NYT: In 1968, 20 years after his arrival in New York and before he made his name chronicling fashion and society in pictures for The New York Times, Bill Cunningham began another fashion project, a body of work that became a 1978 book, “Facades,” and is the subject of a delightful yet subtly profound exhibition at the New-York Historical Society through June 15.
“Bill Cunningham: Facades” is the result of a long-term collaboration between Mr. Cunningham and his friend, fellow photographer and neighbor at Carnegie Hall Studios, Editta Sherman, who died last year at the age of 101. Like Mr. Cunningham, “the Duchess of Carnegie Hall” was a devoted collector of vintage clothes. On weekends, Mr. Cunningham photographed her on the streets of New York wearing ensembles put together from their collections. Each image matches clothing with architecture that exemplifies the period, ranging from the late 18th century to the 1950s. The exhibition features most of the 88 gelatin silver prints from the series, which Mr. Cunningham donated to the New-York Historical Society when the book was completed. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.
Nelson Sullivan was enrolled in film school when he shot this Super 8 film at the Westside Piers, a gay-friendly area near the West Village in New York City
photo from an old feature in CREEM via Alan Cross
Julie Andrews introduces Katharine Hepburn and Company in COCO on the 1970 Tonys. Totally ridiculous… no french accent and stunningly awful dialogue… but the whole “Bob Mackie/ Carol Burnett Show” style fashion show is what it’s all about!
Filmed in Brooklyn, this shows the process of handmade bagels. From creating the dough to the baking and sale, the process is explained along with the extemporaneous commentary on the changing nature of the bagel business, and the shops place in the neighborhood. Filmed in 1979? by Nick Manning, this is part of the 16mm film collection at the Brooklyn Public Library’s local history division, the Brooklyn Collection.
See catalog record: http://catalog.brooklynpubliclibrary….
As a kid, my grandparents, and millions of other viewers rarely missed an episode of the television program “All in the Family.” For those too young to know, Norman Lear’s aboriginal must-see TV hilariously highlighted the friction between the nineteen-sixties’ “progressive” generation and their parents via the bigoted, but strangely lovable, character of Archie Bunker. I suspect most of its viewers shared more in common with Archie’s prejudices than they wanted to admit, but laughing at him allowed one to take the first step towards changing one’s own biases, whether one knew it or not.
I like to imagine that my grandparents were always progressive, tolerant people in favor of things we now take for granted, but I know that’s probably wishful thinking. I’m not even sure about myself in this regard. Fortunately, we humans are incessant editors, never happy with the first draft of anything. This tendency towards revision can cause problems, though. For example, most memories I have of my daughter as a baby have been systematically and irrationally replaced by a mental image of how she appears now—an eight-year-old—because I simply can’t believe she was ever so small. In fact, when she was born, one of my friends, while cradling her fragile seven pounds, couldn’t believe it then, saying, “God, why don’t we just die the second we’re born? We’re so delicate and vulnerable!” My wife’s mother, who was visiting, didn’t miss a beat: “It’s mothers, honey. It’s our job to make sure that never happens.” Well, score one for Moms, I thought.
Now that the numbers are in on same-sex marriage, many Republicans are falling like dominos all over themselves to express their support for something that only a few months ago they steadfastly claimed to stand against. They’ll probably soon claim that this is how they felt all along, and they were simply too hamstrung by politics to be able to say what they really meant. Well, okay. In the spirit of openheartedness and what life is really all about, I’ll go so far as to say that the fear of others may mask some deep-seated desire to understand, and maybe even to love. Because really, what is there to be afraid of? Few people today don’t know—or have in their families—at least one loving couple who are raising children, same-sex or not. And it’s really just the loving part that matters. That same-sex marriage could go from its preliminary draft of “diagnosable” to the final edit of “so what?” must indicate some positive evolution on the part of the larger human consciousness. My wife, being a biology teacher, puts it even more succinctly: “Why are all these people so worried about who everybody else is sleeping with, anyway?” (Score two for Moms.)
So, a final draft: happy Mothers’ Day, moms. We are grateful to, and love, you all.
A model wears Art Smith’s “Modern Cuff” Bracelet, circa 1948. Art Smith (1917-1982) was a modernist jeweler born in Cuba to Jamaican parents who eventually emigrated to Brooklyn. He opened his first shop on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village in 1946 – no small feat. According to the Brooklyn Museum (host of a 2008 exhibit of his work) he was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century. Along with being covered by magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Smith, an avid jazz lover, once made cufflinks for Duke Ellington which included some notes from Mr. Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.” Mr. Smith was also a supporter of early Black modern dance groups and an active supporter of Black and gay rights. Art Smith was quoted in the 1969 catalog for his one man exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft as saying, “A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a ‘what is it?’ until you relate it to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form.”
SISSYDUDE LOVES: scooter laforge for patricia field modeled by jonathan “best hairy chest EVAH” federico (photos by reiko lauper)
Directors :: Jonathan Federico and Nathan Lee Bush
Producer/Stylist/Casting :: Jonathan Federico
Cinematographer/Editor/Sound Effects :: Nathan Lee Bush
Production Design :: Scooter LaForge
Production Assistant:: Remy Cucui
Acclaimed NYC-based artist, Scooter LaForge creates a self- entitled fashion line that’s nothing short of a masterpiece which Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Lil’ Wayne, and Nicki Minaj enjoy wearing. In celebration of his successful commercial relationship with the Patricia Field boutique, we created this short art film to showcase his brand. This film is from the 2011 collection.
John Sex was a New York City-based performance artist, male stripper and disco singer who was a stand-out personality of the East Village art scene of the 1980s. He’d sing schmaltzy Vegas numbers in glittery smoking jackets, shiny Ziggy Stadust-esque zip-up jumpsuits, 10-inch platform heels, and assless leather pants. His trademark was his bleached blond hair which stood straight up on his head in an exaggerated pompadour which he said was held aloft by “a combination of Dippity-do, Aqua Net, egg whites, beer, and semen.” He also had a pet python, named “Delilah,” and a suit made of 500 light bulbs. In his X-rated version of the Sinatra standard “That’s Life,” he’d sing “I’ve been a hustler, a hooker, a honcho, a hero, a dyke and a queen.”