Home / The Stockings Project: This Sexy Photo Book Carries an Urgent Message
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Cancer has a way of focusing the mind.

Montreal fashion photographer Anthony Turano learned that the hard way this spring while working on glossy photo book to raise money for breast cancer research.

It was a side project, something he’d been puttering away at between paid gigs for the better part of a year. No big rush. No particular deadline.

Then, during minor gall bladder surgery in April, the 34-year-old Turano received some crushing news: an MRI had revealed a Stage 1 tumour on his right kidney. What followed, he says, was “the worst summer of my life” — and a renewed determination to create a classic coffee-table photo book that celebrates women.

Called The Stockings Project, the book is supported by Canadian luxury lingerie brand Blush and numerous other sponsors. It’s scheduled for release in October 2015, although the project website will begin accepting pre-orders for the $80 book in January.

“It definitely affected the momentum of the book,” Turano said of his left-field cancer diagnosis. “Before, I was slowly working on it. I was like, ‘Oh, there’s plenty of time’. It was a little thing for me to do on the side.

“Now it has a lot more of my attention. Now I really have to do it.”

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Turano, who completed a successful treatment program in late September, used his down time during the summer to deal with the book’s administrative chores — recruiting models and crew, lining up sponsors, identifying locations for photoshoots and settling publishing details.

Last week, he was back in action, shooting in the designer penthouse of Toronto’s 5-star Cosmopolitan Hotel. A heavy fall schedule of photoshoots will follow — more than 50 models in luxurious venues in five cities in Canada and the U.S.

Turano is a leading international fashion photographer who specializes in lingerie and swimwear editorial shoots for a wide range of fashion magazines.

The Stockings Project will be a large-format hardcover volume with models outfitted in Blush lingerie and stockings provided by Canadian retailer Betty’s Essentials from leading European brands like Cervin. Everyone involved in the project — models, stylists, makeup artists and other sponsors — are donating their time and services. “Every penny” raised by the project will go to The Cure Foundation for Breast Cancer.

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Turano said he originally decided to use the project to support breast cancer research “because it’s the disease that has affected the most people around me.”

If there’s a message in The Stockings Project, beyond its spectacular gallery of images, it’s that cancer can be capricious and random, afflicting even the young and healthy with a kind of gruesome impartiality. Cherish the privilege of good health while you have it.

“The more I knew people who had cancer, the more I thought ‘I hope I never get it’. But I did,” Turano said. “Maybe none of these models have had breast cancer, but they might someday. In the back of every woman’s mind there is that fear.”

Adding more relevance — and urgency — to the project, the model who was picked to be in the book’s cover photo lost her mother to breast cancer just last month (and is herself a cancer survivor).

Such grim coincidences make Turano determined to create a series of glamorous portraits that celebrate women.

“I didn’t want the book to be depressing,” he said. I don’t want it to remind people what breast cancer is — they’re reminded of that every day.

The Stockings Project is about celebrating the beauty of a woman’s body and the fact that we have to protect it.”

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For Montreal-based Blush Lingerie, collaborating on The Stockings Project was an easy decision.

“Anthony was searching for a specialized lingerie partner for his book,” Blush creative director Tiffany Ajmo told Lingerie Talk. “We were truly excited to get on board.

Blush has very similar beliefs to Anthony. We work so hard every day to help women feel beautiful, feel empowered and confident. This book exemplifies all that and more. In addition, we are so┬áhonoured to be a part of a project that gives back to society.”

Blush is known for both its elegant, European-influenced fashion lingerie and its high-end photo campaigns, which are typically among the industry’s best.

Production on The Stockings Project this fall coincided with Blush’s launch of a new online boutique and website that explores “Blush World”, as well as a glossy digital magazine, The Blush Social, which profiled Turano in its first monthly edition. Be sure to check it out.

[NOTE: Images shown are preview shots from The Stockings Project and feature Blush Lingerie garments. All images © Anthony Turano.]

Anthony Turano
The Stockings Project
Blush Lingerie
The Blush Social

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