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Fashion Climbing: A New York Life

Fashion Climbing: A New York Life

`I took to New York life like a star shooting through the heavens...' Bill Cunningham's first love was fashion but the big city came a close second. When women stopped wearing hats and his business was forced to close, Bill worked as a fashion journalist, touring the couture hous... read full description below.

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ISBN 9781784742812
Barcode 9781784742812
Published 3 September 2018 by Vintage
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Cunningham, Bill
Availability In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781784742812
ISBN-10 1784742813
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Vintage
Imprint Chatto & Windus
Publication Date 3 September 2018
International Publication Date 6 September 2018
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Cunningham, Bill
Category Individual Photographers
Fashion Design
Biography & Autobiography
Number of Pages 256
Dimensions Width: 149mm
Height: 216mm
Spine: 26mm
Weight 436g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Fashion designers - Biography - United States, Portrait photographers - Biography - United States
NBS Text Autobiography: General
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 770.92
Catalogue Code 939212

Description of this Book

`I took to New York life like a star shooting through the heavens...' Bill Cunningham's first love was fashion but the big city came a close second. He left for New York aged 19, losing his family's support but enjoying the infinite luxury of freedom. Living on a scoop of Ovaltine a day, he would run down to Fifth Avenue to feed on the spectacular sights of the window displays - then run back to his tiny studio to work all night. Working as `William J' (to spare his parent's blushes), Bill became one of the most celebrated hat designers of the 1950s, creating elegant town hats for movie stars and playful beach hats for the summer set. Bill's mission was to bring happiness by making beautiful things - even it meant pawning his bike to fund fancy-dress outfits for all his friends. When women stopped wearing hats and his business was forced to close, Bill worked as a fashion journalist, touring the couture houses of Europe. But New York remained his home, and it was as a street photographer of the fashions of the city that he became well known, in a job that would last almost forty years. Fashion Climbing is the enchanting memoir he left behind, capturing the madcap times of his early career and the fashion scene of the mid-century. Written with the spark and wit of Holly Golightly, and brimming over with Bill's infectious joy for life, it is a gift to all who seek beauty, whatever our style or status.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review Surprising and sprightly... A front-row seat on the mid-century fashion world... The glamorous world of 20th-century fashion comes alive in Cunningham's masterful memoir both because of his exuberant appreciation for stylish clothes and his sharp assessment of those who wore them * Publishers Weekly * We missed Bill Cunningham terribly. So thank goodness for this book. Here comes a snap, crackle and pop of a memoir. Humble, sparse and vivacious. Funny! Forthright and elegant. Bill is back and we are grateful -- Maira Kalman As Mr. Cunningham might have said, `a real dilly' of a book-the story of a man who turned a love of beauty into an exquisite life -- Lauren Collins

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Author's Bio

Born in 1929 in an Irish suburb of Boston, Bill Cunningham dropped out of Harvard and moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion. In 1948, he started his hat design business, 'William J' ; his hats were featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy. In the 1960s the business closed and he became a fashion journalist and photographer. In 1978, he joined the New York Times. In later years, Cunningham could regularly be seen on his bicycle, in his French workman's jacket, photographing fashion trends for his columns 'On the Street' and 'Evening Hours'. He was the subject of the acclaimed documentary Bill Cunningham, New York (2010) in which Anna Wintour confided that 'we all dress for Bill'. Bill Cunningham died in 2016, aged 87. He had always lived modestly, amidst 'William J' hatboxes and the filing cabinets housing his photographic archive. The prepared typescript of Fashion Climbing was found among his effects.

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