“Bill Cunningham New York” Is A Fashionable Delight

April 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

The official movie poster for "Bill Cunningham New York" featuring NYC's finest - and fashionable.

The documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” follows The New York Times fashion and party photographer as he leads his extraordinary yet unique life. Every morning, rain or snow, clouds or sun, Cunningham navigates his bicycle through the busy streets of New York City with a camera around his neck ready to take pictures.

He focuses on what people are wearing, from a hat to a shoe and everything in between. He looks for the out of ordinary fashion, not the typical “cookie cutter” looks many New Yorkers wear. Cunningham takes pictures quickly and unobtrusively which are then displayed in the style section in the Sunday edition of The New York Times.

For all his photo-snapping in public, Cunningham is a very private person. He has few friends except for those in the business. Light is shed on his personal life and what his family thought of his foray into the fashion industry. Those who work with Cunningham as well as many people who have been featured in his photographs are interviewed in the film. Their anecdotes and accolades about the man behind the lens paint the picture of a genuine person who has dedicated his life to his work.

Cunningham’s sweet disposition and humble attitude make the film extremely enjoyable and uplifting to watch. To see a man who lives amongst countless file cabinets filled with negatives of his old photos in a small corner apartment in Carnegie Hall adds to the unique story of Cunningham. Whether you have an interest in style or not, Cunningham’s dedication to his work is something we can all admire.

Inspiring – that’s the one word to describe this fashion documentary. An 80-year-old man who is as passionate about his work today as he was fifty years ago is remarkable. As college students it’s hard to decide what to eat for breakfast, let alone a passion to pursue for the rest of our lives. But Bill Cunningham is a remarkable and endearing example of the centuries old quote by Confucius “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“Bill Cunningham New York” is currently showing at the Angelika Dallas in Mockingbird Station. This is a limited engagement so see it while it’s here!

Top 5 Trends From Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week

February 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

Proenza Schouler demonstrated the use of bright color for Fall 2011. (PHOTO VIA STYLE.COM)


Another season of New York Fashion Week has come and gone, leaving the fashion-obsessed with a lot more time on their hands.
The Fall 2011 Ready- to- Wear collections are anything but dull. Recounting all of the trends from the week’s shows could take days, so let’s look at the top 5 fall trends that can easily be added to your wardrobe.

Come autumn don’t worry about being lost in a sea of drab neutrals. Designers used color frequently in their fall collections. Whether it’s pops of mustard yellow from the designing duo behind Proenza Schouler, or the rainbow of colors that were used in the L’Wren Scott collection, it’s clear this fall color will reign. The award for the most-seen hue goes to red. The vivid color was spotted at numerous shows including Altuzarra, Peter Som and Rachel Comey. The shade was also spotted at the Ralph Lauren show, in the form of evening wear. One model sported a floor-length red velvet one-shouldered numbered, and another wore a red velvet tuxedo-inspired jacket.

Sheer fabrics were used in everything from blouses to evening gowns. Gown by Marchesa. (PHOTO VIA STYLE.COM)


The next trend is quite the opposite of bold- it’s sheer fabrics. See-through tops, skirts and dresses prevailed at the Vera Wang show. Her sheer, pleated gowns don’t leave a lot to the imagination. Designer Adam Lippes of the line ADAM used the fabric in many of his collection’s blouses. Marchesa incorporated the trend in their evening gowns, giving sheer a less ethereal, more gothic effect.

Plaids rule the runway at Marc by Marc Jacobs. (PHOTO VIA STYLE.COM)


Bold patterns of all types will be hot for fall, with plaid leading the way. Plaid pants, jackets and suits were prevalent in designer Marc Jacob’s retro collection, Marc by Marc Jacobs. At Jason Woo a leaf print was used, while Thakoon showed that mixing prints can lead to one smart looking outfit. Of course, print master Diane von Furstenburg showed many patterned dresses. She opened her show a signature wrap dress, in a bold black and white pattern.

Belt-ing an evening gown? You bet. Dress by Yigal Azrouël. (PHOTO VIA STYLE.COM)


If you’re worried your figure could get lost in the layers of fall, don’t fret. Skinny belts are the accessory trend of fall 2011. New York Fashion Week king, Michael Kors, belted numerous looks in his collection. Everything from jumpsuits to trousers was given a tight squeeze around the waist with a thin belt. At the Ports 1961 show almost every look featured a skinny belt. Yigal Azrouël’s proved the skinny belt can work even on formal wear. He closed his show with a gold lamé evening gown, belted of course.

A fall collection can’t be complete without outerwear. Just like last season, reach for fur when the temperature drops. Whether it’s a vest like Elie Tahari showed this season, or last seasons cropped fur jacket, be prepared to pull your warmest fur out of storage. Catherine Malandrino’s grey hued furs were something special. But many designers like Rebecca Minkoff to Luca Luca proved the fur trend is here to stay for another season. Many designers used fur in unexpected ways. Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia presented a sequin shift dress that was embellished with a thick fur trim at the hem.

Leave it to New York Fashion Week designers to think outside of the box. They are always creating and re-creating trends, making it that much more fun for fashion followers to guess what they will do next.

FILM REVIEW: “Somewhere” is One of a Kind

January 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

Director Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” tells the story of a problem-ridden big-time actor and the relationship he has with his pre-teen daughter.

(PHOTO COURTESY FOCUS FEATURES)

Stephen Dorff plays Johnny Marco, a heavy drinking A-lister who loves the ladies. He doesn’t spend much time with his daughter, Cleo, played by the adorable Elle Fanning (Dakota Fanning’s younger sister).

But this all changes when Cleo’s mom calls Marco and tells him she needs some time away. Cleo is forced to become Johnny’s leading lady.

The father-daughter duo play Guitar Hero together, travel to Italy and begin to truly enjoy one another’s company. As they spend time together, Marco realizes his old party lifestyle isn’t working; the more time he spends with Cleo, he becomes a better father.

The storyline of the film was simple and sweet. Some may call it boring, but I prefer slow-paced. So, if you are looking for a fast paced, action flick this is not for you.

It is the movie’s unique style that makes it remarkable. Sofia Coppola’s artistic eye gives the film a flair that makes it interesting and appealing.

Coppola’s 2006 “Marie Antoinette” was also a visual treat. The beautiful set, props, wardrobe and music take the film from ordinary to extraordinary. “Somewhere” doesn’t have the same pretty factor, but this can be explained by the fact that the movie is filmed in Los Angeles, not the French Palace of Versailles.

But where “Somewhere” lacks visually it makes up for with its music. The soundtrack of the film livens it up. Usually the film’s music is less than notable, but during “Somewhere” I found myself making a mental note to look up the songs online once the movie was finished.

Phoenix, The Strokes and The Police are some of the artists who are featured on the soundtrack. Coppola is dating Phoenix front man Thomas May, who she asked to create the score of the film.

When BBC Radio asked May about the song he responded, “It wasn’t like writing songs, it was more about trying to make a sound that fits with a Ferrari and the city of Los Angele’s theme. It was more of an engineer work than a composer.”

As unpleasing as May makes the song sound, it doesn’t disappoint.

The film can be best described as quirky and cute, which is in typical Coppola fashion. “Somewhere” was not as I imagined, but it’s endearing story left me wanting more.