Author(s): Grace Coddington
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.
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.