Cecil Beaton, The New Soft Look © 1951 by The Condé Nast Publications.
Every so often, a painter has to destroy painting. Cezanne did it, Picasso did it with cubism. Then Pollock did it. He busted our idea of a picture all to hell. Then there could be new paintings again. (Willem de Kooning, 1956)
On March 1, 1951 Vogue magazine published four pages of photographs by Cecil Beaton, in which two models showed the latest fashion creations in front of Jackson Pollock’s Lavender Mist, Number 28, Number 27, and Autumn Rhythm. The Vogue photographs exemplify the dichotomy of American culture in the 1950s: the contrast between Pollock’s paintings and the dresses emphasized the split between conformity within Cold War culture and the avant-garde modernism of post-war America. When Christian Dior introduced his New Look shortly after WWII, bringing back the corseted hour-glass-figure look, as well as lavish skirts…
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