“Lately I have been shooting a bunch of great editorial, which I’m really excited about,” said Ali Michael in her recent Next Questions interview. Included in that lot of editorials, which surfaced today, was this story by photography duo Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello running in the May 2017 issue of Numéro. Photographed in Japan with Mount Fuji (富士山) as a backdrop, the editorial’s wholly appropriate title “La Montagne Sacrée” only tells half the story. Yes, Fuji is certainly sacred, but everything else about this story is profane, or rather, erotic. Without trying to provoke any overzealous firewalls into suppression, it must be noted erotic art has a long and storied tradition in Japan dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868) during which it reached its zenith. Shunga (春画) as the art form is known in Japan was widely adopted out of various superstitions by samurai, merchants, and even housewives, all of whom were separated for lengthy periods from their partners. Fast forward into the 21st century and eroticism is no less prevalent in Japan than it was centuries ago. Ali for her part updates traditional erotic into a wholly contemporary register. Nestled in the crotch of a wintry tree, Ali (pictured) just about wears a printed silk dress by Louis Vuitton and sandals by Salvatore Ferragamo. Ali unleashes even more lurid poses, which in the warm light of winter make for quite a contrast. Small wonder this story had Ali excited, surely she is not alone in this feeling.

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Credits include: Publication, Numéro N°183 May 2017; Title, “La Montagne Sacrée”; Photography, Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello; Styling, Samuel François; Hair, Dai Michishita; Makeup, Rie Omoto at See Management; Digital, Alexandre Marillat; Production, IINO Productions.

Ali Michael | Numéro N°183 May 2017 (Photography: Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello)

Ali Michael | Numéro N°183 May 2017 (Photography: Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello)