Bill Cunningham has been a major chapter in photography and fashion photography in particular-his innovative approach and eye for detail will be greatly missed by all fashion connoisseurs. Here,renowned photographer David Leslie Anthony and successful journalist Jeffrey Felner discuss their very own view and experiences of Cunningham the photographer,Cunningham the persona.I thank them both for sharing their truth here.
Jeffrey Felner remembers:
For almost a decade, there wasn’t a Saturday that I wasn’t photographed by Bill on corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue. He was a fixture of NYC’s vibrant street life for decades but I came to know him best from the 70s. He was the gentlest of souls who offered you this confirmation that how you were decked out was worthy of his attention and gave you this rite of passage and affirmation known to so many New Yorkers. His “hi young fella” and his indelible perpetual smile will live on within all who caught his gaze! ”
David L Anthony comments:
‘Bill Cunningham….A passing of Style
For many of the young today, the term “Street Style” is simply taking a model and photographing her on the street. Nothing could be more wrong, or more ignorant.
Bill Cunningham was the man and photographer, for whom the term “street style” was both coined and attributed to. Each day he would go out on his bicycle, finding and photographing everyday people whom had a sense of style all their own. Something in the way they walked, the way they carried a bag, the way they put themselves together in dress. Young and old, it didn’t matter to Bill. THAT is true “street style”. In the early 90’s starting out, I would pick up the Sunday NY Times just to look at his photographs. To me they weren’t just photographs, but a documentation of life and style of the time. His work would be an influence on mine, as I’d walk the city streets and watch and study the mannerisms of everyday people. How they stood, walked, etc., and put these things in my fashion photographs.
Bill Cunningham was a humble man and photographer, choosing to let his work “do the talking”. Again, so different from the young coming into the business today with their “legends in their own minds” attitudes. There is MUCH you can learn from the past, and the photographers of the past, and whom are “considered old school”. People like Bill Cunningham were creating fashion history, before many today were even a sperm cell. ”