"Snowdon's arresting images showed a variety of people, all famous in their own fields, wearing clothes that did not fix them in date or place, nor pervert the body. From architect Tadao Ando, through singer Joan Armatrading, to the late British sculptor Elisabeth Frink, the actress Maggie Smith, and the ballerina Antoinette Sibley, this was an extraordinary group of artistic individuals whom [Issey] Miyake dressed and Snowdon photographed to bring out the depth of each personality. The garments framed the face, shown without artifice or vanity, at the still depth of each personality." Writes Vogue international editor Suzy Menkes in a new book published by Rizzoli that celebrates the work of Lord Snowdon, AKA Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, the First Earl of Snowdon – and one of the most iconic, glamorous portrait photographer and filmmakers of the 1960s.

"This is an extraordinary group of artistic individuals whom [Issey] Miyake dressed and Snowdon photographed to bring out the depth of each personality." – Suzy Menkes

Lord Snowdon was married to Princess Margaret, younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, and during the height of his career was the artistic advisor of the Sunday Times Magazine in England, with his work published in the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair on a regular basis.

Snowdon book

Prince Charles and Princess Anne, 1956

Snowdon book

Vita Sackville-West, 1961

Snowdon book

Azzedine Alaïa, 1990

Snowdon book

Alber Elbaz 2003

Snowdon book

Gianni Versace, 1990

The 84-year-old is currently the topic of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London – two rooms full of his work exhibited until June next year in support of a new book thanks to Rizzoli, titled Lord Snowdon: Life in View. He was joined by Menkes, Jude Law, the title's editor Lady Frances von Hofmannsthal and Charles Miers of Rizzoli this week to launch the celebration.

Snowdon book

John Galliano, 2004

Snowdon book

The designer Yves Saint Laurent during a fitting

Snowdon book

Frances Armstrong Jones, 1989

Other contributors include Grace Coddington who talks about the early years at Vogue, when she was personally photographed by Snowdon in 1959. The book includes images of a young Alaïa and Alber Elbaz; a jubilant Gianni Versace; and always flamboyant John Galliano. A must read, must visit combination, we're sure you'll agree.

A look at Rizzoli's 'Snowdon: A Life in View'

 

Snowdon driving a car with his wife, Princess Margaret, by Marina Cicogna