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5.08.2013

Brain Food: Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

Holy moly, I can't believe it took me this long to finally put up my review on this epic autobiography! Forgive me! I've been up to my eyebrows with work and travel...but, rest assured, I've been feeling serious blogger guilt. I don't want to keep my readers in the dark about what's going on...right, readers? (Insert the sound of crickets here.)

But, seriously, I have to tell you about this.


It all started when I watched The September Issue back when it was released. I went to the movie theatre, excited like nobody's business (I still don't quite understand why that phrase makes sense - my excitement shouldn't really be anyone's business but my own just by its very nature), and watched it for the first time. And, though my heart softened for Miss Wintour, I found my heart soaring for Grace Coddington.

I realize a lot of folks ended up feeling that way by the end of it. This Grace Coddington. Purveyor of dreamscapes, guardian of fantasy, keeper of heart...but, here's the thing. What I realized was this. Back in the 90's, when my mother had a subscription to Vogue, I would often sit and sift through the pages and pull spreads out.

In my college years, I had transferred a lot of these spreads to a series of binders I called my inspiration books...and what came to light when I watched The September Issue and read Grace: A Memoir was that the majority of the spreads I had saved from my younger years...in fact, it might have been all of them...they were all styled by Grace Coddington.

I was astonished. This one woman had made me into the fashion lover I am today and I had no idea. She had painted my puberty with sartorial artistry and, unknowingly, crafted my love of motion, color, romance...all the things I hold dear when it comes to a fashion spread or a photograph.

So, when I heard that Grace: A Memoir was being released, I was the first on line to get a copy...and then I read it slowly...taking time out of my days to sit and savor each page, each photo, and every illustration. I refused to rush through it...and it turned out that she had even more influence on me than I had thought. A good example? She was the model in Vidal Sassoon's famous Five Point Cut image...an image that intrigued me and got me obsessed with the mod 60's and precision haircuts. Trust me. It was a big deal.

What can I say about this book? It's warm, fun, and very honest. It spans a lifetime of amazing experiences, gorgeous landscapes, entertaining personalities, love, work politics, and cats. It's hard to put down and I even found myself shedding a tear when I finished it.

Is it worth a read? ABSOLUTELY. Go out and get yourself a copy right now. I guarantee she'll charm the pants off of you (and will charm something super fashionable on your legs in the place of your pants with all the verbal and visual inspiration oozing from the pages of this beautiful tome.) To be honest, I'm tempted to read it all over again...and, ya know what? I just might.

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