Four short years ago, the Pirelli Calendar was known for featuring top models and all-latex outfits. In recent years, though, the calendar has taken a major turn and started focusing on inclusivity on top of the amazing images. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, the Pirelli Calendar features an all-black cast. The 17 celebrities featured all come from different backgrounds, but they have come together for one stunning Wonderland-themed shoot. Get ready to jump down the rabbit hole, because these images are incredible.
The Pirelli Calendar has been making quite the statement in recent years. For 2016, Annie Leibovitz took a stance on feminism. For 2017, Peter Lindbergh took un-retouched photos for the collection. In the latest edition, photographer Tim Walker chose an all-black cast for the Pirelli Calendar. Walker brought in a team of 17 celebrities to be transformed into characters from Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland." The line up includes Whoopi Goldberg as The Royal Duchess, Zoe Bedeaux as The Caterpillar, and Sean "Diddy" Combs as The Royal Beheader.
“We are the royal beheaders,” Combs told the New York Times. “When we get the nod, it’s all, ‘Off with their heads!’ That’s how it will feel when people see these pictures too. In a positive way, obviously.”
So if you don't like this shoot, it's off with your head! Metaphorically, of course. The message goes much deeper than the playful images though. According to Edward Enninful, the new editor of British Vogue and stylist of the 2018 Pirelli shoot, it's all about inclusivity.
“Inclusivity is more part of the conversation than it has ever been before, but it goes far beyond black and white,” Mr. Enninful told the New York Times. “It is about all creeds, all colors, all sizes and people just living their truths. A lot of this is about digital giving people voices, and a new generation who refuse to compromise and want answers to the questions that matter to them. Given the state of the world we live in, sometimes I think we all feel like we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. For me, a retelling of ‘Alice’ for the modern world was a perfect project, particularly once the cast fell into place.”
As far as the shoot goes, this is one of the most elaborate yet. In past years, photographers have focused on simplistic shots featuring in a single person at a time. This year, everyone is coming together to tell one big story. That in itself is an important aspect of this year's calendar.
Of course, it would be nothing without some amazing names. In addition to Goldberg, Bedeaux, and Combs, Lupita Nyong'o is featured as the Dormmouse, Lil Yachty as The Queen's Guard, and Sasha Lane as the Mad March Hare. There are characters that you know and love from the novel and — in true 21st century form — a few that have been created.
Between the incredible shoot and the stars, this calendar might just be the best yet. One thing is for sure — the calendar is bigger and better than ever.