It's very, Pirelli classy. Not sure what the blokes will think, though
The legendary calendar has gone all #MeToo for its 2019 edition
We finally have an insight into the 2019 Pirelli calendar and, as should be expected from the annual outing, the imagery is simply gorgeous.
The theme of the calendar is Dreaming, a focus on “the dreams and aspirations of four successful and talented women”. The man chosen to photograph the 46th edition of the Pirelli Calendar was Albert Watson.
The Scottish photographer created a background story for each woman and those narratives then informed Watson’s cinematic set design.
Watch: 2019 Pirelli Calendar, DREAMING by Albert Watson
The first is Misty Copeland, who is “the dancer”. She occupies the role of a stripper making ends meet at a Miami night club, but yearns to make it big in Paris. She uses a little stage in her garden to practise her dancing along with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal.
Gigi Hadid plays the role of “the wealthy socialite”. She is beautiful, wealthy and famous – the envy of her peers, but none of that pleases her. She decides to get away from her Manhattan apartment to reconnect with her mentor and confidante, played by Alexander Wang.
Former supermodel and actress Laetitia Casta was cast as “the painter” while the actress Julia Garner is “the photographer”. Casta is accompanied by the real life ballet dancer Sergei Polunin from Ukraine while Garner takes pictures of the model Astrid Eika as a nude model.
Watson told CNN that the Pirelli Calendar used to be a sexy pin-up calendar for mechanics, but in the age of #MeToo, that route felt wrong. In an interview with Pirelli, he also added that he wanted to “convey a positive vision of women today”.
That is not to say there is no nudity or sexual imagery in the calendar, but as Pirelli states, in the last few years the calendar has followed themes that aim to tackle a wider societal idea.
It was in 2016, when Annie Leibovitz featured women famous for anything but their model-approved bodies, that the new trend started. 2017 followed suit with Peter Lindbergh handpicking the women he believed to be the most talented in the world and photographed them “figuratively naked”. The 2018 calendar then featured an all-black cast in an Alice in Wonderland setting during a time of #OscarsSoWhite. This year was about highlighting “the nature of dreams and ambitions in the 21st century”.
“I think there’s a degree of angst in these images,” explains Watson. “To make a dream come true, you have to work hard.” But the calendar proves that hard work is worth artistic beauty.