Capturing this moment of fashion history for Vogue was another British-born creative – Sir Cecil Beaton. Born in London, Beaton worked in the timber and cement industries before making a go of his true passion: photography. From the 1920s onwards, he started working for Vogue magazine editions everywhere from London and Paris to New York. He went on to become famous for capturing 20th century society through his images and took portraits of everyone from Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich, to Salvador Dali, Orson Wells and Mick Jagger. In 1937, he became the official photographer of the British royal family, and in 1972 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
As the worlds of fashion, art and photography collide in this iconic image, the feelings of glamour and sophistication in New York society during the 1940s makes its way into THE BAR at The Athenaeum too. The British roots and transatlantic influences of both Charles James and Sir Cecil Beaton are bound up in this photograph. It’s found a kindred spirit and the perfect home in the Art Deco surroundings of The Athenaeum. If that’s not worth raising a glass to, we’re not sure what is.
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