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Anything but SLIM pickings for Aspirational Inspiration

Written and compiled by Sherry Qualls and Jessica Qualls

Drawing upon inspiration for Drinking Dresses comes from so many different avenues - our family history, sunny St. Croix and a slew of designers, photographers and artists that have captured the world in bright, cheerful imagery.

One of those key artists for us is none other than the famed Slim Aarons. Known for capturing the lives of 1960s and 1970s celebrities and socialites alike - Aarons captured the world as a playground for the rich and famous and has given us some of the most recognizable images in aspirational living!    

Our favorite Slim Aarons photos

Slim Aarons said he loved “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”  Sign us up! We wish he were still around to partake in our Drinking Dresses fun!

We’ve selected some of our favorite images in honor of the man who captured good times in good places. Cheers 


“The only beach worth landing on is decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun” 

At 18 years old, Aarons enlisted in the United States Army, worked as a photographer at the United States Military Academy, and later served as a combat photographer in World War II and earned a Purple Heart (“I gave it to a blonde I knew after the war. She said she liked the color,” he told Vanity Fair in 2003) —. Aarons said combat had taught him the only beach worth landing on was "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun." We agree.


 “Poolside Gossip at the Kaufmann Desert House”

Aarons never used a stylist, or a makeup artist. He made his career out of what he called "photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places." A popular example of this approach is his 1970 Poolside Gossip shot at the Kaufmann Desert House designed by Richard Neutra, with owner Nelda Linsk as one of the models in the photo. We love the casual elegance of this spot!


“I Knew Everyone”

Verbier Switzerland, a winter and summer playground boasting snow all year round, is known as one of the best resorts for off piste skiing. It’s also a playground of many royals and celebrities -  "I knew everyone," he said in an interview with The (London) Independent in 2002. "They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn't hurt them. I was one of them." Wherever there is sun, we are happy.


“I didn’t do fashion”

"I didn't do fashion," the Aarons once said. "I did the people in their clothes that became the fashion." This shot is the perfect statement of the concept, featuring actress Dee Hartford sipping a “Pussyfoot” cocktail - a mix of Jamaican fruit juices in 1958. We love that Slim makes a beach towel glamorous!.

 “Fast boats; fast times”

Riva Boats - now Riva Yachts - were the toys of celebrities after World War 1.  

In the late 1950’s the Riva Aquarama - the Riva Icon - raced along the French and Italian Riveria’s, squiring the fancy folks who loved a good party.  Slim was always there to capture the moment. We’re fans of a great back deck.

“Even with their Goddamn dogs”

Working for Holiday and Town & Country Magazines, Aarons established a new form of photography - “environmental photography”.  The idea was for subjects to be seen in their “milieus” - where they lived and how they lived - in their “gardens, offices, pools, living rooms, with their books - even their goddamn dogs.” We love how dogs bring out the best in people.  

“He was never a member of the jetset.  Didn’t want to be.”

The simple glamor of an afternoon Rum and Coke.  White wicker, cotton shifts, head scarfs and a cool summer breeze.  Old school elegance at its prime.  No pretense.  Just a classic cocktail cart and easy drinks.  Aarons saw the beauty in reality.  We do too. 


Learn more about Slim:;;

1 comment

  • Well done kids! Upbeat and inspirational reminder for finding the best in life each and every day!

    Sally Harrison

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