Tag Archives: Inspriational

New Favorite Doc: Bill Cunningham New York


I am in love with a photographer: Bill Cunningham. Last night my husband and I watched a documentary, Bill Cunningham New York. We checked it out of the library, of course!

Bill Cunningham: an eye for fashion

Who is Bill Cunningham?

Mr. Cunningham has photographed street style for nearly 50 years—mostly in New York City. He’s known for his photo column, “On the Street” in the New York Times. At 83 years of age, he’s still going strong. Really strong!

Work it, Bill!

Bill still works, doing a weekly column for the New York Times. I hope I’m doing what I love when I am over 80!

Bill is famous for riding his bike around the city (no helmet). In the documentary he says that his bike is number 29. Thieves stole the previous 28 cycles.

He’s usually seen wearing a blue smock. (He says smocks are practical because they have pockets and keep the camera from ruining his other clothes).

Like a bee

His photography style is quick. He tries to be invisible. He snaps photos on the fly and usually doesn’t ask permission.

Bill is a throw back. He still uses film. He’s not digital and it seems he never will be. Bill has enthusiasm. He’s optimistic. Like me, he is known to clap when he’s happy!

Gentle genius

Most remarkable of all, Bill Cunningham is truly kind. He’s egalitarian: treating socialites and transvestites with the same openness. “You kids,” he says to practically everyone. The ladies love when he calls them “Child.”

Bill Cunningham making new friends. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, creative commons license.

What is the idea?

Bill doesn’t take pictures because of WHO wears the clothes. His reason IS the clothing. He visits the fashion weeks, society events and the streets. He sees new ideas and trends. He filters. Like all artists, he helps others see.

These things take time

It’s a little difficult to get to know the man behind the camera. The director, Richard Press, says that the movie took 10 years to make: eight years to convince Bill and then two more years to actually film and edit.

Bill is shy. His life is his camera. He loves his work. And, his play is more of the same on the weekend. I won’t give everything away. If you love fashion, you’ve got to watch, Bill Cunningham New York.

Talking heads

The documentary includes interviews with several famous people. Fashion editor Anna Wintour gushes about Bill. (Ms. Wintour is supposedly the devil of The Devil Wears Prada fame. And, by the way, if you are into magazines or advertising, I recommend The September Issue. )

And, everyone else loves Bill Cunningham too. I want to be like him: kind, passionate and seeing beauty in the world.

Have a wonderful day!


Here’s the trailer for the movie.


Click the image to see Bill’s fashion video for the first week of June, 2012.

Click the image for more info about the documentary.


This IS my Grandmother’s sewing!

Sewing Thread in teal tackle box

I still have many of my Grandmother's old threads.

Needle Pulling Thread

My first (fuzzy) memory of sewing was at age 3. My Mom must have been mending something and I wanted in on the “action”. Lucky me, my Mom gave me a real needle and thread and a wash cloth to sew. What I remember most: tangling the stitches and asking my Mom for help. I knew I could do better than that! Well, it must have made an impression because I wanted more!

My Dolly & Me

A few years later while playing at my Grandma’s house, my sister and I came across my aunt’s dolls and their complete wardrobes that had been left behind when my aunt moved into her own place. My Grandmother had sewn everything– dress after dress for each doll: an early dark-haired Barbie™, baby dolls and a little girl doll that was nearly life-size at 2 feet tall (still in her original 1960’s vinyl box with a snap closure). My sister and I played for hours and hours.

All those adorable dolls and beautiful clothes inspired us kids to sew for our own dolls. My Grandmother got us started. She gave us fabric and let us dig into the teal tackle box that she used for her sewing notions.

That Tackle Box is a Sewing Kit!

That box contained treasures. It held wooden and plastic spools of thread in a range of colors: lots of greens (pastel to teal to vibrant jungle), the same girly pink shades that my aunt would have loved, bright yellows, light blues, sherbet orange and the requisite large spools of white and black. The threads showed the changing technology: the older threads were cotton on wooden spools. The later ones on spools of plastic and Styrofoam and made of “100% Spun Polyester.”

Of course there was a thimble or two, tailor’s chalk, stitch removers, measuring tapes and needle threaders. But also, stuffed into the box were hefty brass zippers appropriate for my farmer Grandfather; a tiny tool for repairing zippers with special “zipper wax”; lots of biased tape and binding with labels that all proclaimed that they were “guaranteed color fast”. It seems to me that the box tells a lot about my Grandmother. There’s the bright and pretty items. Then there were the practical tools and the darker colors that showed she also had 3 sons and was the wife of a farmer.

Now that my Grandmother has passed on I am grateful for the inspiration and sewing help she gave me. I am thankful I am able to take care of and use the same tackle box for my sewing.

When shall we meet again?

Sunday, 1/29/12,  I will show you more pictures of the sewing kit! Talk to you then!