The Fashionable and the Fast – Skiing Photographs by Slim Aarons

"I don't do fashion, I take photos of people in their own clothes and that becomes fashion."

Slim Aarons

Skiers at Verbier 1964

Born in New Hampshire in 1916, Slim Aarons joined the U.S. Army at age 18 and was employed as a photographer at West Point. He later served as a war photographer in Europe during World War II and earned a Purple Heart – “I gave it to a blonde I knew after the war. She said she liked the colour.” Aarons would later say that the war taught him that the only beach worth landing on was “decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun.”

After the war, and the dawn of commercial air travel and the birth of the jet set he photographed high society at their playgrounds around the world. He had some mantras that he felt gave him access to these people: “No assistants, no props, no stylists, no lights, no problems.” “I knew everyone,” he said in an interview with The 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.” His longterm assistant Laura Hawk once wrote that there were three pieces of clothing that Aarons refused to photograph: Jeans, T-shirts, and running shoes –  “I don’t do fashion,” he said. “I take photos of people in their own clothes and that becomes fashion.”

Slim Aarons

Skiers at Verbier Switzerland 1964

Ski ‘bum’ Alice Clement, a waitress and dishwasher at Stowe, Vermont when not on the slopes, carrying her skis on the way to a run, circa 1960. A Wonderful Time – Slim Aarons (Photo by Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Slim Aarons

Party in Snowmass Village, in Pitkin County, Colorado, in April 1968

Slim Aarons

Two women recline on improvised sunbeds in Cranmore Mountain, New Hampshire (1955)

Slim Aarons

Cortina D’Ampezzo 1962

Slim Aarons

‘Zermatt Skiing’ 1968

Alpine Skiing 1964

Slim Aarons

Planting Ski

A stand-up fondue picnic for skiers at Snowmass-at-Aspen, Colorado

Skiing at Sugarbush – a mountain resort in Vermont, April 1960

Manuela Boraomanero (left) and Emanuela Beghelli holiday in the Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, March 1976.

Skiers pass by the Hotel Chesa Grischuna in Klosters, 1963.

‘Snowmass Village’ 1972

Slim Aarons Winter Suntans 1960

Skiing In Gstaad ‘ Slim Aarons Estate Edition 1977

‘Skiing At Courchevel’ , 1963