Grace Coddington semi-retires from Vogue as Creative Director

Yes, semi retires, because Grace who is the fire to Anna Wintours winter, will still keep an office at Vogue, and as Creative Director at large, she'll be involved in a minimum of 4 shoots a year. Time magazine once said: “If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.”

If you don't know the name, I'll assume you haven't cracked open a Vogue since 1988 when she became Creative Director. Grace was a model way back in the 60s, and turns heads to this day with her halo of bright red hair, pale white complexion and rose petal red lipstick. She can still take a great cover, as demonstrated by this ID one.

"Always keep your eyes open, because whatever you see can inspire you" she's said, and her eye for detail has brought us detail saturated worlds of fairytales and fine art in high fashion.

She's brought us Keira Knightley as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Drew Barrymore as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, and turned Alice in Wonderland into high fashion dreams. She's draped Jessica Chastain in a dress for the cover, in a visual nod to Sir Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June. Her style is romantic, detailed, a little whimsical, but unmistakably perfect. This isn't your latest fleeting Vine trender, this is a woman who has submerged herself in the glossy images of magazines since she was a young woman. Vogue was an evasion, a copy that would arrive to her a few weeks late on the island of Anglesey in Wales. She studied all the photos and posed as mannequins do. She won a modelling competition via Vogue, was a sought after model along Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy.

She learned from the men and women behind the camera who worked with her: “I worked with the greatest photographers, including Norman Parkinson, who taught me to always keep my eyes open, never to sleep while I’m traveling; to constantly observe – anything could be a source of inspiration.” At 28 she became Junior Editor of British Vogue, and later moved across the Atlantic to work for Calvin Klein before joining the American edition of the magazine. Something you may not know about Grace is that she not only loves cats, but loves to draw them as well, and entire chapter is spent on cats in Grace: A Memoir.

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