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    Sharing Slim Aarons Love


    Photo Credit: Slim Aarons, Getty Images

    Slim Aarons. The famed photographer's name sounds like a long cool stretch of water, just like the pools he so often captures. His are images you want to dive into. To immerse yourself in. The sort of places I could imagine seeing an Alexandria Main kaftan. I admit to sharing Slim's photos, possibly more often than I should, on social media. A problem only because it makes me unoriginal. If you share my obsession, you'll be intrigued by his life story, published at this link several years ago at Vanity Fair magazine.

    To buy Slim Aarons prints I've found the following sources online:

    Or in Australia:

    Or for a daily dose, dip into his sublime books. All at AmazonBooktopia or Book Depository, or in Brisbane at the Parade Store




    21 of the most covetable resort wear pieces for ethical jetsetters

    You've booked your flight, offset your carbon miles, reserved a room in your eco resort and now all that's left is to pack your bags. To help you, I've found 21 of the most covetable ethical fashion sites to help you plan your packing. Some of these brands work explicitly to empower others and to give back; others help the environment through the use of innovative fabrics or local sourcing; some, such as the vintage re-sellers, wouldn't necessarily call themselves 'sustainable', but nonetheless have a positive impact by reducing clothing waste through re-use. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all part of the antitode to mindless consumerism. The majority of the world's garment workers are trapped in a cycle of poverty because their wages are too low for them to live on. The textile industry is the second most polluting after the oil industry. The solution isn't to stop purchasing - trade is a powerful way for developing countries to lift living standards and shift people out of poverty. The solution is to ensure that what we buy doesn't come at the expense of another person or the environment.

    We all have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the places we live. We should not waste it. Consume Consciously.


    1. Lemlem 

    Supermodel Liya Kebede’s stunning stripes come to life in artisan hand-woven cottons that empower women in her native Ethiopia. Lemlem has now expanded their production to empower women in Kenya, Rwanda and Madagascar. 

    Pick: The Dalila Mini Dress in Black and White









    2. Cassandra Harper 

    Cassie's eponymously named label is a confection of hand woven silks and hand blocked cottons. All made in ethically run studios in Phnom Penh, Cassie makes runs to order, so there is no wastage. Conscious fashion made with love and style. 

    Pick: The Malita Kaftan in black and white shibori print silk, made in Cambodia

    3. Shop Latitude 

    A destination, not a label, Shop Latitude is a carefully curated site of beautiful, artisan made goods collected from around the globe. It's worth popping in for a voyeuristic visit even if you aren't travelling. 

    Pick: Miss Mochila Blue Diamond Cotton tote made in Colombia

    4. A Peace Treaty 

    It was a Peruvian crocheted striped caftan with pink, green and yellow tassled hem that caught my eye first. A Peace Treaty is New York based, but work with artisan groups across 10 countries to preserve traditional crafts. They create caftans, twinset loungewear and scarves that are as unique as they are lovely.

    Pick: Imoa silk/cotton black dress, handmade in India

    5. Ferragamo  

    Ferragamo goes fruity, with sustainably produced fabric made from what's left of an orange after its been squeezed. Delicious!

    6. Amur 

    Amur stands for 'A Mindful Use of Resources', which describes the New York brand's mission. Combining sophistication with eco-luxe, Amur's fabrics are sourced with an eye to environmental goodness. These are pieces you'll pack for when you're relaxing in a cocktail lounge; apres sunlounge. 

    Pick: Ruffled, embroidered Ida skirt with recycled polyester lining


    7. Baiia 

    Made from recycled plastic. Check. Reversible. Check. Sourced from factories that care about their workers. You bet. Donate money to charities that support girls education and environmental causes. Of course! What are you waiting for?! Baiia is beautiful, inside and out. 

     Pick: Sayulita Reversible Pink/Red Bikini

    8. Vitamin A Swimwear

    Vitamin A is California laid back swimsuit brand with a beach chick vibe. Swimsuits are made with EcoLux fabric - a technically and environmentally superior fabric made from recycled nylon. Towels are made by Turkish artisans.

