Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Grace: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Grace: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Grace: A Memoir

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,781 ratings  ·  604 reviews
Beautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Vogue have made her an international icon. Known through much of her career only to those behind the scenes, she might have remained fashion’s best-kept secret were it not for The September Issue, the acclaimed 2009 documentary that turned ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Random House (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Grace, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Grace

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,781 ratings  ·  604 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Grace: A Memoir
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, memoir
Grace Coddington is the foul-mouthed creative director of American Vogue who first became widely known in the documentary film, The September Issue. She was such an odd character in the film that when I first heard she had written a memoir, I though, now there is a woman who must have some interesting stories to tell.

And she does have some very interesting stories to tell, but the sad thing about this memoir is that she is not remotely good at telling them.

It is, I suppose, not too surprising t
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Like most of the people who know who Grace Coddington is, I first became aware of her when I watched The September Issue, a documentary about the creation of an issue of Vogue magazine. Anna Wintour was intended to be the focus of the film (thanks to her becoming a household name after the success of The Devil Wears Prada) but it was Coddington, the creative director of the magazine, who stole the show by stomping around in her sensible shoes, rolling her eyes at Photoshop abuse, and going head- ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, nonfiction, memoir
I believe this was in a Woodridge "Bookletters Daily" email. Liked the movie September Issue; figured this would be interesting. Lots and lots of names dropped. I recognized only a very small percentage of the hundreds mentioned: big name designers, a handful of models, and a few photographers. All pretty superficial. A miscarriage suffered when 7 months pregnant and said to be the most devastating event of her life gets three lines; her love of cats gets a chapter. Audio read by the author.

Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
She has a cat psychic. 'Nuf said. ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Book club is nearing and I haven’t been able to get this book from the library (d’oh!), so I went out and bought it. An unusual practice for me. It was $35! When did books start costing that much?!

I was prepared to dislike the book after buying it, but charged ahead because I had to get it read this week. Opening the book to find large print, wide margins and frequent drawings/photographs was a breath of fresh air. Despite myself, I was charmed with Grace’s recounting of her childhood.

Dec 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
dear Grace,
Like many others I enjoyed you in the movie The September Issue! You broke the mold- feisty, opinionated oozing with style and artistic vision!
So I was excited to download the e book from the library, and am glad I didn't pay for this book,
Where was the Grace Coddington I discovered in The movie?
Sorry to say after reading the first half, enjoying your life's journey from small English town to London fashionista, but skimmed the second half, which became a slog of minutia about your da
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like most viewers, I was captivated by Grace Coddington in the movie The September Issue. The movie prompted her to write her memoirs despite initially eschewing the new-found publicity. This book is a description of Grace's life to date accompanied by beautiful, quirky line drawings sketched by her of people and places. I think they are clever and endearing. There are lots of rich and famous names used in the book, but in the right context and definitely not 'name dropping' as these people are ...more
Elsie Grimes
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you watched the 2009 documentary film ‘The September Issue’ about Vogue Magazine’s Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, the most revered – and feared – woman in fashion, then you would have definitely taken notice of a certain flame-haired Creative Director by the name of Grace Coddington.

Introduced to the mainstream due to the behind-the-scenes look at the magazine’s staff and how they put together the 4 pound September 2007 issue, Coddington has been involved in the industry – first as a model, th
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, memoir
This book has been super hyped up. I’ve read glowing reviews in all manner of places. And while Grace Coddington seems like a fun, lively gal most of this book fits squarely in the “I don’t give a crap” category. It’s written in a very rambling fashion and although I love clothes I’m not deep into the fashion world so 80% of the names she drops (designers, photographers, models) meant nothing to me. Speaking of rambling, there is a long windbag of a chapter about her cats. I like cats and all bu ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Light but enjoyable. I know some critics have complained that Grace glosses over certain major life events but I took the book for what it was. It is true that I would have liked a little more depth and feeling but Grace's story is interesting nonetheless and she has a good "voice."

