After seeing the captivating new documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, and discussing it with friends, did I begin thinking how design is transformative, again.
Of course, this particular film is about fashion design, so is The September Issue and The Devil Wears Prada, where there’s that rapturous scene in which the Anna Wintour-esque character traces her assistant’s sweater color of cerulean from couture to the clothing clearance bin.
Does the shopper or wearer really need to care where the influence comes from? After all, it’s them who’s shelling out the dough and styling the look for their body – or are they? It’s complicated, isn’t it? Bill Cunningham could tell you where a certain style or color originated, but he’d also, I bet, be the first to get excited about how clothes and fashion are translated to the street and on a particular wearer. Me too!
It’s the same with interior design. From the mind of the designated “it” designer spring from the pages of an interior design magazine, newspaper or showhouse the newest and latest trends. Or do you rely on your own creativity? A decorator or journalist can tell you that a particular silver color was all the rage in 2007, but isn’t it, mostly, the homeowner who decorates their “castle” on the whole? Aren’t they really in charge? Or, are they? Where are they getting their ideas?
Creativity or a creator of something is special, surely, and must be given his or her due. Bill Cunningham, I’m sure, would agree. When he was given the French Ministry of Culture’s knighthood of Arts and Letters, he said in his acceptance speech "that it’s always been about the clothes.” He spoke a little in English and a little in French. He didn’t speak long. Suddenly, his voice faltered. “It is as true today as it ever was,” he said, and then he began to cry: “He who seeks beauty will find it."
Inspiration, and they way one puts oneself and one’s home together, says something about who we are as people. What are you saying?