The fashion doyenne’s memoir may be starry but it lacks depth, insight redhead called Grace Coddington, who is Vogue’s creative director. Gaby Wood celebrates the hopscotch life of Grace Coddington, one of fashion’s most enduring icons. When Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington left Wales at eighteen for a modeling career, it was just the beginning of her epic life in.
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I na documentary team began filming The September Issuea behind-the-scenes look at American Vogue as staff put together the magazine’s fattest number of the year under the direction of Anna Wintour, its somewhat scary editor.
Thanks to The Devil Wears Pradaa novel in gracr a woman not unlike Wintour is portrayed as a demanding monster by a former assistant, Wintour’s fame preceded her; the film-makers must have thought she would be their star.
In the end, though, this is not what happened. When the film was released init was clear that the camera had loved a different creature, a pale and tetchy redhead called Grace Coddington, who is Vogue ‘s creative director.
Grace by Grace Coddington – review | Books | The Guardian
gracd Coddington thinks there was far too much of her in the film, and she suspects her boss felt the same way. But it made her, in New York at least, quite famous, and this she likes. At her local nail salon, for instance, where the staff are Korean, they can’t get enough of her.
They used to like sitting me near the window so passersby could see me. Pedestrians often came up yrace the glass. When they realised I couldn’t hear them, they mouthed things at me like, ‘I love The September Issue. I love your work. To help her out with this commission, she enlisted the help of her friend, Michael Roberts, the famously waspish style director of Vanity Fair.
Grace: a Memoir by Grace Coddington: review
But where that book was narrated by a woman long retired, and free to say whatever she liked — in DV ‘s opening paragraph, Vreeland merrily describes punching the agent Swifty Lazar on the nose — Coddington is at the heart of ggrace fashion establishment, and must therefore be discreet; one gathers that coddongton now she still dreads losing her job.
Anyone hoping to find out what she really thinks about Galliano, Lagerfeld et al is, then, going to be disappointed — unless terrifying thought she really does think that everyone in fashion is clever and funny and generally adorable. Names are dropped rather than unpacked; fashion is described not deconstructed.
Coddington was born in on Anglesey, Wales, where her parents ran a hunkered, whitewashed hotel. This is the best bit of the book, for she evokes island life quite beautifully: With nothing much else to do, she took memoie fantasy world of Vogue to heart, and it was from among its pages that, aged 18, she clipped a tiny paragraph advertising, for the price of 25 guineas, a two-week course at the Cherry Marshall modelling school in Mayfair.
Those who stayed had only two choices, career-wise: In London, she worked as a waitress at coddingtln Stockpot and waited for her ship to come in. Happily, it wasn’t long.
Soon after graduating from Cherry Marshall, Coddington won a Jemoir modelling competition, and was suddenly in demand. She was photographed by Norman Parkinsonhad her hair cut by Vidal Sassoonand was duly awarded a nickname: It wasn’t memour pretty as Jean Shrimpton’s, but somehow it stuck. It’s at this point that all the heat goes out of her book. In life, I admire emotional reticence.
Book review: ‘Grace: A Memoir’ by Grace Coddington. – The Boston Globe
But there’s really no point in writing a memoir if you’re not going to give anything away. It’s also disconcerting, to say the least, to find grave events — the car accident in which she lost the only child she was ever able to conceive; the breakdown and early death of her sister, whose son Coddington later adopted — passed over in two cool sentences, when she is willing to devote several pages to her favourite models, and a whole chapter to her cats. Boy, is she keen on cats.
Actually, she hates sunglasses. Grace is “cat central”.
I was introduced to her by Bruce Weber. Coddington hated The Devil Wears Prada: In Normandy, she and nemoir makeup artist spend an hour fruitlessly tipping buckets of dye into the sea, the better to make it blue for the photographer David LaChapelle.
Worst of all, noting that Tina Chow, Michael’s second wife, died of Aids inshe writes: But I must admit that I expected better from Coddington. Topics Autobiography and memoir The Observer. Fashion industry Biography books reviews. Order by newest oldest recommendations.
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