Has anyone ever climbed society so beautifully as Cecil Beaton? Everywhere he went—and the photographer, illustrator, writer, and production designer threw open the doors of fashion, royalty, Hollywood, Broadway, and more—Beaton, born to an English family that was almost-but-not-exactly posh, managed to refashion it to suit his very sharp eye. And Love, Cecil, a documentary out this week by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, is a potent reminder of Beaton’s talent and prodigious capacity for beauty. From the 20’s through his death in 1980, at the age of 76, we see Beaton master any aesthetics that he encountered: In Hollywood, he was responsible for the wonderland look and costumes of My Fair Lady; in fashion, he was one of Conde Nast’s dynamos in fashion and celebrity photography as well as illustration; in London society, his pictures translated the fantasy of the Bright Young Things for posterity. Vreeland, whose husband is the grandson of Diana Vreeland (who turns up in the film), does record the low points, too—namely, when an anti-Semitic slur in one of his magazine illustrations got Beaton shunned from Conde Nast for a spell. But even then, his rebound was grand, with Beaton becoming Queen Elizabeth‘s trusted photographer for many years. Here, a look at some of the famous names that fell under his eye over a life spectacularly lived.