Until two years ago, the famously sexy, sometimes infamously homogeneously sexy Pirelli calendar underwent a drastic transformation. Suddenly, it was unafraid of being “real.” The careful selection of fully dressed women elected for their achievements, not their hotness, signaled a possible cultural shift. For 2017, Peter Lindbergh captured female movie stars unclothed and unaltered, saying it “conveys personality, sensitivity and the guts to be yourself.”
That’s a far cry from, say, Isabeli Fontana topless in latex chaps!
While little is realistic about the 2018 edition, it reflects an even more dramatic shift in direction. Shot by photographer Tim Walker, styled by British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and inspired by The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, its concept is to capture "in the pictures the surreal world of dreams." As Pirelli explains, the calendar features "17 characters from the world of fashion, music, cinema and the underground universe." (The last item sounds almost as fantastical as Wonderland itself.)
It's got major costumes. It’s got men. Most importantly, it features an all-black cast, including up-and-coming actress Sasha Lane, Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o, Lil Yachty, RuPaul Charles (as the Queen of Hearts, of course), Naomi Campbell and Whoopi Goldberg. Twenty-one-year-old Australian model Duckie Thot nabbed the role of Alice, while Sean Diddy Combs apparently “moved mountains” to be involved because he sees it as an urgently needed “unapologetic expression of black pride.”
Slated for release in November, it’s reserved for members, which makes it all the more covetable. But you can purchase Pirelli: The Calendar. Fifty Years and More, an epic coffee table book released by Taschen that features every calendar image from its inception in 1964 up to 2014. All this from a tire company! Leave it to the Italians.