Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grace & The Catwalk Cats

 If you saw 'The September Issue' two years ago I'll bet you fell in love with US Vogue magazine Creative Director, Grace Coddington like I did.
 I went looking for other things she'd done and found her whimsical The Catwalk Cats (which you can find reasonably on Amazon used).
 It's loaded with drawings of Grace's cats, made on hotel writing paper tripping round the world and then faxed off to her partner Didier Malige recounting her adventures in the fashion race.

 Sometimes Grace draws herself sitting by the catwalk (with Puff and 'Anna').

 I was busy drawing cats yesterday so didn't get to post - please forgive.

 Included in Catwalk are Didier's photos of their adorable kits...

 When I heard Grace had a memoir out I was thrilled. Enfin

 Starting from the getgo it tells of Grace's early days growing up on a small island off Wales, Anglesey.
There were sand dunes in the distance and rugged monochrome cliffs strung out along the coast. And Druid circles. And hardly any trees. And bleakness. Although it was bleak, I saw beauty in its bleakness. There was a little sailboat called Argo that I used to drift about in for hours in grand seclusion when it was not tethered to a small rock...I was fifteen then, my head filled with romantic fantasies, some feuled by the mystic spirit of Anglesey.

There are Grace's drawings here too along with many fashion shots...
On Growing UP
In which the winds howl,
the waves crash, 
the rains pours down,
and our lonely heroine dreams of being Audrey Hepburn.
Is it any wonder that Grace Coddington's pages in Vogue are wildly romantic?
 At age eighteen Grace goes off to 60's Swinging London to attend modeling school and win a modeling contest and the rest...

 Well Paris waits, Karl and his cats and the haute couture. Many, many intriguing adventures later, including a couple of husbands etc. Grace has the gift of being in the right place at the right time as well as landing on her feet, like any good cat does when she encounters adversity.

 Is there a single fabulous fashion photographer Grace hasn't worked with? I doubt it. Yet she remains humble throughout the book to both her creative gifts and open to experiencing everything to the fullest that comes her way.
Her family had a crest, a dragon breathing flames, and a motto:
"Nil Desperandum" (Never Despair).
 Grace - A Memoir is an inspiring, adventurous book. You'll be enthralled.



Cris, Oregon Artist said...

You find the most interesting books and Artists.
I am going to have to check her out. I have a new blog now. Ran out of photo space on the last one and wanted to make it easier to get to from my present server. Finally getting rid of the last of AOL's software. :)

Karen@PasGrande-Chose said...

Oh yes, she was the best thing about September Issue. Her cat drawings/travel adventures are enchanting! Super-talented woman. I have to order this book now. And I totally love the character and expressions of your cats - more please!

robinita said...

Just in case you missed Grace on "Fresh Air"

Parisbreakfasts said...

That's where I 1st heard about the book Robinita!
Wonderful interview. I meant to put the link in the post but forgot.

Connie said...

Of course you love Grace Coddington. You're a romantic artist, too. I have to have a little surgery next week and I bought her book to read during my recovery. I can't wait to get to it. I'll obviously HAVE TO get the cat book, too. You just keep doing as many NY posts as you like! There's always a touch of Paris in everything you do!

La Table De Nana said...

I find your styles a bit alike:-)
She's a beauty .
Her writing is charming.Thank you Carol..I had not heard of her..
So Twiggy ..that era:-)

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

YEs! Grace really stood out in the movie, and I had no idea what an interesting life she's had until Fresh Air!

Frances said...

Carol, I've also got my name down on the request/reserve list at my marvelous library for Grace's Memoir.

Is she not the only, repeat only, reason to ever look through a copy of American Vogue magazine? Her styled pages are the only ones with creativity.

Well, that's what I think anyhow. xo

Sketchbook Wandering said...

She has an interesting look...not beauty, just exotic..., à mon avis...I love that she, like Inès de la fressange, is free to sketch & draw in her own personal way...
Your cats: did you have live models?
I used to sketch my cats, loved their many poses....(they're long gone now, mes chattes...)

Vivian Swift said...

Ooooo...I love your cats.. You get the feline stare just right: piercing, but still aloof, intelligent and mildly puzzled and on the verge of being bored. Love it.

Parisbreakfasts said...

That's a GREAT compliment Monique!!
Grand merci :)

Parisbreakfasts said...

PERFECT description of the eternal aloofness of CATS!
You should know long-time 9-cat owner!!!

Unknown said...

Carol! This is a terrific post! I love Grace C and am thrilled you've showcased her today. Wow your cats are really something

Unknown said...

Carol! This is a terrific post! I love Grace C and am thrilled you've showcased her today. Wow your cats are really something

Liza in Ann Arbor said...

I did see that and I also found her fascinating. Her memoir would indeed be an interesting I'm sure.

French Heart said...

Am a big fan of Grace, 'September Issue', and cats! Must read her memoir...didn't know. Fab post, Carol. Merci!

Lora said...

I read about her in the WSJ last weekend and bought her memoir. Now I must have the cat book and rent the movie.
Thank you

Parisbreakfasts said...

Yes Grace is addictive!

colourliving said...

Carol, another fantastic post. LOVED Grace in the SI... and cats.

I read about the memoir but have not got it yet. must do so now.
Merci x

Sofia said...

The cats are lovely!!

Sue said...

Oops--I must have missed Grace yesterday--I've always liked her. She's an interesting woman. Never saw her cats, though--and yours are great! Fresh Air interviewed her on NPR the other day and I enjoyed it on my commute while I was stuck in traffic.