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A Memoir

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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

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 21, 2013 – "Don't expect me to be in it," was what Coddington, Vogue's creative director, said when her boss Anna Wintour told her that R.J. Cutler was making a documentary about the fashion bible (2007's The September Issue). Coddington, ever shy and diligent, was not only in it, but became the film's heroine by standing for creative expression and old-fashioned practices rooted in her deep appreciation for the fundamentals of fashion (she's one of the few remaining fashion editors to dress her own models). This preciously illustrated and honest memoir is written in a delightful colloquial style that will appeal to fashion insiders and average readers. Coddington weaves a story with fairytale beginnings (she clipped modeling school coupons while poring over outdated issues of British Vogue.), some drama (A car accident almost took her life, led to five surgeries and ended her modeling career.), and humorous tidbits (a "raccoon incident" during lunch with Wintour at the Four Seasons, or the time Coddington, who has never asked for a raise in her life, was mistaken for an assistant during an early visit to Conde Nast.) What's a woman who has worked with all the top photographers and models to do? Keep creating the exquisite fantasy worlds she's known for, of course.

Customer Reviews


Amazing. A must read for vogue fans.

Couldn't put it down!

What a life she has had. What an interesting peek into the world of fashion. Will read her other book next but not the one about cats.


Wonderful book about a magical life in fashion.

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  • $17.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Design
  • Published: Nov 20, 2012
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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