“I’m not interested in celebrities and their free dresses. I’m interested in FASHION!”
My photo of Mr. Cunningham from 2012
Without a doubt, I’m one of hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers posting tonight about the passing of Bill Cunningham, the remarkable NY photographer who practically, if not literally, invented the art of capturing unbridled, unfiltered Manhattan street style for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Still, as someone who has a deep appreciation for fashion (to put it mildly) I would feel remiss to let his passing go unmentioned here on Slim Paley. It was my pleasure to catch a glimpse of his blue jacket sailing by on his bicycle a few times on the upper east side of NY. Once, coming out of the northeast door of Barney’s and turning right to Madison, I was lucky enough to see him in action, snapping Daphne Guinness exiting the main door. Such a wonderful NY moment.
He was elegant, unique, talented, interesting (though he would beg to differ) and enormously humble. A simple man who found an admirably solid and grounded place in a world many deem frivolous.
“I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it”.
He stayed true to himself, never jaded, always with that smile, utterly unprepossessing, unerringly gracious.
There’s so much to be said about this beloved gentleman, but instead I would just suggest that if you’ve never seen the 2010 documentary “Bill Cunningham’s New York” now is the time to seek it out. For those who have already had the pleasure, I’m sure a great many will be revisiting it again. It was, just like Mr. Cunningham himself, quite amazing. It brought my husband and me to tears more than once, it was so touching, yet I remember feeling at the end that we had just had the privilege of seeing a LIFE fully realised. It was a beautiful thing.
The one thing I never understood, I have to say it, especially after the documentary made Mr. Cunningham a ‘celebrity’ in his own right (something he wasn’t at all comfortable with) and with the
phenonemona phenomena uh, the popularity of street style rising so dramatically in recent years, was why the NY Times never made the decision to give “Bill Cunningham’s Street Style” an entire page? Why such tiny photos?! Wouldn’t we all have enjoyed seeing them much larger, or is it just me?
Maybe, just maybe, it didn’t occur to them… and he would never have been one to ask.
RIP Mr. Cunningham
Thank you for the inspiration and all the captured light and fun you shared with us.
You might want to peek:
http://slimpaley.com/art/dispatch-from-nyc-1/ (spotting Bill in 2012)
http://slimpaley.com/creativity/friday-favourites-99/ ( short post from 2011 with my recommendation and link to documentary trailer)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and in honour of Mr. Cunningham…
Care what you wear!