Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazing Grace

Fashion's finest turned out at New York's Indochine restaurant in celebration of American Vogue's creative director Grace Coddington's 70th Birthday. Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Stella Tenant, Liya Kebede, Caroline Trentini, Isabeli Fontana and Karlie Kloss amongst others paid tribute to Coddington in an evening that was marked by genuine warmth, emotion and camaraderie. Photographer Bruce Weber and Marc Jacobs made heartfelt tributes whilst model Karen Elson serenaded Coddington with a moving rendition of Amazing Grace after recalling how Coddington took her (Elson) into her office as a scraggly seventeen-year-old red head during her early modelling days.

Grace Coddington
British Vogue - August 1962
Photographer - Unknown

Grace Coddington's 50th Birthday at Indochine in 1991

Grace Coddington & Shalom Harlow
Photographer - Hannah Thomson

Grace Coddington & Karen Elson

Coddington herself began working as a model for Vogue at the age of seventeen when she won the young model division of a Vogue modelling competition. After a few years of modelling, Coddington began working for British Vogue as a stylist. Coddington spent nineteen years at British Vogue as the Photo Editor before moving onto American Vogue in 1988 joining forces with Anna Wintour in the role of creative director. 

As one of the world's most influential fashion editors, Coddington's brilliance lies in her ability to transform photographic spreads into narratives. In an interview with Time Magazine, Coddington surmises, "I like fairy tales, and I like dreaming. I try to weave the reality into the dream. When readers pick up Vogue, I want them to smile. Everything should be a little tongue in cheek, a little dare to-go-there." Editor in Chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour, perhaps sums it up best, "I think of Grace as the heart and soul of the magazine. She is a beacon of excellence."

Pat McGrath, Karen Elson, Anna Wintour,
Edward Enninful &Naomi Campbell
Photographer - Hannah Thomson

Olivier Theyskens, Hedi Slimane & Stella Tenant
Photographer - Hannah Thomson

Karen Elson & Stefano Pilati
Photographer -  Hannah Thomson

Karlie Kloss & Grace Coddington
Photographer - Hannah Thomson

Caroline Trentini, Liya Kebede & Isabeli Fontana
Photographer - Hannah Thomson
All images courtesy of vogue.com

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