When Bill Cunningham died suddenly in June 2016, I was in the middle of writing a post about him. I didn’t get it finished in time to honor him then. Cunningham regularly attended museum openings here at the Museum at FIT. I was even photographed by him for one of those events! Now that publicity has begun for his posthumous memoir, I feel I can finally finish that old post.
What got me excited about Bill Cunningham were the old issues of Details magazine in our collection. Details is the publication that gave Cunningham carte blanche to design his ideal job. He photographed fashion shows, but he also took pictures of the audiences and New York’s party scene. Back then Details covered avant garde fashion for both men and women and only in black and white (sorry!)(it changed to covering just men in 1990 or so). Both Cunningham and his photography were featured regularly in the 1980s.
I’m sure we’ll buy a copy of his memoir when it comes out, but we have the movie about him already:
The 1980s were a colorful and exuberant time in the fashion world. It seems that Bill Cunningham never lost that excitement or enjoyment of color. I hope he has plenty of people to watch wherever he’s riding his bicycle now. We miss you, Bill!
For more about his life and love of fashion: