A Memoir

Book - 2012
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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.

With the witty, forthright voice that has endeared her to her colleagues and peers for more than forty years, Grace now creatively directs the reader through the storied narrative of her life so far. Evoking the time when models had to tote their own bags and props to shoots, Grace describes her early career as a model, working with such world-class photographers as David Bailey and Norman Parkinson, before she stepped behind the camera to become a fashion editor at British Vogue in the late 1960s. Here she began creating the fantasy "travelogues" that would become her trademark. In 1988 she joined American Vogue, where her breathtakingly romantic and imaginative fashion features, a sampling of which appear in this book, have become instant classics.

Delightfully underscored by Grace's pen-and-ink illustrations, Grace will introduce readers to the colorful designers, hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers, models, and celebrities with whom Grace has created her signature images. Grace reveals her private world with equal candor--the car accident that almost derailed her modeling career, her two marriages, the untimely death of her sister, Rosemary, her friendship with Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Liz Tilberis, and her thirty-year romance with Didier Malige. Finally, Grace describes her abiding relationship with Anna Wintour, and the evolving mastery by which she has come to define the height of fashion.


"If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year."-- Time
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780812993356
Characteristics: xxii, 333 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Roberts, Michael 1947 October 2-


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Aug 02, 2015

Grace Coddington acknowledges in the introduction that most of the people reading her book probably know her from the documentary The September Issue. Grace is very similar in her memoir as she was in that film: likable, passionate about her job at Vogue, and opinionated. The book delves a lot into the fashion world, with most chapters just describing different anecdotes about specific designers, hairdressers, editors, etc.

Aug 14, 2014

Extremely fluid writing, without any trace of egocentrism. Well balanced, not too sentimental. The shy image from The September Issue proves to be a creative, liberated, sensible and intelligent person who had an intense life. Could you say the same thing about her boss ?

Dec 20, 2013

I too confess to choosing this to read after seeing Grace in The September Issue. A really good read, interesting recollections of the 60s and insight into famous photographers, magazines and fashion. Grace writes with a beautiful, fluid, friendly writing style which makes this an easy read. It probably wouldn't be at all interesting to anyone who either didn't know who Grace is, or who hadn't seen the movie.

Jul 11, 2013

I loved this book! From the whimsical drawings to the accounts of photoshoots with some of the greatest photographers, Grace Coddington tells all with class and style.

Jun 11, 2013

Great fun for those like me who love all fashion history and this memoir covers quite the career from top model in the 60's (she was the original "head of hair" for Vidal Sassoon's 5 point cut) to her work as a stylist/Vogue magazine fashion editor. She worked with all the great photographers and designers - plus loved learning of her childhood in Wales and early days in swinging 60's London and Paris. It is chock full of great photos and her charming sketches (many of her cats).

debwalker May 14, 2013

Beautifully illustrated story from inside the world of fashion and September Issue. Fascinating character.

May 06, 2013

I'm not a fashionista by any means but I have read Vogue and I watched The September Issue and like many other I was interested in who the woman with the wild red hair was that seemed to be doing all the work. Well, Grace Coddington has written this memoir to answer that question and many more. I found this memoir very interesting even though my knowledge of fashion and designers is limited. She gives us a no-holds-barred, name-dropping look into the fashion world. It is also an autobiography of sorts, and she has had a quite interesting life. I would recommend this book as a very interesting read.

ChristchurchLib Feb 19, 2013

"Grace Coddington, a successful British fashion model in the 1960s, went on to be the creative director of the British Vogue magazine, then of American Vogue. She also featured in the 2009 documentary film The September Issue. Now she tells (almost) all about herself and others in the fashion industry in her memoir, which she delightfully illustrates with pen-and-ink drawings." February 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter


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