A Book Full of Beautiful Women You Can Actually Keep on Your Coffee Table

Attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places

November 14, 2016 9:00 am

Another day, another photo book of beautiful women.

Except this one you don’t have to hide when actual women come over.

Put Slim Aarons: Women on your coffee table, and guests can flip through a couple hundred photos of high-society gals from the 1940s through the 1980s. They’ll find not only iconic beauties like Audrey Hepburn, but also, more interestingly, ladies lacking celebrity who were just as stunning (and stunningly rich).

The late Slim Aarons gained access to lives of the upper echelon by being a friend first and a photographer second. His most famous photo, Kings of Hollywood, depicts Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart laughing about something Aarons himself said. So despite the vast wealth depicted in this tome — we’re talking butlers that wade in the pool to serve drinks — it feels like an ordinary day in the life.

Well, as ordinary as lounging on a tiger pelt with a full taxidermied head can be.

“Photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places” was Aarons’s motto. It’s a lofty sentiment, but one easily achieved by a book whose subjects range from Vogue models to the wives of Cuban sugar barons.

Laura Hawk, a longtime friend and peer of Aarons, writes in the introduction that “he didn’t take the subject of wealth and fame all that seriously — what moved him most was the desire to examine the pleasures and diversions of life.”

And the “diversions of life” is a perfect way to describe this reading experience.

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