I feel like I’m currently getting all my fashion and culture info from the New York Times. I love this piece on photographer Bill Cunningham’s scrapbooks, in which he collated cuttings, photos and ephemera from his time as a milliner in 1950s New York. His two scrapbooks are part of the New-York Historical Society exhibition, Celebrating Bill Cunningham (until September 9).
A quick flick through the new Lula reveals a wee article on scrapbooking including a sneak peak at Alison Mosshart’s cuttings and pastings. It reminded me of my own three whopping great scrapbooks that I fill in fits and starts. My passion started at art college when I studied fashion illustration and collage was the medium du jour. I loved the work of Ivan Chermayeff as it had that ‘I can do that’ quality that always appeals to me. Ditto Robert Rauschenburg and Peter Blake.
These days, what tends to happen is I’m good at finding the scraps – torn typography, discarded labels, a deflated balloon – but they mount up in a pile and then get upgraded into an envelope or paper bag of some sort. The next stage, several weeks later, is coralling said envelopes and paper bags into a bigger bag or box file and then on that rare day when the mood strikes and the thought, ‘I know, I’ll do my scrapbook’ enters my head, having a mega sort-out. In fact, the sorting out seems to be the most fun bit where I remind myself of these fabulous treasures I’ve amassed over the years (‘ooh, look at these Fiorucci stickers!’ ‘Hang, on, where did this postcard come from?’ etc etc). Yet by the time the sorting’s done, all my energy’s spent! Hence I now have two groaning box files of scraps but my poor scrapbooks are no fuller than they were two years ago. Hmm, maybe I’ll start again this weekend….
[Double click pics to enlarge]