“Fashion is the armor to survive everyday life.” -Bill Cunningham
Many of you fashionistas are probably already aware of the iconic Mr. Bill Cunningham and his prolific body of work as a street style photographer. If that is the case, please forgive me as I spend the next 300 words raving over my newly found hero.<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NYqiLJBXbss" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Earlier this week, a friend invited me to see the sort of newish documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Having known that Mr. Cunningham was a famous photographer who mostly documented people on the street, I was slightly weary of the movie. If you've ever read sites like The Sartorialist you've probably noticed the lack of body diversity in their posts (there was even controversy over this woman being considered “curvy” but, that's another blog post for another day). For as great as these people look, it's hard as a non-waif of a woman to relate to their fashion choices.
So I headed into the the theater with caution.
And how wrong I was. From the first seconds of the film, you realize that Bill Cunningham is a legend for a reason. He understands fashion like no one else, and sure, he certainly takes his fair share of photos of modelesque women, but what you learn about Bill is that he truly is inspired by all people. In the same day that he takes photos of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, you can bet that he will also take a photo of a couple walking their dog in the park, or a group of teenagers coming home from playing basketball.
So much of this film is about celebrating individuality, being daring and enjoying life. It is a message that is juxtaposed by the life of a man who spends most of his time alone, riding his bicycle through New York City and taking photos of beautiful people. Bill is a dedicated artist and cherishes beauty in all walks of life.
I have never left a theater feeling as refreshed and excited for my fashion future as I did that day. My friend put it best when she said “It just makes you want to put on your craziest clothes on all at once and go out!” For the past 50 years Bill Cunningham has proven that fashion is for everyone, so next time you leave your front door, dress as if someone will be photographing you!
To see more of Bill Cunningham's work for the New York Times, check out their weekly On The Street feature online!
And to see if Bill Cunningham New York is playing in a city near you, visit the film's website.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Amalia Nicholson is a plus-size blogger, fashion enthusiast and advocate of beauty at every size. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where runs her personal style blog, Double Vision.