I think most of us know that Beaton was the designer behind the costumes in both the movie and stage version of My Fair Lady. He started his career in fashion photography for all the big New York mags, chronicling the most popular designers of the 30s, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli. His shots were very theatrical and staged, a technique that is actually getting more popular today. Beaton then turned his focus toward design; interiors, costumes, sets. He lived in and redesigned suites at posh New York City hotels, including the Pierre and the Sherry Netherland.
This exhibit flew in the face of all those well meaning career advisors that encourage creative people to pick just one thing, and do only that, and that is what I liked about it best! Now through February 20th.
I saw the Yves movie the other night at the Pelham Picture House. Unfortunately they were playing the movie in their classroom space, which I’m sorry to say, is not a good place to watch any movie. Even a great movie is painful to watch in folding chairs, okay they were padded, but still we had to get up and stretch at one point. The screen is too close and too high and frankly the space just felt odd. I was excited to get Tom to the Picture House (finally) and I was apoplectic about seeing L’Amour Fou, so imagine our disappointment when we found ourselves alone in the “classroom.” Perhaps we could have done more with this circumstance... but well, we didn’t.
As for L’Amour Fou, sorry gals, it’s a rental. There isn’t much fashion in it, however the interiors are deliciously drippy, I thought so anyway, Tom found them to be “High Frog Clutter.” The story surrounding Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge’s art collection and relationship is significant and understanding the life and creative process of yet another “tortured” artist never seems to tire. However there were lots of cliche shots– Berge looking out a window at an ocean view with a worried, longing face... Geez.
I’ve been working on an interesting project these days; collecting imagery for a potential pilot that takes place in 1951. I’ve been asked to explore fashion in that time period to position the “look” of the show. The first several episodes will take place in both Sicily and Washington DC. So I’ve also had to consider the regional differences between, say, New York and DC and Sicily and Rome.
Researching has brought me to the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection– I know, old school (admittedly, I did some internet hunting too). I wasn’t even sure if the Manhattan branch still had their Picture Collection, but they do and it was a eureka moment for this project. The Picture Collection is a rather large section of the library on 5th and 41st that has cataloged images (known in the industry as “swipe”) into a vast number of subjects. Picture in the Picture Collection would-be or established fashion designers, illustrators, set decorators, photographers and any number of other patrons in search of visuals.
Remarkably, as I’m swimming in this time period, the indomitable Grace Coddington of Vogue did an amazing story on fashion in the 1950s using the fall collections entitled, Magnificent Obsession. Check it out.
I’ve included some of my favorite images for amusement or inspiration. Enjoy.
So that, amongst MANY other things, is what I’ve been up to since I last posted.