Fashion & Beauty

The Glass of Fashion: A Personal History of Fifty Years of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them

Gorgeously repackaged, this reissue of the classic book presents the iconic photographer’s expert and witty reminiscences of the personalities who inspired fashion’s golden eras, and left an indelible mark on his own sense of taste and style. "The camera will never be invented that could capture or encompass all that he actually sees," Truman Capote once said of Cecil Beaton. Though known for his portraits, Beaton was as incisive a writer as he was a photographer. First published in 1954, The Glass of Fashion is a classic—an invaluable primer on the history and highlights of fashion from a man who was a chronicler of taste, and an intimate compendium of the people who inspired his legendary eye. Across eighteen chapters, complemented by more than 150 of his own line drawings, Beaton writes with great wit about the influence of luminaries such as Chanel, Balenciaga, and Dior, as well as relatively unknown muses like his Aunt Jessie, who gave him his first glimpse of "the grown-up world of fashion." Out of print for decades but recognized and sought after as a touchstone text, The Glass of Fashion will be irresistible to a new generation of fashion enthusiasts and a seminal book in any Beaton library. It is both a treasury and a treasure.

About The Author

Sir Cecil Beaton (1904–1980) was a photographer in the 1920s for Vanity Fair and Vogue. As a portraitist, he photographed the stars of fashion, society, and the art worlds, and was considered the unofficial court photographer of the British royal family. He was also an Oscar-winning stage and costume designer. Hugo Vickers is Beaton’s official biographer and literary executor. He has lectured about him all over the world and assisted with the many exhibitions devoted to Beaton.

  • Publish Date: September 02, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Ex Libris
  • Trim Size: 6-3/4 x 8-1/4
  • Pages: 400
  • US Price: $29.95
  • CDN Price: $29.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4385-5


"So excited to read "the bible of fashion."" -Champagne and Heels

“…this exquisitely reproduced reissue of his 1954 tome, subtitled A Personal History of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them, is a collection of the designer’s photos and commentary. Its 18 chapters, accompanied by more than 150 line drawings by Beaton, feature reminiscences of personalities who influenced fashion and decor. Chanel, Poiret, Schiaparelli, Dior, and other well-known creators sit alongside his Aunt Jessie, a Victorian belle, and some forgotten society types…The foreword by Beaton’s literary executor and designated biographer Hugo Vickers, notes that The Glass of Fashion “has become essential reading for those who study fashion.” The book is that and so much more. It’s a trip back in time with an observant, effervescent, talented, and opinionated guide. Many of his profiles and observations prove to have withstood the test of time. It is as fresh today as when it was first published.” –Library Journal

First-Rate fashion book…an alluring collection of vignettes of the personalities who inspired fashion during the 40s and 50s.” –Harper’s Bazaar

"The Glass of Fashion
is one of the more entertaining books that has surfaced on the topic of fashion. Moreover Mr. Beaton oddly foreshadowed what is still visible in the juxtaposition of fashion and celebrity. Mr. Beaton graciously and almost effusively illustrated this book…Would this be a recommended book for the sophisticated, fashionable, and curious reader? The Glass of Fashion deserves to be in the library of any of the above." –New York Journal of Books

“[One of the] Must-Have Fashion Books of the Fall –Elle

“Dashing!” –Papercity Magazine

Author Bookshelf: Cecil Beaton, Hugo Vickers