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DateLecture
29 April 2020A Life of Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton CANCELLED
27 May 2020Journey Across the Himalayas - CANCELLED
24 June 2020Thomas Heatherwick - A Modern Leonardo? - CANCELLED
30 September 2020Paradise Lost & Restored: 400 years of Garden Design in Oxfordshire
28 October 2020The Dr Susan Weber Furniture Gallery at the V&A Museum
25 November 2020The Magic of Pantomime

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A Life of Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton CANCELLED Dr Benjamin Wild BA MA PhD FRHistS Wednesday 29 April 2020

When Cecil Beaton died in 1980, it was not surprising that one of his tailors was telephoned with the news before Buckingham Palace, despite his close association with the Royal Family.  From the moment he arrived at Cambridge University in 1922, wearing evening jacket, red shoes, black-and-white torusers and a large cravat, to his first meeting with Greta Garbo ten years later in 'pristine white kid coat, new white shoes and socks', to his appearance nearly forty years later at Truman Capote's 1970 Black and White Ball, Beaton expressed a flamboyant satorial nonchalance.  Beaton's wardrobe went through many changes during his lifetime, expressing at once his confidence and insurities.  This illustrated lecture traces the story of how he used his clothing to curate personal and professional facades as his international career and fame grew.

Dr Benjamin Wild, FRHistS, is a cultural historian who writes and lectures about the history of dress. He convenes courses for the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and is teacher of history at Sherborne School. He is half of Dress:Fancy podcast (the other half being Lucy Clayton), a weekly show that discusses the prevalence, power, popularity of fancy dress costume. Previously, he was guest lecturer at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, London, and consultant lecturer at the Sotheby's Institute of Art, London. He has written for a variety of magazines and academic journals and regularly talks at National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy.

Benjamin was educated at King's College London, where he studied history. His doctorate, focusing on the material culture of the household of King Henry III of England, was published in 2012. His second book, A Life in Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton, was published in 2016 by Thames & Hudson. His third book, Carnival to Catwalk: Global Reflections on Fancy Dress Costume, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic.