Not just because she stood up to Anna Wintour in "The September Issue" (and was even caught on camera muttering under her breath), Grace Coddington has become a woman of interest. Long after going behind the camera rather than being in front of the lens, she is now recognized as the head pixie Stylist Extraordinaire for Vogue magazine.
Grace has just published "Grace: A Memoir", no doubt brow-beaten to do so by legions of fans and journalists clamoring for the back story. She previously wrote a book about her cats ("The Catwalk Cats") (see I told you she was interesting), but this one is a charming, low-key (and in large type) autobiography. Bonuses: 34 pages of thumbnails of work she's done for both British and American Vogue and a smattering of her charming illustrations.
Grace, 71 and a former model, has Pre-Raphaelite red hair that looks as if it were styled via electric light socket. She wears mostly shapeless black things, no discernible makeup and sensible shoes. Does this make sense for a woman so connected to channeling Fashion for the rest of us? Yes, because this lets me think Grace has come up with a formula for herself that lets her imagination run wild in her work. She's not shopping or agonizing over her closet, and we are the beneficiaries.
None of it would work if Grace did not hold the bag of fairy dust. Sometimes you remember the set-ups more than the clothes, but most of us are not shopping from the pages of Vogue per se anyways. We take away the spirit, and her art inspires us to become our own masterpieces.
Many thanks to Durell Godfrey for taking the lovely portrait and sending me a personally autographed copy of "Grace".