The epitome of style and grace, Grace Coddington expertly fits her name to a T. She’s truly a one of a kind fashionista, from her signature flame-colored hair to her love of unconventional beauty. But what I love most about her is her vision for creating a sense of mood and fantasy in the photoshoots she directs. It’s like being transported into another world or another time but yet somehow it feels relevant to today.
While Grace has been a dynamic force in the fashion industry for quite some time (Vogue’s creative director for 27 years), she became a reluctant celebrity when the acclaimed 2009 documentary, The September Issue was released. I loved seeing the behind-the-scenes as Grace tirelessly works with famous photographers, designer and models to see her incredible creativity and stylish vision come to life. As a creative myself, it’s always fascinating watching others work their magic and turn the everyday into the extraordinary. Don’t tell Anna Wintour, but I think Grace is the real visionary for Vogue.
Even as I look at images that are 10 years old they still feel fresh and interesting. Her 2003 Alice in Wonderland shoot with the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz comes to mind. Grace enlisted the help of a few of her favorite designers to model including Tom Ford as the White Rabbit, Marc Jacobs as the Caterpillar, John Galliano as the Red Queen and many more. The result was a bold editorial shoot that has captured my imagination for years – its got whimsy, a sense of fantasy, bold colors, and wild patterns! It served as a point of inspiration for my design at the dream home in the merchandise mart.
If you’re looking to find out more of Grace’s world (believe me, you do!) check out her bestselling memoir, Grace: A Memoir, highlighting her early modeling career in England to her fashion career with Vogue. It’s such an interesting read, and you’ll love peeking behind the scenes to read about some of the Vogues most memorable shoots. Her fierce passion is inspiring. Add it to your “must read” list for the summer!
Oftentimes when I’m interviewed a question will be ‘who would you most want to collaborate with on a design’ – almost always my answer is Grace Coddington. I’d love to partner with her to create a vision and then pair my interior design with her fashion & photography knowledge to create something with as much fiery red personality as her hair.