    Pick: Marakesh Beach Towel, handloomed by Turkish artisans. 


    9. Nosouj 

    Nosouj is the Arabic word for handweaving and Nasouj 'nosoujes' remnant fabrics to transform them into stunning artisanal luxury bags. 

    Pick: Monochrome Hannah PomPom Clutch

    10. My Putchi 

    Gorgeous patterned South American straw hats made in traditional styles with pompom embellishments, My Putchi warms my soul. Not only because the hats are simply beautiful, but because 20% of the profits go back into projects to support women in Venezuela. 

    Pick: Toushin Hat with Blue PomPoms

    11. Bloom and Give 

    Bloom and Give give more than most. Fully 50% of their profits go to support girls education in developing countries.  Their light-as-feathers cashmere and cotton shawls are so completely delicious that you'd want them for inflight even if they weren't brightening the lives of so many little girls.  

    Pick: Nola woollen scarf in crimson


    12. Pala Sunglasses








    Here's how an ethical sunglasses business works: 1.You buy a pair of sunglasses.  2. Your purchase goes to eye care projects in Africa that fund the creation of vision centres. 3. The vision centres give away new eye glasses for those who need them. And as simple as 1, 2, 3, you've helped to be part of an awesome value chain! 


    Pick: Zola Pink Marble Sunnies

    13. Accompany

    Their mission statement reads: 'a new style culture where every purchase has a purpose,' which is why you should choose Accompany to accompany you on your sustainable vacation.  

    Pick: Pink, gold and white Rombo Embera earrings handcrafted in Colombia

    15. Caravana  

    Caravana calls itself an Australian lifestyle brand, but it's far more than that. It's a changing lives brand through its commitment to sourcing carefully crafted, ethically produced products from around the globe and giving income earning opportunities to communities that otherwise wouldn't have them.  


    Pick: Benson Zip Wallet in Emerald

    16. Looptworks 

    Once upon a time, upcycling was when you would send your old toilet rolls to pre-school so your baby could stick pipecleaners and fuzzy dots on them and turn them into something resembling people. Looptworks takes upcycling sky high; literally. Using discarded leather airline seats from Air Alaska, they transform them into totally covetable travel bags. Want. Love. Need.  

    Pick: Carry On Weekender Duffel Bag


    17. TOMS

    No ethical fashion listicle would be complete without mentioning one of the greatest influencers of all. TOMS is the iconic shoes brand that pioneered 'buy one, give one'. And now they've expanded into sunglasses and bags too! Hot reading tip: pack the autobiography of TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, 'Start Something That Matters' for an inspiring holiday read. 

    Pick: TOMS White Asparagus Leather Fringe Women's Lexie Sandals

    18. Canfora 

    Because they are handmade in Capri by artisan shoemakers, using Italian sourced leather and embellishments. Because Jackie O wore them. Enough said.

    Pick: The Jacqueline Gold Chain Flat Sandal (of course).


    Cheap fast fashion is fun for a minute or five, but horrible for the environment. When a garment costs the same as a cup of coffee, and we know it won't hold together much longer than it takes to drink the coffee, we don't think twice about chucking it away when we’re sick of it. The accessibility of disposable fashion has meant that clothing waste is the fastest growing household waste in Australia. Those heaving mountains of discarded clothes sit in putrefying landfills where they emit methane, a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, when you buy clothes that are of high quality, you're at least likely to find them a happy new owner when you're Marie Kondo-ing your wardrobe. 

    Here are some of my fave 'circular fashion' finds across the web:

    19. Zest Vintage 

    Zest Vintage (an Etsy shop based in Seattle Washington) is a beautifully curated collection of pieces from the 1940s through 1980s. The owner has 20 years experience in the textile and fashion business and it shows in the colours and the styles she selects. 

    Pick: Hand made 1950s Norwegian jacket in a biscuit coloured wool with embroidered stripes.

