“We all get dressed for Bill.”
Long before the Sartorialist, Face Hunter and Tommy Ton there was Bill Cunningham. The O.G. street style photographer has been documenting what people are wearing for over fifty years. Riding around NYC on nothing more than a Schwin bike, Bill Cunningham goes uptown and downtown to cover fashion trends for his “On The Street” column and to swanky charitable events for his “Evening Hours” column – both of which appear in the Style Section of the New York Times.
The film follows Bill Cunningham from the street, to the office, to his studio above Carnegie Hall that’s lined with file cabinets full of decades worth of photos. Cunningham lets us into his world – a place where he lives a very humble lifestyle yet catalogs luxury and lavishness. Much more than a photographer, Cunningham is a cultural anthropologist chronicling New York City fashion and lifestyle.
Bill Cunningham will photograph anyone that catches his eye – yet there are favorites that he has captured on film many times. Many of his recurring subjects from Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, to dandy about town Patrick McDonald and business woman and fashion icon Iris Apfel. Industry folk also weigh in: Harold Koda, the head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gives us a more academic understanding of the significance of Cunningham’s work. The most colorful of Cunningham’s friends is Editta Sherman, a photographer who also has a studio in Carnegie Hall and is probably deserving of her own documentary!
I loved this documentary and if you love fashion or just admire people who are devoted to their craft then you should definitely see Bill Cunningham New York. The film opens Friday April 8th in San Francisco at the Landmark Theater and Shattuck in Berkeley.
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