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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Grace: A Memoir
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 23 June 2017
A wonderful memoir from the world's best fashion stylist! This book is a wonderful read with the most beautiful photographs.
It's a must have for all fashion lovers.
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on 19 September 2017
Couldn't put this down - thank you Ms Coddington this was the best read I've had in some time. What an inspirational life and incredible life story
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on 18 May 2017
Bought for a friend. Beautiful looking book, bigger than expected.
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on 5 April 2016
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on 18 August 2017
Beautiful book, excellent read!
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on 11 September 2017
Great book
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on 23 December 2015
A very interesting read.
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I have seen the film 'The September Issue', so I am very well aware of Grace Coddington. She is the artistic director of Vogue, and this is an extraordinary role. In 'the September Issue' ,Anna Wintour was the supposed subject, but Grace ended up being the star of this documentary. Grace at first, refused to be part of the documentary , but was dragged in, and she found she liked it. She was fresh and truthful and whipped around with the air of someone who knows what is going on.

Grace was born in Wales, had a wonderful childhood, and at age eighteen decided to go to London to try modeling. She has many photographs in this book, and Grace was a beauty. Tall, thin and redhead. She was one of the first women to have a haircut by Sasson Vidal, and she started to make a name for herself. She traveled the world, made money and spent it. She had two husbands, divorced each. She had one miscarriage after an accident, and never had any more children. She adopted a nephew. She made a new life for herself with Vogue..

This book is not a gossip tell-all. It's more a record., based on Grace's diaries. Grace says, 'I've kept a diary since I was a tiny kid trying to find my way, and going through all my written records reminds me of shoots and jogs my memory." After spending decades in the fashion industry, she spent the majority of her career at Vogue. Grace is the woman Anna Wintour depends upon. This memoir mentions a great many names, fly by night, not too many concrete memories with real stories involved.

This is not a memoir of the personal Grace. It is more superficial, filled with her comings and goings . Sometimes it is interesting, and often it is not. This is a book most pertinent to those in the fashion business. Grace knows them all, I assume she has many really good stories to tell, but not many of them appear in this memoir.

She currently lives in New York and Long Island with her partner, Didier Malige, and their two cats, Bart and Pumpkin. The photographs and pen and ink drawings are quite lovely to look at. What is really missing, is Grace. What is she all about,,what does she believe?

Recommended. prisrob 06-14-13
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on 25 November 2012
Grace Coddington was born in 1941, and raised in Wales, and she has worked in fashion all her professional life. Did some readers think this would be a "heart on sleeve " tell all of her private life? Did they expect a "bitch fest" on the business she is still deeply involved in?
The truth of the matter is everything is there in this book if you take time to listen to her "voice" and the throw away treatment of her personal affairs; as well as some sharp asides regarding a fair number of her fellow fashion workers BUT, and it is a big but there is no "drama" and very little exaggeration. This is simply Grace Coddington, her story as she tells it.
In my opinion - and that's all any review can ever be how ever objective we may think we are being - this is a humdinger of a memoir, to read perhaps in tandem with Alicia Drake's "The Beautiful Fall" a book which covers a certain amount of the same period of time but which contains more dramatic revelations!
Grace Coddington is unique in that her deep and abiding love for her business has seen her take on roles which include top model, working for a brand - Calvin Klein, and her current job -Creative Director of American Vogue. She has worked with the top professionals from hair and make-up to great assistants (Julie Kavanagh a great biographer) Grace Coddingotn inspires a younger generation with her creative vision and longevity, as well as her personal image and approach to her recently found fame within the fashion world through the documentary film "September Issue".
Her book encompases all the key players from her lifetime in fashion from the unforgettable Lady Rendlesham to Mario Testino. Her sharp observations may only be two or three words but they are the right two or three words, and she also applies this rigour and editorial eye to her private life and her personal events, both in family and in love.
In spite of creating extraordinary stories through her image creation Grace Coddington is at pains to make her life NOT extraordinary but simply her life.
Thank you Grace Coddington for showing graciousness, charm, wit and discretion in your autobiography, the cutting comments are so throw away they are easily missed, which is in itself very, very amusing!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 April 2014
British-born Grace Coddington, creative director of American 'Vogue' became a celebrity almost by accident when she appeared in RJ Cutler's film entitled 'The September Issue', a documentary which was intended to be about the making of the 2007 September edition of 'Vogue', but when the film was released, was more about the dynamics between the legendary and rather daunting editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and her creative director, Grace Coddington. In her memoir, Grace writes of this documentary in her introduction, telling us that she was in total shock when she saw the first showing, feeling there was way too much of her in the film, and is always surprised that people who have seen the movie, respond to her in such a positive manner, explaining that perhaps this is because people find her a more emotional and spontaneous character than Anna Wintour who, in contrast, she tells us "is by nature much more determinedly and quietly controlled." Having dealt with the film that brought her into the eye of the general public, Grace presents her memoir in a mostly chronological format, starting with her birth in 1941 in Anglesey, Wales, and moving on to her schooling at Le Bon Sauveur convent school in Holyhead, where she wore a grey worsted wool tunic, a flannel shirt and thick lisle stockings, and the nuns spent their lunch-breaks roller skating on a flat roof where their robes flapped about them making them look "like crows on wheels".

