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.’