|The Marquesa de Casa Maury on a field of Beaton roses.|
We ran into friend Mario Buatta who helped sponsor the evening, and proceeded in. At the entrance of the exhibit are some stunning black and white photographs from the '20s mounted on a very dramatic black and white Cecil Beaton rose pattern wallpaper. We met at the reception Roger Bernard and Andrew Ginger from the Cecil Beaton Fabric Collection, who was over from England for business and for the opening. They reported that the Beaton Rose pattern is available in a number of color ways. I said I thought the big black and white pattern would look great in a small powder room. So luxe.
Here is a closer look at Paula Gellibrand, Marquesa de Casa Maury, photographed by Beaton in 1928. I love her shimmering dress and background. Her long oval face reminded me of my grandmother, Florence Mumford.
I admired this woman's similar shimmering dress...
and read the identifying card to learn that it is Beaton himself! In drag for a Cambridge University production. Those were the days.
Inside the exhibition was this delicate watercolor of Tallulah Bankhead from 1932. I like the colorblocked dress, which is a big trend in fashion this fall too.
Posted throughout were provocative quotes from Mr. Beaton:
The Englishman designed this costume for Birgit Nilsson for the 1961 Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot.
Perhaps Beaton is best known for his iconic, Edwardian black and white costumes for the Ascot scene in My Fair Lady. He had this to say:
Here is Cecil Beaton in top hat with Truman Capote. Can you imagine the conversations?
This is a photograph of Diana Vreeland that I had not seen before. The great editor pictured at home surrounded by her bibelot is charming.
One wall in the exhibition room was covered by a red version of the Beaton Rose wallpaper. Here it is over "The Art of Self-Promotion" which he was quite adept at.
And a final word from Cecil Beaton:
The show is at the Museum of the City of New York until February 20, 2012; admission is $10.