Bill Cunningham New York is one of the most stunning documentaries I have ever seen. One which portrays THE world most famous fashion and street photographer through such a candid lens that during 84 minutes you make friends with him and maybe even fall in love with the guy. I did.
The scene which made the most memorable impression on me was when during fashion shows in Paris a young lady was struggling to find Bill’s name on the guest list. Out of nowhere came a guy and let the photographer through, saying – He’s the most important person on Earth. And while it all was happening, Bill was just smiling, as he always is, patiently waiting for his moment, humble.
One of the few remaining artists residing at the New York Artist Studios of Carnegie Hall, a regular at Paris and New York fashion shows (always granted first row seat), a regular contributor to The New York Times, now even with his own On the Street video blog, and the most regular person you can think of. And yet, extraordinary. With such an eye for fashion that one can only be born with, not taught. I think it needs to be done quietly and discreetly. Invisible is the word. – this is how Bill Cunningham defines his own photography. In the digital age it is nice to see Mr Cunningham still shooting on 35mm film and developing pictures at a local studio, before they are scanned and inserted in the newspaper.
When being awarded the title Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008, Bill Cunningham said – It’s not work, it’s fun. The movie is fun to watch but is also a great insight into fashion. I cannot recommend it highly enough. A treat for all lovers of fashion and photography.
All pictures sourced from the official ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ site – click here for downloads.