Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bill Cunningham, New York

If you like clothes, or you like New York, or you like people, especially passionate artists of real integrity, I urge you to see this film: Bill Cunningham New York (2010).

At 80, Bill has spent most of his adult life living in a small studio apartment in Carnegie Hall (no kitchen, shared bathroom), and spending his days cycling around the streets of Manhattan, photographing people - mainly women - in stylish outfits. For him it's not about being a cookie-cutter fashionista; what intrigues him are those people who are creative with how they dress themselves. He's certainly in the right city for it. A former hat-maker, and now a fashion and special event photographer for the New York Times, he is a joyful, gently eccentric character who eschews money, "in and out" lists (and other forms of cruelty) and standing out in a crowd; in fact his own outfit of choice is usually topped by a $20 blue jacket, the same issue as is worn by the street cleaners of Paris (he picks up fresh supplies during Fashion Week).

How he has maintained his gentle manner, single-minded passion, and his life (dodging the traffic on his bike, no helmut) is a marvel in that great city.

I caught this film the last day of its run at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto. Hoping it comes to you soon; otherwise pick it up on DVD.

Click on the poster below to see a larger version, borrowed from the official Zeitgeist films website.


LadyCat said...

Sounds like a great film and a fascinating man. There are some awesome looks in the photo here. I love unique and original fashion and admire those that can put it all together.

R.A.D. Stainforth said...

Does Helmut not have a bike?

Zuzana said...

I guess he simply lives for and through his passion. Fortunate are those who feel so strongly about something.;)
Thanks for your recent visit.;) Yes indeed, Batcat - that has been renamed to Sammy, or actually named back to his original name - is thriving in our new home and I have a blog posted dedicated to my furry feline friend coming up soon.;)

Blog Princess G said...

All: thanks for the comments!