Recreating Poolside Gossip for Desert Magazine

Kelly Golightly for Desert Magazine

I’m beyond thrilled to finally be able to share the most exciting highlight of 2014 with you — the feature Fred Baby and I created for Desert Magazine!

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine

When the editors of Desert Magazine, the monthly glossy publication of The Desert Sun (Gannett) in Palm Springs, reached out a few months ago, they had seen my Pineapple Lawn Bowling from my Flamingo Fiesta and wanted that same playful spirit for their December issue, all about al fresco entertaining.

I instantly knew exactly what I wanted to do… Can you guess?

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine

One: To strap Swannie Golightly to the back of a vintage convertible. As one does.

And two: To recreate the Slim Aarons photo Poolside Gossip.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired entertaining

I still can’t believe we made it happen! And we were beyond thrilled and honored when we found out we made the cover and had over 10 pages in the magazine. And that I was actually ON the cover!

It’s not every day that over 50,000 subscribers wake up to me in their mailbox. (Good morning, Palm Springs!)

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired photography

Take a peek…

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons entertaining

Fred Baby shot the photos and I art-directed, styled and wrote the article. Editor Mary Silverman entrusted us with complete creative control and I can’t thank her enough.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot with Palm Springs tastemakers

It was a real dream come true both getting to collaborate professionally on such a great project, but also to finally make the Slim Aarons Poolside Gossip photo happen.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot

As I’ve said before and as I wrote in the article, anytime I throw a party, I always look to Slim Aarons for inspiration. There is just so much goodness to be had in the photos he captured of “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”

And I’ve gone on record saying that my life goal is to live in a Slim Aarons photo. But then again, whose isn’t!? To be able to pay homage to Slim and the original party guests was such a treat.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot

And although we’ve definitely evoked the spirit in previous parties, when you throw a real party versus a staged one, it’s almost impossible to get the iconic Poolside Gossip shot.

Why? Because you have real people enjoying a real party. People somehow are not as into posing for a fake party when there are real cocktails to be had! And it’s not easy when Fred Baby and I are playing host and hostess to also focus on staging and getting the shot.

So, this was our chance to finally make it happen…

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot with Palm Springs tastemakers

And we did, thanks to some very lovely friends as seen above!

What do you think?

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Al Fresco Entertaining Ideas / Slim Aarons pool party

We also were able to make my dream come true of strapping a giant inflatable swan pool float (you can get one HERE— if you’d like ) to the back of a vintage convertible, thanks to the generosity of the Palm Springs community.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot

What’s fun is that in our initial meeting with the editors, when I expressed this idea, Fred Baby sketched out on a napkin the swan on top of a convertible with palm trees lining the street and mountains in the background.

Cut to a few months later and the photo turned out to be almost identical to the sketch.

Kelly Golightly x Desert Magazine | Slim Aarons-inspired shoot

It was so fun seeing the vision come to life! You can read the article online here.

Hope you enjoy & stay tuned for more fun news regarding these photos!

Wardrobe & Prop Credits:

Gold caftan: Lisa Kelly Creative | Blue tunic: Trina Turk | B&W wedges: BC Footwear | Pink caftan: Rhode Resort | Jumpsuit: Trina Turk | Shortsuit: Mr. Turk | Swan float: HERE

Photos by Fred Baby | Creative direction by Kelly Lee

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make it happen:

Salvador Camarena, Chris Mobley, Troy Kudlac, Amy Kudlac, Christopher Kennedy, Debbie Anderson. Special thanks for Bill Scheffler and Sandy Edelstein.

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7 thoughts on “Recreating Poolside Gossip for Desert Magazine

  1. Eugeniya

    Congratulations from Ukraine! Great job! looks like you have put your heart in it and that is wonderful! Kelly, as I see that you are an active social network user, there is a new iphone photo app on carde-app.com. This app is created for positive active people who want not to miss out anything and have more time for everyday activities! You are more than welcome to check it out. Again, congrats and sincerely wish you more exciting job opportunities and projects in future!

    Reply

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