The eight most iconic fashion photographs, ever

Fashion changes with the times, but there are always those iconic shots that continue to shape, define and transform the dynamic fashion industry. From Irving Penn and Melvin Sokolsky to Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon, these famous fashion photographers have both captured the culture of their day and revolutionised fashion as we know it today. 

These photographs have graced the covers of magazines, decorated the pages of fashion's most prestigious publications, been recreated time and time again, and continue to be the frontrunners of all things fashion. 

Feast your eyes on a slice of fashion history with these eight iconic photographs:

The Bubble Girl, Paris by Melvin Sokolsky

Image from American Photo

This dreamy image was captured for the 1963 spring collection fashion editorial in Harper's Bazaar and is definitely a photograph ahead of its time. Shot by Melvin Sokolsky and inspired by Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights painting, this surreal photograph of model Simone d'Aillencourt floating above the River Seine is one out of the creative series. The plexiglass bubble was hung from a crane in various locations around Paris and, believe it or not, there was no Photoshop involved. 


Kate Moss, London by Mario Testino

Image from Artsy

Peruvian photographer Mario Testino has shot a lot of models for an impressive range of magazines over his career, but perhaps his most unplanned photograph is this shot of supermodel Kate Moss applying lipstick in an unknown bathroom. Moss is an icon in herself, but this 2006 photograph captures her timeless, baby-faced beauty perfectly. Another one of our favourite Testino shoots is his Olympic fever series featuring model Gigi Hadid and Olympic decathlete Ashton Eaton. 


Twiggy by Barry Lategan

Image from Paddle 8

This 1966 photograph of British cultural icon Twiggy launched her into the title 'The Face of 1966.' Her pixie cut, bold lashes, well-arched brows and doe eyes captured the hearts of many and brought an androgynous look to the forefront of fashion. This photograph series captured the beauty trends of the sixties and continues to influence fashion editorial and runway makeup looks today. 


Le Smoking by Helmut Newton

Image from The Culture Trip

Helmut Newton's Le Smoking photograph was shot for French Vogue in 1975. This iconic image features a model standing in a Parisian alleyway wearing a tuxedo from the Yves Saint Laurent autumn/winter 'Pop Art' collection. This photograph was a controversial statement of femininity marking YSL stepping away from the little black dress to the infamous tuxedo. Monochromatic, moody and hazy, this photograph was one of the French photographer's most iconic of his career. 


Alice in Wonderland by Annie Leibovitz

Image from Vogue

This shoot was done in collaboration with Grace Coddington and was labelled as one of the most ambitious shoots of her Vogue career. The character of Alice was modelled by Natalia Vodianova with her doll-like, expressive features, and Alice's story was told through the pages of Vogue. This 2003 unforgettable editorial brilliantly captured both fashion and fantasy. 


Dovima with Elephants by Richard Avedon

Image from Pinterest

The 1955 photograph of creative contrasts, elegant poses, a dainty Dovima, and three trained elephants was a marker in Avedon's successful career. Taken in Paris, this photograph was showcasing Christian Dior's latest collection modelled by one of Vogue's highest paid models. While this iconic image captures elegance and youthful beauty, it also suggests the idea of a restricted life and old age stress through the chained, wrinkled elephants. With this shot, Avedon took fashion out of the studio - something that hadn't previously been done before. 


The Power of the White Shirt by Peter Lindbergh

Image from Vogue

Credited with launching the supermodel era, German photographer Lindbergh knows how to capture fashion so simply, yet so beautifully. Grace Mirabella, then editor-in-chief of Vogue, was not impressed with this 1988 shot of the soon-to-be supermodels Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and friends. Yet, when Anna Wintour took over as editor-in-chief six months later she said that she would have given Lindbergh the front cover and 20 pages for this series as it was the 'future' of fashion. 


Bee by Irving Penn

Image from The Guardian

Photographed for a cosmetic surgery story in Vogue, this 1995 photograph is amongst Penn's most iconic photographs of his career. This shot is an exploration of the phrase 'bee-stung lips' as cosmetic surgery began to gain popularity in the late '90s. Penn's Bee photograph has been recreated several times, most notably on the February 2012 cover of Interview magazine featuring Lana Del Ray. 

Photo credits: American Photo, Artsy, Paddle 8, The Culture Trip, Vogue, Pinterest, The Guardian.