In the Pirelli 2018 calendar, photographer Tim Walker and Vogue‘s Edward Enninful re-imagined Alice in Wonderland with an all-black, star-studded cast. The launch party on Friday saw Duckie Thot, Thando Hopa, Slick Woods and other incomparable celebrities serving serious looks. This is what some of our faves wore and had to say the shoot:
Thando Hopa: The Princess of Hearts
South African lawyer, activist and model Thando Hopa wore a Gert Coetzee gown to the launch. Pirelli’s Princess of Hearts had the following to say: “We spoke about representation, diversity, inclusion. It became one of those projects where you knew this particular thing would set such a precedent. It felt like something significant.”
As I walked that red carpet with lights that were so blinding I could no longer tell the difference between the light and the dark. I heard people shout “you look gorgeous, who are you wearing??? “, I shouted back @gertjohancoetzee”. I smiled when answering a question and said actually this designer discovered me 5 years ago when I would have never thought to model. I only worked with him on condition that we create positive representation and humanize difference through fashion and 5 years later i am walking in his dress at the @pirelli @pirelliusa #pirellicalendar launch when pirelli is making a strong cultural statement about representation and diversity. #alignment.. @dailymail quote saying “Dreamy! Thando Hopa looked simply stunning in a long black gown with impressive gold detailing lining the bodice”, #jewelry the queen maker @kirsten___goss
Pictured next to Thando below, Whoopi Goldberg was cast as The Royal Duchess, and told the Cut: “I’ve always known how people see women of colour and how they think of women of colour. I get lots of comments. To be on the set with all colours of brown was extraordinary.”
Duckie Thot: Alice
“You hold a special place in my heart Tim. Thank you for telling the world that fairytales belong to every girl. We worked so hard on this, really couldn’t help but cry after we finished shooting. Thank you for choosing me to be your Alice.” This was Duckie Thot’s message to Tim Walker on Instagram. The iconic model cast as Alice also appeared in Rihanna’s hugely successful Fenty Beauty campaign.
Duckie added: “I was born and raised in Australia, so I didn’t have peers who looked like me. I never saw them on the covers of anything. I never saw them on my screen. It means so much to me because I know it’s going to impact some girl’s life in a way that I wish I had when I was younger.”
The Mad Hatter: Slick Woods
Fashion model and style legend, Slick Woods was perfectly cast as the enigmatic Mad Hatter. In an Instagram post, the star penned a simple and profound caption: “A step into our children knowing that our history didn’t start with slavery #pirellicalendar“:
And many more stars:
Adwoa Aboah – who recently graced the cover of British Vogue – was at the launch too. The beauty was cast as Tweedledee:
The extraordinary Naomi Campbell and P Diddy made an appearance. The pair are pretty surreal as The Royal Beheaders.
Trapper Lil Yachty also strutted his stuff. The young was cast as The Queen’s Guard.
Some of the other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o, Djimon Hounsou, Ru Paul, Adut Akech, Alpha Dia, King Owusu, Wilson Oryema, Zoe Bedeaux and Sasha Lane. The Pirelli Calendar has certainly evolved from it’s past Eurocentric hetero-normative beauty standards, with unretouched celebrities featuring in the 2017 calendar and this unapologetically black wonderland for next year.