Grace Coddington:Epic Editorial Moment

Grace Coddington

Text by Sebastian Kim

On the eve of the publication of Grace Coddington‘s memoirs the famously flame haired fashion editor is everywhere.Head to any news website worth its salt and you’ll find an excerpt from the tasteful tell-all (or just check it out on Vogue.com) detailing the backstory of some epic editorial moment straight from Vogue’s pages.  Indeed it seems we’re living in a state of Grace, so to speak, so what better time to look back on the trademarks of her work – those quintessential details that set her styling apart from everyone else. It would be impossible to go through twenty years of Grace and pick a few editorials that sum up the depth and diversity that make her work great, instead we look to four Coddington calling cards that are certain to appear in every one of her stories; glamour, history, fantasy and humour.


GLAMOUR

It goes without saying that Vogue is a repository for high-glamour imagery, but Grace has always pushed the borders of what that means. It isn’t enough to showcase off the runway looks or exquisite couture, the image has to convey something powerful and iconic.

‘The Heat of the Moment’ – Photographer Ellen von Unwerth, Model Naomi Campbell American Vogue, March 1998

‘High Art’ Photographer – Annie Leibovitz, Model – Natalia Vodianova, American Vogue November 2004

‘Daydreams’ Photographer Steven Klein, Models Daria Werbowy and Natalia Vodianova American Vogue September 2004

‘Talk to Her’ Photographer – Steven Meisel, Models – Joan SmallsCoco RochaKaren ElsonGuinevere Van SeenusCaroline TrentiniLiya KebedeAbbey Lee KershawDaphne Groeneveld, American Vogue 2012


HISTORY

Recreating the look and feel of historical periods with contemporary design has become something of a Vogue standard and when Grace takes on history the end result is always memorable. From haute baroque, to 50s style Brando-chic and 70s style glam rock, her interpretations of the past have always been fresh and dynamic.

‘French Twists’ Photographer – Annie Leibovitz, Models – Lily ColeGemma WardGisele BundchenDaria WerbowyKaren Elson, American Vogue May 2004

‘A Feast for the Eyes’ Photographer –Steven Meisel, Models – Kylie BaxAmy WessonElsa BenitezCarolyn MurphyNaomi Campbell, Michelle Behennah, Guinevere Van SeenusTrish GoffChandra North,  American Vogue December 1996

‘Custom of the Country’ photographer Annie Leibovitz, Model Natalia Vodianova, American Vogue August 2012

‘Wild At Heart’ Photographer – Peter Lindbergh, Models – Helena ChristensenCindy Crawford,  Linda EvangelistaClaudia SchifferNaomi Campbell, Karen Mulder, Tatjana Patitz, and Stephanie Seymour, American Vogue 1991

Rock the House, photographer Steven Meisel, American Vogue, November 2001


FANTASY

No one creates a fantastical scenario via clothes quite like Grace does. Her instantly recognizable fairy tale collaboration with Annie Leibovitz has raised the bar for just about everyone by taking the familiar childhood tales and re-imagining them as fanciful fashion moments. Who says Alice can’t fall down the rabbit hole while wearing head to toe Tom Ford? Even with the elaborate sets, mythical allusions and high concept themes, Grace makes you notice the clothes first and foremost.

‘Joy to the World’ Photographer Steven Meisel, American Vogue December 2002

‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ Photographer – Steven Klein, Models – Maggie RizerTrish GoffOluchi OnweagbaLiisa WinklerAnouck LepereKarolina Kurkova, American Vogue June 2001

‘Garden of Delights’ Photographer –Steven Meisel, Model – Caroline Trentini, American Vogue December 2006

‘Alice in Wonderland’ Photographer – Annie Leibovitz, Model – Natalia Vodianova , American Vogue December 2003

‘Wizard of Oz’ Photographer – Annie Leibovitz, Model – Keira Knightley, American Vogue December 2005

‘Romeo and Juliet’ Photographer – Annie Leibovitz, Model – Coco Rocha, American Vogue December 2008


HUMOUR

A concept that is regrettably missing in most fashion editorials yet always has a place in Grace’s work. Whether it is Stella Tennant leading a troop of boyscouts or Karen Elson starring as Grace herself, there is always that added touch of whimsy that makes her work a delight.

‘A Shot of Scotch’ Photographer – Arthur Elgort, Model – Linda Evangelista, American Vogue September 1991

‘Graceful Elegance’ Photographer – Steven Meisel, Model – Karen Elson, American Vogue August 2008

‘O’ Pioneers!’ Photographer – Arthur Elgort, Model – Stella Tennant, American Vogue June 2001

Advertisements

One comment

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post! I actually was one of 500 people selected to attend a seminar this past October put on by Teen Vogue magazine; Grace Coddington was the key-note speaker. It is something I will never forget. I am half way through her memoir which is amazing! She has lived a spectacular life.

Your Opinion Is Important!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: