Enough subway rides are sure to expose you to the idiosyncrasies of New York fashion. To pass the time between stations, I look for fellow riders who stand out. I dreamed of capturing fashion in bright clothes icons such as New York Times fashion and street photographer Bill Cunningham once did with his iconic portrait of Edith Sherman.
Cunningham distinguished himself from other fashion photographers by not caring about who the model was, but what the model was wearing. He broke the rules in all genres of photography—perhaps he planned his street photos or took his fashion shots without prior approval.
“You see, a lot of people have taste, but they don’t have the courage to be creative,” Cunningham said in the documentary Bill Cunningham, New York.
Despite breaking social norms and photographic rules, Cunningham’s style is bold. Over the decades of his career, Cunningham gradually reformed the public perception of his style of photography. By the time he died in 2016, Cunningham had become a living landmark — photographers who organically document the fashion of New Yorkers can be seen on Manhattan Avenue.
“It’s not a photograph,” Cunningham said. “I’m just going to capture what I see.”
Seven years after Cunningham roamed the streets of New York City, I entered three of New York’s busiest subway stations—West Fourth Street—Washington Square, 14th Street—Union Square, and 34th Street—Herald Square—in search of daring new- Yorkers. enough to take a picture.
Try it yourself – walk down the stairs at a subway station and you’ll notice a bustling crowd of savvy dressers creating looks with similar or complementary colors, experimenting with the latest jacket trends, and playing with creative makeup ideas.
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Contact Jennifer Wren at [email protected]