A portrait series by Pierpaolo Piccioli

Frances McDormand photographed by Pierpaolo Piccioli wearing Philip Treacy’s pink feather hat 

“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

L-R: Naomi Campbell, Benedetta Piccioli and Mariacarla Boscono

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.

Edward Enninful

Adut Akech

Simona Piccioli

Marta Ortega Perez

Lala Takahashi

Giancarlo Giammetti

Guido Palau

Pat McGrath

Benedetta Piccioli

Sabato de Sarno

Mariacarla Boscono

Gabriele Cusimano

Rocco Baldassarro

Laura Brown

Joe McKenna

Riccardo Celotti

Janet Mock

Maddalena Falbo

Alessio Pellecchia

Maura Cianfriglia

Silvia di Paolo

Yvan Mispelaere

Naomi Campbell

Rita Valente

Daniela Angelucci

Valeria Loli

Fran Summers

Antonella Criscione

Antonietta de Santis

Elide Morelli

Irene Stranieri

Kaia Gerber

Silvia Recchia

Maria Casini

Chiara Lorenzetti

Qin Lan

Daniela Toni

Rachele Bartoli

Alessandra Martini

Pablo Arroyo

Harumi Klossowska de Rola

Sabrina Paoletta

Carmela Pane

Frances McDormand

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.

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