Were it not for R.J. Cutler’s 2009 behind-the scenes documentary, The September Issue, Grace Coddington, would still be fashion’s best-kept secret. The striking redhead who sits beside Anna Wintour in the front row of any given high-profile fashion show has penned a memoir, and whether you're a fashionista or not, this story is one you want to read.
In her memoir, which includes delightful pen-and-ink sketches throughout, Ms. Coddington unequivocally narrates her story with wit, and well, grace. She details her growing up on the north-west coast of Anglesey in Wales, recalls her celebrated modeling career - and the accident that nearly derailed said career - and retraces her steps to where she now sits as creative director at American Vogue. She recounts with candor, the way she might to a good friend. Her anecdotes are charming - she recalls soaking her petticoats in sugar-water and carrying her own accessories to shoots - and her creative brilliance pervasive.
Coddington offers allusive insight into her world, industry, and of course, her friendship with the the most powerful mind in fashion, the woman behind that iconic bob and dark sunglasses, Anna Wintour.
In her review of Cutler's documentary, Mary Pols wrote, “If Wintour is the Pope… Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel 12 times a year.” And she's right, but Ms. Coddington is no longer hiding behind the scenes. Listen for yourself, as she tells her story, in her own words, below.