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Poldark Star Eleanor Tomlinson Stars in Cecil Beaton Fashion Story

September 15, 2012 in Archive
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Who did most to capture the mystique, firepower and glittering aura of the British Monarchy? The answer is Sir Cecil Beaton, photographer, costume designer and dandy about town. Beaton was at the epicenter of glamour on both sides of the Atlantic for fifty golden years, and the monarchy needed him.
I never tire of looking at Beaton’s unashamedly theatrical, and romantic royal images of our Queen, The Queen Mother (his favourite royal sitter) with a parasol, looking like a Gaiety Girl, and Princess Margaret, who was one of the great beauties of her age. This is the inspiration for our Jubilee fashion story photographed by Mike Owen, a Beaton disciple, featuring a brace of gorgeous film icons – Jenny Agutter, Eleanor Tomlinson and Cecile Buckens.
“Cecil Beaton and Angus McBean created magic in the camera, not on a computer screen afterwards. They were such an influence on my work as a fashion and portrait photographer, and I was very lucky to assist Angus for the last few years of his life.”
Back on the eve of war, Beaton was surprised to be asked to photograph the Queen consort, but she did have a taste for the theatrical, and cleverly chose him herself, to spin a gilded, fairytale image of the monarchy as a dazzlingly optimistic form of propaganda, in the face of the German threat.
‘The telephone rang. ‘This is the lady-in-waiting speaking. The Queen wants to know if you will photograph her tomorrow afternoon’. In choosing me to take her photographs, the Queen made a daring innovation. It is inconceivable that her predecessor would have summoned me – my work was still considered revolutionary and unconventional.’ – Cecil Beaton’s diary, 1939.
Beaton’s meticulously composed fashion portraits of the British monarchy owe much to his work as a costume designer. He would collect an Oscar for Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe for My Fair Lady, and he did the same for royalty. Creating a romantic, fantasy Arcadia, which sent out such a powerful message of optimism and unshakeable strength in the dark days of diplomacy.
In the early years, Beaton treated his royal subjects like Hollywood goddesses – creating daringly informal fashion portraits that are full of fantasy, escapism and whimsical detail, with castles, parasols, cascades of roses and hydrangeas from his garden, forming a luscious, almost y mythical backdrop. While the young Princess Elizabeth wore Norman Hartnell’s gossamer, shimmering couture gowns, as if spun by fairies to set the agenda for a new golden, Elizabethan age.  Many years later, he would daringly strip away all the pomp, regalia and twinkling gowns, much to his sitter’s consternation, to create his extraordinary stark, compelling portrait of the Queen in the Admiral’s Boat Cloak, against a blue background. It is still one of the most timeless and powerful images of Queen Elizabeth 11 ever taken.
My muses are three beautiful women – Jenny Agutter – a great British national treasure, and rather lovely sexy symbol, who will always be a wide-eyed railway child, the deliciously innocent girlfriend of a werewolf and more recently a steely spook and a nun! This is Jenny, as you have never seen her before, looking like a Queen or a Duchess, in my late friend, Catherine Walker’s peerless, flights of fantasy, jewel-embellished gowns, once fashioned for a princess. For her imagination lives on, with a new design team in place to continue her playful, almost architectural approach to dressing the world’s most powerful and interesting women – for as she once told me ‘a beautiful couture dress is like a glittering suit of armour and a talisman for the powerful, busy woman to go out into the world with confidence and grace’.
 
