THE BLOG
03/06/2012 05:38 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Bill Cunningham: "I Like Real Fashion -- Not Dressing Up"

Who is Bill Cunningham? He is the first blogger in history. That is, the first "street photographer." He takes pictures of people in the street, outside and inside fashion shows, but also in the streets of New York, Paris and Milan. For years he has photographed whatever he liked and what amazed him about fashion, and he still does today. However, he doesn't run a blog. He is coy and doesn't attend social events, and personally selects his pictures -- all filed at his studio -- which are only published in the New York Times.

This has been going on for years -- over 30. An amazing archive on the history of fashion, his eye won't overlook a single thing -- and there he is, focusing on you with his camera, and he won't let a single detail slip away. A movie, directed by Richard Press, was dedicated to him -- a beautiful film. Watching him all these years taking pictures I always thought he liked flamboyant ensembles or, in any case, clothes that photographed well. But today he approached me, something unusual for someone so shy, and told me: "I like beautiful, well-cut clothes, women with a sense of elegance, and who don't just dress up... " It's impossible not to agree, especially with shows being held right now. The success of Giambattista Valli is surely due to his ability to make women look beautiful with garments realized with precious fabrics and a mix of rich, contrasting materials.

All this with a kind of carefree spirit -- like a real snob who doesn't care about fashion trends but only about her own style -- Stella McCartney has definitely showcased one of her best collections to date: sporty and not specifically for the evening, yet with touches of exquisite craft visible in the jackets, the coats and the wool sweaters, showing a refined, sporty mood.

The other night Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy showcased a strong woman, but also much more delicate in her embroidered slips or floating dresses. The high boots added a tougher twist to his woman who, in the end, was definitely feminine. A further step along his path towards a woman who is always sexy yet new, softer and more refined.

Surely his haute couture creations, so refined and unique in his research for details, materials and finishing touches have enormously affected his transformation. Beautiful.

Three different typologies of women sharing the same desire to be admired and to be looked at, surely, but for their uniqueness and, most of all, for their style, and not for their eccentricity, that only has an end in itself -- for a new elegance.

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