University of Chichester: Study History and Politics.

Cecil Beaton: Through a Glass, Lightly

The photographer, designer and aesthete Cecil Beaton brought a distinctly historical awareness to the realm of fashion, as Benjamin Wild explains.

What does Cecil Beaton look like? Well, I think he’s very distinguished looking with aristocratic features, an aquiline nose, lots of cartilage and good bone. Rather hideous mouth. Very nice hands. Tall; very good length of leg, which is something that’s most important, especially as one puts on a good deal of weight – Michelin tyres – round the middle. I don’t think good looking at all. I mean, it’s not the sort of looks that I would like to have at all; I’d like to have a much more wart face, a mushroom face, an embryo face. I don’t want to be distinguished. I hate that.’

Want the full article and website archive access?


Subscribe now    Already a member?   Log in now


Cecil Beaton: Through a Glass, Lightly

Related Articles

Glad hands: a pair of late 15th-century knitted silk and gold-thread gloves.

By Michael Pye

Looking north for the origins of fashion.
The Haberdasher Dandy, by Thomas Tegg and C.Williams, 1818.

By Serena Dyer

The world of shopping in Georgian London offered an array of retail experiences.

The History Today Newsletter

Sign up for our free weekly email