Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York is a documentary tribute to a photographer who was previously unknown to me. Cunningham, aged in his eighties, cycles everywhere in New York photographing people on the streets, at their parties and at play. He focuses on what they are wearing and he has an envied skill for identifying not so much what is the fashion of the day but what is the fashion of the days to come. None other than the legendarily  fearsome Anna Wintour - on whom The Devil Wears Prada was based - lavishes praise on Cunningham during the documentary.

It seems that everyone in New York knows who Cunningham is and nearly everyone in New York is happy to be the subject of his candid snaps. He leads a remarkably modest life and the documentary highlights a number of the distinctively individual people who are among his favourite photographic subjects including a very stylised Dandy and a former UN Diplomat whose wardrobe isn't just loud, it bellows.

Cunningham is a very private man. Whilst everyone in New York knows Bill no one in New York knows much about Bill.

A fascinating documentary.

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