Grace, now 71, started her career in fashion by being scouted as a model by Vogue magazine in her teens.
After a car accident that left her face damaged and unable to continue modeling, she became a junior editor and photo editor at British Vogue for 19 years. In 1988, Ana Wintour, American Vogue’s Editor in Chef contacted her, and brought her on as creative director where she continues to work.
Grace is a huge part of Vogue. She has the last say in styling, and the overall look of editorials and fashion spreads. An inside look at her job can be seen in the 2009 documentary The September Issue, directed by R.J. Cutler which followed Grace and Ana Wintour as they produced the highly important September issue of Vogue in 2007, the issue of the year where all the fall-fashion is displayed, and considered the most important month of the year for fashion magazines.
Grace has been outspoken about her irritation with the new ‘digital age’, and chooses not to use a computer. [x] And that is fortunate for her, because according to the comments on this interview, people don’t understand or respect her even though she is nearly the driving force behind the modern aesthetic of Vogue.
In this very interview, Grace expresses her perspective on bloggers who she feels spend too much time focusing on their own looks instead of paying attention to the fashion in front of them at shows.
“If Wintour is the Pope . . . , Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year,” [x]
lol @ people on the internet who think they “know fashion”
Iris Apfel is 91 years old, she studied at Art History at NYU and Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin. She is considered a fashion icon even at her old age. She started her career, inspired by interior design, by selling and weaving 17th,18th, and 19th c. fabric patterns with her husband and business partner. This job brought her all over Europe finding mills to produce their fabrics with, and they did a lot of work for the White House. She was drawn to the colors and styles of the Middle East and North Africa because they had a large “architectural influence” which she said relates to clothing as well. She believes that fashion is a form of personal expression and wouldn’t want to look like someone else.
she has a really amazing apartment which can be viewed here.
you can watch a short documentary of her here.
“Fashion is something you attach to yourself, put on, and through that interaction the meaning of it is born.”
Rei Kawakubo is a 70 year old Japanese fashion designer who is responsible for the label Comme des Garçons (started in 1969). Her fashion has a unique look to it, which originally was comprised of black and white asymmetrical looks. Later on, she brought in more color, but her label remains a big player in Avant Garde fashion. The company has had mainstream success, and in 2008 she even did a guest like for H&M, a popular “fast fashion” retailer. Her designs go against most traditional views of clothing,and it is a far cry from the punk-y and crazy looks of Vivienne Westwood. She is quiet about her personal life, but she is very modest and quick to explain that she doesn’t see herself as any more special than anyone else, even though most would regard her as an artist.
Rei Kawakubo speaks about mass appeal, “In order to expand Comme des Garçons’ business, we need all kinds of strategies. One of the most important strategies is to find sources of new creation. With H&M, I was tempted to try to see how Comme des Garçons could appeal to the mass market. I wouldn’t do it again, but it was a great success and very popular with our younger clientele. Junya Watanabe [whose label operates under the CDG umbrella] is a part of such a necessary company-expansion policy. With any collaboration or meeting of minds, I expect and hope for a kind of synergetic accident that may happen when somebody else’s work meets with my work, my designs. Collaborations have no meaning if 1 + 1 does not equal much more than 2. I give total freedom to Junya and Tao [Kurihara, who also designs for CDG] to create their own collections. I see their work only on the day of the show. They have the values of CDG embedded within them. If there was no trust, it wouldn’t work.” [x]
“Rei is like a compass,” enthuses Celine designer Phoebe Philo..“She is tuned into some deep sense of where we are today. I don’t always understand it, but I get the feeling that she is right to be there anyway. On days where I feel tired or flat, her universe always gives me the fight to continue.” [x]