News of the passing of New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham, hit me hard. He was the friend I never met. His on-the-street fashion musings have long inspired me (you may remember that I referenced him often on TFIO, most recently with his capture of the latest summer trend, off-the-shoulder dressing), and his photos and voice soothed me. If Bill Cunningham followed the style on the street, it was a style worth following.
He died on Saturday at the age of 87. He had worked for the New York Times for nearly 40 years. A humble man himself, it was someone’s personal style that mattered most to him. He was not interested in capturing celebrities or red carpet looks; most people he captured were unknown. He became a part of New York City and the City embraced him.
Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, said: “He was a hugely ethical journalist. And he was incredibly open-minded about fashion. To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York. Young people. Brown people. People who spent fortunes on fashion and people who just had a strut and knew how to put an outfit together out of what they had and what they found.”
A few months ago, Kevyn at Prada, told me that, for the first time, more men than women are coming in to shop. He told me “they are looking for something new and are not afraid to try new things and experiment. It used to be the opposite …” ~ Kevyn
Ingrid Steffensen has been keeping an eye on the New York City streets and is seeing exactly what Kevyn is seeing. I am grateful to Ingrid for being my eyes and ears in the city. Here is Ingrid’s story about: The Men in Red Pants (and Green, and Orange, and Purple, and …)
“With our daughter studying abroad for a year, my husband and I are trying out a year of living in New York City. We have temporarily left our charming three-bedroom suburban house in New Jersey and we’re renting a tiny Manhattan apartment in the Flatiron District. Is this as fun as it sounds? I’m sorry to have to say – yes, yes it is. After sixteen years in New Jersey, I’m having the time of my life soaking up the city – so much to see, so much to do! One of the most fun things is keeping an eye out for what everybody is wearing. And do you know my conclusion? Right now it’s the boys who are more interesting to watch! Continue reading →
Photos courtesy of Bill Cunningham, The New York Times – “Just a peek” May 24, 2013
New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham, is a fashion favorite. He recently captured an on-the-street style trend in his May 24th New York Times video feature called, Just a Peek. The warm-weather preview? Splashes of lace: “The strongest story had to do … with lace … this was young people taking bits and pieces of lace and mixing them in with tops made of other material … It’s so unusual to have a trend appear so quickly.” ~ Bill Cunningham
I must be on Bebe’s mailing list because I get updates on their new arrivals from time to time. Today’s news struck me as funny: the introduction of Bebe’s new skinny boyfriend jeans with all the detail of classic boyfriend jeans all wrapped up in a skinny jean. Huh? What’s wrong with this picture? The big sell? Boyfriend jeans that actually flatter! But doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of wearing boyfriend jeans? Those over-sized, comfy jeans that are one size too big for you and are actually meant to look like your boyfriend’s jeans. A skinny jean is just a skinny jean. If you’ll excuse the pun, I don’t think Bebe’s idea has legs!
Is this a fashion crisis? No. Is it life-altering? No. Am I freaking out about it? No. Because the truth is that I won’t be wearing boyfriend jeans of any kind – skinny or traditional non-skinny – now or ever. They’re not flattering for my body type. But I do mind that they’re calling them something they’re not. Boyfriend jeans are the opposite of skinny jeans. Let’s remember – a real boyfriend is authentic and can be elusive.
Elle was out celebrating Earth Day in Washington, D.C. last week and caught some groovy street style fashions, among them these avant-garde women who run Neon V Magazine. A picture is worth a thousand words, right Elle?!
Lisa noticed that all Cuban government officials wear fishnet stockings as a part of their work outfits! Photo credit: Lisa
Skinny jeans and this style of shoe are popular among the women. Photo credit: Lisa
Beyonce and Jay-Z weren’t the only ones in Cuba last week. My friend Lisa was there, too. And while the music power couple traveled with controversy because they went without approval from the U.S.Treasury Department (the U.S. embargo with communist Cuba prohibits many Americans from traveling without approval from the Treasury Department), Lisa traveled legally with the Global Volunteers Cuba Now! People to People Program, which provides a full schedule of educational exchanges and meaningful interaction with the local Cuban people.
Lisa says she had a “very memorable and enjoyable time.” While there, she was my eyes and ears, capturing the local fashion and rich culture. Here are some of her impressions:
“The young people of Cuba are stylish, but because of the social and economic history of the country they don’t have a lot of money to buy clothes. However, the government recently outlined a list of 180 different types of businesses that Cubans can now open and run, and this list includes clothing stores, jewelry stores, beauty parlors and nail salons. This represents a big move for Cuba, since its government has run all businesses since the 1950s.” ~ Lisa
According to Lisa, the young people of Cuba are stylish but have limited funds to buy clothes (and the men wear their hair short). Photo credit: Lisa
This man is wearing a traditional Latin American look: the Guayabera. Photo credit: Lisa
Friday, blizzard – Monday, rain. But like the postman, neither snow nor sleet nor rain could keep me from New York Fashion Week! It’s more symbolic than anything – it’s about showing up and feeling and dressing your best, and simply imagining that you are in that front row … the front row of your own life!
Credit: The New York Times On the Street with Bill Cunningham
Like boys … translation: Comme des Garcons
“The way I approach each collection is exactly the same…the motivation has always been to create something new, something that didn’t exist before. The more experience I have and the more clothes I make, the more difficult it becomes to make something new. Once I’ve made something, I don’t want to do it again, so the breadth of possibility is becoming smaller.” Rei Kawakubo, Japanese fashion designer and creative force behind the label Comme des Garcons, Ltd.
Today I am inspired (as I often am) by New York Times On the Street photographer, Bill Cunnigham, and his piece entitled, “Coated“. He highlights the coats and dresses from Rei Kawakubo’s collection from March 2012, and those women lucky enough to be wearing these colorful fashion-as-art pieces now.
Rei Kawakubo’s first collection, “Lace,” debuted in 1981 and since her debut, Ms. Kawakubo’s designs have been original and exquisite. She appears not to be interested in what others are doing, in creating the new, and in having the discipline to do so. I am thrilled to own my own small piece of Comme des Garcons, and for once I too, can be like boys!!
Credit: Bill Cunningham, The New York Times “On the Street – Tucked In” – Sunday, November 25, 2012
Today’s New York Times Style Section, On the Street with Bill Cunningham, highlights men dressing up and looking very much like the classic dandy. Notice the layering, waistcoats, vests, and impeccable tailoring? Designer Cally’s Kal Rieman is definitely on to something!