NYFW Pays Tribute to Bill Cunningham

Image Source: Getty / Slaven Vlasic

Image Source: Getty / Slaven Vlasic

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!

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“The Best Fashion Show is Definitely On the Street …”

Photo: Steven Lane, New York Times reader

Photo: Steven Lane, New York Times reader

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.”

 

 

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Shall I Go Off-the-Shoulder This Summer?

Copyright 2016: The New York Times Company

Copyright 2016: The New York Times Company

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!

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Winter White With Midnight Blue

My midnight blue blazer

My midnight blue blazer

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!

Jacket, Arabella Blazer Boden USA; tee, Rebecca Taylor; jeans, Frame Denim

Photo by Lisa Reznik

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And The Fashion Word of the Day, is Blue

Bill Cunningham: The New York Times

Bill Cunningham: The New York Times

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!

 

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Trend spotting: lace

Photo courtesy of Bill Cunnigham, The New York Times - "Just a peek" May 24, 2013

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

What do you think? Ready for lace?

 

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