Friday, October 28, 2011

I ♥ Bill Cunningham, who doesn't?

On my wishlist: Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones. The book is a record of the collaboration between the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Stephen Jones, the world's foremost hat designer. A related exhibit is taking place at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) in New York City, from September 15, 2011 to April 15, 2012. Jones has curated an extraordinary collection of 250 hats that span the breath of the craft. How fabulous is that? And I imagine a valuable resource. 

Below, is the NYT Style columnist's Bill Cunningham's coverage of a preview of the exhibition. It is not only standard, but perfectly fitting that this man should cover such an event. He is not only the fashion eye of the New York Times, but an artist.

I have only recently come to know a little about Mr. Cunningham, but I am sure that I love him. I recently had the pleasure of watching Bill Cunningham New York. If you haven't already, you really should see it. You needn't be a lover of fashion, just a lover of love. The film is devoted to sharing the passion that Bill Cunningham has for fashion. Not to mention a very discerning eye, fearless determination for the shot and here it comes, a love of craft.

"I'm not interested in the celebrities with their free dresses. Look at the clothes, the cut, the new cut, the lines, the colors, that's everything. It's the clothes, not the celebrity, not the spectacle." - Bill Cunningham

Over 80 years old, never married, never in a relationship, Bill Cunningham has one muse, fashion. And he sees fashion as art. Some of it that is... Mr. Cunningham himself started out in the 1940s as a milliner. 

Young Bill Cunningham, milliner, at work under the name William J.
He told the NYT that he designed his first hat for his mother to wear to the World’s Fair of 1939. (She refused.) He continued working as a milliner under the name William J. — “I didn’t use my last name because my family was embarrassed,” he said — until the late 1950s. source

As for his hats, some pictured above, “I don’t think we sold many,” he said of more than one design. “Everything I did was a little too exotic — you know, for normal people.” source

What exactly is so great about normal people anyway?


  1. Thanks so much! Fun to write and thanks for commenting! xo Vanessa


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