Aubrey in LIFE


Turned out for a big night at the opera like Beardsley’s Wagnerites, girls wear bare-backed blacks by Trigère. Coiffed heads are by Hugh Harrison and Halston of Bergdorf Goodman’s; Halston also made the pouf-skirted dress. (Photo session by Milton Green & Joe Eula.)

Being determined to catalogue every last piece of Beardsley trivia from the 1960s, I’m compelled to note this post which I’d missed at Sweet Jane’s Pop Boutique a couple of years ago. An earlier post here showed one of the photos from a LIFE fashion feature using Aubrey’s drawings but the Sweet Jane post has scans of all the photos, plus accompanying text. This was published in February 1967, a few months after the summer exhibition at the V&A in London which introduced Beardsley’s work to a new generation, an exhibition which set in motion a wave of popular interest in his work.

I’m intrigued by the way the colour of the women’s bodies emerges from the drawings given the date when the magazine appeared. I’ve long seen 1966 as a very black-and-white year in graphic and aesthetic terms, whereas 1967 is obviously full-colour; the difference between the sleeves of the Beatles’ (Beardsley-derived) Revolver and Sgt Pepper albums are only two of the more prominent examples. These fashion photos could be regarded as being caught mid-way between the shift from one state to another. There are more shots of the Wagnerites above on this page. Thanks to Ian for drawing my attention to the Sweet Jane post.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Beardsley reviewed
Aubrey Beardsley in The Studio
Ads for The Yellow Book
Beardsley and His Work
Further echoes of Aubrey
A Wilde Night
Echoes of Aubrey
After Beardsley by Chris James
Illustrating Poe #1: Aubrey Beardsley
Beardsley’s Rape of the Lock
The Savoy magazine
Beardsley at the V&A
Merely fanciful or grotesque
Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife
Aubrey by John Selwyn Gilbert
“Weirdsley Daubery”: Beardsley and Punch
Alla Nazimova’s Salomé

3 thoughts on “Aubrey in LIFE”

  1. Oh, that’s another one I missed, thanks! I’ve added your blog to my RSS feed to ensure this doesn’t occur in future.

    I’ve known about the Anthony Little book for a while, I kept hoping I might eventually find the drawings somewhere since copies for sale tend to be pricey. (Actually, I’ve just looked again at Abe and there’s a few more there for reasonable prices.)

  2. I didn’t know about it until Antony contacted me and happened to mention it, really like that illustration called ‘The Dancer’ in particular.. would love a copy of the book too, but yes, very pricey last time that I looked myself. There may be a new book of his artwork on the cards at some point in the future, not sure how far along they are with it at the moment, but shall be looking forward to seeing that one!

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