    20. Julia’s Dressing 

    Julia’s Dressing, on 1st Dibs is chock full of Saint Laurent from before they dropped the Yves (someone will still have to explain that marketing decision to me).  Ok so you could buy 313 $5 t-shirts for the same cost as a YSL vintage safari tunic ($1565 - gulp), but if you consider it takes 2700 litres of water to make just 1 t-shirt, you can possibly justify it on the enviro savings.

    Pick: YSL Safari Tunic

    21. Modern and Moore

    Modern and Moore, in Atlanta Georgia, specialise in vintage from the 50s through the 80s. It's all fun and fab! 

    Pick: Gold trimmed black caftan lounge dress 

    Shinta Mani Hotel's Best: 10 of the top places to eat in Siem Reap

    Shinta Mani swimming pool

    Pool at the Shinta Mani Hotel, Siem Reap

    The Shinta Mani Hotel in Siem Reap Cambodia is one of the most understated, truly great hotels of the world. It's not just the swish stripes, courtesy of hotel designer extraordinaire, Bill Bensley (swoon), the sublime service or even the serene Spa that makes it so special. It's the Shinta Mani Foundation that will fill your soul to the brim. 

    Through the Foundation, the Shinta Mani provide small business start up assistance to local businesses, a school program that educate students for ten months, a health program that supports doctors and dentists to provide medical check ups in rural areas and a USAID partner program is establishing sustainable farming. 

    Beauty with a purpose. Yes please.

    Shinta Mani, Siem Reap 

    1. Even if you aren't staying there, put in a visit to Kroya, Shinta Mani Angkor's signature restaurant. Ask for a seat at one of the hanging day beds suspended over the edge of the goldfish pond.

    We've borrowed the Shinta Mani's suggestions for other tastebud temptations. Thank you for sharing, Shinta Mani!

    2. The Steakhouse at Pub Street is the newest culinary concept launched by Shinta Mani in the form of an American steakhouse.  Tucked away in Siem Reap's old market area, The Steak House serves prime cuts grilled to perfection paired with abundant side dishes, over the top desserts and a comprehensive international wine list. Its prime location allows guests to experience and enjoy the eclectic vibes of Siem Reap’s Downtown area. Sit outside and people-watch in the arty, pedestrianized Passage, or favour the cool air-conditioned interior with its funky lighting, 30m wooden wave wall and floor to ceiling wine cellar.  Special 20% early dinner is available from 05:00pm – 07:00pm daily.

    3. The Dining Room is one of the best restaurants in Siem Reap and is located on the ground floor of Park Hyatt Siem Reap, it offers a selection of French ‘au provencal’ and Cambodian dishes made from traditional recipes.  Ingredients are carefully sourced and each dish is thoughtfully prepared. This restaurant is set in a serene environment, facing a colonnade looking onto the Courtyard which features a 100-year old Banyan tree. The menu features provincial French and traditional Cambodian cuisine, drawing on the seasonal products freshly available in the market and selected premium import items.

    4. Gelato Lab. Their traditional homemade Italian gelato is made from imported whole milk and slow-churned to perfection using only all natural ingredients, gelato and sorbets are made fresh daily.  The place is located in the Old Market area which is about 5 to 10 minutes’ walk form along the riverfront. 

    5. Spoons. Spoons is designed to enhance EGBOK (Everything's Gonna Be OK, a social impact business) student’s training skills in food and beverage while providing a Cambodian culinary experience that is authentic and unique. At Spoons, they aim to provide each of their students with experiential learning from a skilled, professional team, to provide our guests with an authentic experience that acknowledges and celebrates the culture of Cambodia and to generate revenue in support of EGBOK. The place is available for lunch only.

    6. Embassy. An exclusive fine dining experience unparalleled in Siem Reap and headed by local legends Executive Chef Pol and Sok, the Kimsan Twins. Their experience has taken them to a different continents and under the mentoring of a Michelin starred chef. They bring to Embassy restaurant a unique Khmer gastronomy menu that is regularly changed. 