Although she is a very visual-oriented person and even professes to "not being a reader" she does not seem like a complete idiot. She seemed quite bright in passages. Also, it was interesting to learn a few things abo
Kristie Helms
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I spent a good majority of this book thinking it was pretty plodding. It felt like tons of name-dropping to me. I had a difficult time finding an "in" or a way to relate. I'm not into fashion. I'm not a hugely visual person. I'm not an artist. I just didn't understand the world she was trying to convey.

Towards the end of the book though, she had this wonderful section devoted to her cats. Just really lovely -- and something that I as a fellow pet lover could absolutely relate to. Give your pets
Andee Marley
May 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Looking for a quick vacation-read. I watched The September Issue and also walked past this book in Anthropologie the other day, so I thought it would be fun. I got in from the library on my iPad and read it mostly on my front porch. That was the best part of this book.

Other reviews are better at explaining this but, Grace has admitted to reading very little in her adult life. She is in a profession that tells stories through images. This book is impossible to follow, poorly written and sounds li
Lisamarie Landreth
Grace Coddington's memoir is a tough read even for those well-versed in the world of high fashion, haute couture and its proprietors. What should of emerged as a devastatingly candid portrayal of the evolution of the fashion industry from WWII to present day and the emergence of the modern glossy, was little more than a run-down of events sequenced thematically as opposed to chronologically. The book felt unchartered and rushed, disappointing and skippable. If you're looking for the real Devil W ...more
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Don't expect anything too deep here, if you are after an insider's critique of the problematic norms and culture of the fashion industry, you won't find it here. But if you want breezy anecdotes of a life well-lived, filled with parties, affairs, fashion and travel, Coddington has got it. This book helped pull me out of my pandemic reading slump: it's very readable and the drawings very charming. Sometimes I craved a bit more introspection and analysis of fashion's flaws and then I remembered no ...more
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, fashion
Written as a series of well-illustrated articles, the book reflects Grace's background as a fashion editor. She says it's ironic that since she's read only two books in her lifetime that she is writing a book, but she has overseen thousands, if not millions, of pages like these.

The description of her childhood pulled me in. You can feel the stateliness of beautiful of the inn her parents ran and the changes in lifestyle brought on by a full house in the summer and the emptiness of winter. There
Carol Storm
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best memoir I have ever read. Grace Coddington has such a distinctive voice, and she's incredibly candid about her life and career.

Over and over as I read this book I was amazed because Grace is so different from what we would imagine a fashion legend to be. You know, like Miranda Priestley in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA or her real life inspiration, Anna Wintour, who is Grace's boss at VOGUE.

Every time I thought I knew how Grace would react to something, she would say something totally d
Mary Holland
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Before reading this book, see the documentary "The September Issue". The film started as a documentary on Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue and as a rebuttal to "The Devil Wears Prada". Unfortunately for Anna Wintour, she is so controlled and expressionless that the director uses Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue, as her foil. Grace steals the picture, and it ends up being far more interesting watching Grace manage photo shoots, argue with Anna, and in general live a far more vibr ...more
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like most people I fell in love with Grace Coddington after seeing her in the Vogue documentary The September Issue. Though she plays down the fanfare she received for being so optimistic, down-to-earth and real when compared to the cold and calculating Anna Wintour, I still count her among one of my biggest female inspirations.

