I’m likely one of the few people who came to Grace Coddington through this book rather than through her appearance in The September Issue, the Vogue documentary from R.J. Cutler that made Coddington a household name (at least in certain circles). While the reviews appear here out of order on my blog (I wanted to time my review of the book with the Paper & Glam chat), I actually read the book before I saw the film.
I loved this book. It’s a bit scattered and not the strongest narrative, but I found Coddington’s charming illustrations and roundabout way of telling her own story absolutely delightful. She devotes pages and pages to specific photo shoots from her long career, but she mentions shocking moments from her own life in passing with only a brief line. In the end, you’re left with a picture of a woman who seems to have enjoyed her life immensely, but doesn’t spend much time looking back or mourning the sorrows of her past. Personally, I think it’s a great way to embrace life.
The book is full of name dropping – but honestly how could it not be? Coddington has spent the last six decades working in fashion and brushing up against the most well-known designers, photographers and models on both sides of the pond. Some might have a problem with it, but that’s why I picked up the book. I loved the peek behind the scenes into the lives of the fashion elite. If you love fashion (and the workings of the fashion industry), I highly recommend this book!