Shabrina BurhaniComment

How Grace Coddington Keeps Her Feet On The Ground In The Chaotic Fashion Industry

Shabrina BurhaniComment
How Grace Coddington Keeps Her Feet On The Ground In The Chaotic Fashion Industry

Photo by Dario Catellani for WSJ

She was almost always seen with Anna, her works are always magnificent though rarely involve celebrities, and is the former Vogue US Creative Director (now At Large). Beneath all that it’s quite obvious she isn’t as all out in life as the typical fashion people would be, at least in terms of life maintenance.

Per her memoir Grace, A Memoir by Grace Coddington, she was born 77 years ago in the island of Anglesey, Wales. She spent her childhood having no television and would go visit an aunt who had a television in her house and then spent her time with her sister there. Growing up, she became bigger than the island she grew up in and geared up for an international career thanks to some copies of Vogue belonged to her late sister, Rosemary.

Starting off as a Vogue model, it was her ability in styling that brought her to a position at Vogue as a result of advice from Lady Rendlesham who told her she was too old to model and try styling instead.

Traveling has become the norm of her career, bouncing from fashion capitals to the exotic places for shooting while somehow managed to keep humble. She didn’t mind when her then Vietnamese photographer boyfriend, Duc, hopped from couch to couch in his city base, Paris which added confusion of where the couple would stay during her visit to the city. Their dates were low-key, often visiting Vietnamese restaurant outside of the “fashion spots”.

She wanted to remain ‘off screen’, thus made the shooting process of the documentary “The September Issue” more challenging for the cameramen due to her request to “stay away from her”, she genuinely asked. There was a visible distant between her and the lifestyle of the American Vogue. The work hard party hard was the environment of the magazine, which she puts an effort to catch up to. This marvellous woman definitely wasn’t a flashy girl.

Little did anybody know that during her early years, she got so much to put up with already. That time when she handled her sister having no clue what to do with life, her sister’s failing marriages resulting in two children, her partner’s infidelity with actress Catherine Deneuve’s sister Françoise Dorléac and the list goes on.

After her sister’s death she adopted Tristan, one of her sister’s son which added even more responsibility to her life. Yes, she got a good career, but would sometimes find it hard to pay for his school fees. Even before her days at Calvin Klein as a design director, which the pay was considerably huge, never once she asked for a pay raise. She was put in confusion when asked about her desired wage as she was just okay receiving just any amount they would give her.

Her biggest heartbreak was probably that time when she purchased a new home in which the location was deemed too concerning as there were too many fanatic football fans messing around the area. She didn’t really think it through and went on to live there but one time riot happened when she tried to drive through the crowd and the crowd lifted her car up and thew it to the other side. Grace? Was seven months pregnant and ended up having miscarriage; her only chance to be able to conceive in her life.

Being surrounded by the coolest yet most supportive people who happen to be in the same industry helped her put up with all of it. The life of hers was worth to listen to as it goes way beyond fashion. If anything, fashion has given her a chance to escape. One thing every girl would ever dream of.