Guest list: Richard Press and Philip Gefter (life partners and ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ directors), Ellen Levy-Sarnoff & Carolyn Wagner & (LACMA Costume Council co-chairs for the screening), Joni Smith (Head of the LACMA Costume Council), Elizabeth Matthews (Chair of PR and Communications for the LACMA Costume Council), designer Jeremy Scott hanging out with Rose Apodoca, Annie Flanders (wearing a replica Mallard duck muff) and Constance (from the Chateau who was featured tho uncredited in the film), Cameron Silver + Jeff Snieder, artist Kimberly Brooks, Melissa Magsaysay (from the L.A. Times style section), Carlota Espinosa, Kate & Laura Levy-Mulleavy from Rodarte, Emily Meyers (head of PR for Irene Neuwirth), Iran & Chris Hopkins and more!
Attention all fashion bloggers, anyone in the media, grand dames, fashion historians, fashion buffs, New Yorkers, and anyone looking to be ‘in the know’ … SEE THIS FILM! Uh-Mazing in the words of Rachel Zoe who would have been present if not for giving birth to her little baby boy last night at Cedars Sinai. This film is on the level where people are having to invent new words for their reviews:
“MAGISTERIAL!” –Hilton Als, The New Yorker
This movie made me cry four times and was fascinating for it’s humor, fashion history and story telling. Bill Cunningham for those who dont know – is the original street photographer. He has been a regularly weekly columnist for decades at the New York Times penning “On The Street” and a social party column. Before that he was a hat maker and shot for Details and WWD. He is as unique as they come for several reasons; here’s why:
1. He exclusively rides a bike (he is on his 29th, having had 28 stolen)
2. I really have to emphasize the term “exclusively” as he literally only rides a bike – clips of the film show him going from an uptown gala to a downtown party at night wearing an orange reflector vest. *please note this man is in his 70s
3. He refuses food, drinks, and even “a glass of water” at all the events he shoots as a rule – he is concerned taking advantage will reflect poorly on him and the NY Times. He said to one of his hostesses who begged him to eat: “I eat with my eyes” … !
4. He lives (or lived as he literally just moved) in Carnegie Hall. Not kidding. At some point in the 50s, Carnegie Hall had a mentoring program where they gave artists studios above the Hall to live and work. Bill was hat making at the time and kept his rent control studio with no kitchen and a communal hallway bathroom until they converted the lofts to office space this past year.
5. Bill has never had a “romantic relationship” as per his interviews in the film
6. He attends Church every Sunday
7. One of his best friends is the late Mrs. Brooke Astor (the audience hissed at footage of her son which the directors thanked them for during the post-Q&A)
8. Bill’s uniform is a blue $20 street cleaner’s jacket for the simple reason that his camera tears the fabric on his clothes
9. His camera is an old Nikon and he is the only staffer at the NTY who uses film, which he has to process off site since they no longer have a film lab
10. Whilst in line for a Paris Fashion Week show, a gentleman came running out to get him and scolded the door girl hissing “Please, he is the most important person on Earth”.
The documentary contains interviews and sit-downs with Tom Wolfe, Anna Wintour, Annette de la Renta, Anna Piaggi, Annie Flanders, Patrick McDonald, Iris Apfel, Shail Upadhya, and more!
The first-time documentarians behind the film are gifted individuals who should win every award possible for timing, story, beats and movement. This is a remarkable story that they brought to life. I could write a whole post on the details of this film that make it amazing in and of itself.
Thank you to the Gilt Group for sponsoring this event! Thank you to the LACMA Costume Council for having us! Thank you to Zeitgeist Films for making this movie! (This Gilt Groupe link will enable readers to access membership in Gilt Groupe!)
This film opens in Los Angeles on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Nuart!
Movie website: http://billcunninghamnewyork.com/
Buy tickets to the Nuart here: http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/losangeles/nuarttheatre.htm
Follow @BCNYthemovie on Twitter!