Staley Wise Gallery Slim Aarons

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By Valerie Siebert For 18:29 05 Oct 2016, updated 21:37 05 Oct 2016

  • Slim Aarons: Women, which was published by Abrams earlier this week, was compiled and authored by the famed photographer's assistant Laura Hawk

  • Images offer looks into exclusive resorts in sun-drenched locales and show intimate depictions of various movie stars when they were at their most relaxed and care-free

A set of exclusive images from an upcoming book collecting the works of photographer Slim Aarons gives a fascinating insight into the lavish lifestyles enjoyed by the likes of icons like Jacqueline Kennedy and Joan Collins.

The new book, entitled Slim Aarons: Women, was compiled and authored by the photographer's assistant Laura Hawk and features iconic images taken of famous faces in exotic locations. 


Its publication comes just as the 100th anniversary of Slim's birth approaches this month and New York’s Staley-Wise Gallery prepares to open an exhibition dedicated to his work. 

The exclusive look: A new book featuring images from the work of Slim Aarons offers a unique look at the lives of socialites
Behind the curtain: The photographer managed to snap celebrities during their most intimate moments, such as Marilyn Monroe as she reads through fan mail in this image from 1952
Traversing the globe: He also was able to enter the world of the beautiful and powerful in exclusive resorts in such locations as Acapulco (pictured)

In a preview written for You Magazine, Laura revealed that Slim's journey began when his grandmother gave him a camera, which would later serve him well.  

'He enlisted in the army and when the Second World War broke out he was hired as a military newspaper photographer,' she said.

After returning from the war, Laura claims that he would say: 'From now on I’m going to walk on the sunny side of the street. I’m going to have fun photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.' 

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Life of leisure: Bikini-clad beauties play backgammon at Villa Nirvana, Acapulco, 1972
Hollywood elite: Tony Curtis and wife Janet Leigh at a party held by actor James Manson, Beverly Hills, 1954
Days of gold: Gliding through the Mediterranean at Antibes on the Côte d’Azur, 1969
Before she was First Lady: Jacqueline Kennedy is pictured at the April in Paris Ball, Waldorf Astoria hotel, New York, 1959 
A real page turner: The book features a stunning array of pictures taken over the course of many years

And he would go on to do just that, finding his way into exclusive resorts in places like the Côte d’Azur where the beautiful and powerful would convene. 

He would snap iconic stars like Marilyn Monroe among masses of fan mail, Tony Curtis and wife Janet Leigh dancing in the home of their friend James Mason, and even the wife of a then-senator Jacqueline Kennedy looking demure at a ball in 1959.

Other images see socialites of the art world in their exclusive element, enjoying poolside chats in picturesque locales. 

'His half-century of work would witness the birth of the jet set, feminism, colour photography and the invention of the internet,' said his former assistant.

The photographs show a time when celebrity and high society was evolving into what it has become today. 

Laura was lucky enough to meet the man through her mother and former Town & Country editor Frank Zachary, and claims she would go on to be everything 'from stylist to researcher, writer to problem solver' while on the job with Slim. 


They would work together until the 1980s, but remained close friends until Slim's death aged 89 in 2006.

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