.

She said she never wanted to be a model.

"I was this funny shy little skinny thing," she said.

"You've got to remember back then that new look hadn't happened because I was like the new look. Models before me didn't look like me.

"The big model before me was Jean Shrimpton, who I absolutely idolised, but I didn't look anything like her.

"So although there might have been an unspoken dream: `Oh wouldn't it be lovely to be a model', I was very shy and very insecure."

These days, she said, it seems every young girl wants to be the next Kate Moss.

"It's interesting, because when I was a little girl, little girls wanted to be ballerinas or film stars. Now most little girls want to be a supermodel," she said.

While she made the waif look famous, Twiggy said the current issue of size zero models was a very series problem.

"For me, it's weird because I was very skinny when I was 16, when I modelled," she said.

"But I was naturally thin, and I think a lot of the young models are naturally skinny.

"But even so, the fashion industry has to watch it because a couple of girls died last year and when girls are dying that ain't funny.

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"I do think the fashion world became obsessed beyond comprehension about this size zero. . . and I think it has to be addressed because, in the end, the influence on young teenagers is very important."

A mother herself, Twiggy said parents also have to keep an eye on their daughters and encourage them to eat healthily.

"I'm a very healthy English size 10 and I love my food," she said.

"I always have actually."

Her book is due in stores in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer next year, and she hopes to bring it to Australia.

"Hopefully, I'll be over to promote my book," she said.

"I love Sydney. I was there this time last year, actually, and it was lovely."

- AAP

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