When shooting the 2012 Pirelli Calendar, Mario Sorrenti lived out a fantasy most men would kill for: He spent a week in Corsica photographing 12 of the world’s most beautiful women, including Kate Moss, Joan Smalls, Natasha Poly, and Lara Stone. Naked.
“It’s different [from editorial] because you don’t have the restrictions of clothes,” Sorrenti said at a press conference teasing the calendar—aptly titled Swoon—this morning. “My inspiration was to try and capture natural beauty and do something sensual and not over-the-top. There were times where it was very intimate, just the model and myself, taking pictures.”
Intimate may be a polite word for what it was. Certainly the subjects seemed to feel in the mood. “Hanging out naked, having your picture taken—it’s so sexy,” said Lara Stone (who doesn’t need much help in that department anyway). “He adores women, he really loves the female form and everything about it,” said Moss in the “making of” video screened at the event. And the love is mutual: “He makes you feel comfortable—he’s the only person I would take my clothes off for,” said Milla Jovovich, who has known Sorrenti since they were both teenagers.
Both Jovovich and Moss were two of the first girls Sorrenti photographed, because, as he explained, “I started with the girls I am closest to and work with all the time. Kate I have known for 20 years or so—I can’t do this without her, she has to be a part of it.” He later photographed some of the newer girls, like Japanese actress Rinko Kukuchi and Margareth Made. The results of their labor are in the form of 25 pictures, 18 black-and-white and seven in color, presented in a canvas portfolio (a new format for the 2012). “I couldn’t figure out what girl should be what month, so we just let that go,” said the photographer. The months, after all, aren’t the important part of this calendar anyways.
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- editor matthew schneier covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more