Be Anything…

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

Cecil Beaton


Self-portrait of Cecil Beaton on the front steps of Reddish House, Broad Chalke, June 1947

One Sunday

; Cecil Beaton by Cecil BeatonGreta Garbo; Cecil Beaton, photo by Cecil Beaton, 1965


One Sunday in 1932, Cecil Beaton met Greta Garbo. The event was chronicled immediately in his diary. He had a bath and a manicure, put on white socks and shoes, a white kid jacket and ‘scanty little white sharkskin shorts’, then he ran gaily down a spiral staircase into her presence. Attired in the same gamine style, she told him he was beautiful, then she kissed a rose and gave it to him. He took it home, framed it in silver and hung it over his enormous rococo bed. It was to be 14 years (and 100 pages) before they met again.