On my way to get milk this morning, I thought about Grace Coddington.
I’ve been reading a bit about her, and by reading, I mean scanning articles in New York Magazine and Gawker. They don’t tell me much, except that she’s nicer than Anna Wintour and was married for a year, in the late 1960s, to Mr. Chow. Both of those things are uninteresting- will anyone ever get sick of villainizing Anna Wintour or eating at Mr. Chow’s? I’m weary of both.
What makes Grace Coddington interesting is not her personal life, but rather the work that she’s done for Vogue.
When I was younger, I would pour over fashion magazines, and cut out spreads or advertisements that reminded me of falling in love. Then I would paste them to what I called “my wall of love” with blue tack.
By the end of my freshman year of college, every square inch of my room was covered with glossy pages torn from Vogue, or Harper’s Bazaar, or the Anthropologie catalog. I went to sleep at night gazing upon the Ralph Lauren Romance ads, and I woke up every morning in a Kate Moss fantasyland.
I can’t imagine that on my wall there weren’t more than a few Grace Coddington spreads, which have remained iconic throughout the years that I’ve grown up.
For you, Grace. For working frequently with Natalia Vodianova. For the gorgeous flush of your colors, both in your work and in your red hair, your alabaster skin. For referencing times when women could flounce in lace and chiffon and live life always conscious of what they were wearing.
For the romance of clothing, for the way that fashion magazines can allow a teenager to imagine a life more beautiful than her own, one worth hoping for and dreaming of, one full of stolen kisses and train platforms in the rain. For giving me fodder for my daydreams, Grace Coddington, you’re my icon of the week.