Throwback: The Glamorous Life of Early Jetsetters

Shown through the luxurious travels of photographer Slim Aarons

  Photo Slim Aarons, Amalfi Coast. Slim Aarons was one of the most prominent society photographers of the day and captured hundreds of photos of the jet set in their natural habitats, lounging on pool chairs and carousing on the ski slopes of Switzerland.

Photo Slim Aarons, Amalfi Coast.Slim Aarons was one of the most prominent society photographers of the day and captured hundreds of photos of the jet set in their natural habitats, lounging on pool chairs and carousing on the ski slopes of Switzerland.

 

Before budget airlines and online check-in, before Skyscanner and travel bloggers with large followings, before travel was for the many and not the few, there was the jet set. A select class of movie stars, heiresses and millionaires who had the means and desire to travel to hard to reach, exotic locales, where the parties were decadent and the bikinis were skimpy. It was a glamourous heyday for travel that can be hard to comprehend now, but one that lives on in our collective imaginations through the likes of Brigitte Bardot and glamorous Pan Am stewardesses.

Lust over the style and luxury of that now mythological time below and scoop up some inspiration for your next getaway while you’re at it.

  Slim Aarons ‘Vuccino And Rava’, Capri, 1958

Slim Aarons ‘Vuccino And Rava’, Capri, 1958

  Marbella, 1967. Photo via Vanity Fair.

Marbella, 1967. Photo via Vanity Fair.

The jet set era lasted from around the late 1950s, when the first ticketed commercial airlines took flight, until the early 1970s as air travel became a more widely accessible and commonplace activity.

St. Tropez, the Amalfi Coast, Palm Springs, Marbella, Capri, Mustique, Acapulco, Beirut, Switzerland..these were just a handful of the famed locations attracting the rich and famous of the time.

  Photo Slim Aarons, Verbier, 1964.

Photo Slim Aarons, Verbier, 1964.

  Photo Slim Aarons, 1967,  tanning beauties on the deck of Dino Pecci Blunt's yacht in Marbella.

Photo Slim Aarons, 1967, tanning beauties on the deck of Dino Pecci Blunt's yacht in Marbella.

Among the most famous of the jet set were Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their scandalous extramarital holiday exploits throughout the Mediterranean and on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta sold countless tabloid papers of the day.

  Photo Slim Aarons.

Photo Slim Aarons.

  Photo Slim Aarons

Photo Slim Aarons

As noted in Vanity Fair, Slim Aarons was sad to witness the eventual decline of the jet set age of travel. In the introduction to his book, A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life, published in 1975, he commented; “Today the formerly fashionable places are besieged with hordes of tourists; that exclusive, immensely wealthy way of life for a select few, which I was lucky enough to have seen and photographed, is fast disappearing.”

  Photo Slim Aarons

Photo Slim Aarons

Today, we're glad travel is more accessible than ever. And despite Aaron's concerns, there are still endless luxurious, exotic experiences to explore. Nonetheless, we'll forever look back on the golden age of the jetset with rose colored glasses, and for inspiration, too. 

Don't forget to share this article and Pin your favorite photos for inspiration!

 
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