Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bill Cunningham

We watched a documentary in my fashion class the other day about Bill Cunningham, a street fashion photographer for the New York Times.

What a passionate man. He is one of the last 6 tenants of Carnegie Hall in NYC, a place known for the various celebrities and artsy folk who have lived there over the years. Two of the ladies have lived there since before 1950! The changes they've seen in the city and the people that they've met are amazing to think about. Such history.

Cunningham himself is a marvel. His tiny apartment is full of file cabinets of negatives and pictures from his entire career. When asked about where he'll live after Carnegie, he scoffed at the idea of a new place. “It'll probably have a kitchen and a bathroom. Who wants that? It's just more to clean.” ...And he was completely serious.

As a photographer, he puts other journalists' ethics to shame. I know we're not supposed to accept gifts and such, but Cunningham won't even accept a glass of water at the fancy parties and red carpet events he attends. All in the name of objectivity.

The doc also featured interviews from various wellknown people in NYC society. I was amused by this dapper gentleman, Patrick McDonald, who is known as “Dandy.” What awesome style. He showed his technique for putting on and taking off hats, which was hilarious.

It's great to see people so passionate about their jobs. You can tell that this is really what Cunningham loves. He sees “fashion as an art form, dressing the body.” He loves things that stand out, probably what some people would stare at and call “weird” or “out of place.” I agree with him completely. That's what fashion should be.  

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