Friday, 26 October 2012

"They could be pretty bitchy, those fashion-mad French girls"

Any regular readers of this blog will know that I ADORE Grace Coddington. My love affair with her started when she stole the limelight off Anna Wintour in The September Issue and I've been mildly obsessed ever since. Her memoir is being released by Random House in November. I'm hoping to grab a copy when I'm in New York at the end of next week. Simply entitled Grace, as well as being full of fabulous anecdotes, stories, gossip and advice, it also shows Coddington’s great talent for illustration (see here and here for previous posts on fashion illustration - I love it!).  

She is well-known for sketching looks as they come down the runway from her front-row perch during fashion week, but her drawings also take on a distinctly personal, and often humorous, tone. From childhood memories to her first day on the job as both a model and fashion editor to her big loves (including, of course, her cats), these remarkable, hand-drawn pictures reveal yet another dimension to an already famously fascinating woman.

Below is a small extract from Grace to give you a taste, Happy Friday!

I was astonished by how fashion could change so fast in a few days. You would go to the South of France one weekend and denim was in. The next weekend when you returned, everything was about little English florals. I used to get so worried that I hadn’t got it right. Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac were the only ones I ever saw actually wearing the hard-edged space-age clothes of Courrèges and Paco Rabanne and looking completely at ease and relaxed. Except perhaps the evening when Catherine was sitting enjoying herself with Bailey, Albert, and me in the club Régine’s and the waiter spilled an entire bottle of red wine over her new white sculpted Courrèges couture shift that must have cost thousands of francs.

If you went to L’Esquinade wearing the wrong thing, it was critical. You would be laughed at. They could be pretty bitchy, those fashion-mad French girls. I would never dare talk back to them. For me, the French were always so superior in matters of style. England was cool but never chic. 

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