With her, are two coruscating young actresses, who could be her daughter’s, or 21st Century Jenny Agutter’s – Eleanor
Tomlinson, with her feline grace, stillness and allure, who appeared as Sophie in The Illusionist, loved ‘inhabiting Tim Burton’s extraordinary imagination’ in Alice in Wonderland, and plays a very 21stCentury, ‘kick ass princess’ in Jack and the Giant Killer which will elevate her to shooting star to watch. Finally, lovely gamine, Cecile Buckens, who you will remember from War Horse, who is sixteen, such an exciting age, who has gone from school drama to Spielberg, in one beautiful leap. Now she is adroitly juggling castings with biology lessons and looming GCSE’s. Doesn’t that sound excitingly familiar?
Copyright Alison Jane Reid  June 2012
Eleanor Tomlinson – Talking about Her Passion for Acting
“I got my first film, The Illusionist, when I was twelve. I played the young Jessica Beal, and I was surrounded by some incredible actors. I had my thirteenth birthday on set. I am very lucky; I haven’t stopped working since. I’ve just made a film with John Malkovitch called A Siberian Education, where I play a Russian girl with the mental age of six year old; it was a challenging, difficult role. Malkovitch is fascinating to watch. He speaks mostly in French, and he is very quiet. At the same time he is really generous to his fellow actors when the cameras role.”
“My dad was in the Bill. I remember as a child, sitting on the knee of one of the Nolan Sisters, and she said, ‘so, do you want to be an actor?’ And I said, ‘Yes! I do!’ Acting is in my blood. My brother Ross is also an actor, and he is just leaving school. It is not always easy; and you need the skin of a rhino to survive the disappointments and rejection; but it is dead exciting.”
“ Working with Tim Burton, and playing a role in Alice in Wonderland was just phenomenal. I played Fiona Chataway, who is one half of the living embodiment of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.  Eleanor Gecks, who is lovely, played by screen sister, and we are now best friends. But in the film we are sisters, and we are basically really mean and nasty to Alice.”
Leading British Actress, Jenny Agutter talking about The Queen and The Jubilee Celebrations
The Jubilee is a wonderful celebration of a long reign that has seen the UK through many changes. The Queen is the epitome of stoicism. Coming to the throne within a decade of the war she represented the strength to rebuild and re-organise the country. There have been so many social changes and many difficult times, but there has always been a sense of cohesion in Britain. We live in a culturally rich country today, which now incorporates people from a past empire and others who need our support.
The Queen has always been our best Ambassador and it is always a delight to see the excitement her visits, to national and international events create. I particularly remember the BBC documentary a number of years ago, which went behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace. Someone commented on how she managed to remain on her feet all day the Queen said something to the effect, ‘I just remain firmly with my weight between my two feet and the is no problem.’  It is this no nonsense quality which for which she is much admired.
I loved dressing in Catherine Walker’s beautiful gowns, since her sad loss a few years ago the atelier has continued to produce the elegant, classical couture outfits for which she became hugely known. I felt very regal in the dresses I wore for the fashion shoot. We had a wonderful time looking through Cecil Beaton’s work of the 30’s and 40’s. Catherine Walker’s gowns captured all the allure and glamour of those times, and they are sublime to wear. I was very touched by one particular photo of the Queen as a young mother with Prince Charles; there was such warmth and joy in the way she held the young boy close in her arms.”

Jubilee Fashion Credits and Stockists Info

 Fashion & Feature Writer Editor Alison Jane Reid

 

Photography by Mike Owen www.mikeowenphotography.com

Photography assistant: Alex Foreman

 

Makeup by Vickie Ellis using Dermalogica Skincare

Hair by Heather Manson

Makeup assistant Charlotte George

Special thanks to Fashion Designer Lucy Tamman for helping with styling, prop dressing and sewing!

Fashion Assistants Maria Hazzard & Roisin Tierney

 

******With special thanks to English Heritage, The Rangers House, Chesterfield Walk, Blackheath, London, SE10 8QX, 0208 853 0035, www.english-heritage.org.uk*****

 

Shot 1 – Jenny Agutter in pink silk room

Gold gown, price on application, by Catherine Walker: 020 7352 4626, www.catherinewalker.com

Vintage cape, stylist’s own

Sandals, £625, by Gina: 0208 885 7500, www.gina.com

Necklace, price on application, by Erickson Beamon: 020 7259.0202, www.ericksonbeamon.com

Ring, price on application, by Konplott, www.konplott.com

 

 

