STREET STYLE AND THE INFLUENCE OF BILL CUNNINGHAM

STREET STYLE AND THE INFLUENCE OF BILL CUNNINGHAM

It takes more than just a glance of your surroundings to understand how the latest trends from the runway reflect on the sidewalks across the globe. Street Style captures interpretations of fashion that are influenced by sociocultural factors and their personal statement to the world.

Whenever mentioning Street Style, we must acknowledge, Bill Cunningham. If only I had his incredible eye and talent for photographing and capturing subjects, from the garbage picker on an empty street to the socialite at an upscale event, I would hop on my yellow bicycle to capture images ‘til the break of dawn.

Which brings me back to my high school days and my wonderful first job as a trend coordinator at Tavex. Not only was I able to learn directly from industry experts, but I had the opportunity to partner with the same trend forecasters, such as WGSN, Peclers and Trend Union, that Bill Cunningham often partners with. What more could I ask for?

I remember our first assignment. My now longtime friend and Valentino fashion design contest winner, Giovanna Kassis, and I were assigned to research and photograph street style for the company's magazine. My boss at the time was a perfectionist. When she saw our photographs, she was disappointed.

I guess when you are younger, it is quite difficult to understand what all the fuss is about. We thought our pictures were composed well and the hues and color contrast were balanced. Of course, the photographs had to be outstanding -- they were going to be showcased to major denim companies worldwide for the following season's trends -- apparently ours were not up to par. That's when our boss recommended that we peruse their exclusive collection of art history books and fashion magazines for inspiration. She also singled out one book in particular, Facades, by Bill Cunningham.

It was from that point on that Giovanna, who is now an extremely talented photographer, and I became passionate about 'inspirations' and incorporating them into our work. We started dedicating more time to research new street style-influenced tailoring, textiles, cuts and fits. It also inspired me to go on and consult for many of the world's renowned designers.

Today, this passion, and Bill's influence, continues. I catch myself noticing similar usage of patterns, seeking architectural inspiration, and people watching with a purpose. Capturing these phenomena is far from easy, especially when you are responsible for forecasting two seasons ahead of time and expected to get it right every time. That is what Bill is expected to do every week for The New York Times in his On the Street video blog.

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Here is one of my favorite inspirations from Bill Cunningham. When Shine On appeared in The Times, it served as a catalyst for my studies of metallics.

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And here is my 'study'that I collected from around the web.

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