I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of Grace Coddington until I watched 2009’s The September Issue. However, while watching the documentary I was instantly drawn to her as was R.J. Cutler who focused much of the documentary on Grace’s contribution to the magazine.
US VOGUE’s creative director is a flame haired wonder who stands up to the notoriously demanding Anna Wintour; she is one of the most fascinating figure’s of the fashion industry and the release of her memoirs this week promises to give an insight into her genius.
Grace began her career at VOGUE at the age of 17 after winning a Young Idea modelling competition by the magazine. At the age of 26 she became a Junior Editor at British VOGUE and soon made the leap across the ocean to work at Calvin Klein. In 1988 she took up her current position at US VOGUE alongside Anna Wintour.
Grace has been called a genius by fellow fashion royalty Karl Lagerfield and has created VOGUEs visual identity, making the magazine and not just the clothes inside, a piece of art itself.
Her memoirs are said to discuss her childhood in Wales, her early fame, her tumultuous love life and the car crash which almost ended her modelling career. A quick background read leads me to assert that her life reads like the script of a film, parties with the Beatles, tragedy, drama and heartwarming moments are in equal supply.
Her approach to beauty is what I find most endearing. Grace considers perfection to be ‘boring’ which is a refreshing approach to an industry which in the past has been criticised for promoting an unhealthy image. She is also described by many as being a enigmatic character who is kind, authoritative and funny, three characteristics which she displayed in The September Issue.
I am definitely adding Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington to my Christmas list for a bit of festive reading, in the vain hope that I can steal a bit of her genius for my own life and career.