Tag Archives: street fashion

A review of Bill Cunningham New York

8 Sep

I never thought I’d say this but I was holding back tears during a fashion movie. And it wasn’t because the clothes were so horrid it made my eyes burn, or unbelievably exquisite that I was weeping tears of joy. It was because the film, Bill Cunningham New York, is about style photographer Bill Cunningham, an endearingly sweet man whose love of capturing fashion has debilitated his familial relationships and, consequently, prevented him from having any romantic connections of his own.

Street style photographer Bill Cunningham

Cunningham may not be as widely known as The Sartorialist but he certainly paved the way for street style photography. He compared the streets of New York to a fashion show. Even Vogue’s Anna Wintour praised Cunningham’s eye for trends and proclaimed, “We all get dressed for Bill.”

New York street style as captured by Cunningham

At 82 years of age, Cunningham is still cycling the streets to photograph exciting and unusual outfits – on film nevertheless. Opposed to the “cookie cutter sameness,” he stressed the importance of dressing outside the box. With over five decades in the fashion industry, he’s worked for Details Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily and currently holds a position at New York Times.

An image from the film of one of Cunningham's favourite style subjects, Shail Upadhya

The documentary follows Cunningham and his duct-taped poncho around the city for a few days as he encapsulates the fashion trends of the moment. It also delves into the gentrification of the Carnegie Hall building, where artists and tenants such as Cunningham – who had been living there for six decades – are faced with evictions. Heartfelt but not overly sentimental, I definitely recommend Bill Cunningham New York, whether you’re into fashion or not. The DVD comes out Sept. 13.

“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” – Bill Cunningham

Profile: Vancouver style blogger LADYFRANSTAR

22 Feb

As the fashion blogging world continually expands to include new style sites cropping up, readers may find themselves overwhelmed. But having a variety of options translates into greater resources when searching for fashion inspiration. As a part of this site, I’ll be profiling style bloggers around the city. First up is LADYFRANSTAR.


A hip-hop dancer, former punk-rock bassist and fashion lover – Vancouver visual merchandiser and stylist Frances Ignacio is the face behind style blog LADYFRANSTAR.

Take a bow

Though her fashion site is a relatively new endeavour, Ignacio has been blogging for  years – she said her previous blogs were written mostly for fun and used as creative outlets. It wasn’t until her friend Stephen Pham, another visual merchandiser and style blogger, suggested writing about fashion that Frances decided to pursue it.

“With my previous blogs, it was hard to consistently keep up with it and keep posting, so this one’s a lot easier for me because it’s focused on fashion,” she said. Her website documents her outfits, new purchases and thoughts on current trends.

Oh na na, what’s my style?

For Ignacio, her style influences are celebrities, other fashion bloggers (Street Peeper, Face Hunter and Style Bubble are tops on her list) and individuals she meets from different countries. Her style’s constantly changing:

“Back in high school, I had a really funky look – it was a lot darker. But since then, I’ve been out in the world and seen all these people [who have influenced my style],” she said. “So it just keeps changing, the things I like keep changing or I travel and get more inspiration.”

"I put the streaks in just to liven things up and make it fun."

But Ignacio’s main fashion influence is a certain pop singer who used to share the same hairstyle as her.

“My biggest style icon is Rihanna – I love her,” she said. “I just like that she has this edgy look and it’s not boring. I love something that’s edgy, fun, colourful.” She also lists Nicole Richie, Korean girl group 2NE1, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen among her style icons.

Rockstar 101

Ignacio loves that she gets to use her creativity while working for H&M as a visual merchandiser. One of her favourite tasks is styling the mannequins.

“What I eventually want to do is do styling for music videos or celebrities.”

"Recently, I've been obsessed with harem pants - they're just so comfy and I just love them."

As for her blog goals, she just wants readers to have an appreciation for street style:

“Vancouver is very laid-back. They all like to dress very, very casual. There are certain people out there who love to go outside the box and dress extravagant but I just want people to have more awareness of street fashion and that not everyone has to dress the same. Just go for what inspires you, go for whatever you love to do. I hope people get inspired from my blog.”

Ignacio’s new project, “Be Inspired,” will be spotlighting individuals who are passionate about what they’re doing.

Run this town

Ignacio’s favourite places to shop in Vancouver:

Ignacio’s favourite online stores: