Iconic Vogue photo queen opens up in new memoirNEW YORK - The last time Vogue creative director Grace Coddington was impressed by fashion, she was at a Balenciaga runway show in Paris.
Since then, designer Nicolas Ghesquiere has left the house, and it could be some time before Coddington, the woman now largely famous as the woman with flowing red hair perched next to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour at scores of catwalks each season, gets to see his clothes again.
Tears or even sympathy seems unlikely from Coddington. While in the eyes of industry observers she might be trying to defend fashion’s integrity and creative license, she also comes across - especially in her autobiography, “Grace: A Memoir’’ - as very matter of fact: the no-use-crying-over-spilled-milk type.
“I’ve had a really fun life, and I hope it’s interesting and amusing to read the story,’’ she says. “You can’t really pick and choose what happens.’’
Yes, she misses the days when, as both a model and a magazine editor, she’d go off with a photographer to the world’s most exotic lands looking for the scenery to shoot the next greatest picture. Who wouldn’t?
“It’s all very professional now. It’s all very fast. Now time is money. There is so much money in this business now, but no one cared then because there wasn’t so much money.’’
As long as she could wear the latest, greatest Yves Saint Laurent outfit, everything was fine. She made it through the swinging ’60s, the disco era and a corporate job at Calvin Klein. However, as soon as Wintour, whom Coddington knew from the London fashion scene, took the helm at American Vogue, she settled in for the long haul, joining the magazine in 1988.
It was suggested that she “was at that age to write her memoirs.’’ So, she did. She also drew scores of pencil-drawing illustrations that steal the show from photographs taken by Bruce Weber, Ellen von Unwerth, Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz.