In a year the world really does seem to have gone topsy-turvy, how apt is it that the 2018 Pirelli Calendar has gone down the rabbit hole to match? But while photographer Tim Walker professed during a press conference in September that he had no other intention than to retell Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to celebrate black beauty in its various shades and configurations, the upside-down-ness of his miniature universe still feels like a defiant inversion of the one outside it.
Starring talent like Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong'o, RuPaul, and Brother Love (the artist formerly known as Diddy or Sean Combs), and featuring Sudanese-Australian model Duckie Thot as the titular character, the 28 images feature an all-black cast for the second time in Calendar history.
"It is very important that the story of Alice be told to a new generation," said stylist Edward Enninful in a press release. "Her adventure in Wonderland resonates with the world we live in today; obstacles we have to overcome and the idea of celebrating difference…To see a black Alice today means children of all races can embrace the idea of diversity from a very young age and also acknowledge that beauty comes in all colors...Projects like this remarkable Pirelli Calendar demonstrate that there is still hope in what sometimes feels like an increasingly cynical reality."
A fantastic lightness, as told by a dark children's story. Here, a sneak peek of four of the intricately wrought photos within.
Diddy and Naomi Campbell
Thando Hopa and Whoopi Goldberg