    7. Apsara Show with Dinner. Situated in the serene gardens and surrounded by traditional Cambodian boundary stones with majestic wooden gates at the entrance Raffles Hotel, the Apsara Terrace is a 'must-do' experience in Cambodia. Enjoy a majestic performance with Cambodian dances and Khmer martial art with a selection of pan-Asian barbeque cuisine. This distinctive Cambodian venue is very versatile – for parties, barbecues and pre-dinner cocktails.

    8. Mie Café. Mie Cafe features gourmet cuisine in a serene garden setting located conveniently just north of town on the road to the ancient temples of Angkor. The traditional Khmer house with outdoor patio and garden offers a refreshing place to enjoy delightful unique treats. Chef Pola prepares Khmer and western gourmet artfully, combining his Swiss culinary training with knowledge of traditional Khmer dishes. The restaurant is closed on every Tuesday.

    9. The Hashi. The restaurant is located 2 minutes tuk tuk rides from the hotel. Good place to enjoy variety of newly tasteful dishes added in their menu. The Teppanyaki is also worth of try as it will allow you to experience of how it feels like to be dining with a real Japanese cuisine.

    10. Dakhsin Indian Restaurant. Dakshin’s boasts the finest spices, carefully sourced Halal meats and the only authentic tandoor oven in Siem Reap, lovingly transported from India. Easily found in the center of the main tourist area, Dakshin’s is the rising star of Siem Reap’s Indian restaurants. Calm and cool in the hustle and bustle of the Old Market area, Dakshin’s is sophisticated but not overly fancy, with exposed brickwork and a pretty mezzanine paired with traditional decorative touches and warm lighting. Book an upstairs table for an intimate small group dinner, or enjoy the brightly lit and air-conditioned downstairs dining area. The place is known also as one of Halal restaurant in town.

    Floating Yoga: 7 Soulful Vacations to Inspire You


    Floating and Yoga. Combine two of the most soulful activities you can imagine and you’ve got floating yoga (Flo-Yo) or stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga. Slightly less vigorous than land based yoga (fast position changes would land you in the ocean pretty quick), you’ll still go through all your key yoga poses and get a beautiful core work out. Not to mention, practising yoga floating a few centimetres above the ocean is one of the most soul enriching experiences you’ll ever have.

    My first floating yoga class was on Hawaii’s Big Island. The class was held at sunrise in a lagoon protected from the surf by a sweep of rocks. Large, pale blue stand up paddle boards were strung with a length of rope and dumbbells to anchor them to the seabed. Lighter than I expected, it was easy to carry them under one arm into the water. We paddled out 10 or so metres to the centre of the lagoon and formed a ragged circle around the instructor. 

    Our class started in simple positions - kneeling and child’s poses on the board to get accustomed to the unstable surface. A whale breached just beyond the break line of the lagoon as we started the practice, and turtles swam under our boards. I promise, in this place there's no problem being mindful - there’s nowhere your mind (or body) would rather be but right here and now.

    We moved to downward dog and twists and it got more challenging to stay balanced.  About a quarter of people fell in, and with water above your head, there is some trick to getting swiftly back on the board, but nothing impossible.  

    The class lasted for around 45 minutes and before we knew it we were lying back on our boards in resting savasana pose. Trust me, you don’t know relaxation until you’re lying in corpse pose on a board, with the sea gently rocking you underneath.

    The only downside to floating yoga is that it’s naturally limited to places where the weather is fine and the sea calm and waveless. I’ve pulled together a list of spots in the Asia Pacific region, so you can pack your Alexandria Main resort pjs and beach bag (on sale, with nothing over $100!) hop on a flight and get floating. 


    • You don’t need to be a competent swimmer to do floating yoga, but some locations are in water above your head, so you’ll need to be comfortable in the ocean in case you fall in.  
    • You can wear either normal yoga gear or a swimsuit, depending on which you are more comfortable doing downward dog in. Regardless of which you choose, keep fast drying as your main criteria. If you get wet early, you don’t want to spend the entire class in soaking clothes. 

