On Monday night, the fashion glitterati came out to commemorate the life of Bill Cunningham, who passed away on June 25, at a memorial service at Carnegie Hall. For 60 years, the beloved photographer lived above the venue in a rent-controlled space, until Carnegie Hall decided to renovate for educational programs. Cunningham’s family, friends, colleagues, and New York big-timers like Michael Bloomberg spoke to the crowd of 1,000, reflecting on memories, his craft, and even giving insight into his home life. New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. opened with a speech, which was followed by a reading from Vogue‘s Anna Wintour of Lord Byron’s “So We’ll Go No More a Roving.” Other speakers included the Times’ John Kurdewan and Joanna Nikas, Diana DiMenna, Sandy and Joan Weill, Heidi Rosenau, Canarsie Wobblers, Anne Hawley, Trish Jarvis Simonson, William Rudin, and Carnegie Hall president Vartan Gregorian.
The stage was decorated with a replica of Cunningham’s bike, his iconic blue jacket, and a street sign of the intersection of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was renamed Bill Cunningham Corner earlier this year. The Canarsie Wobblers performed one of their dance routines in his honor. But perhaps the grandest commemoration of the designer was the street style frenzy that took place outside the NYC landmark. Photographers crowded the entrance to capture the extravagant outfits of editors, celebrities, designers, models, and influencers. Notable attendees included Michael Kors, Naomi Campbell, Grace Coddington, Ralph Lauren, Cindi Leive, Tavi Gevinson, Vera Wang, Virginia Smith, Iman, Lynn Yaeger, Stefano Tonchi, Padma Lakshmi, Iris Apfel, Vinoodh Matadin, Eva Chen, Linda Fargo, Lela Rose, Jenna Lyons, Vanessa Friedman, Inez Van Lamsweerde, Mickey Boardman, Amy Fine Collins, and Leandra Medine. Yesterday, they all dressed for Bill.