Slim Photographs & Amusing Conversations
A personal account of AT Home Style’s Slim Aarons’ photography exhibition.
Jodie North (in Blue) with Tam, Ange & Terrance from Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
As a freelance copywriter whose office is at home (aka the kitchen table) getting a personal invitation from AT Home Style to write about their Slim Aarons photography exhibition was like Christmas Day (my child years not the adult version!)!
On Wednesday I headed to the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins where I mingled with the art world, other AT Home Style devotees and guests to celebrate AT Home Style’s Slim Aarons’ photography exhibition.
So, what transpired over bubbles, duck and walnut wontons and the viewing of 15 of Slim’s most iconic images?
Well what all good art should lead to.
Inspiring conversations of pink poodles, 70’s porn stars and the mysterious Lady Daphne Cameron.
But first things first…
WHO IS SLIM AARONS?
Slim Aarons (1916-2006) was regarded as one of the most influential photographers of his generation. Raised in New York, and with a passion for photography, at 18 he became a photojournalist for the USA Army’s weekly magazine publication, YANK, during WWII.
Obviously impacted by this time, after the war his mission was to only photograph “Attractive people, doing attractive things in attractive places.”
And boy did he deliver.
He became a society photographer. He rubbed shoulders with royalty, mixed (and photographed) the famous and captured the glitterati and luxury in a natural and positive light.
His photos of beautiful women, enviable destinations and luxury became iconic images of the modernist times of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s & 80’s
A CONVERSATION PIECE
Today his images inspire designers, art directors and interior designers around the world, grace the walls of many homes; and for me - this past Wednesday – they inspired the most entertaining conversations of my week (as all good artworks should). I have included some of my favourite quotes from guests at the cocktail party for your entertainment.
“I tried to dye my Afghan Hound’s hair with Henna. It didn’t work.”
The bored gaze from Dame Joan Collins as she draped herself her pale pink bed, beside her pink poodle and matching pink telephone was one of my favourites. I wasn’t alone. That pink poodle (rare breed or diva demand? You decide) reminded Liz, an artist, of the time she tried to colour her own pets hair.
“I googled Lady Daphne Cameron – but nothing! She’s the mystery of our times.”
Slim clearly loved beautiful women. But his photograph “Beauty and the Beast” was of one women – Lady Daphne Cameron – who he thought was the most beautiful of all. “She was too much for ordinary people. There are so many beautiful girls in the world, then there’s one that stands out; she had something you can’t explain.” But who was this mystery woman? Alas even Google doesn’t really know.
“It reminds me of a scene from Mad Men.”
“As a respiratory physician I didn’t watch Mad Men as it glamourized smoking. But it does remind me of a documentary on 1970s Porn Star Dirk Diggler.”
The Desert House Party images are definitely ones that are the hallmark of the quintessential 70s. And it’s no wonder they became Slim’s most well-known of his collection. They become the poster for 1970’s Palm Springs living from the setting of the Kaufman house and retro furniture to the undeniably high fashion of the era. It was a memory laden trail for all – whether they lived through the era or watched it on TV.
“I used to mow the lawn of my home in the suburbs in my red bikini. They were the days.”
This 1976 image of Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc in France, reminded Lena of the freedom she enjoyed in the 70s so much that she contemplated breaking her minimalist philosophy and nomadic lifestyle to invest in this image. A true stroll down memory lane – she showed me a photo her and her husband strolling along a Gold Coast beach (pre glitz and glamour days o) both adorned in swimwear fashion of the day. It was a shot straight out of Slim Aarons playbook.
”He was the Instagram of his time. Only better.”
It was bound to happen. A comparison with today’s social media.
“I’ve commissioned this lace outfit for my 50th birthday party in three years.”
It’s not just designers, interior decorators and artists that Slim inspires but 50th birthday celebrations as well.
A CONVERSATION STARTER
Tamara and Angie painstakingly selected 15 of Slim Aaron’s most iconic images group into three distinct themes – women, colourful crew and 1970’s fashion.
And from the conversations that materialised Wednesday night they produced what all exhibitions – and art work should – a conversation.
So, I encourage you head to Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, order a champagne from the bar and take time to view this collection of Slim Aarons photographs.
You’ll never know what conversations will materialise and perhaps you’ll even be enticed to continue the conversation with your very own Slim Aaron.
The photographs, all printed from the original negatives, are available for purchase directly from Sofitel concierge or via the At Home Style online store www.athomestyle.com.au.
Angie Stumpf 0411 122 368,
Tamara Lloyd 0408 585 319
Special Thanks to Global Art Projects for facilitating the exhibition with Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
ABOUT AT HOME STYLE: AT Home Style is an online homewares business run by partners Tamara Lloyd and Angie Stumpf. The business sells stylish homewares as well as providing style consultations and workshops. Find out more via www.athomestyle.com.au