When it comes to the picture-perfect photographs of Slim Aarons, what you see is what you get. There’s no hidden message, and certainly no need to stare deeply into the high-society eyes captured in his flashy shots. It’s just “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places,” as the 20th-century American photographer said of his own work. And it never ceases to appeal.
“A family outing in a streamlined sixties amphibious car? Um, yes please!” writes Jonathan Adler, owner of the eponymous home-interiors business, in the foreword to the new book Slim Aarons: Style, with text by former Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts and photography curator Shawn Waldron. “Here was a world,” Adler writes, “that combined design with fun, optimism, color, and spontaneous glamour.” So what if this world was unattainable for just about everybody? A girl—or guy!—can dream.
The volume, published by Abrams Books, offers a comprehensive collection of the photographer’s most stylish work, featuring Marisa Berenson, Jacqueline de Ribes, C. Z. Guest, Nan Kempner, Lilly Pulitzer, Gianni Versace, and others, in never-before-seen images. Dream away. —Julia Vitale