Grace Coddington’s New Memoir: Heart in Beauty

Grace Coddington, legendary creative director of American Vogue, is publishing her memoir, Grace: A Memoir, on November 12th of this year. The highly anticipated memoir highlights Grace’s life experiences since winning a Vogue modeling competition at the tender age of 17 to her rise in the fashion industry. Grace Coddington first popped onto the general public’s radar in R.J. Cutler’s 2009 documentary, The September Issue, which gave the American people an insider’s view on the workings of Vogue. While the film initially garnered viewers because of its promised look into the life of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, it was Wintour’s passionate collaborator and occasional adversary, Grace Coddington, who won new fans. Coddington, with her shock of vibrant red hair, creative genius, and warmth, gave the film a human vivacity that is often missed in the world of high fashion. Coddington’s new memoir is bound to be infused with that same unique spirit.

Coddington, who uses her expertise now as a creative director, was once a model before experiencing a car accident that disfigured part of her face. Instead of being discouraged, Coddington moved on with her life, and in two years she began working for British Vogue. Once establishing herself at American Vogue, Coddington has become known for her dreamy photo spreads of fantastical beauty and expert storytelling.

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Most recently, Coddington has tried her hand at designing, creating a limited edition line of scarves and bags for Balenciaga. The collection, named ‘Pumpkin’ after her cat, features Coddington’s drawings over classic Balenciaga designs.

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Recently, issued an excerpt from her upcoming memoir. In just this small snippet of the book, it is clear that Coddington’s love for fashion and her humility are forever intact. She describes the clothes she wore at the time with zest but tempers her observations with emotion: “I was astonished by how fashion could change so fast in a few days. You would go to the South of France one weekend and denim was in. The next weekend when you returned, everything was about little English florals. I used to get so worried that I hadn’t got it right.” Coddington’s expressions of doubt mixed with her descriptions of a glamorous social life seem to epitomize her role in fashion: she brings heart to the beauty. And at the end of this particular excerpt is the story of Grace with a broken heart, as she learns that her fiancé of the time had been conducting a long-term affair.

Clearly, this memoir promises to explore both Coddington’s personal life and the inner workings of her professional life as a model, photographer, and creative director at Vogue. I for one can’t wait until its publication. So mark your calendar for November 12th and add this one to your reading list.

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