This is New York Fashion Week and one of its staples is noticeably missing from the scene: New York Times fashion and street style photographer, Bill Cunningham. He was a Fashion Week presence for nearly 40 years, and he and his signature blue jacket are absent – Cunningham died in June at the age of 87. To kick off the event, Day One of Fashion Week held a charming tribute to Bill Cunningham, as working fashion photographers donned blue jackets and arranged their chairs in the shape of his camera. Now that’s a fashion moment!
… always has been and always will be.” ~ Bill Cunningham
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.”
One of the early fashion trends for summer is the off-the-shoulder look – in blouses and dresses. Bill Cunningham caught the look on the streets of New York pre Memorial Day, giving us an early indication of a major trend this summer.
I love this off-the-shoulder look and am so tempted to buy a dress for myself. But I wonder…should I? I am grateful for my broad shoulders (thank you, Mom!). And they do say (whomever “they” is!) it is good to focus on the positive when it comes to dressing. But I have to ask myself if this particular trend sits better on a younger person. I dress in what I like and what I think works for me; in fact, I am offended by the notion that as we age we can no longer wear certain things. I think that style is a personal choice and we should always wear what feels best and what brings out the best in us. But, I know I am aging. I feel it every day. And certain styles are giving me pause. Especially as the warm weather hits, and I am naturally exposing more skin. I felt that way when I pulled out my beloved denim shorts just a day ago. And I am pausing now, as I contemplate purchasing an off-the-shoulder dress.
But, in the end, I am happy to report, that it is just a pause. Shall I go off-the-shoulder? Yes – I will let my eye guide me. I may have to look for a dress that suits me and feels right on the body I have today – but I will do it. It’s too cute a style not too. And I will also be wearing my denim shorts this summer. I’m buying it!
For these last weeks of winter I am embracing the blues. Thanks to Bill Cunningham’s report last week that various shades of blue have become a winter staple on the streets of New York, I pulled out my midnight blue blazer. Here I pair my statement jacket open, over a crew neck tee and skinny jeans. Find your shade of blue and start styling!
Photo by Lisa Reznik
When Bill Cunningham of The New York Times speaks, I listen. And the fashion word of the day, is blue. Shades of the color blue have been popular this winter and in fact made a huge splash just a few weeks ago during New York’s Fashion Week. Says Cunningham: “It’s not that it’s a trend; I think it just cheers people up. And after a tough winter they need cheering up … So much can be done with fashion; it’s so imaginative how you put it together so it appeals to many people. That doesn’t mean you run out and buy a blue coat, but if you have one, mix it in with everything.”
I think this makes great fashion sense. Blue is an engaging color, and yes, people do need cheering up this cold winter. I’m buying it!
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
What do you think? Ready for lace?