Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slim Aarons and the Beautiful People

I love the work of Slim Aarons. He perfectly captured the jet set era of the 50s and 60s. His subjects were primarily the upscale and wealthy, from young Hollywood starlets to Pucci-clad Italian princesses and WASPy American socialites. His photos have this amazing combination of day-in-the-life and other worldliness. Let’s be clear though, through Slim’s lense, this is aslice of life like none we mere mortals have ever lived! It has been said that he perfected the “environmental portrait,” so rather than having his subjects pose in the traditional stiff, formal manner, he featured people in their natural environment. I think Slim said it best, he photographed "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places." I love that. (I also love how I keep calling him Slim, like we were best pals or something…haha.) Such a great way to have documented this lost era of style. 
His images have been very influential on modern day photographers—his work is often imitated, but nothing beats the real deal.

The brilliant Babe Paley chillin' by the pool in 1959. I love old socialite names...

This is one of his most famous pieces, featuring American socialite CZ Guest wandering poolside with her little boy and their pups.

"Two bikini-clad holidaymakers enjoy a glass of wine outside the Carlton Hotel, Cannes."
Hmmm, is a holidaymaker like a freshmaker?

This must have been closer to the early 70s...the swingin' young crowd. The credits for this image are awesome:
Circa 1970, British photographer Lord Lichfield holding a Hasselblad camera. On his arm is Marina Lante della Rovere, to the left is Ines Torlonia, and reclining is Signoria Gancia, Porto Ercole, Italy.

Please note the gentleman's pants and the dogs on the Rolls. Genius.

This dapper gent kills rich, so orange!

Truman Capote "relaxes with a book and a cigarette".

Yes. It's Joan Collins. And oh yes. Her poodle is pink.

Mexican film starlet Dolores Del Rio and her itsy bitsy teeny weeny bandeau top.

This is exactly how I take my bed, with my monocle. FABULOUS!
Sigh. I really  adore that Slim Aarons fella. What an eye! Don't you agree??

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  1. Oh yes, I DO agree. Fabulous work by your friend Slim. I love the colour in those images. The first shot is so great! I have to say though that the one of Dolores is freaking me out.

  2. i've always wanted a monocle and a cigarette holder.

  3. i was just eating these images up with a spoon. a big fat one, too.

    and then i get to the last line (brilliantly funny, i might add) and i just lost it.

    "how i take my breakfast"
    alex, you are good, my friend.

  4. soo cool, I wish my holidays were that glamorous!