Friday, November 30, 2012

A Primer on Grace Coddington & Karen Elson

Posted by on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

At Coddingtons 70th Birthday Party
  • At Coddington's 70th Birthday Party

Scene intern Hannah Hyde came up with a primer of everything you should definitely know about before you go to The Frist's Grace Coddington/Karen Elson event on Sunday at 2 p.m. For more on that, read the article about Coddington, her new memoir Grace, and the Frist event that I wrote for this week's Scene.

Karen styled as Grace in Vogue Paris, Aug. 2008


Amazing Grace Coddington: inside the world of US Vogue's creative director
As her memoirs are published, the woman whose sense of style has shaped fashion for decades talks about race, weight, cats, and how to stand up to Anna Wintour
By Eva Wiseman, Guardian UK, Nov. 24, 2012

Since the film's release Coddington has, inadvertently, become one of the celebrities she so despises. At screenings, roomfuls of people fawn over her. "I grew to quite like that," she admits. The subject of "niceness", of being liked, is one that comes up often when discussing Coddington. She is seen as the sweet to Wintour's sour. An island of calm in a choppy sea. Is it important to her that people like her? "Yes," she says, leaning back in her seat, looking at her hands. She's embarrassed to say this out loud. "Yes. I get quite upset if I think someone doesn't, even if it's the milkman. Of course I want people to like me — I'm human."

Grace-Coddington.-008.jpg
  • Danielle Levitt for the Observer

ALT on Grace Coddington's 70th Birthday Party
“The most extraordinary moment was Karen Elson, after recalling how Coddington took her into her office as a seventeen-year-old scraggly redhead, sang an incredibly moving version of “Amazing Grace” a cappella, bringing some to tears.” —André Leon Talley

Though she (Coddington) had no trouble picturing who might play her in a movie of her storied life: “Karen Elson is what everyone says, and Julianne Moore when I’m older — in my dreams!”
  • Greg Kessler
  • "Though she (Coddington) had no trouble picturing who might play her in a movie of her storied life: “Karen Elson is what everyone says, and Julianne Moore when I’m older — in my dreams!”

Always in Fashion
By Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times. Nov. 17, 2012

Of course, Ms. Coddington’s frankness and profanity, as well as her differences from her boss, are precisely what first endeared her to a mass audience three years ago, when she emerged as the unexpected breakout star of R. J. Cutler’s documentary about Vogue, “The September Issue.” Sticking up for kooky clothes, like a sweater appliquéd with pink “jazz hands”; arguing against airbrushing a cameraman’s protruding stomach; talking back to Ms. Wintour in a way few seem to dare, she emerged as a standard-bearer of aesthetic integrity in an increasingly fickle industry, not to mention an ardent opponent of celebrity culture.


An interview between Elson and Sarah St. Lifer in Huffington Post, Aug. 22, 2011, before the release of her Nine West Collection.

Grace Coddington is sort of my style icon. She’s such a good friend of mine and I really love how she particularly brings fantasy and magic into an everyday dress. And that’s how I approach dressing in general, I always have a story in my head about who I want to dress (as) today.
When Grace and I met — she’s been a mentor to me for years — she helped me navigate through modeling, as she was a model herself, she’s always been a great source of advice across life’s many chapters.

All of the following spreads have been styled by Coddington, with Elson modeling, in Vogue USA.


Hollywoodland. Vogue USA, March 2008
  • Mario Testino
  • Hollywoodland. Vogue USA, March 2008


The Godfather, May 2009


In the Mood, Sept. 2009


Playing the Field, Nov. 2009
  • Craig McDean
  • Playing the Field, Nov. 2009

Karen Elson and Jack White: Frock & Roll, June 2010
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Karen Elson and Jack White: Frock & Roll, June 2010

America the Beautiful, June 2011
  • Craig McDean
  • America the Beautiful, June 2011

A Winters Pale. Oct. 2011
  • Peter Lindbergh
  • A Winter's Pale. Oct. 2011

Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: Talk to Her, May 2012
  • Steven Meisel
  • Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: Talk to Her, May 2012

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