Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bill Cunningham's Hats To Be Sold Online

Most know Bill Cunningham as the cycling street style and society photographer for the New York Times. Fewer, however, may recall that millinery was how the blue-jacketed Cunningham got his start. In the Fifties and Sixties, Cunningham made extravagant, whimsical toppers under the William J label. On Wednesday, 23 of his creations will go on sale exclusively on 1stdibs.com through vintage fashion dealer Katy Kane. She got the hats through Alison Shacter, who considers the photographer a family friend and whose aunt, Mitty, was quite a collector of them. “I was astounded to hear all the stories, and to see the family photographs,” Kane recalled of her first visit to Shacter’s home. “He had a brief career as a milliner, and did it with such a sense of whimsy.” The sale is timed well: Cunningham is the honoree at the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence Gala April 23. - WWD

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