Camera Ready

The original street style photographer, Bill Cunningham has been chronicling New York fashion and culture since the late 1960s. The admitted workaholic, Schwinn-riding shutterbug is now the subject of a new documentary from Richard Press, aptly titled Bill Cunningham New York. Part of the upcoming New Directors/New Films Festival, the frank and fascinating doc turns the camera on the octogenarian, shedding light on everything from his ubiquitous blue smock (easily laundered and able to withstand camera wear-and-tear, he says) to his unorthodox living quarters (an ascetically furnished artist’s studio in Carnegie Hall). Friends like Kim Hastreiter, Tom Wolfe and Annas Wintour and Piaggi share their love for the lensman, citing his uncanny ability to spot nascent trends before even they do. Ultimately, for his part, the ever-humble Cunningham prefers to keep an objective distance. “I just try to play a straight game,” he says. “And that’s next to impossible in New York.”


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