The 2023 Pirelli Calendar celebrates the muses who have inspired photographer Emma Summerton and, more broadly, the remarkable power, passion and talent of women
Just as Lila Moss was a natural fit for Emma Summerton’s 2023 Pirelli Calendar – which “celebrates incredible women” and allows them to “play out a part of themselves” – so it felt a natural choice to have the young model photographed in a breeze-teased wildflower meadow with nature flourishing all around her against a startling bright blue sky.
What took on another dimension, however, was that this wasn’t nature as we know it. The set was another planet, another “Earth”, with our own Earth in the distance.
In Emma Summerton’s Love Letters to the Muse-themed Cal, Lila represents The Seer: the conscientious, fresh, ethical young woman who sees the world now and looks into the future to what it might become.
“We were in a garden on another Earth with insects and butterflies and a big, beautiful Earth – our Earth – in the background,” said Emma Summerton of the set created for Lila.“And part of the idea was like a new world... a new state of mind. What Lila brings is grounded, calm. I want to say ‘new age’. It’s like a new beginning and a different consciousness that I think her generation brings forward that we maybe need to engage with – and understand that they’re the ones inheriting what we’re leaving behind.”
“It’s like a new beginning and a different consciousness that I think her generation brings forward that we maybe need to engage with”
As the daughter of legendary supermodel Kate Moss and Jefferson Hack – curator, creative director and co-founder of Dazed Media – it is perhaps unsurprising that Lila is no stranger to the limelight. But in recent years she has gained global recognitionin her own right.
A model since the age of 14 – the same age at which her mother was first scouted – and, still a teenager, she already has an impressive catalogue of covers, catwalks and campaigns to her name. Among highlights are Vogue covers in the UK in 2022, Hong Kong and Japan in 2021 and Italy in 2020. She has also appeared on the covers of Dazed and AnOther magazines, and has modelled for Miu Miu, Versace, Ermanno Scervino and Marc Jacobs.
She’s been to her first Met Gala, an experience she said was “very intimidating”, although it was helpful to have her mum alongside her, “because she’s very chill about these things”.
But without a doubt, Lila has her own sense of calm and composure. She’s a self-professed perfectionist, is “quite shy around other people” and is highly organised – even planning her daily wardrobe to coordinate with the weather forecast up to a week in advance. “It’s what I think about to get to sleep,” she laughed.
Of shooting her first Pirelli Calendar she says she’s “honoured to be part of such an iconic project. It feels very special. I knew my mum had done it [Kate Moss featured in the 1994, 2006 and 2012 Cals] and had heard of all the iconic people who’d shot it and been a part of it. So, when I was asked, I was really excited.”
It is the first time Lila has been photographed by Emma Summerton and she says of the experience, “it was really magical. She [Summerton] has such a peaceful energy and the set was very magical and otherworldly. I felt transformed. It felt like I was part of a painting.”
“I felt transformed. It felt like I was part of a painting”
On the deeper meaning of her role as The Seer, Lila believes: “She’s on a different planet – with a fresh new perspective. She looks down and sees us all looking for a solution to many different problems.”
When it came to dressing her, costume director Amanda Harlech reflected: “She’s like an otherworldly sprite, fallen from Earth to a world that has everything [that may one day be] lost... flowers, thistle down, butterflies...”
She put Lilai n a diaphanous, nude dress that was assembled on the spur of the moment from two pieces designed by students and a vintage item. A chain of flowers trailed up her shoulder and neck, and her hair was backcombed into a wild golden halo all around her face.
She was shot with an incredible sense of light and illumination to give it the otherworldly sense that Summerton envisioned.
When asked who is her own muse in life, Lila admits she’s most inspired by “my friends and my mum, the people closest to me because I know them so well”.
And perhaps embodying the spirit of the new age, she added: “I’m inspired by seeing all the different sides of them, knowing that they can be brave and strong, but also knowing all the things that can be happening in their lives... but they’re still supportive and always there and kind and generous.”