    1. Big Island, Hawaii, USA

    Classes at the Fairmont are held on selected mornings in the lagoon at 6.45am. Open to guest and non-guests, for $20 USD per class, or $150 USD for a 10 class pass.


    2. Noosa, Queensland, Australia

    Kat Harding is Australia’s first Stand Up Paddle Boarding instructor and has been teaching SUP classes since 2013. She offers classes and retreats on Noosa beach - one of the most gorgeous beaches in Australia because it’s north facing and therefore sheltered from the weather. Classes start up again in September in the Australian springtime. Kat also offers a weekend luxury SUP retreat, staying at a 4.5 Star resort from 20 October until 22 October 2017. The retreat includes SUP yoga plus land yoga and paddle boarding, not to mention all meals, meditation and nutrition advice. I wish I could go!!! The all inclusive retreat starts at $900 for the weekend. Click on the link for details.    



    Classes: $35 AUD ($27 USD) including paddle board; $20 AUD ($15 USD) if you bring your own board.

    Weekend retreat: $900 AUD ($715 USD)

    3. Bali

    SUP Yoga Bali call their practice a ‘combination of yoga and the healing essence of the ocean’. Classes are held on Sanur beach, a quiet town on the south-east of Bali island. Sanur beach is shallow and usually very calm. SUP Yoga Bali offer two programs - straight SUP yoga and SUP yoga plus 30 minutes Paddle Boarding. They also offer a 5 day all inclusive retreat which includes meals, spa treatments, meditation and daily SUP yoga.



    Floating Yoga 1 hour - approx $40 AUD ($35 USD)

    Floating Yoga 1 hour plus 30 mins Stand Up Paddle Boarding - approx $50 AUD ($40 USD) 

    4. Aruba

    Rachel Brathen, aka Yoga Girl, is one of the leaders of SUP Yoga. Classes are held in waist deep water in the crystal clear Aruban ocean. Rachel also hosts retreats which sell out fast. The November 2017 is already fully booked, so you’ll need to get in quickly if you want a spot at the next one in 2018. 


    Classes 1 hour - $50 USD

    Retreats - Check website for details 

    5. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

    Kaizen Travel organise retreats that ‘empower women through adventure.’ They’re hosting a Manifesting in Paradise retreat in the sublimely gorgeous Aitutaki Island in the Cook Islands from 7 to 12 January 2018. The week involves SUP yoga, massage, one on one manifesting coaching sessions and so much more that I’ve run out of room to write it all. Oh, and if that doesn’t sound as though it’s enriched your soul enough, they also have a Give Back initiative where 10% of their profits to a humanitarian partner.  



    Retreat for 6 days and 5 nights

    $3099 /shared room

    $3300 own room

    Check their website for all details 

    6. Denarau, Fiji

    If your speed is more 'go' than 'slow', Paddle Board Fiji’s ‘Paddle Fit’ classes might be more your thing. The board practice has some yoga, but also stretching, cardio and toning. You'll find Paddle Board Fiji in the Port Denarau Marina, adjacent to the yacht club at Nadi, Fiji.

    Classes cost $50 Fiji (approx $30 AUD and $25USD) per session. 

    Check website for class times

    7. Western Australia and Bali

    Hayley Lawrence runs a series of zen retreats and classes in Albany and Denmark, idyllic sea resorts 400km south-east of Perth in Western Australia. Hayley also runs retreats up in Nusa Lembongan, Bali. She says in paddle board yoga - ‘every movement must be done with more concentration, more intent, and more purpose.’ Namaste to that. Check out Radiant Being’s website for all the details.

