130. Bill Cunningham New York
I was raised on the New York Times‘ Sunday Styles section. My mother, one of the most fashionable women I know, reads Sunday Styles religiously every week. As I grew up, I learned to read it, too, although I had to go second. And any reader of Sunday Styles knows that the best part of the section is Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street.”
Cunningham photographs fabulous men and women, generally on and around 5th and Madison Avenues. He notices trends – one week, for example, everyone will be wearing neon yellow. Another week, bold florals. It’s a democratic way of establishing trends – Anna Wintour and Vogue are not deciding what’s hot, the people on the street are. And, man, are they fabulous.
Bill Cunningham himself is not just a talented fashion photographer, he’s also an adorable man. And he is the focus of a documentary that came out in 2010 called “Bill Cunningham New York.” The film interviews many fabulous informal fashion icons, including my personal favorite Iris Apfel. It also focuses on Bill Cunningham’s adorable life. He’s lived in an apartment in Carnegie Hall forever. His neighbors are appropriately nutty. He rides a bicycle and wears a ratty blue jacket.
My favorite thing about Bill Cunningham is his sense of fun and whimsy in the fashion world. He appreciates the bizarre. He loves to photograph dogs and women (and men) in outrageous patterns.
This film really embraces Bill Cunningham as a person and icon. He is lovable, and this film emphasizes all of the best things about him. It’s definitely a fluff piece on Cunningham, but – hey – it’s a feel-good movie about a generally feel-good person. I highly recommend it for a nice evening full of eye candy and adorable, quirky old people.
Basically, thanks Bill, for the best fashion photography out there. And for being so damn cute.