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Brandishing a thick beard, host Adrien Brody kicked off the Pirelli Calendar 2015 party in Milan with an apology.
“I am playing Charles the fifth by day, and by night I’m Adrien Brody — so that’s my excuse for the beard,” said the actor, referring to his new role on Lee Tamahori’s film Emperor. Wearing a black velvet Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo, Brody told The Hollywood Reporter that he relished the chance to bring his style A-game to events. “It’s an opportunity to have fun and dress up. I have plenty of downtime, and I have a chance to have fun and enjoy it.”
Tuesday night’s black-tie gala dinner took place in Pirelli’s vast Hangar Bicocca contemporary art gallery located in a former factory in north Milan, where tables were arranged among Seven Heavenly Palaces, the striking permanent exhibition of seven 14-meter high crooked concrete towers by German artist Anselm Kiefer. The evening celebrated Pirelli’s 2015 calendar, dubbed “The Calendar Girls 2015,” which was shot in a New York studio by famed fashion lensman Steven Meisel and styled by Carine Roitfeld. Meisel, who is rarely seen in public, didn’t attend the gala dinner, but made his presence known with his erotically charged images.
The cross section of models starring in next year’s calendar includes Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls and Carolyn Murphy, and up-and-comers Gigi Hadid and Sasha Luss. For the first time, a curvy model, Candice Huffine, debuts in the calendar.
CALENDAR GIRLS: Karen Elson (left), Gigi Hadid and Candice Huffine
After the guests viewed a titillating behind-the-scenes video — which depicted Bridget Bardot look-alike Anna Ewers straddling a bike in high-cut red latex knickers — Brody said jokingly, “In my next life I want to be a fashion photographer or a bicycle seat.”
Singer Mario Biondi took to the stage after dinner, with his gravelly tones coaxing Meisel’s agent, Jimmy Moffat, and models Candice Huffine and Gigi Hadid to the dance floor, while Karen Elson took pictures of them twirling. “
“It really is a modern-day, sexy pinup calendar,” said Elson, who has posed for the Pirelli Calendar four times. “Everyone is talking about Candice being the curvy girl. Candice is sexy and gorgeous. We are all different shapes and sizes, I’m certainly not a size zero. I’ve got two kids and I’m 36. For me, being able to do the calendar again is amazing. I love that Steven has chosen all different women.”
The calendar has become a fashion legacy featuring provocative images of big-name models and showcasing the talent of some of the world’s greatest photographers. The calendar is destined for a private audience. Just 17,000 copies of the 2015 calendar will be sent to Pirelli’s top-tier clients. It is rumored that Buckingham Palace and the Vatican each receive a copy annually.
This year, Pirelli will commemorate the calendar’s 51-year history in Milan’s modern art gallery Palazzo Reale with an exhibition called “Form and Desire,” which will feature a collection of more than 200 iconic images taken for Pirelli Calendars over the decades.
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