The most anticipated timetable of the year is finally here. And as much as we love anything chocolate-filled, the qualifier of the day is not advent, but Pirelli, the Italian tire manufacturer known for its iconic fashion calendar. Today in Paris, the brand debuted the 44th edition of “The Cal.” Lensed by feted German photographer Peter Lindbergh, the “Emotional” black-and-white photos feature an all-star cast of actresses sans their usual high-gloss glam and high-fashion garb.
Lindbergh’s third calendar for Pirelli follows in the tradition of fellow lensmaster Annie Leibovitz’s 2016 edition, which featured famous ladies from all walks of life —most of them fully dressed, a striking departure from past calendars. (Over the years, the brand has typically favored young, stereotypically beautiful, scantily clad calendar girls.)
The theme of the calendar, as its title would suggest, is emotion. Lindbergh sought “to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked.” And so, in a move befitting a year that witnessed the most inclusive fashion month in recent history, Lindbergh’s shots of Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright, Zhang Ziyi and Russian professor Anastasia Ignatova feature not an ounce of retouching.
In a press release, Lindbergh explained the thought process behind the pared-down shots: “In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility…” Somewhere in America, a barefaced Hillary Clinton is raising her fist in solidarity.
The 2017 Pirelli Calendar is, unfortunately, only available to clients of Pirelli. However, you can comfort yourself with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 44th edition (below). Press play to hear Lindbergh’s would-be wives — “Everyone in this calendar, at one point in my life, I wanted to marry, and I didn’t have the balls to ask them!” Peter has confessed — talk baring their souls for the camera.