DC FASHION FILM DEBUT: Bill Cunningham, The Original Sartorialist

Bill Cunningham is coming to Washington! Well, almost. The new documentary, Bill Cunningham New York opens this Friday, March 25th at the E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW, Washington, DC. The film, directed by Richard Press, chronicles the life of the infamous fashion photographer who undoubtedly holds the title as the ORIGINAL Sartorialist. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the New York Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.”

“We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour.

I had a chance to preview the movie last week and I was blown away. It was so interesting to have a sneak peek into the life of a person who is so large in the fashion world but manages to live such a secluded life. Cunningham has lived in the same small studio above Carnegie Hall for fifty years, never eats in restaurants and gets around on a worn-out bicycle—his sole means of transportation. The contradiction of his monk-like existence and the extravagance of his photographic subject matter is one aspect of his private life revealed in the movie.

"Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom are expensive." ~Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace. So fashion folks, if you are looking for something interesting to do this weekend, head on over to the E Street Cinema, buy a ticket, and watch one of the best fashion documentaries to be released since "The September Issue." This film is a must see.