A Life in Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton : When fashion photographer and costume designer Cecil Beaton died in 1980, it was not surprising that one of his tailors was telephoned with the news before Buckingham Palace, despite his close association with the Royal Family. From the moment he arrived at Cambridge University in 1922 wearing an evening jacket, red shoes, black-and-white trousers, and a large cravat, to his appearance nearly forty years later at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, Beaton expressed a flamboyant sartorial nonchalance. He had accounts with the best Savile Row tailors; he bought his shirts from Excello in New York; and his clothes from Lanz of Salzburg now reside, along with other elements of his wardrobe, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
A Life in Fashion is a lively and informative study of Beaton’s style, which kept evolving over the decades, driving and reflecting the transitions in men’s fashion that followed the Second World War. Drawing on unpublished records and interviews with Beaton’s former tailors, Benjamin Wild delightfully scrutinizes Beaton’s approach to fashion as well as his influence on designers such as Giles Deacon and Dries van Noten.
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