Huntsman open its doors to the great and the good in celebration of Benjamin Wild’s book on Cecil Beaton. ‘A Life in Fashion’ takes a retrospective look at Beaton’s style through the prism of his wardrobe.
Huntsman open its doors to the great and the good in celebration of Benjamin Wild’s book on Cecil Beaton. ‘A Life in Fashion’ takes a retrospective look at Beaton’s style through the prism of his wardrobe. Drawing on unpublished records and interviews with Beaton’s former tailors, Benjamin Wild delightfully scrutinizes Beaton’s approach to fashion as well as his influence on designers in the fashion industry.
Benjamin Wild, the book’s author & Nicky Haslam, renowned interior designer, charmed guests with stories of Beaton’s far-reaching circle of influence and celebrated elegance and style. They held the guest’s attention whilst ‘in conversation’ with discoveries and anecdotes as well as having Nicky’s insight into the man himself who provided a unique deep dive into Cecil’s world and sartorial choices via his personal encounters.
Huntsman was totally transformed as an homage to Beaton thanks to the generosity of Sotheby’s who provided incredible archive photos of Cecil throughout the years, suspended from the ceiling above the guests whilst life size prints were scattered throughout the shop. It was incredibly special to have Sir John Smiley, Beaton’s nephew, amongst the guests. Smiley was sporting a precious tie pin Beaton had worn in one of his most famous self-portraits whilst recounting stories of his revered uncle. He even mentioned what a shame it was Cecil wasn’t at the event himself to see what an incredible ‘homage’ Huntsman had created for him.
Champagne flowed and beautifully crafted bowl food eaten whilst photographer Richard Young captured the crowd amidst the enormous blow up photos of Beaton and people chasing down Benjamin for a signed copy of his book. It was the perfect setting to celebrate the life of such an incredible man.
Huntsman’s own connection to Beaton started with an order detailed in a ledger book dating back to October 1965 which show’s Cecil’s request for a three-piece, green worsted suit. Cecil Beaton chose the noble yet subversive beacon of the row for his comeback to British tailoring, after a frustrating foray into French fashion houses in Paris (such as Pierre Cardin). Beaton felt the cost to be double and the quality inferior and so returned to his beloved british craft in the latter part of 1965.
It was an honour for Huntsman to hold a night celebrating the wardrobe of such an incredible man whose sartorial prestige remains hugely influential today; and a great honour that Beaton was once himself sitting in Huntsman placing an order.
Photo Credit: Richard Young