Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My inspiration, Bill Cunningham, documentary

Hi Everyone,

If you guys know anything about me is that movies have played a very important role in my life. Dead Poet Society really did change my life. I was afraid to follow my dream in college until I watched that movie. I always wanted to be a fashion designer but thought it was a very unrealistic dream/fantasy. So I went the safe route and majored in Business and went to the University of Houston like most of my sisters. It was easy to transition from high school to college with my sisters and friends. There was no risk or adventure. I was comfortable.

I did well at UH but I was also very miserable and bored. I started skipping accounting classes and study only the night before the test. That is the best and worst thing about a big university you do not have to attend classes and still pass. If you knew me in high school, I was a total nerd, fashionably always but still a nerd at heart. My parents were crazy enough to allow me to skip the whole family U.S. naturalization b/c I wanted perfect attendance. My family used to joke that I was the only alien in the house and I was going to be sent back to Laos. What the hell was I thinking?

My second year at UH was when I realized I really needed to figure out what to do with my life. I was beginning to not really care about my classes. I have always prided myself on being a good student and really embracing learning. Then one day, I went to see, Dead Poet Society.

I needed something in my life to tell me it was "ok" to not follow the norm. I did not have the courage within myself to do so but Robin Willaims did. " Oh Captain, my Captain!" indeed!! I cannot accurately remember if within a few days, weeks or months after watching the movie, I dropped out of UH and enrolled in the H.C.C. Fashion Design Program. I felt so free, alive and happy about my future. Somehow Dead Poet Society gave me the courage I could not muster up myself. Silly to say but I will always be grateful to this movie b/c I would not be where I am without it, " Got to be more, Got to see more, Got to do more"

It has been many years since I watched a movie that has moved me so much but a few months ago, I watched the documentary on Bill Cunningham. Who is he? I cannot explain better than this;

The "Bill" in question is 80 + New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns "On the Street" and "Evening Hours. "We all get dressed for Bill," says Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

For me, Bill is someone who is truly an artist, an artist in the complete and most honest degree. He does not compromise his work for monetary needs, societies approval or personal gains. He truly lives for his art. He exudes such joy b/c this man has never compromised his work. He does sacrifice daily creature comforts but he is surrounded by love and complete respect with anyone that know him or of him. I looked up to him b/c in this day and age there is so much pressure to be financially successful. Money equals success.

He is really such an inspiration. He makes me think about what I really need in life, as a person and as an artist. Doing your work should not always be about financial gain but the joy of it. Back to the basics when there was no pressure to pay the bills, staff and some time to make other people happy. I know it is a balancing act, I could never be like him but I hope to be just a little like him. Creating beautiful things and being happy I am able to live my dream and to continue to create.

I never have gone up to be Bill in person but have seen him many times at NYC Fashion week. He is a staple there. Next, I will and just thank him for being him.

So if you want to see this documentary and walk out of a theater with a big old smile on your face and have tears of pure happiness inspired by Bill, himself. Come join me this Friday, July 8tth at M.F.A.H. at 7pm. There will also be a panel discussion.

Here is the info on the panel.

Post-Screening Event July 8 Only! A panel discussion with Lynn Wyatt, founding chair of M.F.A.H. film committee; designer Chloe Dao; photographer Jay Marroquin, and Luis Soto (Mr. G), co-editor of follows the film. Afterwards the audience is invited to a reception with refreshments generously supplied by Central Market in the museum galleries. Co sponsored by Lot 8 and Fashion Group International Houston.

Did you read Lynn Wyatt will be there to answer your questions? She is truly a fashion icon and such a dynamic lady. I feel a little unworthy to be on the same panel with her.

Here is the link for the tickets for the movie.

If you cannot make it Friday, the movie is showing on July 15 and 22.

I hope to see you there Friday.

Love Life,

Love Fashion,

Love, Chloe


KMB said...

Chloe- my mom and I will be there, can't wait!

Unknown said...

Looking forward to MFAH tonight ...& Great shout out to HCC for providing the classes to continue your dream

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