Remember the documentary about the wonderful Bill Cunningham? That’s the reason this book got read. And while it’s a wildly insightful look into the fashion world of the forties, fifties and sixties - I was hoping for it to be more of a memoir of his whole life. It kind of makes sense that it wasn’t, though, since he was a notoriously private man. In any case, very pleased to have read it, best parts ahead.
“The wearing of clothes at the proper place and time is so important. That’s because they tell a story - not only about the wearer, but also about her time. How dare one not pay attention to the world one lived in, a world filled with the gorgeous tragedy of what is happening now, never to be repeated.”
“Zooming down the mountainside in freshly fallen snow, between the fir trees laden with fluffy white, I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling it is when you feel all alone in the world, sliding down at terrific speed. I always felt it was the perfect place to commune with God.”
“I believed in starting each week doing the thing you love most. Luckily, my love was flowers. At five thirty each Monday, I’d go down to the New York flower market, where all the colors of nature brightened the early morning. I would buy armfuls of fresh flowers to perfume my salon for the week. This is a practicing luxury I still indulge in, and one that makes all my weeks happy. Monday shouldn’t be drudgery. More people should start off doing what they enjoy most.”
“It’s funny how you get so patriotic when someone steps on you.”
“Sometimes even I myself am afraid to submit to my subconscious inspiration, for fear of being ridiculous, but no matter how wild or vulgar an idea seems at its conception, within five years someone is sure to come up with it. My suggestion to anyone who is creative is: never hold back.”
“Only the people who are willing to sacrifice the security and comforts of the establishment, and fight for their individual beliefs, cause the developing changes of the world.”
“Why is everyone afraid to be themselves in their home cities?”
“High fashion does gravitate around society, who claim to have taste. It’s only because they have the time, money, and places to wear trendsetting creations. It’s a ridiculous belief that money brings taste; it definitely doesn’t. As a matter of fact, it often merely allows one to enjoy bad taste with louder vulgarity.”
All in all, good book.