February 3, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York



I may have relished at some point last April about the fact that Bill Cunningham, the world renowned New York Times photographer, and godfather of "Street Style" photography as we know it today, had made my birthday incredible with the press of a button: at the Brooklyn Ball, the man himself tossed up balloons with me as he took pictures of me playing in my birthday dress and Surface to Air heels. I'm pretty sure he had no idea I was completely fangirling, nor has he picked up on it the several other times we've chatted on New York City streets about fashion or snobbery or what an enormous fan of his I am.

He's shot Anna Piaggi and Iris Apfel and Anna Wintour ("I've said many times that we all get dressed for Bill,") and little old me (though, no, I don't think the photo of me was ever published) - drawing from the entire social spectrum of clothing-wearers, not just limiting himself to celebrities and their free dresses (more Cunningham wisdom, there). Part of the admiration I have for him comes from his humility, his lack of pretense, and immense skill at being a true observer. He's not just interested in what society people or celebrities wear, but what people on the streets are wearing, from inner-city teenagers to stroller mommies to models, and how the dynamic between high street and runway manifest in everyday life by everyday people.

ANYWAYS, the point of this post is really to talk about the Richard Press documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Of course, the aforementioned points are heavily visible throughout the film, but even more interestingly is seeing his work process, his modest (former) studio in Carnegie Hall, and the revealing, intimate details of his life that were a mystery to me before last night's screening. For the hour-and-a-half duration of the film, I literally had a smile on my face 97% of the time. Bill is such a joy to watch, honestly, even in his very vulnerable moments. He's the type of person you just want to hug because he's so sweetly real. The documentary takes him from the beginnings as a working-class Catholic boy to his early career as a milliner to his rise in the ranks of fashion editorial boards to the streets of Paris Fashion Week. It's full of cameos from editrixes Anna Wintour and Kim Hastreiter (Paper) and club-kids like Kenny Kenny and fashion personality/Dandy Patrick Mcdonald, and breaks down a bit of the mystery surrounding the man in the royal blue utility jacket.

Please, please go see this movie when it makes its official release on March 16th. If you love fashion, you must. If I haven't adequately convinced you, watch the trailer here.

Some more Cunningham brilliance for you:

Bill Cunningham | January 23, 2011 | New York Times

Bill Cunningham | January 23, 2011 | New York Times

9 comments:

  1. I am dying to see this.

    I cannot believe he shot you!

    Now I am double dying.

    Jacqui

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  2. Exuberant fashion news (this is what I call interesting). Unfortunately we will never see the movie (it properly won’t be released In Belgium). I see that he took wonderful pictures of fashion icons; I always love to see there colorfulness.

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  3. to be honest, I did not know about Bill.
    Thanks for sharing! I am really intrigued now and I have to find out more.

    ciao bella!
    Ylenia
    http://longuette.blogspot.com

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  4. Brilliant Post and thanks for the inroductions. I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out. Love you

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  5. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait for the movie.

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  6. Wow - this looks absolutely incredible - thanks for letting me know about it!

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  7. Thanks for the heads-up. I truly AM IN LOVE w/ Mr. Cunningham. The world is marvelous because he *sees*.

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  8. I am dying to see this.

    I cannot believe he shot you!

    Now I am double dying.

    Jacqui

    ReplyDelete

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