Grace Coddington Creative Director of Vogue

Sally Singer: [Speaking about Grace Coddington in The September Issue] Grace is without question, the greatest living stylist. There’s no one better than Grace. There’s no one who can make any photographer take more beautiful, more interesting, more romantic, more just stunningly realized pictures than Grace. There’s no one better, period. She comes from the idea that fashion is this world of play and make believe. It’s as if someone’s gone to the dressing up box and found the most wonderful, personal things, and put them together. But it’s beautiful.

In 2005 Grace Coddington produces the fantastical Wizard of Oz portfolio for Vogue’s December issue, with a cast of fashion and art-world stars photographed by Annie Leibovitz


Keira in Oz


December 2005


First model card, 1959 1959 – at 17

“The September Issue started out as documentary about Anna Wintour and the famous September issue of American Vogue, but became a story in which Grace Coddington played the leading role. Finally the outside world got a peak inside the Vogue offices, where Grace is the creative director and leading stylist. Now at the age of 71, she still produces the majority of photo shoots for the magazine.

“Born on the island of Anglesey, Wales, in 1941 Grace Coddington lives a shy and quiet youth, helping out her parents at the family hotel, every month eager awaiting the new British Vogue she orders at a local bookstore and dreaming away at the pages. She is taught by roller-skating nuns at a Catholic convent. ‘Grace has a sweet way of getting her will’, one school report notes. She sews her own stylish togs on a Singer sewing machine, hoping one day she will be one of the stylish women she imagens inhabit London.

“At the age of 18 Grace leaves Anglesey for London. Waitressing at a coffee bar in Knightsbridge and attending Cherry Marshall modeling school fill her days, but the agency says she doesn’t have what it takes to be a model. Than a customer working for Norman Parkinson sends her to meet the photographer and he decides she is perfect for the job. Grace enters British Vogue’s modeling contest and takes the Young Idea category. Anthony Armstrong-Jones (later Lord Snowdon) snaps her first test shots.

“In 1961 Grace becomes a house model for Vidal Sassoon. He chopps her hair into a geometric bob, which later became known as his famous Five-Point Cut. This gives her the exposure she needs. Touring with Sassoon for a series of hair shows in England, she gets involved in a serious car accident. Her face smashed in the driving mirror and her left eyelid is sliced off. Five reconstructive surgeries later, Grace returns to modeling and develops a reputation for versatility.


September 1962 – From Fashion Model to Creative Director of Vogue


August 1962

In 1988, Anna Wintour becomes the new editor in chief of Vogue in New York and Grace Coddington comes on board as fashion editor. “I was over the moon when she came to the magazine”, Wintour will say later. Grace is named creative director of Vogue in 1995.


20s Influence in September Issue Documentary – Galliano


About jackikellum

Jacki Kellum is a Fine Artist, a Designer, and also a writer. For one of her graduate programs, she wrote her thesis on William Blake. Like Blake, much of Kellum's work is about childhood and lost innocence. Also like Blake, Kellum strives to both write and illustrate her work. .
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