Bill Cunningham: New York

What an adorable, life-affirming documentary! I was pretty sure the film would be up my alley because I’m interested in New York and fashion and streetwear and high society and artistry, which are all amply represented. But Bill Cunningham himself is what makes the movie such a delight to watch. He’s modest and hard working, with strong principles.

In response to the oft-repeated accusation that fashion is frivolous and pointless in the face of major social problems, he says: “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”

A favorite scene has him caught in the melee outside a Paris fashion show. A man moves him along to the press entrance and a woman blocks him before a gentleman spots the problem and escorts him inside, explaining: “Please, he’s the most important person on Earth.”

I think that could be disputed by anyone who’s not at all interested in fashion or street life, but, even so, Mr Cunningham should clearly be lauded for being a great human being. Now in his 80s, he’s proof that having a unique point of view and standing your ground is the secret to professional – and possibly personal – longevity.


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