March 9, 2011

Beaton’s My Fair Lady’s Costumes

I found a group of limited imprints of six of the costumes that Cecil Beaton designed for the film, My Fair Lady, in 1964. Beaton won an Academy Award for Best Colour Costume for his designs, which remain classic today.

I thought it would be fun to look at the sketches and then the finished product. I think that this is the most well-known of the dresses from MFL. It’s the dress that was worn in the black and white scenes at Ascot.

scan0169 My Fair Lady Ascot

Probably one of the most pivotal scenes is at the Ball, when Eliza dances with the prince in this spectacular dress.

scan0170 My Fair Lady Ball

This is the Prince’s mummy, who is wearing a gorgeous tone-on-tone purple gown with a green sash and elbow-length gloves. Of course the most incredible thing about her costume is her hair and headpiece.


My Fair Lady1

I can’t remember the scene where Eliza wore this dress… can you?

scan0171 My Fair Lady14

There are two other sketches that I can’t find the film images for. If you know what scenes they’re in, or who they are, let me know and I’ll add them to the mix.

scan0172 scan0174

I do love this movie! It, along with Mary Poppins, is one of my all-time favourites! What are yours?


  1. I never watched Mary Poppins with Julie Andrues (there was no Holliwood movies for children in USSR in my childhood), but we have our own Mary Poppins with Natalia Andreichenko - with all-time songs and best USSR actors.
    I love MFL to, but it been shown us much later than 1964))

  2. What an extraordinary tiara for the prince's mummy - it's almost satanic - but perhaps that was the intention. I can't remember her in the story, but it was a lovely movie, as I recall, which would be fun to watch again all these years later, when I'm so much older!

  3. Meg! These are amazing! Audrey Hepburn is my favorite Actress. Could the picture on the left be the Pink Dress Audrey wore in My Fair Lady?

    Katie (Davids Daughter)

  4. My mom and I were just talking about his costume design! Wonderful post, I love seeing the sketches!

  5. One has to be truly svelte to carry off a white dress that has large horizontal black bars across the hip area! Ms. Hepburn carries it perfectly.

    My favorites? Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" (also a wonderland of fashion design), "Original Sin" (ditto), and "Dangerous Liaisons" (triple ditto!)

  6. Re: the fourth dress featured- what I might like even more than the dress is that floor!

  7. INCREDIBLE!!! Where on earth did you find these? Loved every single frame!!! TOTAL GOODNESS!!

  8. The last three were worn by the ladies at the theater at the beginning of the movie. Interesting note...I believe the Quenn of Transylvania was played by a true Rothschild. I can't remember what family line but sort of trivia i love.

  9. These are amazing!! I love costume sketches.
    My favorite is My Fair Lady in the category of musicals and Brigadoon.

  10. The prints are from the VHS deluxe boxed set. I'm lucky enough to have purchased it when it came out in the early 90's. Along with the prints, it came with a piece of the film stock, and a great book by Cecil Beaton. He talks about the many photos he took of Audrey in various costumes from My Fair Lady - both hers, and extra's costumes. That fourth one is from that photo shoot.


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