Image: Jessica Chastain by Peter Lindbergh for Pirelli
If you think of the annual Pirelli calendar as a collection of almost naked models on the beach in sexually suggestive poses, it’s time to catch up.
After breaking tradition last year with Annie Leibovitz’s series of black and white portraits of talented women, Pirelli has continued to move in a more sophisticated and feminist direction for 2017. Next year’s calendar, released Tuesday, is again a series of black and white portraits – this time all actresses – unretouched and makeup-free, by famed German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh.
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, and Zhang Ziyi are the women featured in all their au natural glory for 2017, chosen because they know Lindbergh well.
Image: Lupita Nyong’o by Peter Lindbergh for Pirelli
The line-up also features Anastasia Ignatova, a Political Theory professor at Moscow State University, as a special guest.
Lindbergh explained that he felt a “responsibility” to portray a realistic view of women to an ever perfection-obsessed, Instagram-filtered society.
“I wanted to show women in a different way,” Lindbergh explains. “I did this by asking actresses who have always played an important role in my life and to try and get as close to them as possible through my photos.
“As an artist, I feel I have a responsibility to free women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. Society’s ideal of perfection is impossible to achieve.”
Image: Julianne Moore by Peter Lindbergh for Pirelli
The result is a powerful encapsulation of some of the world’s most recognised and successful actress, presented without the perfecting lens of Hollywood or airbrushing of a magazine cover.
“[Lindbergh] said ‘I want you to be yourself, to be free, to be real, to be strong,” Kate Winslet says of her photo shoot with the photographer in a behind-the-scenes video.
Image: Robin Wright by Peter Lindbergh for Pirelli
“I walked in with no make-up on and wet hair, and he said … ‘that’s perfect,’” Julianne Moore recalls of her own day on set.
With its new direction affirmed, the Pirelli calendar has transformed from something beautiful but predictable to an ode to the natural beauty and strength of women.
See all the portraits and read more about the 2017 Pirelli calendar here.