Just the mention of dear “Slim” brings a smile to my face.
When he began his career in the late 1940s, Slim Aarons famously stated that, after the sadness of World War II, his main goal was to “photograph attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” And that he did, a phenomenon I would witness firsthand when visiting sweet Slim—then late into his journey—for lunch at his home in Katonah, New York. Countless photos, contact sheets, proofs, and even more photos of his proclaimed “attractive people” were strewn about Slim’s old Yankee farmhouse, along with a collection of straw hats and a stash of Canada Dry ginger ale. We would eat smoked salmon and sip bouillon, with Slim occasionally donning one of his brightly colored ascots before sitting down at the small kitchen table. He was ever the charming cad, even into his late eighties.
In the course of his career, Slim created a new style of “social photojournalism” that held true to his postwar affirmation. Among the many (“attractive”) subjects captured in his uniquely comfortable photo shoots and essays, the most magnetic were the women…Slim’s women! Laura Hawk, the gifted author of Slim Aarons: Women (Abrams) is a seasoned freelance journalist who traveled extensively with Slim on magazine and book projects for more than two decades. In her stunning new book, she explores the principal subject of Slim’s expansive career: the extraordinary women from the top rungs of society, fashion, the fine arts, and show business who became the recurrent focus of Slim’s iconic and unforgettable photos.
Slim Aarons: Women presents those legendary ladies and hostesses who most influenced his life’s work, plus a multitude of historic personalities whom he photographed along the way, including the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Diana Vreeland, and Marilyn Monroe—all personally documented in Hawk’s near diary-like recollections that accompany Slim’s treasured photographs. This captivating book contains more than 200 images, most of which have not appeared in Slim’s prior tomes, along with deliciously detailed captions and prose by one of his closest and most trusted colleagues. Exhibiting beautiful women in some of the most sensational and private venues around the globe, Slim Aarons: Women is an insider’s look at the fresh-faced, athletic, well-bred, and authentic muses who inspired Slim’s most remarkable and enduring work. What’s more, the author’s stories behind the lens are so intimate and well told that you can almost hear the constant click of Slim’s famed Leica. Slim Aarons: Women can be purchased for $85 on amazon.com.