Shot 2 – Jenny Agutter in pink silk room

Asymmetric gown, price on application, by Catherine Walker: as before

Cape, price on application, By Tammam: 020 7617 7512, www.tammam.co.uk

Butterfly court shoes, £625, by Aruna Seth: 020 8773 7859, www.arunaseth.com

Pair of cuffs, £129 each, by Konplott, as before

Hair ornament, from a selection, by Erickson Beamon, as before

Necklace, £129, by Konplott, as before

Jewelled apple clutch, £895, by Anya Hindmarch: 020 7501 0177, www.anyahindmarch.com

Tulle fabric, price on application, by MacCulloch & Wallis: 020 7629 0311, www.macculoch-wallis.co.uk

 

Shot 3 – Jenny Agutter & Celine Buckens

Celine Wears:

Green dress, price on application, by Stamo: 020 8211 4578, www.stamo.co.uk

Butterfly heels, £675, by Aruna Seth: as before

Pearls, price on application, by Atelier Tammam: 020 7617 7512, www.tammam.co.uk

Cuff, £798, by Konplott: as before

Necklace, £139, by Konplott: as before

Diamond pendant, £4200, by Garrard: www.garrard.com

Parasol, price on application, by Chrysalin Umbrellas: 0845 602 3712, www.umbrellaboutique.co.uk

 

Jenny wears:

Dress Catherine Walker as before

 

Shot 4 – Celine Buckens

Same as above however Celine was photographed with the apple clutch credited in shot 2.

 

Shot 5 – Eleanor Tomlinson

Dress, price on application, by Tammam: as before

Sling-back heels, £590, by Gina: as before

Cuff, £798, by Konplott: as before

Pearl necklace, price on application, by Konplott: as before

Vintage fan, price on application, by Atelier Tammam: as before

Vintage crown, price on application, by Atelier Tammam: as before

 

Shot 6 – Celine Buckens & Eleanor Tomlinson

Celine wears:

Asymmetric gown, price on application, by Catherine Walker as before

Vintage gloves, price on application, by Atelier Tammam: as before

Necklace, price on application, by Konplott: as before

Bracelet, price on application, by Konplott: as before

Heels, £500, by Gina: as before

 

Eleanor wears:

Same outfit as shot 5

 

Shot 7 – Celine Buckens, Jenny Agutter & Eleanor Tomlinson

Jenny wears:

Halterneck gown, price on application, by Catherine Walker, as before

Shrug, price on application, by Tammam: as before

Hair piece, price on application, by Erickson Beamon: as before

Sandals, £625, by Gina as before

 

Eleanor wears:

Same as shot 5

 

Celine wears:

Same as shot 6

 

Shot 8 – Celine Buckens

Same as shot 6

Shot 9 – Jenny Agutter

Champagne gown, £4950, by Basler: www.basler-fashion.com

Diamond pendant, £4200, by Garrard, as before

 

Shot 10 – Eleanor Tomlinson

Jewel embellished dress and shrug, price on application, by Basler, as before

Butterfly heels, £625, by Aruna Seth: as before

Necklace, £139, by Konplott: as before

Flower, price on application, by Tammam: as before

 

Shot 11 – Celine Buckens

Sky pleated gown, with crystal detail, price on application, by Catherine Walker, as before

Set of hair pieces, price on application, by Erickson Beamon, as before

Heels, £500, by Gina: as before

Bracelet, price on application, by Jada: www.byjada.com

Parasols, price on application all by Chrysalin Umbrellas: as before

 

Shot 12 – Eleanor Tomlinson & Celine Buckens

Eleanor wears:

Jewelled gown, price on application, by Basler, as before

Heels, £625, by Aruna Seth: as before

Cuff, £139, by Konplott: as before

Necklace, £139, by Konplott: as before

 

Celine wears:

Black ballgown, price on application, by Basler, as before

Wedge heels, £675, by Aruna Seth: as before

Necklace, £139, by Konplott, as before

Cuff, £139, by Konplott: as before

Couture headpiece, price on application, by Tammam: as before

Feature First Published in The Lady, May 2012. Copyright Alison Jane Reid/Mike Owen/Eyevine.com

 

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about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?



One response to “Poldark Star Eleanor Tomlinson Stars in Cecil Beaton Fashion Story”

  1. Андрей says:

    Прекрасные снимки, полезная информация.

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