Friday, November 26, 2010

Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook by James Danziger

By Laura Medina

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was noted for a lot of things and innovations spanning decades but this celebratory tome profile for a slight but significant contribution he made to the fashion world-the mood board.

Specifically, he turned the humble scrapbook into a fashion industry standard, the mood board. A visual rough draft to keep art directors and designers in-line and on track of their visionary goal and as an aid to keep their concepts and collection concise, Mr. Beaton took intimate snapshots, inspiring photographs, and significant keepsakes, organize them into a cohensive idea, making him the iconic fashion photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue.

His hobby of scrapbooking or "mood boarding," proved to be invauable aid when he later moved on as a stage and film designer for the classically-styled but glamorously durable "Gigi" and "My Fair Lady."

The craft of scrapbooking or the art of "mood boarding" taught him the skill of composition, juxaposition, assemblage, and color and style coordination in unifying themes and ideas.

Great for art direction for fashion magazines and set design for movies.

As a holiday present and a homage to Sir Cecil, Assouline and author, James Danziger (Picture Editor of "The London Sunday Times Magazine" and Vanity Fair's Features Editor who championed Annie Leibovitz) compiled these insightful and rare compositions from Sir Beaton's private collection then makes them available to the public for the first time.

One more reason to throw in the glitter.

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