“There’s no reason to be doom and gloom and to think that fashion is finished.” Bill Cunningham shares this and other memorable quotes in the recent award-winning documentary Bill Cunningham New York. According to one fashion writer, street style emerged at the same point that Bill Cunningham got a camera. Street style has become the rage in the past decade and many look to such photographers as the Sartorialist and Face Hunter. These individuals, as well as the Style Gurus of CollegeFashionista, use the camera as their notepad. Bill believed: “The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been and always will be.” The Fashionisto Spotlight for this week at the University of Pittsburgh proved the enduring art of street style. Corey Wittig looks to Britain for clothing (Ben Sherman, Fred Perry), music (The Smiths, The Kinks, The Jam, Belle & Sebastian) and style insights ('60s). In our conversation, we spoke about the documentary, mod culture and inspiring individuals who share the same name.
Name: Corey Wittig
Major: Library Science
College Fashionista: How would you describe your style and how it has changed over the past years?
Corey Wittig: I was inspired by mod culture out of England growing up. The aesthetic and tidiness of it is something I admire. So, I'd say there has always been an element of that in there. Nowadays, I like to mix and match styles. Not sure what you'd call that…decoupage fashion?
CF: What did you find inspiring about the documentary on Bill Cunningham?
CW: He's 80 years old, looks great with a totally effortless style and, obviously, an amazing eye for fashion. And street fashion in New York is inspiring because you can be as bold as you want without really causing a scene — something that is harder to do in Pittsburgh. It's not that New York is inherently more accepting; I think it's just the sheer volume of people. Nevertheless, it made me want to make more of an effort.
CF: If you had a style icon, who would it be?
CW: I do, and they are all named Paul: Paul Weller, Paul Newman, Paul Pope.
How To: If you, like Corey, want to make more of an effort and steer away from "an age of cookie cutter sameness" (in Cunningham's words), start at Ben Sherman's. They have a great selection of long-sleeved shirts. Clarks has classic suede boots and also offers them in other fabrics such as leather and jute emboss leather. Finally, a Fred Perry shoulder bag is available both at fredperry.com and Urban Outfitters.