Grace Coddington: Thirty Years of Fashion

Posted by Meghan
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Apollpmoa van Ravenstein in Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, photo by Norman Parkinson, 1973.



In 2002 Phaidon published the first edition of "Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue" which lives up to its name as a compendium of the work of Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington from 1972-2002. In 2002 I was ten, just on the edge of ascendency into a lifelong love of fashion, and didn’t know yet who Grace Coddington was. The book was released in limited numbers and naturally I didn't get my tiny pre-teen hands on one. From about age 19 to age 22, Grace's book was one of the several dozen items I would semi-regularly check up on on eBay and Amazon, among the dream items that one day a lush bank account would render their staggering price points irrelevant (the book went on Amazon for several hundred dollars though lately I’ve seen it climb into the four figure price range).

Grace must have thought this price point a little ridiculous too and decided to release a second edition for release during the 2015 holiday season. I got it for Christmas from my parents and the only reason it's taken me so long to document it for Shrimpton is because it's massive. It weighs as much or maybe more than most newborn babies. It's very large and very heavy so it stays at my parents until I can bear to lug it to my apartment (for this reason I also couldn't scan it but instead had to resort to photographing it. I don't have the upper body strength or a sizeable enough printer to accommodate this book).

But what a book! It was certainly worth the wait. Four hundred pages of glossy photographs by Juergen Teller, Herb Ritts, Paolo Roversi, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth, the list goes on. At least a third of the images in this book would be recognizable to most fashion followers. It's easy not to notice the invisible hand of Grace's vision as the genius behind so many important fashion photographs but this book doesn't let you forget it. The bulk of the images are from the 90s, and they're also the best ones. You can see the currents in fashion at the time were very polarized between the ultra minimalists and the deep romantics. This distinction was very apparent to Grace and it seems she loved to play for both teams as it suited her. Plus her little anecdotes about the images and the photographers are so charming and so very Grace in their effervescent cheekiness. It’s a lovely companion to her self titled memoir and a requisite coffee table book for even the mildest fashion enthusiast. 



Mouche in Pablo & Delia; hair, John Frieda; makeup, Barbara Daly; photo by Barry Letegan, 1983.



Christy Turlington and Stéphane Ferrara, dair Didier Malige; makeup, Laurie Starrett; photo by Ellen von Unwerth, 1990.



Kate Moss; hair, Dider Malige; makeup, Miranda Joyce; photo by Juergen Teller, 1994.



Isabelle Weingarten by Guy Bourdin, 1972.



Stella Tennant and Iris Palmer; hair, Sam McKnight; makeup, Laurie Starrett, photo by Ellen con Unwerth, 1996.



Nadja Auermann by Steven Meisel, 1992.



Beverly Peele in Azzedine Alaïa; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Denise Markey, 1991.



Nadege in Chanel Haute Couture; hair, Dider Malige; makeup, Bonnie Maller, 1990.



Jaime Rashar in Ralph Lauren; hair, Peter Savic; photo by Ellen von Unwerth, 1993.



Isabella Rossellini in Donna Karan; hair, Danillo, makeup, Laurie Starrett; photo by Ellen von Unwerth, 1993.



Kirsty Hume in Calvin Klein; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Mary Greenwall; photo by Arthur Elgort, 1995.



Victoria Lockwood in Gina Fratini; hair, Dider Malige; photo by Bruce Weber, 1984.



Kristen McMenamy in Valentino Couture; hair, Garren; makeup, François Nars, 1992.

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