PIRELLI has unveiled photos from its 2018 calendar: a wondrous celebration of black magnificence, photographed via the fantastical lens of Tim Walker and styled by Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful with set design by Shona Heath.
Impressed by Lewis Carroll’s story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the unique sketches he drew earlier than John Tenniel’s illustrations, the calendar performs on exaggerated sizing and playful thrives with assist from a blockbuster solid.
Adwoa Aboah is Tweedledee; Naomi Campbell and Sean Combs are The Royal Beheaders; Slick Woods is The Madhatter; Lupita Nyong’o is The Dormouse; Whoopi Goldberg is The Royal Duchess; Djimon Hounsou is The King of Hearts; RuPaul is The Queen of Hearts; Adut Akech is The Queen of Diamonds; Alpha Dia is the 5-Of-Hearts-Enjoying-Card Gardener; King Owusu is the Two-Of-Hearts-Enjoying-Card Gardener; Lil Yachty is The Queen’s Guard; Thando Hopa is The Princess of Hearts; Wilson Oryema is the Seven-Of-Hearts-Enjoying-Card Gardener; Zoe Bedeaux is The Caterpillar; Sasha Lane is The Mad March Hare; and Duckie Thot is Alice.
Walker’s high-voltage imaginative and prescient follows the unconventional path of the earlier two calendars, which noticed Pirelli transfer away from the soft-core calendar-girl aesthetic it had celebrated since 1964. 2016 noticed Annie Leibovitz a sequence of girls celebrated for his or her accomplishments, relatively than simply their seems to be, and 2017’s Peter Lindbergh calendar made waves owing to its non-airbrushed, monochromatic portraits of make-up-free, clothed actresses.
“Alice in Wonderland is a narrative that I’ve drawn on for thus lengthy, it’s all the time been in my work and life,” Walker informed Vogue on the New York launch of his Pirelli photos. “To have a black Alice is to have a brand new method of seeing Alice.”
The genesis of the thought fashioned when visiting Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity aka Lissy Dahl, some 5 years in the past. “She stated, ‘Are you aware that the Bucket household in Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit was initially going to be portrayed as a black household?’ And I thought of how a lot this may have modified issues.”
On whether or not the chaotic fairytale was designed to carry up a mirror to at present’s society, he stated: “The chaos of Alice resonated as a result of I’m predominantly a trend photographer, and I see the style business as Wonderland. I don’t see Wonderland as society at present.”
“Pirelli doesn’t discriminate, it’s tyres!” chimed Campbell, Walker’s Royal Beheader. “It’s Components One, it could actually go wherever it desires to go and it is going to be a optimistic message. Despite the fact that the [theme] of the calendar is Alice in Wonderland, the message is so large.” Walker agreed: “I feel it’s thrilling, it’s a celebration of black magnificence however it could possibly be any pores and skin color to me. It’s in tune with what feels proper for now.”
“The timing couldn’t have been higher,” stated Campbell, the Vogue contributing editor and four-time calendar star. “This week has been an iconic and phenomenal week. The brand new Vogue launched in the beginning, and it’s ending with Pirelli. It’s an incredible time, it’s a brand new time, and I really feel that it’ll stay. I’m so happy with Edward.”
Beninese-American actor Djimon Hounsou stated sure to Walker as a result of, “my son has been watching white superheroes in fantasy films from the day he was born. He’s by no means seen one black man. At some point, he stated to me, ‘I want I used to be white so I might climb partitions like Spider-Man.’ What world can we stay in the place black people don’t exist in some tales? Inclusion ought to be necessary.”
What was Campbell’s response to being solid because the grotesque twosome with Sean Combs? “I’m fairly bossy, so it was excellent,” she laughed. “Don’t do what I would like? Then off together with your head!” It was Combs who inspired her to get into character. “We share the identical performing coach so he is aware of the strategies. We had loads of enjoyable on set; a desk caught hearth, we have been all singing – it was craziness, however we simply saved going.”
Different highlights of the shoot embody Hounsou “listening to RuPaul yapping all day, and seeing him present in that surroundings. As quickly as she entered the set, she took over. It was RuPaul all day.”
For Gambian ladies’s rights activist and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner Jaha Dukureh, it was simply having somebody “take an image of me as a result of they preferred how my eyes seemed; I wasn’t a sufferer”. And albino mannequin and human-rights lawyer Thando Hopa preferred “working with Tim as a result of he didn’t ‘different’ me. I used to be simply the Queen of Hearts on set.”
South Sudanese-Australian mannequin Duckie Thot and Hopa cried on the finish of the shoot. “We felt a way of catharsis,” Hopa defined. “Completely different voices and walks of life collaborated collectively to attempt to carry a message of illustration and inclusion. The extent and weight of what we did… we felt it.”
What would Walker like viewers to remove from the imagery? “A way of magnificence and aid from the on a regular basis. I like actuality, and I’m not an ‘unreal’ particular person, however I don’t suppose there can ever be sufficient escapism and fantasy.”
See contained in the 2018 Pirelli calendar celebrations beneath.