There is only one Bill Cunningham, and with good reason.
I tried my hand at capturing street fashion on my recent trip to Toronto, but it was not easy. The cold temperatures and my nervousness caused my fumbling fingers to drop my little PowerShot camera after taking only two photos. Thankfully I still had my iPhone. With each person I approached, I found it easier to introduce myself to strangers and ask for a photograph. Everyone complied – how could they not? I was paying them a compliment. The key to being a good street photographer is all about timing. If you see someone with a cool outfit, go for it! Do not hesitate, or your opportunity will literally pass you by, as it did for me many times.
The rain was not conducive to photographing street fashion. I was only able to capture the Torontonian from the surface, bundled up in a big overcoat, often with a fur-lined hood, and boots. The men are quite stylish, layering their outfits in interesting ways, and accessorized with hats, fun socks, and man-bags, though I was too shy to approach many of them. There isn’t a word to accurately describe the essence of the Torontonian style, for it is as eclectic as the fashions I see in San Francisco.
Dreary weather aside, I spent the days walking around the city until my feet ached, getting to know the public transit system in order to find DeGrassi St., eating more than twice my weight in horse tartare, smoked sweetbreads, and dumplings, visiting some museums with amazing mixed media installations, and discovering the many beautiful murals/graffiti art that covered the empty walls and alleys of the city. I was rained on and the wind-chill was ridiculous, but that didn’t deter me from visiting a dozen or so vintage shops. Vintage furs are cheaper and more plentiful there, and I only wish my carry-on bag wasn’t busting at the seams.
The next time I visit Toronto, it will definitely need to be in warmer temperatures. Stay tuned if you want to see the drool-worthy vintage goodies I brought back!