Since the release of Bill Cunningham, New York in 2010, the photographer has become something of a celebrity himself. Bill started documenting what the people in the streets of New York were wearing way back in the 1960s, and by 1978 his photos became a regular feature in the New York Times. Today he still does his weekly photo journalism piece, “On the Streets”, for the paper, and for the online Times he tapes a slideshow version.
To me, what really makes Bill important is that he has been a witness to a lot of fashion history. On top of that, he is very well-read in fashion. He can see a trend on the runways of 2014 and tell what from the past has been referenced by the designer.
I know that many people who love vintage clothing and who study fashion history are not particularly interested in today’s fashion. But I find it fascinating to try and imitate Bill, and guess where the designer might have gotten the idea for the latest thing on the runway.
If you are not doing so already, I suggest that you watch Bill’s weekly online piece. His delight in fashion is infectious, and sometime you might just learn something. I love how in this week’s work he was able to trace a work from Dior’s show last fall to a feature on a dress from 1949.