Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sunday Night Reads - Grace


The book : Grace - A Memoir by Grace Coddington 
Published by: Chatto and Windus 2012

Buy Here : from Mr B's Emporium of Reading, Bath on +44 (0)1225 331155 and they will post it to you from their wonderful book store. 

I bought this book to read over Christmas and wasn't really sure what to expect. I've watched The September Issue many times and Grace Coddington was certainly the creative star of the film so I was curious to find out more. 

On first impressions the book is a great weighty slab of paper bound in a bright, crayola orange with the most delightful front row illustration on the inside cover. 
Another reason I picked this up immediately with extra eagerness was the size of the text. I find reading a real struggle, especially late at night after I've been sewing or staring at the screen. The text is nice and big and properly spaced so you can whizz through pages without having to go back and re-read over and over. 

The illustrations are really entertaining and having lots of photography to reference is great, it sets the tone to be far more friendly than the usual spiky looking fashion memoirs. 

So, to the actual content. Lovely, fascinating, real and normal. However over the top the stories are, from carrying John Galliano's crinolines through bushes to a deserted beach in Jamaica, to casually rounding up he biggest names in fashion to dress up for an Alice in Wonderland shoot, there's a wonderful down to earth, anything is possible if you just get on with it attitude. 

This book gives a detailed insight into how the iconic fashion photography happens, the creativity that is needed and that there isn't this fantasy bitchiness or flamboyance always in fashion. It's quite a practical approach to creating dream images. Imagine a story and get on with making the idea a reality. Nothing is impossible. 

I love that Grace Coddington the creative director of US Vogue, who works with all of the hero's of fashion and photography, is shy and honest and as far from a celebrity fashionista as possible. A real person that happens to be a icon through her creative vision and adoration of fashion. 

'people should concentrate on their jobs and not all this fashionable 'I want to be a celebrity' shit' 
Grace Coddington on initially not wanting to be in The September Issue. 

It's this really hard work and daring to create an impossible sounding world through fashion that I really hope isn't lost with the declining budgets and struggles that the magazine world is going through at the moment. 

A Final  Wonderful Word From Grace ....

'one of the most important aspects of my work is to give people something to dream about, just as I used to dream all those years ago as a child looking at beautiful photographs. I still weave dreams, finding inspiration wherever I can and looking for romance in the real, not the digital, world. 

All I know is that if I continue in fashion, no matter what, my head will always stay firmly attached to my body.' 
Grace Coddington, A Memoir 2012