Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibowitz and Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott are all names that command direct attention when in the photographic sphere. All have done works that are marveled at, fawned over and literally lectured about in schools everywhere. With such a prestigious lineup it is hard to believe that they were once associated with the T&A spectacle that is the Pirelli yearly calendar. But this is no average T&A. This is an art form. For decades (going back to the 60s) the Pirelli calendar has been a staple of high fashion and lipstick models. The 2007 edition was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde.
The 2008 edition was shot by Patrick Demarchelier and features ultra super model Agyness Deyn among others. Our retrospective concern is the 1970s. Shot by a variety of photographers including Brian Duffy (1973) and Sarah Moon (1972). The 70s edition of the Pirelli calendar reflected the nuanced upheaval of the decade. Coming out of the constant bombardment of the 60s and into a drug induced hangover in the early 70s the sporadic calendar of that decade went from beauty, to harsh reality. The beauty took on a Victorian heir in the Sarah Moon shot 1972 version and went a complete 180 in the Brian Duffy makeup spectacle that was the 1973 version. Luscious lips, heavy sky blue tinged eyes created a surrealistic embellished look from 1973 inevitably seeped into the 1974 Hans Feurer shot calendar.
The tradition carries on today in Pirelli’s exuberant 2008 calendar, but forgetting Sofia Loren in the same calendar of yesteryear is akin to forgetting fashion itself.