PIRELLI has unveiled its 2018 calendar: a wondrous celebration of black magnificence, photographed by 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 prospers with assist from a blockbuster solid to play the well-known characters.
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 softcore calendar lady aesthetic it had celebrated since 1964. 2016 noticed Annie Leibovitz a collection of girls celebrated for his or her accomplishments, reasonably than simply their seems to be, and 2017’s Peter Lindbergh calendar made waves owing to its unairbrushed, 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 advised Vogue on the New York launch of his 28 Pirelli footage. “To have a black Alice is to have a brand new method of seeing Alice.”
The genesis of the thought shaped when visiting Roald Dahl’s spouse, Patricia “Lissy” Dahl, some 5 years in the past. “She stated, ‘have you learnt that the Bucket household in Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing facility was initially going to be portrayed as a black household?’ And I considered how a lot this might have modified issues.”
On whether or not the chaotic fairytale was designed to carry up a mirror to immediately’s society, he stated: “The chaos of Alice resonated with myself as a result of I’m predominantly a style photographer, and I see the style trade as wonderland. I don’t see wonderland as society immediately.”
“Pirelli doesn’t discriminate, it’s tyres!,” chimed Campbell, Walker’s Royal Beheader. “It’s System One, it could go wherever it desires to go and will probably be a constructive message. Although the [theme] of the calendar is Alice in Wonderland, the message is so large.” Walker agreed: “I believe it’s thrilling, it’s a celebration of black magnificence however it may very well be any pores and skin color to me. It’s in tune with what feels proper for now instinctively.”
“The timing couldn’t have been higher,” the Vogue contributing editor and four-time calendar star continued. “This week has been an iconic and phenomenal week. The brand new Vogue launched at the beginning, and it’s ending with Pirelli. It’s a tremendous time, it’s a brand new time, and I really feel that it’s going to stay. I’m so pleased with Edward.”
Beninese-American actor Djimon Hounsou stated sure to Walker as a result of, “my son has been watching white superheroes in fantasy motion pictures from the day he was born. He’s by no means seen one black man. Sooner or later, he stated to me, ‘I want I used to be white so I might climb partitions like Spiderman.’ What world will we reside in the place black of us don’t exist in some tales? For the primary time in Pirelli had been requested to be included. It must be necessary.”
What was Campbell’s response to being solid because the ugly 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 appearing coach so he is aware of the strategies. We had a whole lot of enjoyable on set; a desk caught fireplace, we had been all singing, it was craziness, however we simply stored going.”
Different highlights of the shoot embody Hounsou “listening to RuPaul yapping all day, and seeing him current in that surroundings. As quickly as she entered the set, she took over. It was RuPaul all day.”
For Gambian ladies’s proper activist and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner, Jaha Dukureh, it was simply simply having somebody “take an image of me as a result of they favored how my eyes appeared, I wasn’t a sufferer”. And for albino mannequin and human-rights lawyer, Thando Hopa, “working with Tim as a result of he didn’t different me. I used to be simply the Queen of Hearts on set.”
Australian mannequin Duckie Thot and Hopa cried on the finish of the shoot as a result of “we felt a way of catharsis,” Hopa defined. “Completely different voices and walks of life collaborated collectively to attempt to convey a message of illustration and inclusion The extent and weight of what we did, we felt it.”
Of what Walker desires viewers to remove from the imagery, he shared: “a way of magnificence and reduction from the on a regular basis. I really like actuality and I’m not an unreal particular person however I don’t assume there can ever be sufficient escapism and fantasy.”