Prints Charming

Beaudesert Brings Cecil Beaton Home

Cecil Beaton knew fashion. In his photographic work he shot some of the 20th century’s brightest young things, from Hollywood glamazons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn to eccentric dandies such as artist Patrick Procktor and louche aristocrat Stephen Tennant. He was also acclaimed for his work as costume designer on films including An Ideal Husband and Anna Karenina (later wining Oscars for Gigi in 1959 and My Fair Lady in 1965). Beaton was thus an obvious choice for fabric designer Zika Ascher—who made his name collaborating with artists including Henry Moore and Matisse on a range of silk scarves in the 40s, and supplied textiles for major couture houses in the post-war era—to approach as a creative partner. In 2005 Andrew Ginger, a Beaton enthusiast and managing director of interiors brand Beaudesert, came across a scarf from Beaton and Ascher’s 1948 collection on eBay. After contacting Peter Ascher, who manages his father’s archive, Ginger was inspired to create a new collection with the original designs. Launched in 2007 and featuring wallpaper, curtains and upholstery fabrics, it was followed in 2009 by the “Sketch Book” collection, based on Beaton’s drawings. Beaudesert is displaying the range at the Seoul Art Center in Korea later this month, accompanying a show of Beaton’s photographs, while next year the company will launch a New York range based on Beaton’s sketches of the city, “Park Avenue Cuties,” to coincide with a retrospective at the Museum of the City of New York. As Ginger says: “His creations leap from the page, screen and stage with such vitality, and such ironic humor, that they are irresistible.” 

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