Slim Aarons’s 8 Best Wintertime Photographs

Since it’s fall, I’m of course already thinking about winter and Christmas. Typically, we think of Slim Aarons as the iconic leisure photographer. With mostly beach scenes featuring California celebrities and socialites, it’s easy to forget some classics. Let’s remember these eight favorites:

1. Kings of Hollywood, December 31, 1957
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Left to Right: lark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart
The is definitively the shot Slim Aarons is most famous for. It’s been highly celebrated since it was taken. First of all, it’s candid. Second of all, the are our dream men. It’s the glamour and sophistication of old Hollywood charm, combined with a devil-may-care lifestyle. You wish you could have a NYE like this.

2. Christmas Swim, 1954
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In this photo, Rita Aarons, wife of Slim, is pictured collecting Christmas bulbs in the couples’ California pool. The concept is hilarious. Such a huge tree actually sitting in a pool is strange. But, leave it to a renown photographer to show up your Christmas card.

3. Princess Bianca, 1985
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This frame is the kind of thing all winters should be about. Princess Bianca Hanau-Schaumburg sits at her Gstaad chalet enjoying a glass of champagne in the snow. Plus, that 80’s snow suit is so on point.

4. Verbier Vacation, 1964
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I love this photograph because it’s so typical of Aarons’s style, but with snow. There’s a poem by H.P. Lovecraft that said “the stars emit a kinder light, above the drifted snow” and it reminds me of this.

5 and 6. Winter Wear, Cortina d’Ampezzo, March 1976
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These two favorites are from a trip Manuela Bormanero and friends took to the , Cortina d’Ampezzo resort during the winter of 1976 in Northern Italy. The absurdity of hosting and catering a dinner party in the snow is so completely absurd to me, but I’d absolutely love to do it.

7. Bacall and Bogart, December 24, 1951
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This is a very rare moment captured on film. The love story or Bogie and Bacall is truly captivating. Lauren was one of the first movie stars I ever fell in love with. Her look, her chin tilt, and her sparkling eyes are actual genetic perfection.

“My son tells me, ‘Do you realize you are the last one? The last person who was an eyewitness to the golden age?’ Young people, even in Hollywood, ask me, ‘Were you really married to Humphrey Bogart?’ ‘Well, yes, I think I was,’ I reply. You realize yourself when you start reflecting—because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are—that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks. I could show you some, but I’d have to climb ladders, and I can’t climb.”
-Lauren Bacall, 2011, Vanity Fair

8. Beauty and the Beast, 1959
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I think this picture is so beautiful and so badass. It’s Lady Daphne Cameron (Mrs George Cameron) on a tiger skin rug in the trophy room of socialite Laddie Sanford’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. I couldn’t find a record of the month it was taken, so I’m not sure about how well it fits on a “winter” list, but I felt like I could let it slide. What’s life without a few mysteries?

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