Fashion and fame

It’s the perfect 1970s shot: two style icons – David Bowie and Twiggy – pose wide-eyed and semi-clad for the cover of Bowie’s album Pin Ups.

The iconic photograph was taken by Justin de Villeneuve, who will be the subject of an exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textiles Museum later this month.

Although it is the iconic shots of the 1970s that De Villeneuve is most famous for, the photographer had an exciting life filled with chance meetings and Cockney quirk before he picked up a camera.

Twiggy and David Bowie on the cover of Bowie's album Pin Ups
Twiggy and David Bowie on the cover of Bowie’s album Pin Ups

He was born Nigel John Davies in London’s East End and was evacuated to a Herefordshire manor house during World War II as guest of none other than novelist J.B.Priestley. According to the man himself, Villeneuve he has been a boxer, a villain, a hairdresser (under the grandiose name of Christian St Forget), interior decorator and poet, before becoming Twiggy’s manager and settling on photography.

De Villeneuve created the famous silouette photograph of Marsha Hunt, Twiggy’s Biba cover of Queen magazine as well as the artwork for Pin Ups.A selection of his works from 1968 to 1973 will be on display at the exhibition, including a portrait of Pattie Boyd, who will open the private view.

Justin de Villeneuve: Fashion and Fame runs at The Fashion and Textile Museum, 
83 Bermondsey Street, 
London
, SE1 from 18 March – 25 April.

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