At eighteen, Grace left Wales, telling us that if you stayed in Anglesey, you would end up working in either a clock factory or a snack bar, and she arrived in London to attend a two-week course at the Cherry Marshall Modelling School, working part-time as a waitress in a bistro to pay the rent. After entering a competition in British 'Vogue' in 1959, where she won the Young Idea section, Grace tells us that suddenly everyone began asking for her and she was later photographed by Terence Donovan and David Bailey. Nicknamed 'The Cod' (not as attractive a nickname as Jean Shrimpton's 'The Shrimp' she admits) Grace had a special hairstyle created for her by Vidal Sasson, the Five Point Cut, and she goes on to tell us how she and her friends would drink and dance until dawn and then rush off the next morning to another modelling job. However, life was not fun all the way: as a passenger in a car accident during the 1960s, her left eyelid was sliced off ("Luckily they found my eyelashes") and she had to undergo five plastic surgery operations in the following two years; she lost the only child she was ever able to conceive when, at seven months pregnant, Chelsea football fans turned over her Mini and she suffered a miscarriage as a result; and her older sister, Rosie, sadly died from an overdose leaving two small children behind, one of which, Tristan, Grace tried immediately to adopt, but was unable to due to her single status at the time. Over the following forty plus years, Grace married, divorced, met Didier, the man she has now spent more than thirty years with, left modelling and started working for British Vogue; she then worked for Calvin Klein and finally for American 'Vogue', where remains to this day and is still working creatively at the age of 73.

Although Grace Coddington has undoubtedly had an interesting and, at times, a rather exciting life, in common with many memoirs/autobiographies, she only tells us what she wants us to know - which is fair enough, but I do feel that this could have been a deeper and more interesting memoir if we had learnt a little more about her feelings and motivations. Understandably there are areas in her life that the author does not wish to dwell on as they are most probably too painful to revisit, but I was a little surprised that some of the most important and life altering events were dealt with so very briefly. That said, this is a very easy book to read; Coddington writes in a chatty and informal way and for fashionistas and those interested in 'Vogue' magazine, there is plenty to interest and entertain. I must confess that I did not buy this book - it was on the coffee table of a friend I was babysitting for and I picked it up just to flick through the photographs, however once I started reading, I was interested enough to carry on until the end of the book. Attractively presented with almost four hundred pages of text, drawings and scores of beautiful photographs printed on good quality paper, this is one of those books that you can easily dip into, or read, as I did, in one extended sitting.

3 Stars.
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