Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grace Coddington Quotes

1. (on Anna Wintour) I bore her to death. I don't cuddle her, no. She wouldn't respond to that. You have to present to her in a strong way - eventually if it's right you'll convince her.  

2. Because my feeling has always been that people should concentrate on their jobs and not all this fashionable "I want to be a celebrity" s-t.

3. Would my work be stronger if I didn't care about being liked? "Possibly. I still have ways of getting what I want, though. Ask Anna.

4. Ask Anna (Wintour), I love all of my stories. And I'm furious when they get cut down.

5. I'm not an artist. I'm a creative person, but I'm one of a team of people that helps the photographer. There's that difference between art and fashion photography. Sometimes that line blurs, but I think you always have to have in your head that the most important thing is the dress.

6. Hierarchy is absolutely unimportant to me. Everyone is equal, from Anna, to me, to my assistant Stella.

7. (on he September Issue, R.J. Cutler's 2009 documentary) The first I heard of The September Issue, (the only reason anyone has ever heard of me) was when Anna Wintour called me into her office at Vogue to tell me about it. I'm always surprised that people who've seen the movie respond to me in such a positive manner. Maybe it's because I come across on-screen as so emotional…perhaps they are always going to react to someone who seems so spontaneous. Or someone who dares talk back to her boss like no one else does at the magazine, as I have done and probably will again.

8. When I first started as a fashion editor at British Vogue I got into my own pictures sometimes for budget reasons, or just because…like one time with Helmut Newton, when I was walking around in a bikini during our shoot in the south of France, and I guess, graphically, it made sense. Me with my red hair in a bikini among all these really bad clothes, evening dresses, you know. That made the picture. You know you're helping to make a great picture when you're working with someone of his calibre, so it's very exciting.

9. They're there to learn and observe. I think there are a lot of interns that feel very entitled. They think we owe them something. Good ones come through though. You really notice them.

10. (on Anna Wintour) We have a real mutual respect for each other, even though sometimes I feel like killing her.

11. I'm not here to teach people anything. I photograph what I think is right, and if a girl is anorexic I'm not going to feel right about it, so I wouldn't book her. But I wouldn't book one that is too fat either.

12. I am British. I'm told of my British sensibility sometimes. That whole romanticism thing. But I don't think you can compartmentalize things any more. I think everything is global now. Before affordable flights - before it became so easy to be anywhere you like tomorrow - things like that mattered more.

13. I still think the 25 and under generation has more entitlement issues than I've ever witnessed before. Part of surviving in fashion is learning what to and not to tolerate with elegance and ethics.

14. I didn't go back home to visit too often in those days, but whenever I did, (my mother) proudly showed me photographs of myself snipped from various magazines. In fact, quite a few were not of me at all but of other, similar-looking girls. "That's not me," I'd tell her. But she would say: "Oh, well, it's a nice photo and I like it anyway," and pop it back into my file.

15. I'm not happy photographing fur because I love my cats, and I cannot really separate animals and say: "It's OK to kill those but not these." I don't conscientiously object to fur, but if I can get around it I will. I don't seek it out.

16. (on Eileen Ford) She was a huge celebrity in that world, an incredible beauty. I was in awe of her.

17. But I was never considered beautiful anyway. I was a character. Not a beautiful blonde with blue eyes. Beauty is not about perfection. I prefer imperfections - it's much more interesting. Perfect is boring.

18. I can, too, be a bitch sometimes.

19. There are black girls I find very beautiful and there are black girls I don't find very beautiful; same with white girls, some of whom I find hideous. It's not about color for me; it's about beauty. And fun, and character.

20. After one wild night, I remember accepting a lift from Roman Polanski. He stopped short at his house and tried dragging me inside. I escaped, but had to walk the rest of the way back to my place.

21. (on her book) There is something really elegant about a book. I wanted it to not be just a read, I wanted it to amuse you.

22. There are people who are very guilty of working with girls who are too thin, just because the camera always makes people look that little bit fatter than real life. Some 16-year-olds go too far - they can't see what's right in front of their eyes, and it's dangerous. But some young girls have no shape whatsoever - they're like little boys, and I hate to say it, but the clothes hang well on them.

23. I love cats. I love their vulnerability and I love the way they look. They're very independent, which I like.

24. Don't be too nice, because you'll lose. You have to beat your way through.

25. Three rules of success in fashion: Perseverance, dream a bit and be passionate about it.

26. They could be pretty bitchy, those fashion-mad French girls. I would never dare talk back to them. For me, the French were always so superior in matters of style. England was cool but never chic.

27. There are a lot of crazies in this industry, but there are sane people, too - you just have to weed them out.

28. Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.

29. I found groups of people regularly gathered in front of my apartment in Chelsea. Fashion freaks, gays, straights, young, old, a whole mixture...I felt like The Beatles!

30. I undressed, put on my nightie, pulled down the top sheet, and there, neatly laid out on the pillow like one of those little chocolate mints you find in boutique hotels nowadays, was a condom. "What is this?" I wondered. I really hadn't a clue. Moments later, to my surprise, I was joined by Tinker carrying a steaming cup of cocoa and looking adorable in his stripy cotton pajamas. But his air was not that of someone about to read me a bedtime story.

31. The French are super chic, they still are. The English are absolutely not chic, but are very cool.

32. I was considered avant-garde and fashionable rather than pretty.

33. I like to dream. I don't like to be too commercial.

34. For me, one of the most important aspects of my work is to give people something to dream about just as I used to dream all those years ago as a child looking at beautiful photographs.

35. Each girl had her own individual style when it came to piling on the makeup. My particular thing was to draw an extra-wide stroke emphasizing the crease of the eye socket and add extravagantly long, spidery lines below the eye, a little like doll's lashes, then paint a dot toward the inner corner for reasons I can't exactly articulate except that it looked nice and "now." Later I discovered my crazy new eyelash look being called "twiglets" and credited to the young British model Twiggy. Well, they were very much mine. I was probably doing them before she was born!

36. (on working with Kim Kardashian) It was fun. (Kim) is very professional. And the baby (the couple's daughter, North) is very well-behaved. We did millions of pictures and she did not cry once. I got quite upset we did not have the baby on the cover. I knew going in it would be controversial - I got an envelope from Texas, with the cover ripped up into little pieces inside - but the designers all sent me flowers, so I guess they were happy.

37. I loved all the boys with soft, sad eyes and lost souls.

38. It's all up to you. You have to be positive in a negative situation.

39. I still weave dreams, finding inspiration wherever I can and looking for romance in the real, not the digital, world.

What do you think of Grace Coddington's quotes?

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