Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Freedom is expensive"

Bill Cunningham in the 80's

 How obsessive could one be about anything but still be controlled and balanced? Bill Cunningham has been obsessed with taking street fashion pictures since the 70s. The eighty-two year old is as passionate about women in interesting clothes, as forty years ago, and weaves the NYC streets on his bicycle. He is obsessed with clothes but disinterested in the celebrities, he is unsettled on the street but quiet in his own life of solitude.

Bill Cunningham shoots fashionable clothes, but could not care less about what he himself wears, at which he laughed in front of Richard Press’s camera: “It’s such a contradiction”. The contradiction of obsession and control defines Bill Cunningham’s world. Bill lives in a fantasy of fashion and beauty with his eyes, but has a workaday life at the New York Times. He spends evenings at high society extravagant social events, but his home is secluded in the file cabinet filled little apartment. In these contradictions, the personality of Bill Cunningham gradually and profoundly prevails in the bittersweet documentary.

“Those who search for beauty often find it”. Pursuing the extradinary beauty, Bill Cunningham, who always wears the same workman’s blue jacket and usually eats a $3 meal, lives an expensive life of freedom. 

Photos from: Zimbio

Bill Cunningham used to make hats in the 50's
Photos from: NYT

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Run for the Roses

Queen Elizabeth at the Derby, 2007
Photo credit: Huffington Post

The royal wedding in England is not the only occasion for dramatic formal headwear. On the first Saturday of May, Louisville, Kentucky will be a city where everybody's head turns for the Derby, and, for the fancy hats.

In the early days of the Derby, to find a lady without a hat on would have been considered a fashion faux pas. The Southern tradition of the hats with flamboyant embellishments including ribbons, feathers, and floral arrangements is not just a fashion statement. The traditional wide brim provides a relief from the sun in the hot days of Kentucky.

Make a mint julep by mixing fine Kentucky Bourbon with sugar, water and some fresh mint, served over crushed ice in a tall glass; wear a fancy, if not gaudy, headwear, you are officially the mad hatter of Run for the Roses.