Styliste de Mode; ‘Grace: A Memoir’ by Grace Coddington [2012]

gamWhenever I look at something pretty it reminds me I really need to redesign this blog; which then reminds me I lack a creative eye, which then makes me sad. Grace Coddington, Creative Director at American Vogue, is secretly talented; secretly in that she does not boast or seek the limelight. Thus, I both admire and envy her. I cannot say why, but I was not expecting her to have lived the life she had, I did not expect it to be so interesting.

Beautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Vogue have made her an international icon. Known through much of her career only to those behind the scenes, she might have remained fashion’s best-kept secret were it not for The September Issue, the acclaimed 2009 documentary that turned publicity-averse Grace into a sudden, reluctant celebrity. Grace’s palpable engagement with her work brought a rare insight into the passion that produces many of the magazine’s most memorable shoots.1Synopsis from GoodReads

As with many people unfamiliar with fashion, I came to know who Grace was from The September Issue, a 2007 documentary on the production of Vogue’s September issue – the biggest of the year. Before then I had no idea she existed, I knew vaguely of a few models who style I enjoyed, and an editor here and there, but fashion has never been something I passionately pursued. While I still cannot say I am a converted fashionista, it was fascinating reading about Coddington’s life. She is old school and her values in fashion are very easy to connect to; where Anna Wintour brings fashion forward Grace helps retain the old school style with a modern twist. It was also very nice to know they have a very genuine respect for each other, one that came across only briefly in the documentary.

Accompanied with various photos of her as a model, on shoots and the shoots she so cleverly orchestrated, Grace: A Memoir is a delight to read; there is not a moment of her life you want to skip through. She tackles the difficulties she has faced with a brilliant rationalism, what is done is done; which is pleasantly refreshing. There is no woe is me attitude or clamour of to be the centre of attention that could come from the life she has lead. Instead, we are presented with a wonderfully held together individual who is an inspiration to women. Her only downside is that she likes cats, I cannot stand cats.

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2 Comments on "Styliste de Mode; ‘Grace: A Memoir’ by Grace Coddington [2012]"

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Charlie
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I forgot to go research after your mentioned this book in your roundup (Wiki now open). Those who’ve shunned the spotlight make interesting subjects, they’re often all the more interesting, I suppose because they’ve been able to dedicate more time to their work. That together with the photos I can imagine it is a very good book.

Kya
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That sounds really interesting! I really like to read about the lives of people who have lived in all different circumstances. I am like you and not really absorbed in the fashion scene, but I am interested in people with a real story. :)

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