Alfa Romeo has commissioned renowned photographer Phil Knott to create a unique collection of stunning black and white photos
These are of the new Alfa MiTo and Giulietta Collezione models along a classic Alfa, using cameras from each decade since the 1950s.
Inspired by monochrome style of the Italian brand’s latest special editions, Knott - famed for his monotone images of celebrities including Prince, Jude Law, Kanye West and Amy Winehouse - used iconic cameras such as the Leica M3, introduced in 1954, the Hasselblad 500C/M and the Nikon F, all of which have made their mark on the world of photography since the original Alfa Giulietta was launched in 1954.
British-born Knott, who now lives in New York, chose locations around London that best embodied the style of each era and the story behind each camera, using the MiTo and Giulietta Collezione models - alongside a 1959 Giulietta - as the subject matter. The images have been developed and hand-printed by Robin Bell - one of Britain’s most respected black and white printers.
Shooting in Richmond using a 1950s Leica M3, Knott captured the area’s cinematic post-war brickwork in the background with the iconically shaped cars in the foreground, evoking memories of the famous Bert Stern prints of Marilyn Monroe.
For the 1960s he used a Hasselblad 500C/M in Holland Park to create simple, warm and toned prints. And for the 1970s he worked with a Nikon F in the tall, concrete surroundings of Barbican to produce images inspired by The Beatles Abbey Road album cover shot by Iain Macmillan.
The inspiration for the 1980s-style photography was David Sylvian’s Album, Life in Tokyo; using an Olympus OM4, Knott shot the Alfa Giulietta Collezione’s LED headlight in the foreground, with Alfa Giulietta’s limited-edition black wing-mirror in the mid-ground and a hint of the Lloyd’s building at the back of the frame, creating abstract landscape images.
He then used a 1990s Minolta Dynax 9xi to frame the new Collezione models with Canary Wharf setting the scene, while The London Eye provided the perfect backdrop for the shots with a 2000s Canon EOS 5D.
As a reflection of the times, Knott also embraced the latest trend in photography, using the 8-megapixel iSight camera on the Apple iPhone 6S for his contemporary day images.
With these shots he created a unique mosaic of images to showcase the Alfa Giulietta and MiTo in contrast to the iconic street art of East London, capturing the Alfa Romeo Collezione car’s distinguishing details.
Phil said: “To me it’s all about timeless style which both Alfa Romeo and the cameras I used perfectly encapsulate. Capturing Alfa Romeo’s timeless design with these iconic cameras, looking through some of the best set of lenses in history to showcase the fantastic evolution of such an iconic brand was truly a beautiful experience.”
Damien Dally, country manager for Alfa Romeo, added: “We wanted to showcase the luxury and timeless style of the new Alfa MiTo and Giulietta Collezione in a unique way. Alfa Romeo’s iconic designs take inspiration from the past while looking into the future and Phil has represented our ethos perfectly in his exclusive collection of images.”