Bill Cunningham Casts An Eye On New York

In 1968, street photographer Bill Cunningham began an eight-year project to capture the architecture of neglected neighborhoods and pair them with the remarkable fashions that defined their societies. The series, titled “Bill Cunningham: Facades,” on display at the New York Historical Society, highlights ‘the mutual impact of architecture and fashion.’ Looking at this photo that could be called “Lady Bracknell Takes The A Train,” I thought of something I’d just read, by Perry Anderson, in the New Left Review: ‘In the seventies, much of New York was unsafe, most of the town was hideous, Manhattan was leaking industry, and the municipality teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. But culturally and politically, the city continued to pulse with a ramshackle vitality.’

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