Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary film about the unassuming king of street fashion photography, is out on DVD today.
“We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The Bill in question is 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends he spots emerging from Manhattan sidewalks and high society charity soirees for his beloved Style section columns On The Street and Evening Hours.
Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. The range of people he snaps uptown fixtures like Wintour, Brooke Astor, Tom Wolfe and Annette de la Renta (who appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between reveals a delirious and delicious romp through New York. But rarely has anyone embodied contradictions as happily and harmoniously as Bill, who lived a monk-like existence in the same Carnegie Hall studio at for fifty years, never eats in restaurants and gets around solely on bike number 29 (28 having been stolen).
It got great reviews…currently 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.