Last week we were lucky enough to catch a rainy-night showing of the Bill Cunningham New York documentary. It was so moving I admit my eyes filled with happy tears not once, but twice! This film is full of morals without judgement, and life choice without imposition – an inspiration to say the least!!
His passion for clothes, simple and pure, left me feeling quite akin with this NY resident. He lives a focused life, a life of general ease (by choice), and yet is seen as a herald for high class (and high stress) fashion. I couldn’t help but take a cue from that.
His personal look is function AS fashion, and what he appreciates in others is the grace with which they work what they HAVE, and nothing else.
He tracks trend in the changes he sees in the world, not the garments he sees on the catwalk. A lesson for us all to learn over and over: Be yourself and your light will shine through the garments you choose. In the words of my sister “No pleasing others first, or catering to what you think they’re thinking, we’re bringing back the DO YOU movement – are you with me?” To which I replied with a resounding ” YES!”
“…see, I dont decide anything – I let the streets speak to me..In order for the streets to speak to you, you’ve got to stay out there and see what it is…You just dont manufacture in your head that skirts at the knee are the thing, and you go out and photgraph skirts at the knee…You’ve gotta stay on the street and let the street tell you what it is. There’s no shortcuts. Believe me.” – Bill Cunningham
“The main thing I love about street photography is that you find the answers you don’t see at the fashion shows… If you just cover the designers in the shows, that’s only one facet. You also need the street and the evening hours. If you cover the three things, you have the full picture…” – Bill Cunningham
Without putting on airs, or making demands, Mr. Cunningham shares wisdom behind a curtain of perceived callousness and nonchalance in fashion. He is an exemplary student of life in my humblest of opinions, and his film is a brief window of study into his world. If you get a chance, make sure to check it out!