Friday, March 26, 2010

Slim Aarons

Thanks to our Rio getaway and the tease of springtime that hit us upon our return to NYC last week we haven’t stopped daydreaming of hot, dry summers spent sunbathing poolside or longboard surfing in Newport Taking our daydreaming further into the depths of fantasy we wish we could turn back the clock and head to Acapulco circa 1960 to catch our mothers in flowered bathing caps, sunning on lounge chairs as they dipped their toes in the racquet club pool. Or maybe we’d screw the beach scene and take advantage of the last few minutes of winter by heading to vintage Vail or Stowe, only to catch the rays atop a serene, snow-capped peak.

Mad Men was obviously inspired when they plopped Don and Pete in the middle of 1960’s L.A. and Palm Springs in Season 2, Episode 11. It was these iconic photos by Slim Aarons that Matt Weiner brought to life on the small screen. Slim is the name behind a large body of work that captured beautiful people in beautiful places enjoying the beauty of life and leisure, spanning about five decades. Born in Manhattan in 1916, George Allen Aarons set up an office for Life magazine in Rome after WWII, in which he won a Purple Heart after serving as an army photographer in combat, thus igniting his career and lifestyle. Often the portraitist yet more often the fly on the wall, he was one of them, taking holidays on the coast of France, Italy, Greece, Portgual, Spain, Bahamas, Scottsdale, Palm Springs/Beach, Lake Tahoe and wintering in Gstaad, Stowe, Klosters, Vail and Verbier. His portraits of celebrities and society's elite are recognizable to us all, and they made TLF linger just a little bit longer as we wondered of parallel realities where Chinese pagodas and Grecian columns were the norm on long ago seaside estates. Below are some of our favorite shots, beachy and non-beachy alike. Despite their distance from the resorts, we couldn’t help but include his famous candid scenes from the stables at Foxcroft along with the shooting party on a misty morning.

Bailey's Beach, Newport
Kaufman House, Palm Springs
Eden Roc
Fontainebleu, Miami
Barefoot Mrs. Atwood
shooting party, Vienna
Acapulco, facing old Acapulco
Foxcroft School, MIddleburg, VA
Lake Tahoe
Oscar de la Renta, Dominican Republic
Mr. Slim Aarons

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