As a creative, I’m constantly looking for inspiration. I came across this photo the other day of none other than the legendary Cecil Beaton. Who was he? A celebrated British photographer, costume designer and illustrator. Born to a society family in Hampstead in 1904, he rose to fame photographing the ‘Bright Young Things’ of the Twenties and Thirties, attracting attention for his extravagant backdrops, which made creative use of humble materials like cellophane, paper and mirror. He went on to design customs for Audrey Hepburn in the film My Fairs Lady in 1964 as well as the set.
What makes him an icon? Cecil’s exquisitely composed images have had a huge influence on modern photography- especially his fashion shots, which continue to inspire through their use of color, light and evocative settings. His choice of subjects, from poet WH Auden to Mick Jagger, represents a chronicle of 20th-century culture. Plus, there’s his determination to stand out: ‘Be daring, be different, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-savers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.’
I couldn’t say it any better myself- definitely a man after my own heart… To learn more about Beaton’s work you can check out his brush-drawn textiles that have been relaunched as fabrics and wallpapers here.