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Then and Now: The Street is the Fashion Runway

Want to be photographed with your outfit by street photographers? Photographer Bill Cunningham and his lens have shot thousands of people and their eye-popping clothes and style in the past years and have started the buzz in all things street fashion. Read on to learn about it after the cut.

William J. Cunningham or more popularly known as Bill Cunningham, has shot the who’s who in the streets of New York for the past 50 years and he’s still at it. Shooting frame after frame of people sporting the variety of the outrageous and impeccable in street style, Cunningham blends in on the street with his trusty camera and Schwinn bicycle.

“We get all dressed for Bill.” – Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief

A documentary on Bill Cunningham and his work showcases the long career of Cunningham as the eyes that document New York’s street life in the past decades. Bill Cunningham New York by Richard Press and Zeitgeist Films explores the world of street style thru the man who’s probably seen the most of it. The documentary also features the work ethics of the octogenarian and his way of life, careening and drifting on the streets looking for the next photograph to snap. The trailer can be found here.

In comparison to the approach of contemporary street style photographers in the likes of The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman and Jak and Jil’s Tommy Ton, Cunningham’s take on street style is “come as you are” and are also reflective on the way contemporary street style photography is shot today. He quipped on the documentary that he’s “interested in the clothes” rather than the people who wear them.

Indeed, the world of fashion is evolving and is ever changing. Now, the people are looking for fashion in the streets and not just on the ramp or catwalk. Schuman and Ton’s photography pictures just that. It’s a hark back to the olden days wherein the usual fashion occurs on the runway. A short documentary by GARAGE Magazine explores the different situations of street style photography and the people who are on the opposite side of the lens. Street style photography now is a similar but changed reflection of what it was back then – still keeping the essence only changing in the venue and fad.

by GARAGE Magazine via Vimeo

All information and photos used in this article were sourced from Time Lightbox, Zeitgeist Films, Robin Plessier, The Sartorialist and Jak and Jil.

Related posts:
TAKE MY PICTURE: The Street Style Phenomenon
Bill Cunningham and New York Fashion

written by cheeo

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