by Hannah Donnelly
It feels like there have been many goodbyes in the past few weeks. Whether this is because of death or simply departure, we’re constantly reminded that time keeps moving and the world keeps spinning. Things change. So who is the latest person making an exit?
That would be Grace Coddington, the longtime creative director at American Vogue. The yin to Anna Wintour’s yang, Coddington began working at Vogue in 1988 as their fashion director and claimed the title of creative director in 1995. In 2002, the CFDA honored her with a Lifetime Achievement award for her work at Vogue. Coddington, very simply, is iconic. She and Wintour are the duo responsible for what American Vogue is today – an institution, an emblem.
In her youth, Coddington was a model. On the cover of a 1962 issue of British Vogue, Coddington’s trademark fiery locks (albeit a bit muted here) are styled in the perfect ’60s flip. Later she would move to the business side of fashion at this same magazine, holding the position of fashion editor and then photo editor for nineteen years. So, so many years of her life, it appears, have been dedicated to Vogue – American or otherwise. While Coddington has explained that she is not removing herself from the position or the magazine entirely, one can’t help but wonder how much the magazine will change without her full influence.
And what of Wintour? Is the world out of balance now that the ice queen and her fiery-haired, funky counterpart have been separated? There are so many things that could occur, so it’s hard to say. As I said previously, Vogue is an institution. Without the power and prestige it holds, there would be no The Devil Wears Prada or the stereotype of the fashion magazine in general. The next creative director will mark a potentially pivotal point in time. Whatever happens, this is bound to be an exciting (and potentially terrifying) time at American Vogue. I can’t wait to see what happens next. But in the meantime, I’ll go watch The September Issue again.