Fashion lovers who tuned into the history-making haute couture debut of Pyer Moss this July were in for a sight like nothing the fashion world had ever seen. While the brand was well known for its all-Black everything presentations, the first Black American-led label to present during the ultra exclusive Haute Couture Week used its opportunity well, centering Black innovation and artistry in a way that was both absurdist and ingenious, as it challenged viewers to recognize how integral Black brilliance is to all of our lives.
At the production’s helm—as well as conducting its live orchestra—was Dario Calmese, the renaissance man (and 2020 The Root 100 honoree) who made history of his own last year when he became the first Black photographer to shoot a cover for Vanity Fair with an arresting portrait of Viola Davis. Also an artistic director, curator, producer, writer, host (of The Institute of Black Imagination podcast) and more, the Pyer Moss show was Calmese’s sixth time directing a production for the label, which have become the most coveted tickets during Fashion Week for being “Black-stravaganzas,” melding music, fashion, message and reverence for our culture.
Now, Calmese has brought his particular brand of Black brilliance to Adobe, where he recently designed a series of photographic application presets to enhance the skin tones of people of color, as explained in a press release to The Root.
In their June release of updates for Creative Cloud, Adobe released a new package of Premium Presets for their photography applications, teaming up with contemporary innovator and photographer Dario Calmese, as well as the renowned documentary photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and lifestyle photographer Summer Murdock. The artists designed a range of presets in three portrait categories, sorted by skin color: Medium Skin, Deep Skin and Light Skin respectively, that will help photographers and editors to calibrate imagery of all skin complexions more naturally.
His and the presets of his cohorts are a big step toward a future in which digital technologies by Adobe, and hopefully others to follow, accurately portray and celebrate the difference, depth and reality of skin tones around the world.
Speaking with us on this week’s Big Beauty Tuesday, Calmese explains why this creative endeavor is part of a bigger commitment to bring everyone to the table—and to create without limits.
Also, a note: As we know, trends come and go, and as we continue to evolve at The Root, we’ve made the decision to bring this video series to its organic end, as I’m closing the Beauty Closet. However, we’ll still be here with beauty and fashion news, via both Big Beauty Tuesdays in written form and our weekly visit to the Funk Boutique. Thanks so much for watching!