Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Grace: A Memoir

Grace: A Memoir
Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Grace by Grace Coddington is a memoir of the model and Vogue creative director. She writes about her early life in a lonely Welsh hotel with her family, her first journey away from home to be a model in London and through her years spent with the fashion elite in Europe and America. The book is full of glamorous photo shoots, exotic locations and parties thrown by the top fashion players in the world.

Grace is not so much a memoir as it is a primer on who's-who in 20th century fashion. Coddington actually explores very little of her own life. After the first couple of chapters about her time before she started modeling, there is virtually no personal exploration after that, until she devotes a whole chapter near the end on her cats. She glosses over marriages, deaths in the family and tumultuous relationships. The rest of the book is a wide view of fashion from the 1960s until today. It is full of name-dropping and discussions on how chic one designer is over another in certain periods of the author's life. The one redeeming quality the book has is that it features the many of the covers and magazine spreads discussed in the book so you don't have to imagine what they look like—they are all right there.

This book certainly isn't for everyone. The average reader may find the writing a little bit pretentious, since not everyone is of the jet set and may not relate to most of what is written about. Those who would really enjoy reading this book are those who are making sure the author dropped their name at least once in the book or budding fashionistas who need to know the past in order to work in the present fashion industry.

*Reviewer received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads

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