Staying Power

Posted by: Rachel Iwaniec

What gives talent, in the way of designer, stylist, model etc., and the ability to withstand the unforgiving evolution of the fashion industry?

In her memoir, Grace, Grace Coddington recalls the intimate nature of fashion in her first years in the industry.  Not a fan of celebrities or bringing attention to herself, Grace has encountered a major disconnect from the initial “soul” of fashion and what it has become today.  While recalling her remarkable experiences as both a model and creative director, Coddington expresses a sense of despondence to the disposable nature of the current fashion industry.  The molten state of fashion requires talents of all variety to develop a strong and distinctive personality.

While everything is available in the 3D form these days, Coddington maintains that fashion is deeply rooted in its rise in the 1960s to the early 1980s.  Models such as Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, photographers such as Helmut Newton and David Bailey and designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein serve as the trailblazers of the industry.  So what’s next for our present talents?  “The Cod”, as she was nicknamed by photographer John Cowan, advise contemporaries to not be in such a rush.  She contests, “a few things going wrong in their life,” adding, “I mean, I hate to say it, but it teaches you a hell of a lot, you know.” (NYTimes).  So, while the industry itself is a mercurial one, those that are in it for the long haul should prepare for a few or more bumps in the road.  And just maybe, these so-called bumps in the road are more like stunning moments of happenstance that open bigger doors and innovative ways of seeing. grace with marc jacobs


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