Grace – Vogue’s other woman

Grace Coddington: A Memoir
is a delightful must-read for all fashion mavens and pop culture junkies. Grace Coddington has been a “star” in the fashion industry for decades. She commands immense respect as Anna Wintour’s collaborator at Vogue magazine, as well as in her own right as a creative artist. But after stealing the show in The September Issue, the much talked-about documentary about Vogue, Grace Coddington has become a celebrity.
The book is visually delicious with its striking orange cover and a portrait of Grace with her trademark mane of red hair. The book is illustrated throughout with Grace’s personal photos and her charming sketches. The flyleaf of the book is decorated with Grace’s illustration of the front row of a couture show. She has charmingly captured her colleagues in pen and ink lined up on their chairs to watch the “show”.
The book reads like a Who's Who the fashion industry as well it should; Coddington’s career spans decades. She began as young model in the Swinging Sixties, and despite all the bold face names that litter the book, the tone is disarming. 
Even today Grace is known for dressing her own models and getting her hands dirty. It may harken back to her early days in the business. Grace writes about modeling in London in the 1960s. “Unlike now, when everything is done for them, a model back then had to apply her own eyeliner, shape her brows, and put on her lipstick,” she writes. “She also had to set and style her own hair, back-comb it, and fold it into a neat chignon, or make the ends curl outward in the look of the time, the ‘flick-up.’ Makeup artists and hairdressers who specialized in photo shoots were completely nonexistent.” 
Coddington tells her life story frankly and with remarkable humility, cataloging romances, betrayals, failures, and victories. At age 71, she has perspective on the people and events that have shaped her amazing career.
Coddington referred to diaries that she has kept since she was a girl. But if you are looking for gossip or back biting this not the book for you. Some critics have complained her book is not “gossipy enough.” I disagree. I loved it. It is honest and inspiring. Who could ask for more?
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