Farewell, Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham - fashion photographer - C Sews - csews.com
Photo from the documentary Bill Cunningham New York


New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away yesterday. He tirelessly captured fashion on the streets for decades. You can see Bill’s “On the Street” videos for the Times here, which feature his photos and his observations on what he photographed.

For learn more about Bill, read his Times obituary hereNew Yorker theater critic Hilton Als on Bill’s discerning eye here, and New York art critic Jerry Saltz on how Bill was the “quintessential American photographer of modern life” here. There’s also a fascinating documentary about him called Bill Cunningham New York (affiliate link here), which I reviewed for a documentary film magazine in 2010, and republished in the early days of my blog back in 2011 (read the review here). The film was an intriguing look at a very private man who eschewed the spotlight and was far more interested in photographing everyday people, not celebrities. Though he did photograph big names in fashion.

Here’s a screenshot from one of the Times videos on YouTube showing his photos of people in their Easter Parade finery.

Bill Cunningham photos

And here’s the full video of the Easter Parade – so many fun hats (!!!) – from vintage to wildly creative (look for the frying pan hat with fried eggs at 1:16, I’m not kidding!).

You can binge watch more than 100 “On the Street with Bill Cunningham” videos here.

He’s been the inspiration for my “street style” photos, which are a feature of my newsletter, which you can see here. If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, just fill out the form on the right (just below my profile photo) or go to the sign-up page here.

I like to do my own fashion stalking – though I’m not so obvious about it as Bill is. I take my photos surreptitiously using my iPhone. Heheh.

RIP Bill. We will miss your great eye for fashion and style.


Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

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