In 2017 Pirelli calendar, actresses reveal themselves naked but fully clothed in Peter Lindbergh’s black-and-white portraits

Fashion photographer says it’s more important his models show themselves as they really are rather than bare their bodies, and new calendar is ‘a cry against the terror and perfection of youth’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 9:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 9:50am

Pirelli has unveiled its feminist-friendly 2017 calendar with a galaxy of Hollywood stars including China’s Zhang Ziyi daring to show their wrinkles and crow’s feet to the camera.

The arty black-and-white compilation is a world away from the glossy airbrushed images of naked women that traditionally graced garages and men’s locker rooms.

Fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, who roped in veteran stars Helen Mirren and Charlotte Rampling – aged 71 and 70 - said his calendar was “a cry against the terror of perfection and youth”.

Even his shots of Nicole Kidman and glamorous James Bond star Lea Seydoux embraced their imperfections.

“Talent is sexy,” said the German-born filmmaker, who shot some of the actresses, including Julianne Moore, without makeup.

Pirelli calendar at 50: soft-porn staple that won fashion set over

“We don’t do naked any more,” he added as the calender was launched in Paris on Tuesday. “What is much more important than naked body parts is when you really show yourself as you are.”

Pirelli stopped using nude shots for its calendar three years ago.

Lindbergh said he wanted to strip away all the airbrushing that has come with the age of celebrity.

“There is no beauty without truth. All this fake making up of a person into something that is not them cannot be beautiful. It is just ridiculous,” he said.

Oscar-winner Kate Winslet said she agreed to do the calender because she knew Lindbergh does not touch up his photos.

“I wanted him to photograph my age at 40, as I am,” Winslet said in a video filmed after her shoot in London.

“He wants to see women as they are, their lines, their little crow’s feet, their veins... I asked him to photograph the backs of my hands, because they are different than when I was 30.

“People are always making us a softer version of 40 or a more youthful version of 50. But isn’t it just OK to be 40 or 50 or 60?” she added.

The 15 women featured in the calendar range in age from 28 to 71, with most in their 40s, including Penelope Cruz and Uma Thurman.

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi among galaxy of screen stars in Pirelli’s 2017 calendar

Rather than concentrate on their bodies, as Pirelli calendars did in the past, Lindbergh focused mostly on the faces of his subjects, with a series of tender and revealing portraits.

People are always making us a softer version of 40 or a more youthful version of 50. But isn’t it just OK to be 40 or 50 or 60?
Kate Winslet

Kidman said she wasn’t afraid of nudity “but if it is exploitative it is not interesting”.

She was happier, however, that the photographer had allowed the women to be their age. “The voice of actresses is getting stronger,” she said.

Both Mirren and Rampling said they worked on being as emotionally naked as they could be standing before the camera.

“In our business we start out very young hopefully being true to ourselves and then the profession can start to put so many limits that we are no longer the true person you are,” Rampling said. “Peter wants to get to that vulnerable part of yourself.”