Wednesday, August 27, 2014

bill cunningham new york

I know I'm 5 years late, but I watched Bill Cunningham New York last night and felt all sorts of inspiration. Before there was Scott Schuman or Tommy Ton, there was Bill. Currently he still works as a fashion photographer for the Style section in The New York Times and does weekly videos in which he commentates on current trends for the website. I loved watching this documentary because I am so impressed at how fashion photography, particularly street style, has evolved. With Instagram and Tumblr, everyone is a street style photographer, but Bill was the original. I watched a few of his recent videos and I was so impressed at how he could cite a 1950s Dior show as the inspiration for a 23-year-old's dress choice.

This documentary is funny, heart-warming and has lots of fashion gods and goddesses and all of them worship Bill and his work. Interviews with Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel and Anna Piaggi were scattered throughout footage of Bill shooting anyone and everyone on the streets of New York. I love that Anna Wintour considers it "death" to not be photographed by a quirky old man in a bright blue jacket. I don't know how Bill is in real life, but he seems like a great pal to have. You could also tell that photography is the greatest love of is life and all he really wants to do during his days and nights.  He has this incredible eye that manages to capture the chicest humans in such a monstrous city. All I know is if I ever made it onto Bill's camera lens and heaven forbid his Style section, I would surely cease to exist.
Finally, I struggle with loving fashion and wanting to spend my life in it because of how worldly and materialistic the industry is. Even working at J.Crew, I feel as though I will never have enough or the right or the chicest clothes. I do believe there is a certain frivolity and worldliness about fashion that I probably don't need in my life, but there's also a sense of magic and beauty to it which no other art form can take the place of for me. It truly is a hunger that envelopes me when I scroll through pages of during fashion weeks or the New York Times fashion Instagram or idly flipping through Vogue at the grocery store. My hunger was fed a little bit after watching Bill Cunningham New York and he expressed so perfectly how I feel about fashion and clothes:

"The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don't think you can do away with it, it would be like doing away with civilization."

All hail King Bill.


  1. All hail. One of my favorite people ever I've never met. Love this!

  2. So glad I stopped by your blog Ynna. You and I share the same thoughts about the fashion world. I have an internal battle when I talk about style/fashion on my blog because I love fashion (always have, always will) but I feel that it takes me into a material world where I don't need to be. A good illustration of this could be my coffee table books: "Yves Saint Laurent" & "Beholding Salvation: The Life of Christ in Word and Image". ha! Anyway, I want to check out this documentary!