If you've seen The September Issue, you know who Grace Coddington is. If you haven't seen it, here is a very brief bio:
Grace was a model in London in the 60s, has been in fashion (I mean that both ways) ever since. She's the creative director at Vogue (US), and has been since 1995. She has crazy curly hair and a bunch of cats. And she styles like nobody's business.
As Time Magazine said in 2009, "If Wintour is the Pope... Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year." Anna Wintour may be the boss, but Grace's styling carries that magazine at times. And when they throw Leibovitz in there, well, they make magic. Grace is an inspiration, for me, not just in personal style, but also in the work she does.
Her personal style is pretty simple: she sticks to solid basic colors, lets her hair do the work. She is the complete opposite of Anna Wintour, who is always so prim and perfected and cold. Grace is free and easy and soft. She published a book about her cats (which I own and adore).
Her work is stunning, but subtle. It almost always tells a story. She will style a shoot of Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, and it takes you to another place. The style is applicable to the real world in a fantastical way (the clothes are not unwearable or abstract); it's something that needs to be interpreted, but only slightly. You are transported to another place through the photos and the clothing and the way the story is presented, in a way a magazine can not always do. It is not simply a series of photos that presents some article of clothing, but is instead a sequence of images in which the clothing plays a part.
|with vidal sassoon, and a new haircut|
|wizard of oz, styled by grace|
|alice in wonderland, styled by grace|
I don't own any of the photos in this post. Most are from Vogue Magazine.