A TALE OF SOPHISTICATION
In 1913, publisher Condé Nast launched Vanity Fair, a magazine that would celebrate the culture, politics, lifestyle and humour of the world's 'smart set'. In the publication's mission statement, editor Frank Crowninshield clearly revelled in that world: 'Young men and young women, full of courage, originality, and genius, are everywhere to be met with.'
The magazine discovered or lent invaluable support to such varied names as Dorothy Parker, E. E. Cummings, Noël Coward, Gertrude Stein, P. G. Wodehouse, Cecil Beaton and Man Ray, and frequently reproduced works by the likes of Matisse and Picasso long before anyone in the mainstream press would dare.
Vanity Fair's famous philosophy of mixing up classes, races and sexes - as long as they were innovative, gorgeous or talented - was reflected in the dazzling and elegant magazine covers from such hugely influential designers as Paolo Garretto, William Cotton and Eduardo Garcia Benito. These covers are now a memorial to a world of glamour and excitement, gone - but not forgotten.
Selected by Graydon Carter