Celebrate the South of France
In this 50th anniversary year of the rencontres d’Arles photography festival, Éditions Louis Vuitton is opening the Summer season by celebrating the South of France. Two new photography books are joining the Fashion Eye Collection. The archives of the American cult photographer Slim Aarons reveal a sun-drenched and joyous French Riviera, while the young Finnish photographer Osma Harvilahti offers an offbeat and contemporary look at Saint Tropez.
Fashion Eye French Riviera by Slim Aarons
Fashion Eye French Riviera by Slim Aarons Iconic places – Saint Paul de Vence, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Monaco, to name a few – each an invitation to travel that might have inspired Charles Baudelaire himself: “There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.” Slim Aarons, who boasted that he only photographed attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places, was naturally drawn to the Côte d’Azur, which became his favourite stomping ground.
It was there, under the blazing sun, that this unrelenting globetrotter delved behind appearances, discovering a knack for peeling back the layers of an artificial reality. Through his lens, the uncomplicated, lazy days seem eminently joyous. Considered a family friend in this exclusive milieu, an anti-paparazzi who never grabbed shots on the fly, he offers glimpses, in full complicity, into a French Riviera of another time.
Slim Aarons (1916–2006)
Nicknamed “Slim” because he was tall and lanky, the American photographer George Allen Aarons embodied an unbearable lightness of being. His images illustrate an assertive freedom from care, that of celebrities, aristocrats, Hollywood stars, or captains of industry.
A pleasure-seeker and a gentleman, at a certain point he decided that he wanted to enjoy the good life. This was probably due to the fact that as a young photographer he had enlisted in the US Army and had documented the fall of Tobruk, the liberation of Italy, followed by that of Paris, and the Nazi concentration camps, thus witnessing the ineffable. After the war, he began his freelance career in Hollywood thanks to Frank Capra, but soon moved to Rome, where Life had just opened an office. In his work, between swimming pools and luxury villas, fashion became an art of living. His models wore whatever they liked. Was this child of Manhattan, who rubbed shoulders with the elite, in fact one of the world’s few truly free spirits?
Fashion Eye Saint Tropez By Osma Harvilahti
Osma Harvilahti’s chromatic universe finds its ideal subject in the skies of Provence and their deep azure blues. To move beyond the host of clichés surrounding this famous little Mediterranean port, he scheduled his trip at the end of September, so as to discover “the real Saint Tropez”. Steering clear of jet-setters, Harvilahti trains his lens on fragments of existence, the anonymous faces of locals, honing in on details, the little nothings that still bear traces of the town’s past as a simple fishing village. These photographs, in the manner of a show-and-tell, deliver a social commentary on life in a place better known for its wealthy visiting celebrities than its residents.
Osma Harvilahti (B. 1983)
Osma Harvilahti captures everyday life in a colourful and abstract style, through images revealing light and shapes as important elements for his approach to seeing the world. In uenced by his studies in the social sciences at the University of Helsinki, he turned to the sociology of fashion, embarking on an insatiable quest for beauty and harmony. After initially settling in New York, with frequent trips to destinations like Morocco and Kenya, this modern-day nomad now lives in Paris.
His talent has captivated the likes of Sonia Rykiel, Issey Miyake, Nike and Hermès. Harvilahti’s photographs have appeared in Vogue Hommes and Apartamento, among other publications. His work has also been featured in a number of exhibitions in Europe and the United States. In 2016, he co-founded The Community, a photographic collective and art gallery in Paris.
Both titles will be available in limited advance release from June 20, 2019
Retail price: 50 €
Louis Vuitton Pop-up Bookstore
Rencontres de la photographie Summer program
Fashion Eye photography books signings
Tuesday July 2nd from 7pm to 8pm: Signing of Fashion Eye Geneva by Paul Rousteau
Wednesday July 3rd from 7pm to 8pm: Signing of Fashion Eye Saint Tropez By Osma Harvilahti
Friday July 5th from 7pm to 8pm: Signings of Fashion Eye Bali by Quentin De Briey and Fashion Eye Iran by Harley Weir
Louis Vuitton Pop-up Book Store - Le Buste et l'Oreille
3, rue du Président-Wilson 13200 Arles, France
July 02, 2019 to July 06, 2019