Slim Aarons started out photographing war – but his greatest assignment was in the trenches of fashion

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Men In 1954, just around Christmas, photographer Slim Aarons traveled to Miami Beach with a magazine assignment. Holiday.. From the promenade, he found an umbrella shaped like a Christmas tree planted in the sand next to the chaise longue. The scene was gold, but it took people to come back to life. Aarons took action. At the time, there was no modeling agency in Miami, but there was Burdines, a luxury retailer where models try on clothes for interested customers. Aaron sought guidance from the fashion coordinator. The fashion coordinator recommended model Mary Baru Stevenson, who worked at the store’s coffee shop.

Aarons asked Barrow if he could meet him on the beach, wearing a swimsuit with a few minutes to spare. The model agreed. By the time she came down, Aarons had a camera and a tripod in her coral dress and hat. Immediately he gave her instructions and took some pictures. Meanwhile, a man happened to pass by the promenade. Aarons also recruited him and asked him to lie down in another lounge chair in the background. The man responded. After a few more snaps, Aarons thanked his two models and let them go. He had a shot – Barrow lay on a chaise longue, his hat flipped slightly over her face, and the mysterious man rested on his deckchair. Between the two is a dissonant Christmas tree umbrella and an even more mysterious pile of gifts on a small table.

According to the author Shawn Waldron, who spoke with Ballou, it all took 15 minutes. That’s all Aarons needed to create a definition of arrest photo. It’s still a fascinating photo 67 years later. “It was slim,” says Waldron. Independent Telephone conversation. “He just packed up and went on.”

The hired model poses in 1961 in the latest collection by the young Greek couturier Dimitris Kritzas in the pillars of the Poseidon Temple in Sunion. This is one of Aarons’ last photo shoots by the hired model.

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

Debutante CZ Guest with Great Dane at Family Home in Palm Beach, Florida in 1955

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

American fashion designer James Galanos with supermodel Dovima in a New York atelier in 1960.

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

A veteran of the U.S. Army, who started out as a combat photographer, Aaron’s is famous for his photographs that capture the lives of celebrities, social celebrities, and celebrities. Aarons himself said he wanted to take pictures of “attractive people doing fascinating things in fascinating places.” Many of his subjects included household names such as Salvador Dali, Jackie Kennedy, and Louis Armstrong.However, a conversation with Waldron, the curator of Getty Images, the manager of the Aarons archive, and the co-author of the newly released book. Slim Aarons: Style, Shows the implications of Aarons’ work depth and his quest for beauty.

Aarons claimed to have been born on October 19, 1916 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and raised as an orphan. It wasn’t until 2016 that the documentary revealed that it wasn’t exactly true. His mother was institutionalized for mental illness when he was a child. According to Waldron, his father “essentially abandoned his family,” and his brother died of suicide. “There was a lot of conflict,” says Waldron. Aarons joined the army at an early age and was a war photographer during World War II.

Those years shaped Aarons’ technology over the years to come. According to Waldron, photography gave structure to his life. Working on a mission has grown the eyes of a reportage that defines his style for the rest of his career. Aarons witnessed a horrific event and returned from a traumatic war. Aarons needed something else while other photographers chose to continue working in the combat zone.

“When the Korean War began, he was asked if he wanted to continue his mission with other photojournalist dispatched,” Waldron says. “And he jokingly said,” The only beach I land on would have blonde hair and a bikini. ” It downplays it, but it speaks of his spirit and where he came from. “

Named “Kings of Hollywood,” this photo features Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper, and James Stewart at a New Year’s party at the legendary Beverly Hills restaurant Romanovs in 1957.

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

Nony Phipps, a friend and heir in Biarritz, France in 1960

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

The guest was filmed at the Kaufman House in 1970, designed by architect Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, California.

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

The fashion show will be held poolside in 1961 at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

(Slim Aarons / Getty Images)

Aarons sparkled the camera lens, but did not lose the journalist’s instinct. By the end of his career, he sought out a place for a few days without even picking up the camera. He spent that time talking to people and getting a sense of action. “He will feel what’s going on. Where are people going to eat? What’s the good side of the mountain? When does it look good?” Waldron says. “It’s just himself going to shops and restaurants and talking to Maître d’Hôtel, waiters and bartenders. He has always laid the foundation.”

Aarons put himself in a position to snap and perform memorable shots such as Barrow, an unnamed man, and a Christmas tree umbrella within minutes as he explored the surroundings. Many of his photographs are at the mysterious crossroads between poses and candidness. His subjects are aware of his presence and they often pose, but even at those moments they do not appear to be in full control. They are the subject under the Aarons lens. “He was an editorial photographer,” says Waldron. “He was a photojournalist at first. For a man with this vibrant voice, who was 6 feet 4 inches, he was very good at being a wall fly.”

“Slim Aarons: Style” by Shawn Aldron and Kate Betts celebrates Aarons’ work.

(Abrams Books)

Slim Aarons exhibition held in New York City on April 12, 2018

(Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

View of photos featured at Slim Aarons’ exhibition on April 12, 2018 in New York City

(Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

Some of Aarons’s photos are more formal than others, but the people in front of his camera are dressed in their own clothes and posing in their own environment. Aarons worked almost alone, probably with one assistant, but no stylist or hair and makeup artist. Ask someone to style your camera and it will reveal something. It’s also a way to reveal not only how they see themselves, but also how they want to be seen.

Aarons died in 2006 in Montrose, New York. New York Times He captured his charm of “winning the trust of jet setters and movie stars” and the fleeting golden image of his favorite subject acting in an almost unimaginable privacy today. I praised his work in obituary.

It was Aarons’ sense of humanity towards Waldron that made Aarons stand out and made his work able to withstand the challenges of time. “He was always looking for human moments,” says Waldron. “And he turned to timeless quality,” Aaron’s added, citing fashion designer Michael Kors, who he spoke for the book, talking about style, not fashion. .. “Fashion is tied to time, but style is eternal,” he says.

Slim Aarons: Styles released by Slim Aarons, Shawn Waldron and Kate Betts (Abrams, £ 60 / $ 85)

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