Book: A Life in Fashion

A new book explores the personal style of era-defining photographer Cecil Beaton

As one of the 20th century’s most significant portrait photographers, Cecil Beaton spent his career behind the camera, capturing luminaries such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Mick Jagger.

A new book, A Life in Fashion, turns the lens on Beaton himself. Written by fashion historian Benjamin Wild and published by Thames and Hudson, it is the first study to chronicle Beaton's own impeccable style through the decades. Vogue photographer Tim Walker provides a foreword.

Beaton was, in his own term, a "rabid aesthete." His diaries reveal a man so obsessed with fashion that the mere presence of a badly dressed guest could ruin his dinner. At his death in 1980, the Royal Family - who he had frequently shot since the 50s - were telephoned with the news after his tailor.

Although the bespoke elegance of the Edwardian era remained with him throughout his life, Beaton continuously adapted to new trends. He incorporated the styles of different periods and cultures without ever compromising his trim, formal essence.