Grace, Hardback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416 pages, Illustrations (some col.), ports.
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fashion & textiles: design
  • ISBN: 9780701187989

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I love reading about fashion and was looking forward to reading this autobiography by the well-regarded Grace Coddington, who calls herself a 'stylist' rather than her official title of Creative Director at U.S. Vogue. I did enjoy the book but I felt a bit let down by the flow (or lack of it). The anecdotes came thick and fast but despite the repeated epithets given to various people, it was sometimes to hard to keep up with the chronology of events. Also, the stories abruptly butted against each other. The most jarring was the end of one story about a chaotic Annie Leibovitz photoshoot abruptly followed by a short paragraph about the day after 9/11. At this point, I wondered whether subheadings would have helped to separate the stories and assist the reader in understanding a new topic was being introduced.Coddington admits she is no writer and this was evident from the structure. I found myself wanting more details about some of her relationships with her colleagues and although I respect her not wanting to divulge personal details about previous husbands and boyfriends, sometimes I was left with a feeling of being a little shortchanged. I imagine this book will most likely be read by those interested in fashion and therefore I'll be intrigued to see what people think of it. For me, I didn't need repeated descriptions of who the designers or models were and I wanted more depth. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in 20th and 21st century fashion but I'm not sure fans of autobiographies would get much from this tome.

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