Slim’s Women

Photographer Slim Aarons captured the women of leisure, at leisure.

There are few names in photography that transcend their images: Beaton, Avedon, Newton, Ritts. Behind the unflinching lens of their cameras, these iconic names captured reality as they saw it. For Slim Aarons, that reality was luxurious, blue-blooded, and focused on the feminine. Born in 1916, Aarons joined the army as a photographer during World War II, where his images of European battlefields captured the eyes of Life magazine editors. But Aarons would grow weary of carnage and despair, opting to spend the majority of his life after the war documenting the world of wealth, elegance, and leisure. Whether it was C.Z. Guest by her pool in Palm Beach or Babe Paley at her Jamaican cottage, Aarons trained his lens on the international sophisticate. By the time his editors at Life wanted him to shoot the Korean War, Aarons quipped, “I’ll only do a beach if it has a blonde on it.”

After a long career at Harper’s Bazaar, Holiday, Travel & Leisure, and Town & Country magazines, Aarons published A Wonderful Time in 1974. Though a flop at the time of its original run, the book would become the gold standard for art directors, fashion designers, and interior decorators for its rendition of a bygone era of prestige and privilege. Aarons passed away in 2006, at the age of 89, but his legacy continues to inspire new generations of photographers, writers, and editors. Recently Abrams Books published Slim Aarons: Women, a tribute to the subjects at the center of his career. These extraordinary images aren’t just glamorous, but they provide a look at the muses that inspired Aarons’ most incredible photographs.

Slim Aarons Women Book

Slim Aarons: Women with text by Laura Hawk.

Austrian Actress Mara Lane

The Austrian actress Mara Lane at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, 1954.

Caribe Hilton In San Juan

At the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1956.

Canellopoulos Penthouse Pool

Around the Canellopoulos penthouse pool, Athens, 1961.

Villa Vera Hotel

The Villa Vera Hotel & Racquet Club pool bar, Acapulco, 1961.

Great Escape Book

Featured on the cover of his Great Escapes book.

© All photos courtesy of Slim Aarons/Getty Images

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