Legendary lensman Edward Steichen vastly varied his subject matter—from horticulture to naval combat—throughout his lengthy, illustrious career. When he turned his camera on the worlds of fashion and celebrity as chief photographer for Condé Nast from 1923 to 1938, he produced some of the era's freshest and most glamorous portraits and fashion editorial images. Case in point: This image of four models leisurely sitting on a yacht, dressed in fashionably loose-shouldered jackets, skirts, and cloches from the July 15, 1928, Vogue.
This photograph alludes to a carefree cruise scene, but the setting was actually created in a studio. A model reclines under a large-brimmed pink sun hat. Cigarette in hand, she rests her red espadrille-clad feet on a rail resembling a ship's mast. A pair of raffia shoes, a red silk scarf, and eyeglasses hang from the rail. The John Rawlings photograph, one of thousands created by the fashion photographer during his 30 years with Condé Nast, appeared in the January 1, 1944, Vogue. Rawlings created more than 200 Vogue and Glamour covers and numerous feature photographs during the mid-20th century.
Mme. Mathieu St. Laurent with Son Yves
An intimate familial moment between legendary Yves Saint Laurent and his mother, Madame Mathieu Saint Laurent, was captured by photographer Willy Rizzo. At the time, Monsieur Saint Laurent was working for Christian Dior, following Dior's death. Naturally, the young designer's mother is wearing a Dior cocktail dress with a pin on the back shoulder. The image appeared in the April 15, 1960, Vogue.
Marisa Berenson in Indian Tunic
Superstar model Marisa Berenson lounges on the floor of an all-white studio. Clad in a mauve lamé Indian tunic-and-pants set by Chanel, she manages to look exotic in the most mundane of locales. Berenson's ability to transform herself into a number of characters became her legacy. Gianni Penati's photograph appeared in the January 1, 1969, Vogue.
The 1960s was an era for innovation in both fashion and beauty. A model's lace-shadowed eye—created by makeup artist Pablo for Elizabeth Arden—in this Bert Stern portrait from the December 1, 1964, Vogue is a perfect example. The silver hammered-silk cap is by Halston.
Model Jerry Hall (at left) and another model walk the beach holding the bridles of their dappled gray horses. Horses of Spanish and Arabian descent commonly carry this coloring. Stan Malinowski's photograph appeared in the December 1977 Vogue.
Jean Patchett in Bathing Suit
Thanks to a stunning use of light, this photograph could double as a painting. Model Jean Patchett wears a pale pink velveteen bathing suit with a high Empire waist and finished with romper pants. The entire room is infused with the blush hue, and the floor virtually absorbs its color. Horst P. Horst's romantic photograph appeared in the December 2, 1955, Vogue.
Frances McLaughlin-Gill's photograph, which appeared in the December 1, 1946, Vogue, features a model with her hair pulled back by a clip. She wears a low-cut crocheted evening sweater, her back curved and her body turned away from the camera. In terms of composition, this work harks back to early-20th-century portraiture, but given the model's unconventional pose, it captures a rare moment indeed.