My favourite film of the film festival last year was undoubtedly the documentary Bill Cunningham New York about the quirky character behind the NY Times On the Street column, a pictorial of fashion from the streets of New York and beyond. His clever eye and fearless cycling skills (his life flashed before my eyes several times) allow him to document the fabulous individuality and charisma of the eclectic style that makes New York a fashion feast. I love that Bill is often seen ignoring the catwalks because his mantra is all about people’s own creativity, so even at the prestigious fashion events he is spotted snapping more of the crowds than the next seasons showcase.
It was inspiring to watch someone so enthusiastic about what they do, although it was to such an extreme I couldn't help but wonder if there was a slightly autistic nature about him. But with such a delightful personality you can’t help but love him, if not for his wise cracking, then for his absolute modesty and perseverance for a hobby that he lives and breathes. Anna Wintour credits him with a quote “We all get dressed for Bill” and although he is a legend in his own right, he indulges in nothing more than an opportunity to get his next photograph.
I was utterly captivated and enjoyed every minute the film, I wish there was more! His friends are eccentric and just as entertaining; between them they must have some amazing tales to tell. How I wish they would!
I sporadically follow Bill’s On The Street column online where he narratives his pieces and I can enjoy listening to this wonderfully odd individual. When I was in NY earlier in the year I said to my friend Katie that of all the people I could see, if it couldn’t be Jay Z & Alicia Keys hanging out on the Empire State Building having a jam, then I would want to see Bill Cunningham haphazardly weaving through the yellow cabs on his bicycle, stopping traffic to get the perfect shot. Katie turned to me and laughed, because on her way to meet me 2 hours before she was 80% sure she had walked past him. Damn, timing is everything and I’d timed out of my chance for a glimpse.