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  • Published: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742755625
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

Grace

A Memoir




The memoir of the creative genius at Vogue US and star of The September Issue: a dazzling and beguiling story of fifty years in fashion.

The memoir of the creative genius at Vogue US and star of The September Issue: a dazzling and beguiling story of fifty years in fashion.For decades, Grace Coddington's personal touch has steered wildly imaginative fashion spreads in Vogue magazine. Then came The September Issue, the behind-the-scenes documentary that turned the spotlight on a woman with a no-nonsense attitude and an unerring visual instinct. Overnight, the flame-haired Grace became a heroine for fashion insiders and the general public alike.

Witty and forthright, and illustrated throughout with vintage photographs and exclusive line-drawings, Grace: A Memoir shares the excitement and vision that go into producing so many unforgettable fashion images. Here are the designers, models, photographers, hairstylists, make-up artists and celebrities with whom Grace has created her 'stories in pictures' - whether it be Jerry Hall conquering the USSR or Tom Ford falling down a rabbit hole in Annie Leibovitz's version of Alice in Wonderland.

Grace's own life has been as dream-like as one of her madcap fashion spreads. Brought up in windswept wartime Anglesey, she arrived in London, aged eighteen, and quickly became a face of the Sixties. The muse behind Vidal Sassoon's Five Point Cut, she posed for Bailey, Donovan, Duffy and Norman Parkinson in Swinging London and jumped into a pool in Saint-Tropez for Helmut Newton. Surviving a serious car-crash, she later became a fashion editor at British Vogue and during the Seventies and the Eighties started to create the fantasy travelogues that would become her trademark.

Friendships bloomed - with Bruce Weber and Calvin Klein, whose offer of a job took Grace to New York. While two early marriages were brief, her romance with the hairstylist Didier Malige has endured. And her professional partnership with Anna Wintour - with whom she has collaborated for over twenty years - continues to have an astonishing influence on modern style.

  • Published: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742755625
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the author

Grace Coddington

Born on the island of Anglesey, Wales, Grace Coddington's interest in fashion began in her teens, when she would anxiously await the arrival of a current issue of Vogue magazine, her only connection to the fashion world. When she was 17, her photograph was submitted to a Vogue model competition and thus her modelling career and life in fashion began.

At the age of 26, Grace was in car accident that left her scarred. After her recovery, she was interviewed by British Vogue's Editor, Beatrix Miller, and she was employed as a Junior Editor. After nineteen years as Photo Editor with British Vogue, she moved to New York to work for Calvin Klein. In July 1988, she joined Anna Wintour at American Vogue, where she remains the magazine's creative director, or "the jewel in the crown" as Anna Wintour refers to her.

Praise for Grace

Grace Coddington’s splashy, dishy, very giftable memoir, Grace. Ms. Coddington’s work as an editor does not outglam her youthful adventure stories. But it’s at the heart of this book, and she presents it with both passion and whimsy. She fills the book with comedic little sketches and handily caricatures many friends and colleagues. Her captions are wittily self-explanatory. Here is a lightly expurgated version of what she writes to Azzedine Alaïa, known for his tightfitting designs: Tell me, Azzedine, does my rear end look big in this?

Janet Maslin, The New York Times

The first time I heard about The September Issue was when Anna Wintour called me into her office at American Vogue to tell me about it. She said "Oh, by the way, I've agreed to this crew coming in to make a film about Vogue" (the theme of the film was originally supposed to be about putting the Met Ball together but it just grew bigger and bigger). She told me a documentary crew would be turning up to film all the discussions, meetings, fights and frustrations of creating an issue of the magazine and they would be in our office and on our sittings too. And it's just about everything I don't want to hear. As if it's not difficult enough putting a complicated photo session together without having onlookers hanging around. "Don't expect me to be in it," I said, sensing Anna's eyes glaze over as she gazed past me out the window. I could feel her blanking me out, the way she does whenever she doesn't care to hear what someone is saying. My reaction to this irritating intrusion was naturally one of horror because my feeling has always been people should be focused on their jobs and not all this "I want to be a celebrity" shit. Afterwards, I found out it took almost a year to even persuade Anna to say yes. I'm sure she agreed in the end only because she wanted to show Vogue is not just a load of airheads speaking rubbish all the time. By then we all had enough of The Devil Wears Prada. For me it was always Vogue. As a teenager, I would make a special trip to Holyhead to buy a copy ... there were usually only one or two in stock. What I particularly loved were the photographs, especially those taken outdoors. They transported me to all sorts of exotic places - places where you could wear that kind of thing. Apres-ski wear under snow-topped fir trees! Beachy cover-ups on sun-kissed coral islands! Entering Vogue House on a cold London morning in January 1968, and moving through that unremarkable wood-panelled lobby at the fashionably late hour of 9.45am, I realised with a sudden shock that this would be my first ever day job. The building wasn't unfamiliar to me because, as a model, i had been there many times, taking the lift to the sixth floor to be photographed in the Vogue studios. Now everything would be different: I was a fashion editor.

Grace Coddington

If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.

Time

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