Bill Cunningham: on the Street (Clarkson Potter, $65) is absolutely mahvolous! Collecting hundreds of his On-the-Street photos, the volume is organized by decade to show not only the development of Cunningham’s career but also the evolution of fashion styles themselves. This retrospective artfully captures Cunningham’s highly influential taste—not getting photographed by Cunningham on a runway was once described as “death”—but also his wondrous and free-spirited sense of humor. We see pictures of New Yorkers in Prada galloping over puddles, facing off against blizzards in Balenciaga, and sauntering through sweltering summer heat in Salvatore Ferragamo. Between the sections are interesting essays on various moments and trends in Cunningham’s career by those who knew him best. We read Ruth La Ferla on the infamous faceoff between American and French designers in the show later to be known as the Battle of Versailles. We also get Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, adding a personal touch with an essay on her relationship with Cunningham, his relationship with his bike, and his legacy. There are a handful of other pieces that shed light on Cunningham personally and on style more generally. A perfect gift for anyone interested in fashion and people-watching.
Bill Cunningham: On the Street by The New York Times