My Fair Lady by Cecil Beaton
June 18, 2010 § 7 Comments
When I was 9, I visited my cousins in Hong Kong and I remember we stayed up watching Bambi and Pretty Woman (I know, it’s a rather strange mix). I’d never watched Pretty Woman till then, and though I liked it, felt it was another My Fair Lady – only with different clothes and settings.
To me, My Fair Lady‘s not just the forerunner of successful-makeover-get-the-man films, it’s the epitome. I’m biased since I loved it so much I watched it repeatedly till I knew all the songs by heart. Of course, with my usual talent, I sang them completely out-of-tune and made up words to the lyrics I couldn’t understand with a 7-year-old’s vocabulary.
Over the years, my sister and I stopped watching old films because we moved back and hey, what do you know? There are a lot more shows in English on Singapore telly. However, even when the clarity of details faded, I never forgot the phrase “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain” and the outfits Eliza Doolittle wore to the ball and Ascot.
The costumes on My Fair Lady….they were sumptuous. I hear a remake is in progress, and I’m curious to see how that’ll turn out but for now, I’d delve back into the wonderful genius of Cecil Beaton and what he created for Audrey Hepburn’s role in 1964.
Charles James Gowns by Cecil Beaton, Vogue, June 1948
Cecil Beaton, self-portrait
Cecil Beaton photographing Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle
Behind-the-scenes of My Fair Lady
His sketch of the Ascot scene in the film
The Ascot scene
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