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The Glass of Fashion: A Personal History of Fifty Years of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them Hardcover – September 2, 2014
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"So excited to read "the bible of fashion."" -Champagne and Heels
“…this exquisitely reproduced reissue of his 1954 tome, subtitled A Personal History of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them, is a collection of the designer’s photos and commentary. Its 18 chapters, accompanied by more than 150 line drawings by Beaton, feature reminiscences of personalities who influenced fashion and decor. Chanel, Poiret, Schiaparelli, Dior, and other well-known creators sit alongside his Aunt Jessie, a Victorian belle, and some forgotten society types…The foreword by Beaton’s literary executor and designated biographer Hugo Vickers, notes that The Glass of Fashion “has become essential reading for those who study fashion.” The book is that and so much more. It’s a trip back in time with an observant, effervescent, talented, and opinionated guide. Many of his profiles and observations prove to have withstood the test of time. It is as fresh today as when it was first published.” –Library Journal
“First-Rate fashion book…an alluring collection of vignettes of the personalities who inspired fashion during the 40s and 50s.” –Harper’s Bazaar
"The Glass of Fashion is one of the more entertaining books that has surfaced on the topic of fashion. Moreover Mr. Beaton oddly foreshadowed what is still visible in the juxtaposition of fashion and celebrity. Mr. Beaton graciously and almost effusively illustrated this book…Would this be a recommended book for the sophisticated, fashionable, and curious reader? The Glass of Fashion deserves to be in the library of any of the above." –New York Journal of Books
“[One of the] Must-Have Fashion Books of the Fall” –Elle
“Dashing!” –Papercity Magazine
About the Author
Sir Cecil Beaton (1904–1980) was a photographer in the 1920s for Vanity Fair and Vogue. As a portraitist, he photographed the stars of fashion, society, and the art worlds, and was considered the unofficial court photographer of the British royal family. He was also an Oscar-winning stage and costume designer. Hugo Vickers is Beaton’s official biographer and literary executor. He has lectured about him all over the world and assisted with the many exhibitions devoted to Beaton.
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Upon receipt, I immediately ordered another copy as a gift as I was so thoroughly taken by the quality & artistry of the book itself, as well as by the contents.
It is also a valuable resource on fashion during the first half of the 20th century. Probably no one could have done it better than the multi-talented, award-winning Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). Included are numerous vignettes of people who left their mark on the fashion world or on Beaton personally. Some are familiar like Coco Chanel or Christian Dior; some are not, like Beaton's mother and her sister, his Aunt Jessie, who gave him his "first glimpse of the grownup world of fashion." Beaton's eye for detail and his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and the era sets the book apart from the ordinary, run-of-the-mill fluffy bio about the rich and famous.
This is a favorite in my book collection--almost 400 pages of the essence of Cecil Beaton. He is very generous with his expertise. He doesn't mind the reader knowing what he knows, and there is much to be learned here--like training under a master craftsman. It's easy to see why he was a photographer of the royals.