April 20th, 2011
“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life,” says Bill Cunningham in the beautiful new documentary that bears, and deserves, his name.
Cunningham, a fashion photographer for The New York Times and a pioneer of street style shots, appears to need none of the things New Yorkers live on: fame, good food, money, sex. His only possessions are bikes (they keep getting stolen), fashion books (he jokes he'll die, crushed under their weight), and every photo he's ever taken (he keeps them in filing cabinets, which he has instead of things like “appliances”).
Bill Cunningham NY is a record of the record, made tenderly over ten years by Richard Press. You go into the theatre thinking you'll see the man behind the Nikon, but he remains self-effacing. He's funny and honest, but doesn't like talking about himself much. Even the fashion elite who've known him forever, like Anna Wintour, Annette de la Renta and "oldest living teenager" Iris Apfel, don't know what he does after work; they suspect there is nothing but work.—SNP
Bill Cunningham NY opens at Cineplex theatres in Toronto and Vancouver on Friday, April 22, and in Montreal on April 29, http://filmswelike.com
November 29th, 2010
When we think of Cecil Beaton our minds dart to the Ascot scene in My Fair Lady where Audrey Hepburn arrives dressed like a box of bonbons, her white gown trimmed in black velvet striped ribbon and accented with giant bows, lace and feathers.
The famed costume designer (he worked on My Fair Lady, Gigi and Anna Karenina, to name a few), Vogue photographer and scrapbooker extraordinaire is the subject of a new Assouline book, Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook packed with press clippings, playbills, pictures and diary entries sourced from his personal scrapbooks.
It’s a wonderful snoop into the life of a social butterfly who scored invitations to the best parties and hobnobbed with the gratin of 20th Century society.
Our Toronto Editor has a Standard Schnauzer named Cecil Beaton, so we know what’s going under her tree.
$157.50 at Amazon.ca