The Cecil Beaton Gown That Inspired Ulyana Sergeenko's Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

Cecil Beaton’s off-the-shoulder gown -- worn in "My Fair Lady" -- may have inspired a black satin dress that appeared in the Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Ulyana Sergeenko, the Russian couture patron cum couture designer.
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Cecil Beaton’s off-the-shoulder gown -- worn in "My Fair Lady" -- may have inspired a black satin dress that appeared in the Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Ulyana Sergeenko, the Russian couture patron cum couture designer.

Blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration -- be it art, photography or design -- behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

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In 1956, Cecil Beaton costumed the debut broadway production of My Fair Lady, which would earn the prolific photographer and costumer designer a Tony for Best Costume Design. Two years later, Beaton would design the costumes for another -- this time on-screen -- musical, Gigi. Both musicals were rag-to-riches tales inspired by Pygmalion that ended with splendid Beaton gowns. In the film, Gigi’s transformation is materialized as she appears in a white satin winged gown for dinner in fin-desiècle Paris.

If visual evidence is anything to go by, Beaton’s off-the-shoulder gown appears to have inspired a black satin dress that appeared in the Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Ulyana Sergeenko, the Russian couture patron cum couture designer.