Wednesday, October 19, 2016

style series inspiration // women who wear -- grace coddington

I never kept my promise {oops}. 

In honor of September being the January of fashion, I planned and promised to talk about Grace Coddington. A living legend of aesthetic, style, sass, words.

September got further away from me than most months tend to do, but better late than never, right?

Let's talk about Grace...stylist, creative director at large, fashion editor, fragrance designer, author, artist, model, humble, clever, wise...

If you haven't already, I suggest picking up a copy of Grace's book, Grace: A Memoir -- I got a copy at my local library this past summer and, though I regret to say that I didn't quite finish it, I was obsessed and read whenever given the chance...until my library due date quickly approached {I would have renewed the book, but I owe over $20 in fines...that's what happens when you rent too many books, get too busy, and lose receipts!}

ANYHOO -- there is so much to be inspired by when it comes to Grace. Her upbringing came as a surprise to me, not necessarily because of my presuppositions but because when one thinks of a fashion icon or even someone who works at Vogue, that individual's childhood and upbringing aren't the first ideas to strike the mind.

From her book, you'd learn that she had a sister, and a mother and a father. That her childhood was quiet and intriguing, playing out between the walls of the hotel she grew up in and along the coast which hugged the ocean. You'd learn that hat her life has never quite been easy, but it has been shifty and adventurous, ultimately bringing goodness and experience. At times, however, tainted with heartache, though also filled with passion. She has been creative since her earliest years, and I might add sassy and strong in her own ways. She can tell you stories {and she does in her book} of other icons that littered her twenties and thirties, though they were not icons to her...they were friends and lovers and peers. Her story truly is something worth reading -- if only to learn a bit about life or a person's perspective, or to feel as though you're sitting across from an old friend at coffee.


Grace Coddington is significant in my life because she is partly to blame for my own career and passion project pursuits. In fact, when interviewing with other students prior to making short films during my film studies program, I referenced the way that Grace and her editorial designs have inspired me from an early age -- how I love the idea of visual storytelling that she happens to execute so gorgeously. I ended up working as a production designer on a short film -- I'm certain I did terribly even with it being my first time and all, but the idea of such a job remains romanticized in my mind.


 “I still weave dreams, finding inspiration wherever I can and looking for romance in the real, not the digital, world.”

Grace does not make a fuss about herself. She does her job and she does a damn well job at it, and I can admire how she doesn't buy into the hype that can so easily be associated with fame and the fashion and entertainment worlds. 

She has a brilliantly creative mind, that is so beyond innovated that throughout her career she has invented worlds upon the pages of Vogue -- worlds that capture a moment, create a moment, and remain bound in the memories of fashion-goers. 

"That’s the thing: I don’t style. I think it took a long time to really develop what you call my style, which is not styling, because I don’t style. I very rarely push the sleeves up or turn the collar up or do all those things that stylist people do. I very rarely take your sweater and Marc Jacobs pants and put them together. I just like leaving things the way they are somehow."


Since I first laid eyes on the 2007 September issue of Vogue, it has been important for me to engage with storytelling in any medium {the first medium to really catch my eye being fashion editorials}.

However, to also look to strong, empowered and independent females who are honest about their life and experiences is a whole other source of inspiration. 

“Keep your eyes open. Because whatever you see can inspire you.”

I love Grace's honesty about her opinions -- which are bluntly and humorously revealed in The September Issue film. I also think of her own life journey throughout her career -- how she worked different jobs that led to other paths in life, overcame obstacles, and remained un-apologetically her true self.


Grace Coddington doesn't just wear that fiery red hair with confidence, she wears her honesty on her sleeve, and is packed full of visual and verbal stories.

“I prefer imperfections — they’re more interesting. Perfect is boring.”
- Grace


Thanks, Grace, for being such a badass with style, with individuality, and with grace.


*most Grace quotes were compiled here

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