"Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life." — Bill Cunningham
Bill Cunningham, The Times' legendary fashion photographer, built a career on capturing others' personal style in candid street snaps. Like many influential industry figures, Bill's own style has always been unobtrusive, defined by one distinctly unglamorous item: LL Bean duck boots. Those duck boots have pounded the pavements of New York for decades — and, what started as a nod toward practicality, has become synonymous with the man himself.
With Bill's duck boots in mind, I've vowed that all future purchases must stock my own armory of fabulous, functional pieces. These must be clothes to see me through both the seasons of time and the fickle seasons of fashion; if an apocalypse happened tomorrow, I'd expect to look good during it.
It goes without saying that footwear is fundamental. Ballet pumps by French Sole or Repetto are an enduring lesson in chic, while classic white tennis kicks are equally timeless. A sturdy collection of jeans — skinny, wide-leg, and a few vintage Levis 501s thrown in for good measure — add variety, while a well-fitted jacket polishes any outfit.