The Best of Flair

This highly sought-after volume detailing one of the most influential magazines of the twentieth century is now back in print at a newly affordable price. In 1950, Fleur Cowles established what would become one of the most important and talked about magazines ever created. Critically lauded for its sharp mix of clothes, literature, art, travel, decor, theater, and humor, Flair made publishing history with its combination of eclectic editorial content and lavish production quality. Recalled as "the first magazine that became an art form," The Best of Flair is a compilation of the magazine’s best content as chosen by the woman who created it. Along with its distinctive production values, Flair also features interviews and contributions from some of the most noted artists and celebrities of the past fifty years, including Lucian Freud, Jean Cocteau, Tallulah Bankhead, Saul Steinberg, Salvador Dalí, Simone de Beauvoir, Walker Evans, James Michener, Ogden Nash, Gypsy Rose Lee, Clare Boothe Luce, George Bernard Shaw, John O’Hara, Margaret Mead, and Tennessee Williams. Now, more than ten years after this book was first published by Rizzoli, and more than fifty years after the magazine ceased publication, this facsimile edition offers the same ingenious bookmaking of its predecessor, including multiple gatefolds with die-cuts, booklets, and accordion folder leaflets.

About The Author

Fleur Cowles (1908–2009) was an American artist, editor, and writer best known for her pioneering and influential work at Flair. Dominick Dunne (1925–2009) was an American writer and investigative journalist best known for his contributions to Vanity Fair magazine as well as his true crime novels.

  • Publish Date: September 02, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - History - General
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-3/4 x 13
  • Pages: 338
  • US Price: $125.00
  • CDN Price: $125.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4395-4


“This newly affordable archive features greatest hits from one of the most groundbreaking (and short-lived) fashion magazines of all time. It’s about a close as you can come as giving the gift of time travel — at least, for the ultimate fashion nerd." –New York Magazine

“If you have only heard of but never experienced the pleasure of perusing Flair then you are in for one of the greatest reading experiences…This epic volume is a love letter to all who love reading magazines and still long for the meatiness and richness of the content of yesteryear. As if the extremely intelligent and varied subject matter was not enough to mesmerize the reader, there is the element of presentation that catapults Flair into rarefied territory that has never since been explored and will probably never ever even be dreamt of today. There are not enough superlatives to offer when speaking of this book so if you have esthetic leanings or interest in almost any cultural aspect of life, then, this book is essential to all those who consider themselves cultivated and sophisticated. For once, this reviewer was not only wildly impressed but actually rendered slack jawed and speechless.” –New York Journal of Books

"...a remarkable incarnation of Flair's greatest hits..." –Women’s Wear Daily

The Best of Flair…re-creates the interactive magazine the best it can without scent strips.” –Vanity Fair

“…a re-edition of The Best of Flair, a heavy volume, which, much like the magazine version, features the die-cut covers, the booklets, the colorful illustrations and the interviews and essays of many boldfaced names from the worlds of art, fashion, literature and society.” –

Must-Have Coffee Table Book. In 1950, editor Fleur Cowles founded Flair magazine, a sumptuous publication that combined fanciful editorial content with contributions by cultural giants like Salvador Dalí, Ogden Nash, and Lucian Freud. This month Rizzoli reissues a book of the magazine's most memorable pages, complete with vibrant die-cut gatefolds and encased in a stylish scarlet box.” –Harpers Bazaar

"Fleur Cowles, artist and visionary, published Flair magazine in the fifties, and devotées covet and collect these precious few issues. The ideas on each page are original, to this day. They also portray a cultural decade, an insider look at writers and artists like Lucian Freud and Truman Capote who were emerging at that time. Along with its distinctive design elements—die-cut covers, special papers, embossing, bound-in booklets—The Best of Flair also features interviews and contributions from provocative and noted artists and celebrities of the past fifty years, including the ultra- ubiquitous Jean Cocteau, Tallulah Bankhead, Saul Steinberg, Salvador Dalí…You might say it was everyone who was anyone.” –The Style Saloniste