    Image Credits:

    Orchid Fairmont image by Alan Light via: freeforcommercialuse.org

    Aruba image from Wikimedia Commons

    Aitutaki image from Wikimedia Commons

    Denarua Island, Fiji image from Wikimedia Commons

    Western Australia image from Wikimedia Commons

    Nusa Lembongan image from Wikimedia Commons 

    Around the world with Slim Aarons

    Before Facebook democratised social envy, there was Slim Aarons. So named because he was tall and skinny, like the people he photographed, Slim Aarons delighted in capturing moments of 'attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places'. Today anyone with an iPhone can capture, crop and filter their own attractive moments, but Slim did it first and he did it best.  They say the best way to achieve happiness is to live in the moment. Well, I'd like to live in the moment of a Slim Aarons image, preferably in Neutra's Palm Springs Kaufman House wearing buttercup yellow.  In an Aarons world the sun is forever shining, unhappy marriages and money worries don't exist and there's no need for Botox because no one ever grows old. Idyllic, no?

    To amuse myself while I wait for someone to come up with photographic teleporting (Elon Musk, are you listening?) I've up come with a list of the Slim Aarons sunshine places. One by one, I'm going to visit them and create my own photos. So pack your Alexandria Main Antibes resort pjs and come with!!


    Tania Mallet by Slim Aarons

    (Image sourced from Galerie Prints on 1stDibs)

    Marriott French Leave Resort

    Photographed in Eleuthera, Bahamas, you can stay in a villa at the French Leave Resort, which is part of the Marriott's Autograph Collection. I'd like to visit during the 5 day Eleuthera Jazz Festival at the end of March/beginning of April. 

    Rates: approx USD $470 per night for a 1 bedroom villa.




    Poolside Glamour by Slim Aarons

    (Image sourced from International Fine Arts Consortium on 1stDibs)

    Probably the best known of all Slim Aarons photographs, Poolside Glamour is set at The Kaufmann Desert house in Palm Springs, designed by famed modernist architect Richard Neutra. The house is considered one of the 20th century's most important homes and is arguably Neutra's most architecturally noteworthy and famous designs.

    Unfortunately you can't visit the house, but you can see the outside of it on a Mid Century Modern Architecture Tour like this one: Palm Springs Modern Tours.

    When I go back, I'm planning to stay at the Parker Palm Springs because Jonathan Adler designed it and I think he's totally fab.

    Rates: From $295 USD per night




    Leonard Dalsemer by Slim Aarons

    (Image sourced from Galerie Prints on 1stDibs) 

    Lyford Cay is a private, gated community on New Providence Island in the Bahamas. Luxury Retreats has two villas on Lyford Cay available for holiday rental. Seascape is a 7 bedroom, one level villa, painted Bahamas pink. Starting at $6000 a night (gulp, might need to sell a lot of Alexandria Main) you'll have the use of a chef and butler and 2 housekeepers. Serendip Cove villa boasts 14 bedrooms and bathrooms, sleeping a total of 28 people. Starting at $8000 a night you'll be free to use the pool, waterslide and waterfall cave. And if you find 27 friends to tag along, that's only $286 per person - bargain! Staff includes gardeners, housekeeping, a villa manager, daily cook service and daily butler service (that sounds like a tough vacation). 

    Unfortunately we'll all have to bag ourselves a billionaire to gain access to the Lyford Cay private club, but check it out in Town and Country magazine while you're waiting - #todiefor.


    Belvedere Pool by Slim Aarons

    (Image sourced from Galerie Prints on 1stDibs) 

    Hotel Belvedere, Amalfi Coast, Italy

    Located 10 minutes from the town of Amalfi, the four star Hotel Belvedere is decorated with simple furnishings and Italian tiles. You catch a lift down to the saltwater pool and there are further bathing areas on the sand below.

    Rate start at 190 Euro and include taxes and continental breakfast.




    Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc by Slim Aarons

    (Image sourced from Undercurrent Projects on 1stDibs)

    Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

    Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is located on Bvd J F Kennedy in Anitbes on the Cote d'Azur in France. A movie star favourite, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton honeymooned here and Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles have been guests. The Cannes Film Festival is the time to come star spotting. Hang out in the newly refurbished Bellini Bar or the pool overlooking the Med, and who knows who you (or I!) will see.

    Rates: Start at Euro 560 per night.