Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the Street

Bill Cunningham is a street photographer. He rides a bicycle, wears a blue jacket and takes pictures of people on the street. Other people’s clothing are his absolute raison d’etre. He lives a life of extreme asceticism. Never cooks. Hardly eats. Goes to church on Sunday. Doesn’t particularly care for money. Has few personal items and even fewer personal friends. He attends all the fanciest parties in New York. But he doesn’t party, not one bit. He works instead. Fastidiously chronicling what people wear through his pictures. He has devoted his entirety to searching for beauty. Bill is a fashion monk.

His photo page in the Times is a veritable quilt of the town’s quirk. He shoots pictures of people who are uniquely dressed and then finds other people who are wearing something similar. He follows patterns of color, texture, cut and curiosity. At it since the ‘60’s, Bill captures that quality of New York that makes ordinary people instantly boring. Older ladies in large black rimmed round glasses, couches turned into suits, hats, astonishing egos, pelts, fuzz, feathers, impossible heels. Its magical realism, but its real.

We saw a documentary about his life tonight, its called “Bill Cunningham’s New York”. It was seriously heartwarming and inspiring. It made me wish more people were like Bill.

But before we saw the film, Joe saw him. A few months ago. On the street. Riding his bicycle. Joe approached him and asked him for a picture for his wife, who is me. And so, Bill let Joe take a video of him. You can hear the smiles that ensued between my darling and the city’s humble fashion darling, Bill.


  1. Emma saw that movie, loved it and told me all about it. My only curmudgeonly objection is that his saintliness is in the service of the fashion branch of the military-industrial complex.

  2. can't wait to see this documentary...sorry to see it only being shown a short period of time in NYC...new follower..nice blog !!

  3. hey! I'm so excited I found your blog. I'm a new follower, I hope you will as well. I started my blog a little over a month ago. It's all about celebrity fashion from the point of view of an LA stylist. Stop by to see multiple post a day on all the latest celebrity fashion news and check out pictures from the fall/winter preview I attended yesterday in Beverly Hills. Would love your support. xoxo