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Album Cover Details
"It wasn't in Vogue but it did make it as a Pin-Up"
Photographer: Juston De Villeneure
Models: David Bowie and Twiggy
Face Masks: Pierre La Roche
Lettering: Ray Campbell
Photographer Juston De Villeneure (real name Nigel Davies) was the boyfriend of Twiggy (real name Leslie Horby), the English model who appears on the cover with Bowie (Bowie mentions her as "Twig the Wonderkid" in the song "Drive-In Saturday").
The photo was originally intended for the cover of English Vogue magazine. De Villeneure was commissioned by Bea Miller, the London editor of Vogue, to photograph a cover of Twiggy and David Bowie together. However, De Villeneure ended up giving the picture to Bowie to use on the PinUps cover instead.
"Twiggy and I were in Los Angeles when Aladdin Sane (1973) had just been released. We heard Twiggy's name come over the radio in David's song "Drive In Saturday". I had just photographed a couple of Vogue covers and I thought it would be a good idea for David to be on a cover with Twiggy. He would be the first man on a Vogue cover. I called him in France. He loved the idea and arranged a photo-session. When he saw the finished picture he asked if he could use it for his album sleeve. I said to him "I've just flown to Paris for Vogue especially to do their cover." Then I asked David "How many albums do you sell? He said "About a million, hopefully." Vogue would sell about 80,000 copies in the UK. I owned the picture, so I let him have it. I was a little arrogant then! Vogue didn't talk with me for years after. They were very angry. I knew that I had made the right decision giving David the photograph when months later I was driving through Los Angeles and I saw a 60 foot billboard of the album cover on Sunset Boulevard." - Juston De Villeneure (1999)
Pin-Ups Billboard on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles (1974)
The photo session
Juston De Villeneure and Twiggy flew to Paris where Bowie was recording PinUps (1973) at The Chateau.
De Villeneure first tried posing Twiggy and Bowie together in a shoulder shot. However, he soon realised that this would not appear balanced as Twiggy was very tanned from a recent holiday in the Bahamas while Bowie's skin was "snow white". The solution was for makeup artist Pierre La Roche to create face masks for each. Twiggy's face mask was made white to complement Bowie's skin and Bowie's face mask was made brown to complement Twiggy's tan.
De Villeneure first shot a test Polaroid, which he showed Bowie, and then shot the rest of the session with Rolliflex Kodak 6 cm by 6 cm colour transparency film.
The final product is remarkable (Twiggy looks straight at the camera while Bowie looks straight through it) and is often cited as one of the best rock album covers of all time. The image remains one of Twiggy's favourite pictures, even though few people today realise that it is actually her with Bowie.
---This page last modified: 28 Dec 2018---