When 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 evening jacket, red shoes, black-and-white trousers and a large cravat, to his first meeting with Greta Garbo ten years later in pristine white kid coat, sharkskin, and new white shoes and socks , to his appearance nearly forty years later at Truman Capote s 1970 Black and White Ball, Beaton expressed a flamboyant sartorial nonchalance a sprezzatura. He had accounts with many Savile Row tailors; he bought his hats from Herbert Johnson and Lock & Co, his shirts from Excello in New York; and the clothes he bought from Lanz of Salzburg are now, along with other elements of his wardrobe, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the V&A, London. His wardrobe went through many changes, beautifully documented and illustrated in this virtuoso study, which will delight and inform the big new audience for men s clothes that are distinctive, supremely well made, and carrying authority with style.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Twenties: Young and Loud in Cambridge 2. The Thirties and Forties: Celebrity and Savile Row 3. The Fifties and Sixties: Fragility and New Fashion 4. The Seventies: A Sartorial Swansong 5. The Beaton Look 6. A Legacy
Beaton's sartorial adventures have been lovingly curated by writer and fashion historian Benjamin Wild in A Life in Fashion, featuring previously unpublished archival material, conversations with Beaton's former tailors (of which, unsurprisingly, he had many) and a foreword by renowned fashion photographer Tim Walker. --Esquire
Benjamin Wild writes with the verve the subject himself would surely applaud. --World of Interiors
While the images of Beaton may be in stark black and white, much of what they have to say seems bang up to date. --Sunday Herald
His flamboyance and nonchalance is unraveled and decoded. --Cent
The extraordinary life and wardrobe of the 'father of vintage fashion' is celebrated. --Trinity Mirror
A fresh fashion read. --Marie Claire
The first study to chronicle Beaton's own impeccable style through the decades. --Jocks & Nerds
Sheds light on the personal style of the renowned photographer and costume designer. --Aesthetica
Benjamin Wild is a Guest Lecturer at Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design in London and a leading authority on the history of fashion.