Haven’t done any birthday highlights for a while, and I don’t know that I’ve ever done any nonauthors—although that still might be true, since I guess the Beats published his diary in six volumes—but, ANYWAY, my current nov is set in the 1920s, and pretty much anyone famous between the eras of the Bright Young Things and Twiggy sat for the talented Cecil Beaton.
So, he was more or less irresistible for my incurable impetus to birthday wish.
Beaton got his professional start designing book jackets, and you can take a gander at his style over here at Jennifer Kennard’s blog. Might ring some bells if you like old books. I have an old, early copy of Nancy Mitford’s Madame de Pompadour, and the cover is very Beaton and very Vogue-ish (to Nancy’s apparent consternation).
And, if Nancy Mitford is involved with somebody, then you know I have to be interested. Beaton was mostly known for society and fashion portraits (including many of the Royal family), but he trundled off to the U.S. quite regularly, where he did both costume design and photography, and ultimately won two Academy Awards for his work on Gigi and My Fair Lady.
Not too shabby.
In any case, happy birthday, Mr. Beaton, even though you are dead and have been for thirty-one years and, therefore, longer than I have been even been alive. But, you left some fantastic images behind, and since I’m sort of in love with your era, I’m happy about that.
I’m also okay with eating your piece of cake for you. I’m pretty sure you won’t mind.