Thursday, 26 August 2010


So The September Issue was on More 4 again the other night. I must have seen this now about 4 times and every time the same things always strike me... One is the age of all the women at the top. It seems to me, that if we go by the example of the US Vogue offices at least, the fashion industry is run and managed by women in their 40s and 50s. It's comforting, I guess, to see such an institution like Vogue clearly favour worldliness and experience over youth and enthusiasm - especially in this reality TV world of The City and Running in heels, which perpetuate the idea that all you need is to be hot and carry a Mulberry Alexa to secure you an amazing job at a fashion magazine. Come on ladies, Anna Wintour herself is 60! All the positions at the top are filled by women of a certain age - Grace Coddington, the magazine's Creative Director is (if my maths is right) 69! That's the other thing that always moves me about this film - just how much of an absolute star Grace Coddington is. Infinitely more accessible and likable than Anna Wintour, with a unique creative eye and unrivalled passion for aesthetically beautiful pictorials. I would have preferred The September Issue so much more if it had been about Grace's story alone - the sweat blood and tears this woman puts into the issue is remarkable. What an utter legend.

The video is not the best quality but there's something about the crackly lines that gives it a nice vintage edge. It's a pretty moving bit of the film when you consider her interesting life and unique talent.

Here she is modelling back in the 60s before the car crash that shattered her eye socket:

On the cover in 62:

After her accident she began as a junior editor for British Vogue and now is the Creative Director of US Vogue. While US Vogue is generally considered to be the less edgy and 'out there' or daring of the Vogues (and I would tend to agree, especially when contrasted with French or Italian Vogue), it is clear after watching The September Issue that this is not for the lack of trying on Coddington's part. In one particular moment after the 'Texture' shoot where Anna discards the pictorial on rubber (I think it's something by Rodarte), Grace is visibly fuming and mutters, "So rubber ISN'T a texture?" and laments at the waste of $50,000 worth of work.

Still don't believe me that she is an absolute legend? Take a look at the Hansel and Gretel pictorial from December 09 (google it as well as this photo doesn't seem to be the best quality for some reason):

Yes, that is Lady Gaga. Proof that we should all, most definitely, respect our elders. All hail Amazing Grace.

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