29 Oct 12
One of the kindest, most talented and honest photographers around is Bill Cunningham (83) who invented street style photography.
I met Bill for the first time in the ’90’s when I was a fashion writer, where we shared a 1 star hotel (and sometimes the rickety cast iron elevator) in rue Tiquetonne and we talked about the weather and other daily stuff whenever we bumped into each other. At the start of my career I had only standing places at most shows and was a nobody in the eyes of most fashion professionals, but that didn’t stop Bill from taking my picture from time to time when I left the location- mostly thanks to my eccentric outfits (with thanks to the Antwerp designers that I promoted in Paris) and the fact that we knew each other a bit. Years later I remember leaving the Louvre after a show and he was taking pictures of Stephen Gan, who looked especially fine dandy that day. When he saw me, he changed subjects straight away, started shooting my outift and saying how happy he was that he saw me again after a long time and I felt a real star. Pity I never saw any of those photos;-)
Last year the documentary Bill Cunningham New York& launched and I hope to see it when it comes to Belgium. Bill’s still active, wearing his blue worker jacket (the same kind of jacket that i-D founder Terry Jones and Belgian scenographer Bob Verhelst wear) and riding his bike- only stopping when he sees somebody interesting and not neccesarily rich. Absolutely lovely -and very BWI.