Her memoirs are a quick and entertaining read that touch upon various aspects of her personal life and career from her childhood in Wales to her modeling career in Londo
On the surface, this fashion memoir is a fun piece of fluff, like a good Vogue magazine piece. Fast paced with lots of glamour. Yet beneath the surface, there’s some real pathos – marriages and romances broken due to infidelities, career-damaging and fertility-ending accidents, a tragic, wayward sister, and a best friend lost to cancer. At first, I found it odd that the most serious events in her life passed with the lightest mentions and then I thought it appropriate. As she repeatedly states, ...more
Samantha L.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
What a fun, breezy read! If you've watched The September Issue, then you can just hear Grace narrating the whole book. It's a welcome relief to know she and Anna Wintour have been colleagues for years who respect and like each other. There's a lot of fun fashion history, too. So glad I bought myself this. It's a beautiful book, full of Grace's fun illustrations, and definitely worth buying to have that lovely orange copy on your shelves. ...more
Christina McLain
This is a great book that is long on description of the fashion industry of the past 55 years and of the great fun Grace Coddington had as a model in the 60's in Swinging London and of the fabulous social scene she enjoyed in the'70's and onward as a creative force working for such luminaries as Calvin Klein and the ever icy Anna Wintour aka Nuclear Wintour at American and British Vogue. She comes across as a low maintenance bohemian but driven to by her love of fashion and design. As a kid grow ...more
Amanda Skaar
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book made me literally dream away in the same fashion (pun intended) I used to do as a teenager. The world of fashion is such a fascinating one and Grace, with her wit, stubbornness and feet on the ground, wins over the reader with this memoir. A delight to go through the accompanying photos from all decades, not to mention her scribbles of the characters we get to know along the way. A must have coffee table book which must be read too!
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
3 for writing style, 4 for bringing me closer to fashion world and history, 5* for amazing personality and no celebritism
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
If you have not seen the documentary, The September Issue, rent it or Netflix it now. It's beautifully filmed and no matter what your interest in fashion, I don't think you can help but be intrigued by the personalities of Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington. I came away with a real appreciation for the art that is the Grace Coddington fashion spread shoot despite having no interest in Vogue myself prior. I of course thought I was so clever in cheering for Grace in the documentary - the anti-Anna ...more
Marie Highby
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun to Read

This book truly was a great escape. I now know much more about Vogue and Harpers Bazaar than I ever did before. Grace Coddington pulls you into her world with charm and “grace.”
Terri Durling
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Grace Coddington's love of fashion and cats alone make me love her and want to know her better. For someone who doesn't read, she has done a great job of writing her memoir. It is jam packed with interesting facts on her career beginning as a model and culminating as creative director of American Vogue, a magazine she adored from childhood. Her illustrations are perfection and add a whimsical flavour to her story as they are very much a part of her, in fact even in this digital age she continues ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
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. Coddingto
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have recently begun working for my local county library system. Really, it is like letting an addict loose in a pile of happiness. I now spend five - sometimes six - days a week at the library, surrounded by rows and rows of books ... beautiful, beautiful, free books. As such, you can normally find me - during my lunch break - leafing through the collection and checking out more books than I can possibly read. It is in this new position, surrounded by so many novelistic opportunities, that I d ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is a random collection of stories from the creative director at Vogue. Coddington says she has only read 2 books in her life and maybe that's why she has written such a terrible book. Actually I hesitate to give her credit for writing it, I really think that she was interviewed and then her answers were transcribed and assembled into this book. The first part of the book when she describes her childhood is organized and has some sense of narrative but as soon as she leaves to go to London t ...more
Andd Becker
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This memoir written by Grace Coddington with Michael Roberts is essential reading for the fashionista crowd. Grace populates her book with names of famous models, hairdressers, makeup artists, designers, photographers, editors, and well-known fashion celebs such as Anna Wintour. She speaks kindly about persons she has worked with at British VOGUE and at American VOGUE.
Fashion has been Grace's passion since childhood.
Grace dreams about cats, not fashion. She writes about eight beloved cats. H
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Chiffon Trenches
  • Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.
  • D.V.
  • The Woman I Wanted to Be
  • It
  • Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
  • Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year
  • Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
  • The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
  • The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992
  • Clothes and Other Things That Matter
  • Love Style Life
  • Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs
  • If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You
  • Dior by Dior
  • à Paris
  • Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
  • Leave Your Mark
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
7 likes · 1 comments
“I loved all the boys with soft sad eyes, and lost souls.” 23 likes
“I still weave dreams, finding inspiration wherever I can and looking for romance in the real, not the digital, world” 9 likes
More quotes…