Grace by Grace Coddington
A Memoir

74%

17 Critic Reviews

Grace is candid, but not salacious — if no gloves come off, it’s because Coddington never wore any in the first place.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Beautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Vogue have made her an international icon. Known through much of her career only to those behind the scenes, she might have remained fashion’s best-kept secret were it not for The September Issue, the acclaimed 2009 documentary that turned publicity-averse Grace into a sudden, reluctant celebrity. Grace’s palpable engagement with her work brought a rare insight into the passion that produces many of the magazine’s most memorable shoots.
 
With the witty, forthright voice that has endeared her to her colleagues and peers for more than forty years, Grace now creatively directs the reader through the storied narrative of her life so far. Evoking the time when models had to tote their own bags and props to shoots, Grace describes her early career as a model, working with such world-class photographers as David Bailey and Norman Parkinson, before she stepped behind the camera to become a fashion editor at British Vogue in the late 1960s. Here she began creating the fantasy “travelogues” that would become her trademark. In 1988 she joined American Vogue, where her breathtakingly romantic and imaginative fashion features, a sampling of which appear in this book, have become instant classics.
 
Delightfully underscored by Grace’s pen-and-ink illustrations, Grace will introduce readers to the colorful designers, hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers, models, and celebrities with whom Grace has created her signature images. Grace reveals her private world with equal candor—the car accident that almost derailed her modeling career, her two marriages, the untimely death of her sister, Rosemary, her friendship with Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Liz Tilberis, and her thirty-year romance with Didier Malige. Finally, Grace describes her abiding relationship with Anna Wintour, and the evolving mastery by which she has come to define the height of fashion.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES

“If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.”—Time


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Grace Coddington

See more books from this Author
Grace Coddington lives in New York City and Long Island with her partner, Didier Malige, and their two cats, Bart and Pumpkin.
 
Published November 20, 2012 by Random House. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Arts & Photography, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 16 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Grace
All: 17 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 5

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Dec 25 2012

Charmingly forthright, as when she recalls the use of push-up bras and heated hair rollers at the start of her career.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Dec 08 2012

I must admit that I expected better from Coddington. 

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jeffrey Felner on Nov 20 2012

If you love fashion and want to learn more about what makes the machine run, have an interest in the author and her life, or want a crash course in fashion then this book was written expressly for you.

Read Full Review of Grace: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on Nov 21 2012

Quite simply, this is a riveting read of a rich life well-lived --- and so fashionably, too.

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The Economist

Below average
Reviewed by M.Y. on Nov 26 2012

Indeed, the memoir looks in many ways like an attempt to split the difference between autobiography and coffee-table book

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Nathalie Atkinson on Nov 19 2012

Grace is candid, but not salacious — if no gloves come off, it’s because Coddington never wore any in the first place.

Read Full Review of Grace: A Memoir | See more reviews from National Post arts

Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Lisa Schwarzbaum on Nov 20 2012

Writing with Michael Roberts, she proves to be just as lively a presence in print as she is in motion.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Booth Moore on Nov 24 2012

Clearly, Coddington has led a most charmed life. Otherwise, we wouldn't be reading about it.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Gaby Wood on Dec 04 2012

Coddington hurtles through it all – as a model in the company of Vidal Sassoon.

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The Daily Beast

Below average
Reviewed by Robin Givhan on Nov 20 2012

Despite a lifetime filled with glamour and adventure, Vogue’s Grace Coddington remains elusive in her new memoir.

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The New Republic

Below average
Reviewed by Noreen Malone on Dec 03 2012

The book’s slightness and emotional aversions are disappointing.

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Time Out Chicago

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Pearson on Dec 27 2012

It includes some fascinating, tell-all anecdotes. Yet as a portrait of Grace herself, it tells only some.

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The Sunday Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Sian Griffiths on Dec 16 2012

Although it’s a straightforward read, I frequently found myself wishing that this beautifully produced book was a little bitchier about the excesses of the fashion industry.

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Straight.com

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Croll on Nov 28 2012

Overall, Grace is charming and candid, and its dizzying view into Coddington’s world gives readers plenty of insight into what inspires her fashion stories.

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Everything Zoomer

Excellent
Reviewed by Zoomer Mag on Dec 13 2012

It’s no surprise that Coddington’s memoir is as stylish as she is. 

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The South End

Excellent
Reviewed by Charles J. Ellis on Dec 10 2012

This memoir addresses all facets of her life from her “partnership” to one longtime friend and colleague, the hairdresser Didier Malige, to her ever speculated upon working relationship with Anna Wintour.

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Whiteboard Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Nico Novito on Dec 07 2012

Witty recollections of her journey in fashion, complete with her illustrations and archival photos.

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Reader Rating for Grace
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 397 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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