A lively glimpse of the fashion industry and the characters behind it from American Vogue creative director Coddington.
The author begins with her childhood in Wales, but the memoir really comes to life when she describes her modeling days in London. Her big break came early, when a contest landed her in Vogue. Coddington expresses nostalgia for the carefree world of fashion in the 1960s, before the supermodels and celebrities arrived. During that time, there were no makeup artists, and models arrived with a suitcase of their own hair products and accessories. Coddington’s descriptions and illustrations bring that world to life. Even though her modeling career was interrupted with a disfiguring car accident, she dove back in once she healed. Her stylist career started with British Vogue, and she later moved to Calvin Klein in America and then to American Vogue when Anna Wintour became the editor-in-chief. The author provides intriguing portraits of Karl Lagerfeld and other big names, but she focuses mostly on Wintour’s public persona. Coddington’s personal life plays second fiddle to her role in the fashion industry. She mentions her boyfriends and her two husbands, but she glides through her relationships with them. Coddington’s tone is incredibly blunt. For example, she lets her envy of Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, another stylist at American Vogue who was also in favor with Wintour, seep through the narrative.
Great read for those interested in events in the fashion industry and the personalities who shape it.