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 dreamlike 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 to restaurateur Michael Chow and photographer Willie Christie 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.
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[A] splashy, dishy, very giftable memoir - The New York Times
An absolutely beautiful book. As you would expect from the creative director of American Vogue, it is both stylish and striking, Coddington is a survivor, and this memoir is testimony to that - The Times
This memoir of a life in style from the 1960s until today will be equally absorbing for those who love the fashion world and those who find it impenetrably alien. Either way, as seen through Coddington’s eyes, it is never less than fascinating - Financial Times
Grace Coddington is truly inspirational … Her memoir should be in every fashionista’s stocking this year - Evening Standard (ES Magazine)
A must have for every woman in the industry. It's a book to read, reread and reference regularly. Grace Coddington is truly a fashion hero and should be celebrated on Christmas Day and everyday after - Fashion Foie Gras
Packed full of insider anecdotes and sweet line drawings by Coddington herself it’s a must-read for fashion fans - The Gloss
With the witty, forthright voice that has endeared her to her colleagues and peers for more than forty years, Grace creatively directs the reader through the storied narrative of her life so far - The Cork News
Described in breathless, name-dropping splendour - Irish Independent
Coddington’s memoir is as stylish as she is...this tome makes a gorgeous addition to any shelf - Zoomer Magazine
A fascinating insight into the world of fashion ... beautifully produced little book - Sunday Times
Book of the Week: Roberts and the designers of this memoir, which is beautifully illustrated with photographs and Grace’s own expressive line drawings, have certainly done a tremendous job of conveying the idiosyncrasy of Grace’s character: her formidable combination of steeliness and dottiness; the remarkable range of her knowledge of fashion, accumulated over half a century’s experience; and her sheer zest for life. In an industry full of people trying to be original, she is, unmistakably, the real thing - Daily Mail
Light and glossy. It is also charmingly forthright - Scotsman
Lifts the lid on her glittering life and career - Vantage Magazine
A tantalising read - Mayfair Magazine
Her writing is witty and intelligent - Irish Tatler
This book is a pleasure, particularly for a fan of fashion, as it contains photos, drawings and stories from the inner sanctum… All written about in a very accessible and non-pretentious was by someone who is – and was – at the glamorous heart of it all - Metro Herald (Scotland)
The thought of following in such legendary footsteps makes me fizz with excitement - Stylist
A unique vision into her [Grace’s] world - Stylist
If you only ever read one book, it has got to be this… - Creative Head
About the Author
Grace Coddington is the creative director of American Vogue magazine. British-born, she won a Vogue model competition in 1959, and pursued a modelling career in London and Paris. Landing a job as junior fashion editor at British Vogue in 1968, working under the legendary Bea Miller, she was latterly fashion director under the young Anna Wintour. Lured to New York by Calvin Klein in 1986 to be his design director, she was invited back to Vogue when Wintour took over the American operation in 1988. More recently, Grace was the surprise star of The September Issue, R. J. Cutler’s documentary about Vogue magazine, and celebrated her seventieth birthday in 2011. She lives in New York City and Long Island with Didier Malige, her boyfriend of nearly thirty years, and their two cats, Bart and Pumpkin.