THE PINK FEATHER HAT
A portrait series by Pierpaolo Piccioli
“Shooting people I love wearing this pink feather hat is a way for me to keep experimenting, to narrate diversity, to pay homage to Franca’s unique visionary work and to have a friend like her still here – with me – on this adventure.”
– Pierpaolo Piccioli
This series originally appeared in A Magazine N°20 Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli, December 2019.
My main inspiration for this story was the work of Steven Meisel. His revolutionary shoot for Franca Sozzani’s Vogue Italia, October 1992, opened my eyes to a new approach to fashion photography. It showed a humanity that – at that time – was new, or at least unknown to a wider audience. It was the very first story about inclusivity in fashion. And it made me realise that a fashion narrative could convey more than just aesthetic statements. It really provoked my imagination at a time when I was starting to shape my own idea about what fashion is and how to convey my personal language.
Not only did he inspire this portrait series, but he also sparked a fantasy: to take photos myself. I felt the urge to shoot. I wanted to crystalize a moment with my own photography and to dedicate these images a human being’s inner beauty.
In these pictures, Philip’s hat contains something both eccentric and elegant – just like each person. Passing the hat from model to model created a common ground and a collective mood. The shoot became a game, but it was much more than that: using the same object for everyone exemplified each of their unique personalities.
Meisel’s lesson and my experiment, I hope, are in line with Franca’s vision and her way to narrate and present fashion. It is her interpretation we keep referring to – an inescapable intelligence. Her style of storytelling is the one I believe in. It puts people at the centre of an image, with their humanity, their intimate and talented nature, values and imperfections. It is a complete human vision, ironic yet graceful, subversive yes so understandable.
Shooting people I love wearing this pink feather hat is a way for me to keep experimenting, to narrate diversity, to pay homage to Franca’s unique visionary work and to have a friend like her sill here – with me – on this adventure. – P.P.