La rotonde de l'Opera de Paris in 1950. ® Atelier Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau has become synonymous with fly-on-the-wall street scenes. The very whisper of the lauded photographer’s name is enough to conjure his iconic snapshot of two lovers kissing with abandon in post-war Paris. And yet few are aware of his brief brush with haute couture as Vogue’s resident shutterbug.

Robert Doisneau: The Vogue Years

During his four-year spell with the fashion magazine, he haunted glamorous balls, snapping a beau monde emerging undaunted in the wake of WWII, slunk unseen at the Opera and even captured a gamine Brigitte Bardot’s tentative forays into stardom.

Approaching this exclusive world of privilege, and excess, with the same humanist tack as the humble workadays of his intimate street tableaux, he teased fantasy and surprising candour from his models; revealing the unbridled spirit of the era. This is a rare window into the man behind the camera – as complex and emblematic as the people and places he so thoughtfully immortalised.

Robert Doisneau: The Vogue Years, List price £45, Published by Flammarion

From France Today magazine

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