Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington Book Review

Rated: 

Genre: Memoir

Recommended to: Everyone interested in fashion and how the fashion industry works

Goodreads Preview:

“Beautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Voguehave 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.”

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely amazing.  I loved reading about her life and how she went from being a small town girl to a model to the creative director of Vogue and everything in between.  I read about 26 pgs a day and finished in less than 2 weeks.  There are so many pictures and she has a whole gallery of her works at the end.  My favorite is her Alice in Wonderland shoot, which she describes how she came up with the concept and how she and her crew shot it.  Her personality and the way she writes is so funny and personable.  She managed to reinforce my dream of working in the fashion industry.  Although it’s cut throat she makes it all seem worth it in the end.  Many people know her from The September Issue(great film) where she butts heads with Anna Wintour alot.  But in the book, she describes them as being friends and how she started at the magazine when Anna.  If there was a sequel I would read it and if there was a movie I would watch it.  I completely recommend this book.

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